Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 2014 Favorites

I cannot believe that January is almost over - wasn't it just Christmas?! Sheesh.

Here are some of my most loved products for the past month:

Clean on Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel by Soap and Glory
I first heard about this shower gel  WAY back in Missglamorazzi's February Favorites 2012 video, and I have no idea why it took me so long to go pick this up.  It is seriously AMAZING.  I have been using this regularly in the shower since I bought it.  The scent is the usual Soap and Glory scent - kind of citrusy, kind of floraly, and really really clean.  It lathers up so well and doesn't over dry my skin.  I am definitely OBSESSED.

Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Violet Ray by NYX
This lipstick has probably been on my lips for at least half of this month.  The dark purple color is perfect for winter and it is super buildable.  It does stick to some of the dry spots on my lips - but it isn't too hard to work with.  The color is just TOO good.

Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Kirstie Ankle Boot with Mini Studs from Target
So this is more of a pseudo-January favorite... since I just picked these up this past Sunday.  However, I am in love with these booties!!! I picked them up for only $13 on clearance at Target.  I wore them for my first day of student teaching and my feet were not sore at all - and they looked so cute.  I may not have had them for much of January - but they are for sure one of my favorite January purchases.

High Intensity Hand Cream by Bliss
This hand cream was the first product that came in my QVC beauty advent calendar this winter - and I have been loving it.  I keep it in my purse and use it after I wash my hands when I'm out running errands or at work.  It keeps my hands nice and moisturized and it smells very clean.  It does leave a bit of a greasy residue for a few minutes - but it subsides pretty quickly.

Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso by Stila
Oh my goodness this lipstick.  It is the ultimate red lipstick - and it stays on SO WELL.  I wore it on New Year's and received so many compliments while I was out.  If you are looking for a true red, long wear lipstick I absolutely recommend this product.

Eyestudio Color Pearls Marbelized Eye Shadow in Persuasive Plum by Maybelline
I bought this eye shadow as an impulse buy when I was at Ulta.  They had buy one get one for 50% off on Maybelline products - and I had purchased something... I can't remember what... so that's concerning...but anyways, I figured I should grab something else.  I had never been drawn to the marbelized eye shadow but I really liked the tan/pink swirl.  Oh my gosh am I glad I bought this!  The colors go well together or separately - and the marbelized side just makes my eyes look so bright!  I can't get over it. I am in love.

There you have it. My January favorites.  What have you been loving this month?  Let me know in the comments below.

With love,

Traci J

Monday, January 27, 2014

Exciting Announcement for February!

Hello readers!

I have decided to put myself out their for the month of February and try something new!  I am going to be doing what I call Food and Fashion February. 

What this means is that every Tuesday I will be publishing a post that is food related.  This could be a recipe, a restaurant review, or just some fun photos of foods I've eaten recently.  For the fashion part of it, on every Friday I am going to be posting my outfits for the week (Monday-Friday).

I will be starting student teaching this month - so the outfits will all be elementary school appropriate (see last semester's school looks here).

This is going to be an exciting month - and I am really excited about doing Food and Fashion February.  Of course I will still sprinkle in some other posts here and there - but this is my first time blogging while teaching and going to school full time - so figuring out a schedule is going to take some time.

Any bloggers out there doing anything special for February? Let me know in the comments!

I'm looking forward to another month with you beauties!

With love,

Traci J

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What I Wore | Company Party

Last night I went with my family to my Dad's company "holiday" party.  They always have their holiday party after the holidays to avoid conflicts with family holiday celebrations.  

I wore this black and blue sequin - cut out dress from Charlotte Russe.  I love wearing blue and black for January - there is just something so wintery about the two colors.  I paired it with some black tights to keep my legs warm and some black velvet booties.

You can't really tell in these photos - but the skirt is ever so slightly asymmetrical - and it adds a lot of interest to the dress. It's probably my favorite feature of the whole outfit.

I'm not sure what's going with the color in this photo - the red from the wall is making my hair look a little bizarre... We were rushing to get out the door - so I grabbed the nearest camera and we were only able to snap a few quick photos. But at least you can see what the back of the dress looks like!

What are your favorite colors to wear in January? I'd love to know!

With Love,

Traci J

Introductions | Lovingly LuLu

Hello loves!

Today I want to introduce you to an amazing Etsy shop and an amazing woman.  Her name is Rebekah Westermann and she is the lady behind the magic at Lovingly LuLu.  She sells super cute headbands (see above) for both babies AND adults.

Be honest - who doesn't love a good headband?!

So - let's get to know Bekah.


Hi all! My name is Rebekah Westermann. I am originally from Wisconsin, but I currently reside in Memphis, TN. I am a 24 year old wife, and stay-at-home mom. My husband, James and I met when we were in highschool, at a little custard shop where we both worked. We started dating YEARS later, and got married the day before our one year dating anniversary. About a month after we got married, we found out that I was pregnant with our (now 10 month old) son, Warren, who has brought so much JOY into our lives. Being a wife and mommy are two beautifully challenging “jobs”, but I am so blessed by and thankful for my best friend that I get to share in life with, and the sweet little person that has been entrusted into our care.


I had some questions for Rebekah - here's what she said:

What do you sell at your Etsy Shop?
‘Lovingly LuLu’ sells handmade headbands that are made by yours truly.

When did you start making headbands and why?
I actually made my very first headband January 2nd of this year.  
We found out a few days before Christmas that we are having a little girl in May (Yes, I am pregnant again.), and in a moment of  “I want to be crafty”, I decided to attempt making our little one a headband out of some scrap fabric I had leftover from some other project. Then I attempted another, and another, and another, and so on and so forth until I was pretty much a headband-making junkie. :) 

What inspired you to open a shop on Etsy?
Well, I actually already had my shop on Etsy before I even started making headbands. I originally opened ‘Lovingly LuLu’ this past July not only for something to do, but also to try and sell a vast array of things that I have made. It just didn’t work out for me then. Looking back I think that it was just too random to be successful. 
But when I started making headbands for our little one, people were really liking them. I had quite a few people tell me that I should start selling, so that is what I did. I transformed ‘Lovingly LuLu’ from a shop of random, to a shop of headbands.

Where did the name 'Lovingly LuLu' come from?
‘Lovingly LuLu’ is lovingly named after my mother, Luann. She passed away May 24th, 2008 from brain cancer. When I was trying to decide on a name for the shop, I knew I wanted to include her in some way. Eventually the name just came to me, and I thought (and still think) that it was (is) perfect.

Do you have any advice for others thinking of starting an Etsy shop?
Well, seeing as how I am still new at the whole Etsy shop owner thing, I don’t know that my advice counts for much. But, I guess I would just say if doing/creating something makes you happy, and the thought of sharing it with others gets you excited, go for it! If it works out for you, GREAT! If not, try not to sweat it.  You can’t succeed at something until you at least try. Failing doesn’t make YOU a failure, it just means there is something else out there that is better suited for you. :)

More of the headbands you can find at 'Lovingly LuLu'

How do you all like the "Introductions" idea? If you'd like to see more posts like this let me know in the comments!

Be sure to check out 'Lovingly LuLu' http://www.etsy.com/shop/LovinglyLuLu

Have a great Sunday!

With love,

Traci J

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hair Update | Ombre

Hello all!
I have had my ombre locks for over a year now - and I still love them.  Finally, I made it into the salon after complaining about needing a haircut for quite sometime....  My stylist over at Raw Salon and Spa (Jami) painted on some new light pieces - making the ombre start much higher up (which I was looking for). She then toned up the ends so everything looked refreshed and beautiful!

My poor sad hair before Jami worked her magic.

I love how high up the blonde starts in the back.  It is EXACTLY what I was looking for.

Raw Salon and Spa is a beautiful salon - and everyone is always so nice and accommodating.  I will include their twitter and facebook links below.

Here is a before and after shot - I didn't have any really nice pictures of my hair before - so you can't see the difference that much... But it's there!

Raw Salon Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RAWSalonandSpa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raw-Salon/70627392840

Are you still embracing the ombre trend - or are you over it? Let me know in the comments!

Hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!

With love,

Traci J

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

DIY | Jewelry Organizer

Yay! My first DIY post.  I would call myself a very crafty person - but I usually have no method to my madness.  The fact that I am so disheveled when crafting makes it difficult to post tutorials, but I did a DIY that was so easy - I couldn't help but share it with you guys!


8x10 plastic frame (stand alone)
Command Clear Small Wire Hangers

- Cut paper to size and slip into the frame

-Arrange and adhere clear plastic organizers (be careful - they do not remove easily from the frame)

-Hang jewelry and enjoy

I'm using mine primarily for bracelets, but this organizer could be made to be used for necklaces, rings, headbands, really anything!  The best part is that these plastic frames come in so many sizes - and since the paper is not glued on - you can change out the paper to fit your style!

If you make this jewelry organizer link to it in the comments - I'd love to see it.

With love,


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Liebster Award

10:00 PM on a Tuesday? It is soooo passed my bedtime.  However - I really wanted to get this post out!

I woke up to a lovely surprise yesterday  morning: I was nominated for the Liebster Award from Cachoo Joo cachoojoo.blogspot.com.

If you don't know about the Liebster Award - it is just a super great way to recognize new bloggers. Here are the requirements:

-Mention the person who nominated you  and link their blog
-Answer the 11 Questions your nominator asked you
-Nominate Award 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers I feel as though 11 is too much - and while this may be breaking the rules - I am going to nominate only 2 so that it is more meaningful,
-Come up with 11 new questions for them to answer

My Nominations:

Katie at http://a-kentuckylady.blogspot.com/

Liz at http://sprinklessequins.blogspot.com/

Both of their blogs have super awesome posts.  I love finding new - small blogs.  The best way to grow your own blog is to help others grow their's too!

My Questions for Katie and Liz:

1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
2. What is your favorite post that you've done?
3. When is the best time for you to sit down and write a post?
4. What do you do in your free time, other than blog?
5. Is there anything you would like to blog about but you are nervous to?
6. Do you have a favorite blog?
7.  If you could go on a vacation anywhere, where would you go?
8. Who is your role model?
9. Who is your fashion icon?
10. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
11. What is your goal for 2014?

Here are the questions I was asked:

1. Meaning behind your blog name & what you blog about?
I love bows - I just do.  Hair bows, packaging bows, just bows everywhere.  My middle name is Justine - so it all kind of fits.  Prior to starting this blog I watched TONS of beauty Youtube videos.  I love trying new make up, skincare products, and anything that has to do with beauty - so I thought "I should do this myself!"  I love it - blogging is just so much fun.

2. How would you describe your everyday style or personality?

My everyday style is girly, classy, and a bit quirky.  I love trying new things and trends.

3. Favourite TV show or YouTube channel? (Whatever you prefer!)

I have two favorite youtube channels:  Zoella and Missglamorazzi.

4. Most prized possession?

I don't think I have one. My car, maybe.

5. What do you do M-F? (school or work)

School and work. I am starting student teaching this semester and I work at a childcare center.

6. Favourite thing about the city or country you live in?

It's a small city, so it is very charming and homey.

7. What's the last thing that made you smile? :)

Writing this post!

8. Best thing about the wintertime?

Christmastime and the holidays.

9. If someone handed you $50 right now, what would you go spend it on?

The Naked Palette!!!!

10. A trend you like, but are still working up the guts to try? ;)

I'm not sure - I'm pretty gutsy.

11. What's one goal you're working towards right now?

Building a better blog!

With Love,

Traci J

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him

Can you believe that Valentine's Day is only a month away?!  I feel like we just finished up with Christmas!  Since I am notoriously bad at figuring out the whole gift buying thing, I always start early.  Therefore, I thought I'd try out my first ever gift guide to help everyone get started on their Valentine's Day gifts!

1. Reversible Belt from Express $39
Every man needs a good belt - and they can never have enough of them.  It's like us ladies saying we have enough jewelry (never)!  I love reversible belts because they are so versatile.  This one is especially nifty because it is black and white - instead of the standard black and brown.

2. Double Tiered Flask from Urban Outfitters $24
This flask is perfect for the relationship that has some humor in it!  Not only will your guy be reminded of you every time he uses his new flask - but with the two tiers you can keep a stash of your favorite adult beverage as well.

3. Couture Rugby Socks from Arthur George $30
Robert Kardashian has a fun sock line - and when in doubt I always give socks.  Men are suckers for socks - they are always a good gift.  It's their way of adding some spice to their look without making it obvious. Yes, I'll admit - I'm a bit of a Kardashian fanatic, and it makes me smile knowing that my man is unknowingly rocking a Kardashian product.

4. Caffe Verona Coffee from Starbucks  $12.95
If your Valentine is into coffee this is the perfect time to either pick up his favorite roast or try something new!  One of my favorites is the Caffe Verona from Starbucks - but if you have a larger budget I would get something a bit more gourmet.

5. Personalized Stainless Steel Watch from Things Remembered $79 +
I gave this watch to my boyfriend for our 1 year anniversary and he still loves it.  It is a classic style watch (but there are other styles to choose from on the website) and the personalizing makes it a really meaningful gift.  You can choose the font as well as the inscription - and you even have the option to engrave the box it comes in.

What are you purchasing for your valentine this year?

I'd love to hear of your no or low cost gifts - because I am always looking for thrifty ways to celebrate!

With love,

Traci J

Sunday, January 12, 2014

First Impressions | Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Instant Recovery Mask by Organix

Welcome to my first ever First Impressions post!  This series is going to consist of my reviews of products I am using for the very first time.

First up is the Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Instant Recovery Mask by Organix.  I picked up this hair mask on sale at Ulta yesterday because my hair is so DRY.  I need a hair cut terribly - my bleached ends from my ombre are really a disaster, and my usual conditioners are just not doing the trick.

I like the packaging - it is a deep purple with little specs of glitter in it, so what's not to like?

Scent & Color:
The initial scent is bright and floral.  It is definitely a good scent - I was just hoping for a bit more of the actual ginger in it.  Also - does anyone even know what awapuhi smells like - I sure don't.
The color is a pretty pink - and that's about all I can say.

What it Does -according to Organix:
This exclusive formula repairs brittle, frizzy, unruly hair by penetrating each shaft with moisture while refreshing your scalp and removing build up.  The result is soft, touchable, bouncy, shiny hair from roots to ends."

...apply Organix treatment generously to wet hair, working through to ends. Wait 3-5 minutes (for extremely damaged hair, apply, and cover with shower cap and leave in for 20 minutes). Rinse hair thoroughly.

I bought this to leave in for 20 minutes - since my hair is bleached at the ends and mad at me for not getting a hair cut since August - GASP!

What I Did:

Here are my dry tresses prior to using the treatment.  Pretty frazzled and just not nice to touch or look at.  (The main issue here is that I really need a hair cut).

I hopped into the shower and did all my showery things.  To wash my hair I used the Damage and Color Repair Shampoo from Clear Scalp and Hair Therapy.  After shampooing I put about this much of the Organix mask through my hair:

Instantly it got rid of any tangles and knots that were in my hair.  The scent smelled even stronger and nicer as I worked it through my wet hair.  I stayed about 2 inches from my roots - even though it says it gets rid of build up... I don't trust that.

After working the product through my hair - I wrapped it up in a towel.  I washed my face and did a bit of pampering while I waited for 20 minutes.

Double mask Sunday! Hair and face!
After the 20 minutes were up - I jumped back in the shower and rinsed it out.  I was a little nervous because I still had a few tangles and the ends felt a bit dry to me. 

Here's what everything looked like before I combed through it.  Like I said - I was feeling a bit nervous - but remained optimistic. I then sprayed with a detangler, combed through, and wrapped it up in a clean towel to get some of the moisture out.

Since I was running out to do some errands - I had to result to blow drying my  hair (which I try to stay away from).  I do this upside down - and apparently while making that weird face - to get more volume.  I of course used a heat protectant and some coconut oil as well.

As I was drying my hair - I started to get excited.  While running my fingers through my hair everything felt soft and smooth - way smoother than my hair has felt IN MONTHS.

The Results:

This hair treatment ROCKS.  All of my hesitation while rinsing it out was for nothing, because my hair looks and feels very very VERY moisturized.  My favorite part is that yes, it feels moisturized, but it didn't leave ANY greasy residue in my hair - which can sometimes be the case. (Also - now it is about 4 hours since I dried my hair - and I have been out in the wind - still very few snarls in my hair).

I only paid $5.09 for this at Ulta - so it was definitely worth the price.  I plan to add this onto my hair routine once a week or once every other week.

Final Thoughts:

This product did what I thought it would - nothing more, nothing less.  I would have liked to be a bit more "wow'ed" but I did only pay $5 for it.  

The only other complaint I have is that I wish it smelled more like ginger - I love ginger - but it does smell good.  

If you have dry locks and are looking for something to make them look and feel healthier - I would absolutely recommend this product.


What moisturizing hair treatments do you use? Tell me in the comments!

Happy Sunday!

With love,

Traci J

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Favorite Chai Latte to Make at Home

*the brands in this photo are just suggestions - any brand will do

This morning when I came downstairs to make breakfast, I was really craving a chai latte.  As I was sipping the yummy goodness I had made - I decided I should share my simple recipe for the perfect at home chai latte with all of you!

Now, there is nothing exciting or extravagant about this recipe - except for the fact that it just tastes so darn good.  

I have a variety of chai teas in my home, but this morning I went for these chai K-cups by Tazo.  I pop the K cup into my Keurig and let it do its thing.  After the tea is done brewing, I add in a splash of skim milk - I'd say about two tablespoons (this is just an estimate...I really just pour some milk into the mug).  

Next, I stir in two teaspoons of sugar to add the right amount of sweetness without losing that "chai-bite" that I am in love with.  Finally - my favorite step - I add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Not only does the vanilla add a tiny bit more sweetness - but it rounds out the flavor of the latte and takes it to a new level.  

There you have it - my favorite chai latte to prepare at home.  

Do any of you have at home coffee-house recipes?  I'd love for you to share them in the comments!

Have a happy Wednesday.

With love,

Traci J

I shared this post at:
Style Elixir

Monday, January 6, 2014

Manicure Monday

Brrrrrrr. It is -37 degrees here in Wisconsin, and I am NOT A FAN.  So, in protest of these low temperatures, I decided to do a bright, summery manicure today.

I applied two coats of Lily by Julep.  This is my first ever Julep nail polish - and I like it quite a bit.  I find it easy to work with - a bit runnier than most of my other polishes - but that's not really a bad thing.

It is a nice fuchsia color that reminds me of warm weather and makes me forget about the frigid temperatures that are just outside my door.

For my base coat and top coat routine click here.

How are you keeping warm today?

With love,

Traci J

I shared this post on the Your Whims Wednesday blog link up. Check it out here:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Products I've Used Up

Now that 2014 is upon us, it seems as though I've been getting to the end of quite a few of my products.  So, I decided to share a few of them with you - some good and some bad.  Enjoy!

I added this salicylic acid scrub to my skincare routine this summer and I fell in love with it.  First off, it smells AMAZING and it has the right amount of exfoliating power that I can use it at least every other day.  I have oily, acne prone skin that dries out easily - and this stuff helped keep my complexion matte, reduced redness and blemishes, and did not dry out my skin.  This is a product that I definitely am going to repurchase.

My hunt for the perfect dry shampoo continues.  I didn't hate this dry shampoo but it definitely isn't "the one."  The formula is a bit wet - and hard to work through the hair.  It left lots of white residue and only made my hair feel slightly cleaner.  I definitely like this dry shampoo from Psst... better. I will not be repurchasing this product.

I first heard about this leave in conditioner and detangler spray in this video by Missglamorazzi.  Since I have naturally tangle prone hair and was in between hair cuts I decided to give it a try.  It was LIFE CHANGING.  I love this stuff.  It makes combing my hair out so much easier - and it smells super nice.  I'm feeling rather lost without my detangler - so I plan on repurchasing this ASAP.

For December, my mom gave me the QVC Beauty Advent Calendar, and a sample size of this moisturizer was included in it.  I fell IN LOVE with it.  I am so so so sad that it is gone.  Not only did it not make my skin feel greasy, but it didn't make me break out either.  While I am quite impressed with this product - I'm not sure I can handle the hefty full sized price tag.

I've been using this leave in conditioner for quite some time now and am fairly pleased with it.  My ombre hair requires quite a bit of maintenance and moisture - and I don't really feel like this product gives that to me.  It does it's job - but I personally need something a bit more hydrating.  I may repurchase it in the future - but it is not on my immediate repurchase list.

What have you used up recently?  Anything worth repurchasing, or putting on your "never again" list?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy Sunday!

With love,

Traci J

This post was shared on http://twothirtyfivedesigns.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolutions 2014

Welcome to 2014 everybody!

I've never been good at making or keeping New Year's resolutions.
So somewhere along the line I just stopped making them.

This is partly because I try to constantly have a reflective mindset and  better myself - but there is something a little exhilarating in setting a resolution for the year. Is this just me, or do you guys feel that way too?

I think it will be fun to set a few goals for the new year and look back next year to see if I accomplished them - and I wanted to take all of my lovely readers on this journey with me! Excited???

So - let's do this.

Organize my room.  
I love love LOVE being organized - however I always fall short when it comes to my room.  My bedrooms (both at my family home and at school) get messy VERY quickly.   The lack of organization in my room makes it hard to put things away quickly - which I need in my super busy life- so I want to get my rooms organized!

Keep up with my blog.  
Four or five deleted blogs later, and here I am - still attempting to do the blog thing. Blogging has always been something that has made me happy, but I've never had the commitment to stick with it.  I want to keep this blog up and running and use it as something to pour my passion into. I said the key word in there - HAPPY.  If it makes me happy, I'm going to do it!

Try new things.  
This resolution is a bit on the vague side... which goes against all of the goal setting frameworks - but I'm using it anyway. I can be very uptight and get anxious easily, but deep down I really enjoy trying new things. Maybe I'll keep track of the new things I try in 2014 and do a post on it next year ;)  - side note - I'm already talking about next year... slow down. 

Alright.  I feel good about those.
What do you think?  What are your resolutions for 2014?

Happy New Year!

With love,

Traci J