Beauty Brunch: Mail Call

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Having spent 2 summers working at a camp, I am very familiar with mail call. Were I at camp this week, I would’ve had to sing once a day every day, if not twice a day for all my packages. I do love getting mail, but you don’t want to hear my singing voice, trust me.

From makeup to nail polish, to hair removal products, I got a lot of new stuff to try in the mail. I don’t really know where to begin, so let’s start with Sigma Standout Eyes collection of 6 gel eyeliners.

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Just in case you didn’t know, Sigma is a local company that first became known for their makeup brushes (at least to me, via YouTube). Now that they have added lines of well-pigmented and high-quality makeup, I like them even more. Last week I received this amazing set of gel liners in the mail. And let me tell you, the cat eye challenge is on! The set included liners in: Wicked (blackest black), Liberally Toasted (toasty warm brown), Stunningly Ladylike (dark brown-black), Standout Peacock (deep indigo blue), Royally Striking (true purple), and Unexpected (neutral stony grey). The colors are long-wearing, opaque, and saturated. All gel liners are versatile, yet unique and unexpected with intense pigmentation and a smooth, fluid-like finish. It also included two brushes: E06 Winged Liner Brush, which creates the perfect winged liner, and E68 Line Perfector Brush, for controlled liner application with powder products. I can’t wait to show you the makeup looks I’ll be creating with these liners and my other Sigma products. Use the hashtag – #standouteyes on social media for inspiration.

Next let’s talk about Luuux Makeup Brushes. I got 3 sets of those (yes, THREE!) and will be giving 2 of those away! One in today’s post, one on Instagram. So if you need makeup brushes, make sure to enter and get your hands on a pretty cool set, which includes: L150 Large Powder Brush, L187 Stippling Brush, L116 Blush Brush, L190 Foundation Brush, L224 Eyeshadow Blending Brush, L195 Concealer Brush, L239 Blending Brush, L242 Eyeshadow Brush, L219 The Pencil Brush, L217 Eyeshadow and blending brush, L208 angled brush, L316 Lip Brush.

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Since I will be quitting my job in the next month or so, I knew I wanted to order hand made all natural soaps from one of the teachers. She’s given me a couple before to try, and I loved them. When she brought me a box of 10 different scents on Wednesday, I knew I wanted them all. Connie started making soaps several years ago as a necessity, not a hobby. She had several health issues caused by chemicals found in every day beauty products. And that’s how her soaps came to be. To learn more about Connie’s soaps email her at conniejwelch@hotmail.com

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I am also excited to try these Completely Bare products that I got through Klout. I am always looking for alternative hair removal ways, as I seem to cut myself every time I shave with a razor. I am especially interested in the Body Moisturizer & Hair Inhibitor, it’s Lemon Grass and Green Tea scented, and promises to help reduce hair density by as much as 50%, reduce hair length by as much as 30%, reduce hair growth by as much as 55% in 28 days. I remember using a product like this before (about 5-6 years ago), and I really liked it. I’ll definitely keep you posted on this one.

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And, finally, I received some products from Gerard’s to try out, and I will write a separate post on those. But how cool does Caviar cream sound? So stay tuned!

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The Frye

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Some of you may know that yesterday was my Birthday. And, just like that I got myself a pair of Frye boots. I can’t say I always wanted ones, and have been dying to get my hands on them, but at the right place and the right time, well, now I own a pair. And just like that, they walk me now.

Hope you all had a great day!

Love, have fun and Frye!

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Twin Cities Travelin’: Como Zoo and St Paul

Tuesdays have become one of my favorite days of the week. Aside from having Tuesdays Off (that’s my Tumblr btw ;) ) I get to spend them with Jameson of Lessons with Coffee and explore Twin Cities like never before.

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Last week we went to Como Zoo, and since I’ve been there multiple times on field trips with kids from work, I knew I wanted to visit Conservatory Gardens. We did however tried to take a picture of giraffes walking outside through the fence, to which a little girl told us that we have to walk around and go through the entrance to do that.

The Conservatory Gardens was a lot of what I expected and more. The inside is beautiful, but I think the Japanese Garden was my favorite, including the bonsai exhibit. Did you know that all bonsai trees are shaped like a triangle? And sometimes there are accent plants that can’t be higher than the top of the pot next to them? I learned so much that day. We met a really helpful volunteer, who told us about the Japanese tea ceremony and the tea house. I love tea, but I don’t think I could drink that green tea that they serve there.

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After we visited the Conservatory Gardens the plan was to stop by The Russian Tea House on University Ave. But apparently that place is only open on Fridays 11-3! Too bad, so sad! And I was!

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So instead we stopped by Second Debut, took pictures in front of the awesome mural. And then drove to Grand Ave and ate lunch at Salut!

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Stay tuned for the nest Twin Cities Travelin’, it’ll be my Birthday edition one! Until then – Have fun!

Z & J

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Urban Gothic

Happy Thursday! Today I put together two gothic inspired outfits for you. One is more precessional and office appropriate, while the second one is sassy and meant for parties, going out and dancing! Both of the outfits feature the same Elle brand dress I got from Megan of Two Birds at our Minneapolis Blogger Sale. Two pairs of shoes: Rampage Heels and Naturalizer flats that I am wearing were given to me by my coworker. I am wearing my husband’s old Timex watch. So the only things that I actually spend my money on were the purses: 3.1 Philip Lim for Target is the large tote bag that I feature a lot in my outfits, and my brand new Rebecca Minkoff mini bag that I got as a Birthday gift for myself from Shopbop.

Enjoy!

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Make sure to check out other girls’ Thrift Style Thursday posts!

Buttons and Birdcages // Spoolish // Sandpaper Kisses // Sincerely Miss J // Confessions of a Refashionista // The Two Cent Chick // Snippets with Alex // Eclecticity // Alligator Toe // Erika’s Style Diary // Sistas From Cali // Bethie the Boo // Nuttier than Nutella // Lipstick and Yarn

And connect with me on:

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Minneapolis a la Mode // Bloglovin’

 

 

Acer Iconia A1 First Impression

 

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Let’s get technical, technical. Okay, I have to admit, we are a family of geeks. I love my technology, gadgets, widgets, plugins, laptops, SSD, and tablets. From Android to iOS to Windows, I’ve tried it! Some I love, some I hate, some I’d never recommend.

Today we are going to take a first look at Acer Iconia A1. An android tablet with Intel inside, this tablet reminded me of my iPad mini. The sleek white design and the feel of it definitely make it feel more expensive than it really is (retail price around $179).

It’s a great tablet for blogging, it lets you check social media, answer emails, and edit photographs (I’ve just discovered Retrocam).

Sadly the camera is not that great. The rear one is 5.0 MP, while the front facing one is only 2.0 MP. Maybe I will get a hang of photographing with this tablet, but I am not getting my hopes up. So to actually edit the said photographs, you need to jump through Dropbox hoops.

The battery life is quiet impressive – lasts up to 7.5 hours. The screen resolution is alright, I like watching YouTube videos, as well as Netflix, Hulu and Crackle, and it’s a great tablet for that.

Speakers and volume work well. I don’t need to blast music, unless we are having a backyard party, and then I can use speakers. But I love my Spotify app. What’s your favorite playlist by the way?

Overall it’s a budget tablet in a stylish package. It’s definitely better than some other tablets out there (I am talking to you Samsung Galaxy, every time that I have to use you at work, is painful).

I am looking forward to exploring apps that are android only, so if you have any recommendations, please comment below. Do you use a tablet? Which one do you use/prefer/would get?

And stay tuned for more posts about Acer Iconia A1!

Learn more about Intel Tablets!

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

 

Tops n Tees n Butterfly Knees

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Summer makes me want to wake up early and stay up late. Summer makes me not want to go to work. Summer is when I wake up and after my morning routine of oil pulling and cup of coffee I sit down and start looking for inspiration. Sometimes it’s in the sun I see rising through the trees on Rhode Island avenue. Sometimes it’s in my herb garden that I have managed to keep alive. Sometimes summer is in the morning breeze and I need a blanket to cover my legs, and a husband’s sweatshirt to wear, because it’s still chilly. Summer flows into me, and I get dressed and get ready for the day. Tops, and tanks, and accessories, everything is there, and everything expresses who I am.

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My Last Name

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Having been married for almost 3 years now, it surprises me how I am so used to my last name now. When I was little my mother always told me: “Don’t change your last name when you get married”. I guess she was afraid I’d end up with some ridiculous Russian last name. But having been in the States for 2 years with my maiden name, which was Demidova by the way, and having had to spell it to anyone and everyone, I knew that when I was going to marry Sam, I’d take his last name. Of course then he was making fun of me too, because he thought the whole name would sound ridiculous. If you are at all familiar with Russian names, you may know that we have a patronymic name, our dads name embedded into our own, and Zhenya (Evgenia) Igorevna Hutson just made Sam laugh. The truth of the story is though, I wanted to get rid of my patronymic name as well. So here I am Zhenya Hutson, loving it and loving my new (-ish) last name. In fact, I even had O’necklace make me a personalized last name necklace. So now, the world knows. And when I go to the U, just call me Hutson.

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I’m wearing: Target maxi dress (thrifted), J.Crew chambray shirt (thrifted), Vintage Cross body (thrifted), Moddeals shoes – $10, Hutson necklace by O’Necklace

 

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 Get 10% off your O’Necklace Etsy shop order with coupon code GIFT1

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Beauty Brunch: Nails and Lips and Detox Drinks

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Welcome to beauty brunch! Today’s post is all about nails and lips. Remember the teaser I posted last week featuring Sinful Colors Nail Polish? Today we are going to talk about those, as well as some of the other products that I have been using to keep the polish on my nails for more than a day.

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Left to right: Solar Flux, Matte About Blue, Red Tired, Rubber Ball, Rain Rubber, Pipaya

These nail polishes have a very interesting grainy texture and remind me of a color my friend Luchessa sent me from Germany, but that one was specifically advertised as Sand Finish, while these say absolutely nothing on the bottle.

Of course the colors are brilliant and vibrant. I love the look and feel on my nails. As you may have guessed I wore blue and red ones for July 4th, and the color is still lasting. I am glad it didn’t chip on the first day. I have been making sure to use a top coat every time though. My new favorite is Sally Hansen base and top coat, as well as the Big Matte Top coat.

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Another summer beauty must-have I want to talk about today is lipsticks, glosses and tinted balms. I have been using a lot of different products lately, and wanted to share my thoughts, looks and opinions on.

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These two babies by NYX (Strawberry Milk and Narcissus) have been my go-to this season. I love the pale lip look, it compliments the tan.

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A couple other lip favorites have been Maybelline Baby Lips in Oh Orange ($3.99 on Maybelline.com)

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And Sigma Lip Gless in Get Ready ($10 on SigmaBeauty.com)

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And finally I want to share a couple detox drink recipes with you. If you are like me, plain water doesn’t taste good, so  that will help you stay hydrated and feel good.

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Bring 72 oz of water and 4 tablespoons of stevia to a boil, add 4-5 stalks of rhubarb cut up into 1 inch slices, and let boil for 5 minutes. Let cool, add ice and enjoy!

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1 thick slice of lemon, 5-6 freshly picked mint leaves, 5-6 freshly picked lemon balm leaves. Pour boiling water over everything, steep. Drink cold.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

Twin Cities Travlin’: MIA and Lyndale Rose Gardens

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Welcome to Twin Cities Travels. Brought to you by Jameson of Lessons with Coffee and yours truly. Today’s post will be a two in one! Our first Twin Cities Tuesday was spent at MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Art - 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404), and last week we went to Lyndale Rose Gardens. 

Originally, Jameson and I were going to simply hang out, but then thought, why not blog about it? So here we go!

Minneapolis Institute of Art has been one of those places I’ve never been to. Can you believe it? I still can’t to be completely honest. And since it’s a donation based admission (FREE!) I didn’t have to think about it twice.

We grabbed some coffee at Spyhouse on Nicolette Ave (Spy Girl is my current favorite) and walked over to MIA. The neighborhood it’s located in is a sight in itself, from the brownstones, to the carousel horse fence, to the zebra hiding in the bushes. I felt like a tourist in my own city.

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I discovered Lyndale Rose Gardens last year right on my Birthday, when Sam and I were walking around Lake Harriet. And I knew I wanted to go back there. I was also extremely interested in seeing Peace (Rock) Garden. And since I almost always have to stand out, I had to wear a “new” dress I got from Minneapolis Blogger Sale, which I thought was perfect, and if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I make hiking in a dress look as easy as 1-2-3!

We also made origami paper cranes, also known as peace cranes. I carry mine in my wallet now, I am not sure about peace, but it definitely makes me happy.

And we now have our very own #tct water bottles, that Jameson made. This week I am working on a little DIY as well.

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I hope you had a great 4th of July. I was lighting fireworks all night!

 

Natural Neons {Thrift Style Thursday}

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The song “Peache” by The Presidents of the United States of America has been stuck in my head for the past month or so. Maybe because this small one farm farmers market by my house sells, among other things, well peaches. But we are going to talk neons today. I’ve never owned anything neon, until last Saturday, when after our Minneapolis Blogger Sale Nora let me have this shirt. And I fell in love. I hope you do too! Because neons are spectacular and can look very natural in an outfit.

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I’m wearing: Sandals – Target, Shorts – Ann Taylor (thrifted), Top – Minneapolis Blogger Sale,
Straw fedora – Goodwill

PS. Can you tell I was having a bad hair day ;) ?

Make sure to check out other girls’ Thrift Style Thursday posts!

Buttons and Birdcages // Spoolish // Sandpaper Kisses // Sincerely Miss J // Confessions of a Refashionista // The Two Cent Chick // Snippets with Alex // Eclecticity // Alligator Toe // Erika’s Style Diary // Sistas From Cali // Bethie the Boo // Nuttier than Nutella // Lipstick and Yarn

And connect with me on:

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Minneapolis a la Mode // Bloglovin’