May Gossip Girl Inspired Birchbox

After reading a few raving reviews and little persuasion from my best friend Chelsea, I decided to jump on the Birchbox bandwagon. Shortly after putting myself on the wait list, I received an email letting me know that I could sign up for this little monthly surprise. I registered a few days after May 1 so I wasn’t expecting to receive this month’s box.. But I did and I was so excited to try everything out!

For those of you who are not familiar with Birchbox, it’s basically a $10 monthly subscription, like you would get for a magazine, and they send you a small box with 4 sample beauty products by mid-month. You can even fill out your profile and they will send you products suited to your needs. This allows you to try out top brand products without paying top brand prices on a full size item just to find out it doesn’t work for you. If you do find a product you just can’t live without, you can buy it directly from the Birchbox website. Buying full size products, referring friends and giving product feedback earn you points towards purchases. It’s a small investment for a little gift to yourself in the mail each month. How can you lose?!

For the month of May, Birchbox teamed up with Gossip Girl to provide some chic samples. Here’s what I got:

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Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm. This 7mL sample will last me a while! You don’t need much and it goes a long way. This eye cream goes on like silk and doesn’t feel heavy. It rids of dark circles, lines and puffiness. Digging it.

Color Club Nail Polish in Disco Nap. I’m usually not a huge fan of gold but I immediately put two coats of this on and got compliments throughout the week! It’s a fun summer color for a weekend on the town, laying poolside or jazzing up your work wardrobe. A perfect metallic color to add to my nail polish collection!

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Dr. Jart + Waterfuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+. This was my favorite product of the bunch, mostly because it’s so practical. This acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen and tint. It gives you light coverage, perfect for the summer months, while softening and protecting your skin from the sun.

Ojon Volume Advance Volumizing Shampoo. I’m not sure how big of a difference this made for my hair because I couldn’t pair it with the conditioner and I don’t have limp hair in the first place, but, I will say that my hair did feel really clean after using it. It has sort of a tea tree scent to it but not as potent as typical tea tree smelling products.

Bonus: Gossip Girl themed XOXO Notecard and Envelope. This will be the perfect stationary for writing my little sister, since we have become pen pals over the last several months.

If you are interested in giving Birchbox a try, click here to sign up! I’ll get some points and then you can provide a similar link to your friends to spread the beauty love!

If you already receive Birchbox, let me know what products you got this month and how you liked them 🙂

Simple Bow Tie Top

I was inspired to make this shirt after seeing it posted on Pinterest. Thanks to Katy over at Sweet Verbena for the tutorial!

I am a beginner at sewing, so I figured this would be a pretty simple project to take on. In all honesty, it was a little more difficult than I anticipated but I think that was more to do with the fabric I chose for the body of the shirt than anything. It is a very thin, almost sheer knit so sometimes it was finicky to work with. Although, by no means, did this turn out looking professionally made, (after a few adjustments to the width and sash) I still think it’s cute and totally wearable for the blazing Texas heat that is just around the corner.

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Tuesday Dinner Dates

I don’t know why I didn’t start this blog over a year ago when this weekly family tradition began, but I guess better late than never, right?

After graduating college, moving back to Houston, being busy with work and my social life, my mom began to complain about never seeing me despite living 15 miles apart and working less than 5 miles from each other. Complain is probably a strong word considering my mom has never really objected to my life of independence and full social schedule. But, I will admit, I missed my mommy too. So, sometime around February 2011, my mom, her boyfriend (Billy) and I started meeting once a week for dinner to catch up on each other’s lives. Somewhere within the month we decided to make it a Tuesday routine and decided that each week we would rotate turns picking a new restaurant around town that we had never tried. We have had some really great finds, others that were so-so and only one or two duds.

Anyway, enough about the back story! Each week, I will report back with our latest find in hopes of giving you guys some new restaurants to add to your “to-do” list. That’s one thing I love about this city, it never lacks in restaurants – the perfect place for a foodie!

This week we hit up Saint Dane’s in Midtown. The place was pretty crowded with only a few empty tables rotating out and is half “indoors” and half patio; great place for the nice patio weather we have been having lately. The crowd here seemed overall pretty young, 20s or 30s, but it is bar-like and located in Midtown, so that’s typical. They have specials everyday, but Tuesday was $1 taco night, so we definitely took advantage. The tacos were pretty yummy! Between all of us we tried all of the ones they had, except for the fish — chicken fajita, beef fajita, grilled shrimp and barbacoa. The chipotle mayo they top each taco with gave them a little kick too. Mom made a good call and ordered a basket of the fried green beans. Seriously killer. I would go back solely for beer and a basket of those to snack on. We got out of there with a bill under $35 and had very satisfied bellies. Looking over their other menu items, they had your typical bar food, but also had other items, like pork chops, that I would be interested in trying.

I give this place a two thumbs up. It was good on all fronts — drinks, food and atmosphere. I will definitely be going back with some friends.