Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's New at New York & Company: Shop and Save

234 x 60 New York and Company Brand Logo

New York & Company is one of my favorite shopping spots. Here are a few of my favorite new pieces! Click the links below for coupon codes and great savings!!

sweater ny and co

Sweaters BOGO 50% off !!

ny and co pants

Pants & Jeans BOGO 50% off !!!

Don't miss the sales and great finds! Click HERE to shop now!!


500 x 192 New York and Company Brand Logo



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pushing Thirty: The countdown continues

The countdown continues and thirty is right around the corner. I still say I'm having some sort of mini midlife crisis. Yes I am proud of who I've become, but I am and will continue to pursue more. There are so many hopes and dreams I still plan to achieve. I am not at the exact place I want to be in my life, but I will get there. As I mentioned before my thirties will start an entirely new chapter in my life.

I realized several things today while I hid under the cozy blankets on my bed.
1) My life is far from over!
2) Thirty is not old and it doesn't mean I can't start totally fresh
3) People have career and major life changes all the time. Thirty is not the deadline.
4) I want more for myself and for my family. I am more mature than I was in my teens and early twenties, therefore I am better equipped to go after what I know I/We want and need!
5) Wrinkle cream works wonders!
6) These few strands of gray hair can easily be covered!
7) It's not to late to stop bad habits and start healthy ones!
8) It's not to late to lose the extra pounds I keep complaining about!
9) Family and Friends are extremely important!
10) All things are possible through Christ who gives me strength!

Here's to the last few day's of my twenties. As I write this I have exactly 4 days, 8 hours, 7 minutes, and 51 seconds (10/28)....Here we go!



Monday, October 22, 2012

Mini Shopping Haul : Great Finds

I love to shop! What woman doesn't? One of the things I love the most is finding great pieces at even better prices! I don't mind spending money on something wonderful, but isn't it even better to find cute stuff for much cheaper! Here are a few of my finds. Check below for what I actually spent!


1) elf Shadow and Liner duo in Green/Moss-  $ 1.00
2) Merona wedges-  Was $29.99 on clearance for $20.98 coupon for 20% = $16. 78
3) elf Eyebrow kit - $1.00
4)NYC- concealer for spots, blemishes, and scars-$1.00
5) Purses:
Authentic Vintage Fendi $0.75
Candies $0.75
Black bowling style from Loft $2.00
6) Delicious Chevron print dress- $9.99
7) Delicious Blue/Gray s/s sweater dress with pockets $9.99
Grand Total $43.28
I think I did pretty good! Don't forget to check back for my video post on my VoxBox opening and reviews on the great products!



Friday, October 19, 2012

The Truth About Skin Care : Tips and What I Learned

Throughout my teen years I had amazing skin. I rarely had breakouts and my skin always seemed to have a healthy glow. I thought because of that I was in the clear from future skin problems. Wrong! I'm about two weeks shy of turning thirty and have had more skin issues throughout my twenties than ever before. Because of this I have done tons of research on skincare and various products that claim to eliminate all of them. One thing I learned is that just because a product works on one person does not mean it will work on another. Here are a few things you need to know, and a few tips I learned along the way!

Everyone has pores! Some pores appear larger than others. Every hair on your body has a pore. Dirt and debris collect around your pores and eventually clog them. Underneath the tiny hairs on our face and under our pores are glands. These glands produce sebum. Sebum acts as our skins natural moisturizer. If our skin is not cleaned properly the sebum builds up and causes blemishes, white heads, blackheads, etc.

Over the years I have tried several different products that claim to eliminate zits, pimples, white heads, black heads, and say they eliminate dead skin cells which cause future clogging of pores. Some products have worked well, while others just don't!

Healthy Skin

Cleansing Your Skin
It is so important to properly cleanse your skin. While doing research on skincare I learned that the best way to clean your skin is to first open your pores. Since oil, dirt, and debris collect in your pores we need to unclog them. You can either steam your skin or use a hot cloth to enlarge your pores. Once you do this wash your face with your cleanser. Do this for a week and you will see a huge difference!
To Pop or Not To Pop
It is so hard when you see a huge zit on your face not to pop it! If you are anything like me then you don't want to walk around with a gross puss filled pimple in the middle of your face. I don't care what anyone says it somehow becomes the main focus of your face. Yuck! Another thing I hate is how white heads and black heads look. Whiteheads are those white or yellowish bumped up circles that somehow manage to pop up all over. Blackheads appear dark and cause your pores to look larger and almost dirty.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you to start popping every bump on your face, but I can tell you that if you are already a "popper" there is a better and easier way to do this without hurting your skin! That's good news!
First of all there is a facial tool you can use called an extractor. This is a better way of getting rid of those pesky bumps other than digging your fingernails into your skin. We all know that leaves marks on your face and causes the skin around the bump to become red. This is what they look like.
Here is the best possible way I have learned to perfectly remove whiteheads, and this really does work!
Steam your face! You can heat a pot of water and then place your face above it with a towel covering your head. Do this for a few minutes and you will notice your pores opening up. If you don't want to try this method a hot washcloth applied to your face for several minutes will do about the same.
Once you have steamed your skin your pores are now opened. This will make extracting pesky problems so much easier. Use your extractor tool and press gently into the skin. If you have to press too hard then you might want to wait a day or two more and try again. The whitehead/blackhead should come right out.
After you have extracted the problem areas cleanse your face. To close your pores you can take an ice cube wrapped in a cloth and rub across your skin.
A few weeks ago I noticed I had a good bit of whiteheads. They were driving me crazy and no matter what I did they wouldn't go away! I used this method and was amazed at how well they were extracted. I also use the steam method before cleansing at least once a day. Because I am limited on time I use the hot washcloth to open my pores then use a cleanser. It's also great to do this before applying a treatment mask. In less than a week my skin looks 99% better! No kidding!
I mentioned earlier that not all products work for everyone. It is important to find a product that works for you! When you find one stick with it! Continuously changing products can also irritate your skin. Remember to always remove your makeup at the end of the day and if you don't like toners make sure you at least cleanse with a good cleanser! On top of that don't forget your moisturizer! That is a very important step!
I hope these tips helped and if you want further information or a detailed how to let me know and I will be happy to do a follow-up post!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beauty Blogger VoxBox 2012 Review

I received my Beauty Blogger VoxBox from Influenster today! I was super excited to open the box and even more excited to see all the goodies inside!Influenster sent me this amazing box full of these complimentary products just to try out and see if I like them. Check out the pictures and the descriptions below!

This is how my box arrived.

Side of my box

This is how my box looked once opened.

NYC  New York Color Individual Eyes Custom Compact- Retail $4.99 

EBoost $28 for box of 20 effervescent powders

 Bath and Body Works Mini Candle in Nutmeg & Spice. It smells AMAZING! retail $3.50 and coupon enclosed.
 Not Your Mother's Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream. Retail $6.00
 Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin-Retail $7.29

Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit -Retail $5.99

Can't wait to test out all my goodies!
Check back for my video opening and quick review of my Beauty Bloggers 2012 VoxBox from Influenster! Are you ready to sign up for Influenster to get a chance to test your favorite products? Check out their site HERE!!

Week in Photos and Update

What a crazy week! I'm still trying to get everything back on track! My phone is acting crazy now, so I didn't get to instagram last week, but I did snap a few pictures with my camera! Here is last weeks photos!

1) Bay's bug project  2) Ty's Birthday  3) Bay's Fall Fun Day  4) Evan at Fall Fun Day  5) A Turtle Ty and the boys found.  6) Crazy bomb threat at KMart  7) Me and Ty  8) My sisters and I  9) Ty and I before heading out.
I have several posts I'm working on now, and I will also be doing a video opening of my VoxBox that Influenster is sending me! Check back for that and for my reviews on the products! Can't wait to get my box of goodies! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Influenster : Are you signed up yet?

Influenster is totally free to join! It is a trendsetting community of people who love to give their opinion and review their favorite products and places! There are also perks! Influenster joins the community with specific brands and rewards you for your efforts! Check out the website and see what it's all about by clicking here!

Have fun!



Current Loves : Beauty Products and Reviews!

I know I'm always telling you guys about some totally random product I love. Today I decided to go through a short list of these super affordable products and tell you why I love them. That way you can decide for yourself if you want to try them out! Here they are in no particular order :

September Favs

September Favs by flairbybrandi featuring maybelline nail polish

1) Carmex Moisture Shine chapstick:  This stuff is great. It totally revives dry lips and brings them to life! It is a great moisturizing chapstick. I've actually been putting it on every night before I go to sleep, and there is a huge difference in my lips.

2) Neutrogena Anti Blemish Anti Wrinkle Face Wash : This stuff is great! I have tried every kind of face wash you can think of and right now this is what works for me! Love the way my skin feels after washing my face! My skin looks much healthier now too!

3) Advanced Techniques Moisturizing Hair Mask : Love this stuff! It is a type of conditioning mask that leaves hair super soft and shiny! It also helps to repair dry or damaged hair and treat split ends. Love it!

4) Bath and Body Works Secret Wonderland: Have you smelled this stuff? Oh man, it smells so good! I keep a bottle in my purse so I can spray it any time I want a boost!

5)FX Curls Up: WOW! I have naturally curly/wavy hair that I normally hate. I tend to straighten it or pull it up half the time. If I leave it "natural" I need to put some type of product in it so it doesn't get huge or frizzy. This stuff is AMAZING! It isn't a stiff gel or spray. It looks like gel when you put it in your palm, but once it's in your hair it dries so soft! It gave my curls a boost and left my hair so soft that you can easily run your fingers through it with no tangles. No more gels for me! This stuff is totally my fav right now!

6) Neutrogena On The Spot: This is a great spot treatment for breakouts. I just switched brands again,but have found this to work great! Love it!

7) Maybelline Falsies Mascara: I love the boost this gives my lashes. It doesn't clump at all and totally lengthens my lashes!

8) Maybellines Color Show Polish and NYC Matte Polish : The color show polishes come in a great shades and go on great. For me the polish lasts a week without chipping! The Matte Polish is one of my new favorites. It is a clear top coat that can totally transform the look of any polish! These are all great!

What are your current favorites?



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Animalistic : Love the Print

I love animal print, and I have for years. I think it started when I was about 14 or 15. That was almost 15 years ago! I still love these patters today, and I have to say my current favorite is the leopard. Here are a few fun printed finds.

animal print




zebra by flairbybrandi featuring nars cosmetics



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pushing Thirty

Ok, the time is getting closer. It seems like yesterday I was turning eighteen, or twenty-one, then twenty-five. Where has the time gone?

So much has happened over the last several years, and now here I am pushing thirty. Wow! I'm really turning thirty. I think back to high school and the years that followed, and wonder to myself if anyone else had or has these same feelings. Is thirty that big of a deal? It's just a number right?

On my birthday last year I told everyone that I would just continue to have "Happy 29 Again" birthdays. I have since changed my mind.

I have been through so much in my lifetime. To be honest the things I've dealt with are more than most 30 year-olds. I have earned every gray hair (ok so I did find a few, but they are now a shade of brown!) and every frown line or wrinkle. I have earned the stretch marks, the scars, and the bruises. I have earned the tears, broken hearts, laughter, and smiles. I have been on one heck of a ride, and have somehow always been ok. God has always guided me through.

I may not be where I want to be in life. I may not be in the career I dreamed of or live the lifestyle I envisioned for myself. I'm fine with that though! I have come so far and I am proud of who I am! I am a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, and friend. I am loving , caring,  loyal, creative and unique. I am proud of these things. I am proud of who I am. I am proud to turn thirty!

So no, I will not have another "Happy 29 Again" birthdays. I'm thirty! I earned my stripes. My life is far from over. Thirty is the beginning! I am starting an entirely new chapter in my life! A chapter filled with excitement, love, and bright beginnings. The countdown has begun. I'm ready for all the wonderful new things that thirty will bring! I'm ready for change!



Monday, October 8, 2012

Currently Craving : Purse Edition

A girl (woman) can never have too many purses in my opinion! I have loved purses since I was little. This I get from my grandmother! We shopped so much when I was young and all through my teen years! It seems like every time we went out we both ended up with a new handbag (this was usually the same with shoes too)! Throughout the years I have lost weight, gained weight, and so on, but a purse will ALWAYS fit! Here are a few on my list!


purse by flairbybrandi featuring clutch handbags




Friday, October 5, 2012

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

The cooler weather is right around the corner! I have definitely been looking forward to it! Summer is finally over, and that means it's time for boots! Here are a few of my favorites and some I have added to my shopping list! Which ones are your favorites?

These Boots are Made for Walkin

Tory burch

AX Paris nude wedge
$44 -

Gucci lace up boots
$610 -

Charlotte Russe high heel boots

Brazen nude heels

Casadei strappy heels
$1,725 -

Slouch boots




Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Wrong Way to Get Followers : Being Fake and What I think...

Ok, there has been quite a few things going around various sites. Bloggers will message you and start the speech about how they will follow you and to please follow them back. Fine. I will follow a blog ONLY if I like it and intend to read it. If a blog has good and interesting posts I have no problem with this. After all we should spread the word about our blogs, but not totally harass someone.

Now bloggers are sending these messages and following you via GFC or Bloglovin, etc. They wait on you to follow back and then delete and unfollow you. What's the point? These people lie to you in order to raise their numbers. Half these people don't even care about the quality of their posts. They are just trying to keep their follower numbers up.

If that is the way you feel you need to get followers in my opinion something isn't right. Shouldn't people actually follow you because they like what you write about or because you have great outfit posts and unique style? I blog because I enjoy it. I do it because I love sharing my opinions, giving helpful tips, doing fun projects, and sharing various other things. Some days the posts are short, and others they are long. Either way I do put thought into what I write. I don't think it's a joke I have a general love for writing.

With others it seems to be a popularity contest or who can get the most followers. It takes time to build your followers. It's not something that happens over night. You shouldn't "bribe" people and lead them to believe that you actually like and want to follow them when you only want your own numbers raised.

I just thought I would have a mini vent sesh! I can't stand "fake" people! This is something that has gotten on my nerves for years. I blogged years ago, but due to several life situations I stopped. I started this blog less than a year ago, and have no intentions of ever stopping.

My basic point to this is people should just be honest! In ALL aspects, not just blogging or other personal promotion stuff. Remember that saying...."honesty is the best policy"? Keep that in mind and you will go much farther in life!



A Weighty Issue : Does the Number on the Scale Really Matter?

Ok, I'm getting serious today. I am about to discuss a real issue among many women...weight! This is such a touchy topic, but I feel that it's time I say a few things. I'm not going to lie, I'm not a skinny girl. I was before I had my two boys, but that seems so long ago. I sometimes feel that because I no longer fit in my size 2's and 5's I'm an outcast in the world of fashion. The question is why?

I know I have a lot to offer. I have always been ahead of the trends in fashion, jewelry, and beauty. I seem to hide it though. I feel like because I don't fit into that "perfect size" quota my fashion sense, opinions, and style shouldn't matter. That is crazy! They should matter. There are so many women who feel the same way I do! So many women who don't wear these tiny sizes  have amazing style! Why not show the world what we have to offer.

We cannot base our looks on something we see in a magazine or a runway show. Yes, those girls wear size 2 and 4. Most designers make their samples in those sizes. The truth is the average size in America currently is between a 14 and 16. Did you hear that??!!! Do the research if you don't believe me!

weighty issue blog

There seems to be so much pressure on women to fit into that perfect mold. Younger girls are at such high risk of having low self esteem because of all they see on TV and in print. It makes me sad, and to be honest my self esteem is not even close to where it was years ago. I have always had a bit of a warped sense of self. Even when I was small I didn't see it. When I looked in the mirror I saw "fat". Looking back I could really slap myself. I was ridiculous. These were between age 15 and 16.

These days I tend to shy away from the camera. If I do take any kind of pictures I try to make sure my body isn't in the picture, or just go back and crop it later. I'm tired of doing this! I am in the process of trying to get more "healthy", but regardless I shouldn't feel so ashamed that I have to edit half my body out of a picture! I have great style and some amazing clothes hanging in my closet. I should be showing them off, not hiding! I tell myself that if I lose 30 or 40 pounds then I'll start showing my sense of style.
I ask myself if it's all in my head, or if I am truly afraid of what others will think or say. I wonder if they will make comments about my size or have other nasty remarks. Let me clarify now, by telling you I am not some morbidly obese person.Yes, I have extra weight, and besides that I am 5'9. I feel big no matter what. Either way it is time to do something. Regardless if I lose the weight or not I shouldn't feel ashamed of who I am no matter what the size. I am considered "average" when it comes to the size I wear, and who cares what number is on the scale? It should be about how you look and feel, not what number is looking back at you! So, from now on even as I am working towards losing the extra weight I will learn to be more confident in who I am, because I do have a lot to offer!




All That Glitters: A few sparkling picks

Glitter, glitz, and glam were once reserved for evenings and special events. That idea has since changed and now you can see this trend in large and small amounts. From tiny amounts of glitter to rhinestones and sequins, it's all about the glitz! What girl or woman doesn't like a little sparkle in her life every now and then? Here are a few of my favorites!




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Highlighting and Contouring : Tutorial, Product Info, and What Works

Ok, several people have asked me how I do my makeup. I've had requests to do a video tutorial, but didn't get the chance to do that yet. I'm working on it!

I had a long discussion with someone a few days ago about highlighting, contouring, and the best foundation types and colors for skin. That can get tricky! First I'll show you a a quick picture tutorial with directions on a quick full makeup look. We will go with a natural look today. Below that I'll touch on brands, types, and colors of foundations.

Highlighting and Contouring are similar for every face shape. Check out the chart below to see what I'm talking about, then we will get into my routine. Keep in mind everyone has a different routine or different way of putting on their makeup. Each person is different and you need to do what suits you best! This is the way I do mine. There is no right or wrong way to do this...unless you are using some crazy un-matching foundation, blush, bronzer etc.


Here is a numbered picture guide of what I did. Check below for the how to directions. This is for a simple natural look.

1) Start with your base foundation. Prep your skin and apply concealer where needed. I used my NYC skin matching foundation that I picked up in my mini super cheap makeup haul! 2) You can apply your foundation in 3 ways. With a brush, sponge, or your fingers. Keep in mind if you do use your fingers make sure they are clean. Your skin absorbs oils left on your fingers and can further clog pores! I use a brush to apply and then smooth the edges at my neckline with a sponge. 3) This is the smoothing part. 4) There are several ways to highlight, but I am using a slightly lighter foundation. This is NYC smooth skin foundation in Ivory. This is another one of the products I grabbed on that makeup haul! 5) Put your highlighter on the areas shown. It looks like I put on a ton, but I really didn't! Then you are going to blend it in. 6) Next I put on a bronzer. I use a fan type brush for this, but couldn't find it today. You are going to use this to contour. 7) Check the picture and the chart above to see contour areas. 8) Next grab your blush. I used Avon's Smooth minerals in "blushed rose". 9) If you smile when you apply your blush you will see where to apply it. Blush goes on the round cheek area, bronzer goes below in the "hollow" area to contour. 10) If you put on a little too much blush or bronzer it can easily be toned down with translucent powder. 11) For my shadow I used the Neutral tones pallet from Avon. 12) I swept a light color all over the lid.13)  I took a dark brown and swept it across the upper lid and crease. 14) Then I took the darkest brown and put it in the crease area then came down to the outer edge of my eye. 15) Next grab your liner. I used Glimmersticks in black today. 16) Since this was a neutral look I stayed close to the lash line and made a thin line. 17) Mascara time. I used Maybellines Falsies today in brown/black. 18) Do a thin coat on top and bottom lashes. 19) Fill in your brows. You can use a powder base (even eyeshadow) or a pencil. If you use a pencil be careful because you don't want that "drawn on" harsh look. 20) Gently fill in brows. I used Glimmersticks brow liner in Blonde. 21) It will look something like this. Make sure you blend your shadows so you don't have harsh lines. 22) Grab your powder. You can use loose powder or a pressed powder. Don't over do it! Just lightly dust it on to set the look. 23) Time for the lips. I used Dollhouse pink. I dabbed it on my lips because I didn't want a lot of color, just a hint for this look. 24) That's it. The finished look.

Now, let's talk about brands, types, and colors!

Brands :
 To be honest I have tried everything from expensive designer brands to cheaper drugstore brands. The brand isn't the issue it's how well it works! Don't focus on the name focus on the results!


Foundation's have come such a long way over the years! There are so many different types and each type has several choices from there. Here is a brief list of foundation types and what they do!

Foundation 411

1) Cream to Powder : These come in compact style cases. They start as a creamy foundation and turn to powder on the skin. These are said to minimize oil and to last through the day. This is an easy option for those who don't like to deal with a lot of fuss with their foundation.

2) Liquid Foundation : There are so many varieties of liquid foundation. This one is the most common. It applies smoothly and you are able to put more where it is needed. There is waterproof, smudgeproof, long lasting, oil free, skin matching, etc. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts stay away from the waterproof and lean towards and oil free.

3) Powders : These are great for setting foundation and eliminating shine. Be careful as to how much you put on, because you don't want to clog pores or look like you have on a mask. If you can see it, then it's too much!

4) Mineral Foundation : These is a more natural approach to foundation. Some mineral powder can actually be good for your skin, while other's only claim to be. Mineral foundation should lightly lay on the skin. If you put on too much, or there are other additives in the product it will also look "cakey" like regular powder.

5) Whipped and Mousse Foundations: These are great because they go on smooth. They are great for aging and dry skin because they go on thin. Make sure not to over apply!

6) Concealer : This stuff can work miracles! It can hide dark circles, blemishes, and imperfections in skin. Even with concealer you want to watch your application. Putting too much will again cause "caking".

7) Tinted Moisturizer : This option is great for women who need a hint of color, but don't like the feeling of thick makeup. This is a minimal coverage option that evens skin tone and moisturizes at the same time.


 (Image c/o Avon)

 Finding the right shade is tricky. I explained in a post a few day's ago on how to correctly pick your shade and test samples. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out here! If you follow those guidelines and test on your cheek where I showed you will be able to find your shade. Another option that I am a huge fan of is mixing colors to create your perfect shade. I have done this several times to get as close to my natural skin tone as possible! Try it!

I hope some of these tips helped you guys out! Thanks for reading check back soon for my latest posts!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's Electric : Neon's

I love neon's. Somehow they still send flashbacks of my younger and teen days when everything was a shade of electric something or other. Fashion and style have evolved since those days, and even though we see hints of fashion history, it has still come a long way! Here are a few of my neon accessory picks and a few quick outfits I put together using this colorful trend!

neon accessories

Neon Yellow

neon pink

neon blue

neon green

And how can we forget...a quick flashback to the 80's and early 90's! Who remembers these days? See, neon has evolved over the years! So has our sense of style and technology! These were the good "old days"!
80's and 90's

80's and 90's by flairbybrandi featuring water resistant watches