Beauty & the Booze

the beauty bar at geist, indianapolis salon review, salon that serves alcohol, fishers salon reviewShirt (on sale) // Necklace (on sale)

Over the weekend I had my first manicure in more than 3 years. My last one was horrible and left me with a bloody cuticle. Yes, I said bloody. So what made me willing to give manicures another try? Well, I got an invitation to try out the Beauty Bar at Geist, a salon that has a liquor license – the first of its kind in Indiana, apparently! So you can go get a manicure, pedicure, haircut, whatever…all while sipping a glass of wine or a cocktail. (In case you’re wondering, the people giving you the manicure, pedicure, or haircut do NOT get tipsy while they serve you. Probably a good call.)

My appointment was in the morning, so I went with a mimosa. Vitamin C, yo.

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I’m very happy to report that my manicure at the Beauty Bar was 1000% better than my last one. And that’s not just the booze talking. I told the nail technician (is that what they’re called?) my horror story, so she was very gentle on my sensitive cuticles. She also gave a kick-ass hand massage! Very relaxing.

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The color I chose was “Mint Convertible” by CND Vinylux. It claims to last 7 days. We shall see! I’m on day 4 now and it still looks as great as it did day-of. Here’s the finished product…

the beauty bar at geist, indianapolis salon review, salon that serves alcohol, fishers salon reviewRing the beauty bar at geist, indianapolis salon review, salon that serves alcohol, fishers salon review

Besides the great manicure and cocktail, I also liked that this place didn’t feel like a typical salon. They’re usually so clinical-looking, you know? And they smell like weird chemicals. This place was super cute and more inviting than my own apartment.

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You know what all this means? The Beauty Bar gets the coveted SASS (Sarah’s Awesome Stamp of Satisfaction)! I don’t hand these out easily, folks. So for my central Indiana folks, I definitely recommend a visit to the Beauty Bar. I’m sure it would be a great place for a bridal party to get their nails done together. You can also get massages and waxing; see the full list of services here.

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Disclosure: I was given a complimentary manicure and cocktail in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own, as I have not figured out how to have anyone else’s opinions.

How to Clean Out Your Closet Without Regrets

Uh oh, Sarah’s about to give advice to tens of people across the Interwebs. What’s she up to this time?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to quit your job and go to law school (what kind of crazy person would do that?!). I’m going to stick to a slightly less life-altering subject: cleaning out your closet. Since I started doing my monthly budget posts and mentioned how I’ve been selling old clothes to fund new ones, I’ve had at least 3 people ask me for details on 2 different but sometimes related issues:

#1: How do you decide what to get rid of?

#2: How do you make money off your old clothes?

Now before I get into the nitty gritty, a disclaimer: This advice isn’t for everyone. Some people only go shopping a couple times a year and/or have a well-edited (read: small but functional) wardrobe. Those people don’t need help getting rid of stuff.

But for the shopaholics (like yours truly) and hoarders, you might want to take notes.

All of these tips are things I’ve learned myself over the past few years. I used to have a lot of trouble letting go of old things, but at the same time I couldn’t stop buying new things. This kind of behavior makes for an excellent best-selling book series and blockbuster movie, but in real life it leads to buyer’s remorse and a messy, overstuffed closet full of things you don’t wear.

I tried to get on board with the whole “build a wardrobe of basics” thing but then I remembered that I hate basics. For me, there is no goal of a “complete” closet. The way I see it, a complete closet is as ridiculous an idea as a complete music collection: You could get an album of every kind of music there is, but there will be times when none of those albums is what you want to listen to. There will always be new artists and new music to try. And sometimes an album you loved 5 years ago isn’t going to resonate with you anymore. See where I’m going with this?

It took an embarrassingly long time for me to figure it out, but the best option for me is to have a freely rotating closet: when new things come in, old things need to go out. As a bonus, when you learn to let go of things that are relatively new and still in great shape, you can sell those things to help pay off your new things! 

Let’s get down to business with Question #1: How do you decide what to get rid of? These are the 8 reasons I generally have for pulling things off their hangers:

clean out your closet, closet purge, what clothes to get rid of, what clothes to keepBackground image source (CC license)

Anything that falls into that first category (stained, damaged, etc.) can’t be sold, but you shouldn’t be wearing gross stuff like that anyway. Cut it up to use as rags or something.

Everything else could potentially find a new owner, whether you sell or donate. But first, here are the only 3 valid excuses I can think of to keep an otherwise purge-able item:

clean out your closet, closet purge, what clothes to get rid of, what clothes to keepBackground image source (CC license)

I’ll clarify that last point with an example: Maybe you bought a nice suit for an interview one time, but you haven’t worn it since. One day you might need a suit again, and a nice one is expensive. If it still fits, you might want to keep it just so you don’t have to drop a couple hundred dollars again. Or maybe you have one nice cocktail dress but you’re more of a jeans girl. Same kind of deal – you might as well keep the one you have for when you need it.

Notice that “you spent a lot of money on it” is NOT one of the excuses. A too-small pair of Louboutins that you managed to find on clearance for $200 is worth $0 sitting on the floor of your closet. There’s someone in the world with smaller feet who would be happy to pay you for those so you can buy something better.

Alright. Now a little bit about Question #2: How do you make money off your old clothes? I’ve had the most luck with consignment and resale stores.

I started off at a traditional consignment boutique: You bring in your stuff, they accept what they want, and you make a percentage if it sells within a certain amount of time. If not, you can get your stuff back. I had more luck with bags, shoes, and accessories at a traditional consignment store. I think my clothes didn’t sell that well because I’m much smaller than average size.

A few months ago, I switched to a resale boutique that pays cash on the spot. Most people have heard of Plato’s Closet, but they only buy “teen” clothing so they’re not interested in your fabulous Ann Taylor dress. But with a little internet research, I found several resale options for actual adults near me. (To find these places in your area, Google something like “women’s resale fashion [your city].”) I’ve had better luck with these places because I can actually make money off my clothes, not just accessories.

A lot of consignment and resale shops will say they only sell “designer” goods, but don’t let that discourage you. I’ve taken A LOT of clothes to these places – sometimes I’m surprised at what they want, and sometimes I’m surprised at what they don’t want. If one place turns you down, try another one (or even try the same one a month later…seriously). It might just be a matter of what they already have too much of in stock.

The latest trend in resale is the Poshmark app. I won’t try to give a ton of advice about this one because I’ve only used it once, but I was successful! I think Poshmark is a good way to go if you have a designer item that people would actually seek out and pay big bucks for. I sold a used marc by Marc Jacobs bag on Poshmark for $120. Poshmark takes a 20% commission, but $96 is a lot more than I could have gotten if I had sold it to my usual resale place. My advice is to start your price pretty high, then gradually lower it until someone bites – it worked for me! Just Google “Poshmark” if you want more info about it; there are tons of reviews out there.

OK, guys. That’s it. I hope those 3 people who asked me these questions feel fully informed now. More questions? Your own advice? Leave them in the comments! Maybe you’ll inspire a future post. And pretty please: If there are any shopaholics and hoarders in your life, share this with them on Facebook. Or if you want to be passive aggressive about it, just pin it on Pinterest and hope they see it.

Mini Home Makeover

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Kleenex has excellent timing – I have suspicions that they’re stalking me. You might remember I did a Kleenex-sponsored post back in February, right after I had used up my supply of tissues during a crappy cold. This month I was invited to participate in another campaign, and this one has a theme: styling the perfect space for guests. And wouldn’t you know it…my parents came to town this weekend for graduation, and my bathroom (which is also the guest bathroom; I’m not some kind of millionaire with 2 full bathrooms) was in major need of some sprucing up.

The first step was finally framing and hanging the awesome opera poster Kristin got me for Christmas:

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Then I decided to keep the yellow theme going and picked up some new stuff from Target. I had had the same bath mat since we moved in to this apartment, and that was 5 years ago. Yeah. It was gross. My new one is adorable and fluffy! [I couldn’t find this exact one on Target’s website, but there’s another really cute yellow & white one that I love too.]

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I’m a pro at wearing mixed prints, but I really have no instincts when it comes to interior design or décor. I usually just buy things that were made to go together. But I decided to get just a little bit daring when picking out my Kleenex boxes. There are a few new designs by Isaac Mizrahi out now, so I went with those. If it’s good enough for Isaac, it’s good enough for me. Black and white go with everything, right?

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20140508-164312.jpgThis mini home makeover doesn’t stop at the bathroom, folks (I know, it’s crazy…I should have my own HGTV show). Last week I was at a craft store and decided to buy this cute little chalkboard easel for absolutely no reason. So I created a reason by rearranging the top of a bookcase in the living room. I added another cute Isaac Mizrahi Kleenex tissue box because why not? Hopefully my parents feel very welcome during their visit, and if anyone gets a runny nose, I’M ALL OVER IT!

If you need to stock up on tissues, stop by the Kleenex Style Studio page and take the “quiz” to get a coupon! It only takes a few seconds. The more right answers you get, the better your coupon is (but you can take it multiple times)!

Heads up: I will be receiving compensation from Kleenex in connection with this post. Thanks for supporting the brands that support my dangerous shopping habit.

Clinton Kelly is Freakin’ Fabulous.

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Friday was one of the best days ever. Part of that was weather related. Part was basketball related. But a lot of it had to do with seeing Clinton Kelly – in the flesh! – put on a fantastic and hilarious fashion show at the Macy’s down the street from me. You might recall that I’ve been to a handful of fashion events at Macy’s over the past year, but this one was by far the fanciest. They really pull out all the stops for A-listers, I guess. Velvet ropes, white couches, mocktails, hors d’oeuvres, DJ…fun times. I was supposed to get to interview Clinton, but at the last minute I got bumped for a TV station so I didn’t get to meet him and take a selfie (that’s all I wanted in life). Apparently being a blogger is a status higher than regular civilian, but lower than actual journalist. Le sigh.

Anyway, in case you were worried that Clinton has been curled up alone in sweatpants, eating Ben & Jerry’s, and crying over the end of What Not to Wear, fear not. He’s staying busy. Now he’s on a cooking show (The Chew), he has a new book (Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget*), and he’s still stylin’ and profilin’ with Macy’s.

For fellow Clinton Kelly fangirls, I’ll share a few Clinton-isms before I move on to the looks he showed us. First off, he doesn’t really care what people are wearing. What?! I know. I remember going to NYC in college and stressing over what to pack because what if I ran into Stacy or Clinton? Seriously, that was something that went through my mind. Apparently it was for nothing. Clinton said he does notice what people are wearing sometimes, and he’s happy to give people advice on what to wear, but in the end…he just doesn’t care whether they listen to him. And as little as he cares what you are wearing, he cares even less about what celebrities are wearing. He said he’s been asked to do red carpet commentary before but he always turns it down. It’s because celebrities have professional stylists and hair and makeup artists – Clinton’s much more interested in helping regular old gals like us find style that works for our lives (ahem, real life style, you might call it).

This tidbit might disappoint you, but he said he hasn’t kept in touch with Stacy since the end of WNTW. But when he explained it, it makes sense: They spent 60 hours a week together for 10 years. Now they’re “seeing other people.” And if you’ve ever wondered how Clinton snagged that dream job to begin with, he was actually working as a journalist when someone called him and asked if he’d like to audition. The rest is history.

OK, enough blabbering. Let’s get on to the clothes. At this show, Clinton showed several trends on 3 different kinds of women: “millennials,” “curvy,” and “mature.” Apparently as a 20-something I fall in the millennial category, but I found myself liking the curvy and mature looks better overall. I’m not sure what that says about me, but nevertheless here are my favorite looks of the night:

clinton kelly, freakin' fabulous on a budget, macy's fashion, indianapolis, spring 2014 trends

similar Dress 

(just ignore the “millennial” look in the background…kids these days and their short shorts, I tell ya)

clinton kelly, freakin' fabulous on a budget, macy's fashion, indianapolis, spring 2014 trends

similar Jacket

clinton kelly, freakin' fabulous on a budget, macy's fashion, indianapolis, spring 2014 trends

Dress // similar Clutch // Shoes

clinton kelly, freakin' fabulous on a budget, macy's fashion, indianapolis, spring 2014 trends

similar Jacket // Skirt // Bag // similar Shoes

clinton kelly, freakin' fabulous on a budget, macy's fashion, indianapolis, spring 2014 trends

Dress

macys7

…and let’s just stop for a moment to take in the fierceness of these Shoes

clinton kelly, freakin' fabulous on a budget, macy's fashion, indianapolis, spring 2014 trends

Skirt // Blazer

*I received a free copy of Clinton Kelly’s book, along with other compensation, for attending this event at Macy’s and sharing it on my blog and social media channels. All opinions are my own, because who else’s opinions would I have?

Bye, Winter. It’s Been Real.

It is officially the last day of winter! I think I speak for all of us when I say: Good riddance. But I must admit, I did cozy up to some great outfits during these past few months. Just for kicks, I decided to choose my top 10 favorites to share today. I hope you brought your snow boots, because we’re taking a walk down Memory Lane.

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Fur and plaid: a combo I saw on Pinterest and couldn’t wait to try // Being a ballerina at Barristers’ Ball // Something about this outfit gave me a whole new appreciation for last year’s coat

winterfaves2

Wore this to see the Christmas tree lighting downtown // It was incredibly frigid this day but I managed some cute and colorful layers // First time wearing my OTK boots and it was an instant friendship // Sparkles and leather for NYE

winterfaves3

That day it felt like spring in December and then it all went downhill // Letting my accessories do the talking //  A really fun outfit for a really fun night

What’s your favorite?

Happy (almost) spring!

Playing with Makeup


studio gear review, how to do a smokey eye, studio gear holiday

Studio Gear sent me their new Holiday Smokey Eye Palette last week, so I decided to try my hand at a makeup post! In general, I feel like I’m pretty good at doing my makeup, but I also don’t switch it up very much. Like generally my idea of “special occasion” makeup is just normal makeup plus mascara on the bottom lashes. I’ve tried doing a smokey eye before, and I usually just ended up looking like a raccoon.

But the Studio Gear Holiday Smokey Eye Palette comes with step-by-step instructions so I figured why not give it another go? In the grand tradition of Sarah’s Real Life, I took photos in my bathroom, where my cat joined me halfway through the process. I didn’t use any of the fancy tools specified in the instructions; I just used the brushes I already had. I also didn’t practice beforehand, so this should actually give you a realistic idea of how your own attempt might turn out (i.e. nothing like the illustration shows but still fine).

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The instructions give you options for a dramatic look and a more subtle look. I went all out dramatic with the dark charcoal color. Look out, world! After applying the light, pearly color all over, then the dark gray color on the lid, the instructions said to use an angle brush to create a V shape with the dark gray. I wasn’t really sure what that meant, but I decided it meant something like the middle photo above. In hindsight, I think maybe I was supposed to use it all the way down the lashline and down the whole crease. Oh well. Next time.

The real challenge was trying to blend the “V” so it didn’t look like I was just a crazy person who didn’t know how to put on eyeliner. Studio Gear suggests using their special blending brush, which I don’t have, but maybe I should look into it. (Does anyone know what that is? Do you have one? And is it worth it?)

Then the pearly color goes in the corner of the eye and under the lower lashline. I did this, but I couldn’t really tell the difference. Once again this could be because of the brush I used. Or because I didn’t use primer. In other words I don’t follow directions well so I really shouldn’t complain when my results aren’t perfect.

Finally, there’s a pretty gold shimmery color that goes under the brow bone. That was my favorite part. I love a good brow bone highlight, and the gold is a festive touch.

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This also happened. I think she heard me say “cat eye” and thought I needed her help. Very helpful, Coco. Thanks.

studio gear review, how to do a smokey eye, studio gear holiday

The Holiday palette includes a nice blush, and I also added my own mascara. Like I said before, this is normally the only thing I do to make my eye makeup fancy. I use the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara because one time I needed to spend another $10  to get the free gift and this mascara was exactly $10.

studio gear review, how to do a smokey eye, studio gear holiday

So there you have it! My “smokey” eye is the one on the left above. It really doesn’t look that smokey, does it? But hey, I played it safe, and at least I don’t look like a raccoon. It’s a nice change from the ordinary, and hopefully I’ll get better with practice. If I have any smokey eye pros out there, TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.

On the other eye, I used two of the colors in the Holiday palette to make a more typical (for me) look. I used the light, pearly color from lash line up to the brow bone, then used the pretty, light gray color on the outside half of the lid. Maybe I’m just boring, but I think I like the toned down version better!

*Thank you to Studio Gear for providing me with the Holiday Smokey Eye Palette for my review. All opinions are my own. Studio Gear is also offering a 10% discount on any order from their website! Just use the code SGHOLIDAY.

5 Things You Missed While You Were Out…

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Welcome back to reality, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday, surviving food comas and Black Friday stampedes. The little traffic ticker here at Sarah’s Real Life was slow going the last few days. But that makes me happy because it means my readers have their own real lives that were full of family fun and frivolity (and alliteration) over the long weekend.

So while you’re drinking your coffee and pretending to work on this post-holiday Monday, allow me to catch you up on what you might have missed:

{1} On Wednesday, I showed you an outfit that I had to admit was not quite right.

{2} On Thursday, I took the day off from blogging but shared plenty of photos on Instagram. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the very first time…did it turn out well? Only one way to find out.

{3} On Friday, I showed you my LAST Take One, Pass It On outfit and told you about a gift that gives back and how to get 10% off your purchase.

{4} On Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, I posted a few sale links for your shopping pleasure on the SRL Facebook page. Some of those sales are still going on, and I’ll keep posting any new ones I think sound promising!

{5} On Sunday, I posted the Week 4 Roundup of the Take One, Pass It On remix challenge. Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers linked at the bottom!

OK. All caught up? Good. There will be a new outfit post up later today! (You didn’t think I’d let you take another break, did you?)

Paris, Je T’aime

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I’m usually a pretty down-to-earth, realistic person who doesn’t spend a lot of time fantasizing about things that are out of reach. I even have a style blog called “Sarah’s Real Life.” Maybe you’ve heard of it.

But there’s at least one big exception to my rule. And that’s my obsession with Paris. Where I have never been. And have no definite plans to go. Still, on a pretty regular basis, I like to think about how awesome my trip will be when I go one day. Coffee and croissants at sidewalk cafés. Wine. Art museums. Macarons. Wine. Eiffel tower. Shopping. Wine. Dancing along the the Seine with Gene Kelly. OK, maybe that last one won’t ever happen but it still pops up in my daydreams from time to time.

Sigh.

For now, I fill the Parisian void in my life with books. I like reading them now and heading off to fantasy land, but I also like to think some of them will actually serve me well when I finally make the trip (no really – it will happen one day).

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Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange: Parisian style really has that je ne sais quoi, right? Why do Parisian chicks look so much better than everyone else in the simplest things? This book gave me at least a little bit of an idea why. The style tips are actually pretty accessible and easy to put into action. The author names some simple, essential pieces to have in your wardrobe, but I’m more of a fan of her ideas on how to pair unexpected pieces together. I’ve definitely put her advice into action! This book also has some advice on home decor and on places to visit in Paris. I’ll have to reread the latter section again sometime 🙂

Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands: This one looks like a novel but it’s actually a collection of 32 essays by different authors. ALL. ABOUT. PARIS. Francophiles rejoice! Some are happy, some are sad, some are romantic. And the best part (especially for people like me who have a short attention span when it comes to reading): you can put it down and pick it back up a week, month, or year later without missing anything.

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Parisienne French: Chic Phrases, Slang & Style by Rhianna Jones*: This little phrasebook just came out this week! I took 4 years of French in high school and 3 or 4 semesters in college, but I was never fluent by any means. I will definitely need a little refresher before I go to the city of lights. In the meantime, I can use this to sprinkle some Français into my everyday. Let me just tell you: this is not your usual phrasebook. If you don’t know any French and you’re actually hoping to learn some, this might not be the place to start. But if you need a refresher and you want to learn to say really funny (and sometimes raunchy) stuff, this will serve you well. Some things this book will teach you to say in French: badass, asshole, after-party, “she’s PMSing,” “it’s a hot mess,” and “you must be tired because you’ve been running through my head all day.” And those are just some of the more tame examples (there’s a section for bedroom talk – oh la lah!). It also tells you a bunch of text abbreviations – you know, like the French equivalents to “lol” and “omfg.” Along the way, the book has descriptions of museums, night clubs, shops, etc. All in all, very entertaining and even a little useful.

Any other recommendations on books to add to my Paris collection? Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Paris, don’t forget that the Isabel Marant collection for H&M comes out tomorrow, 11/14! It will be available in stores and online. The black striped background you see in the above photo is a scarf from the collection (provided courtesy of H&M).

*Parisienne French was provided courtesy of the publisher for my review. All opinions are my own.

Let’s Face It {Giveaway Closed}

OK. So. I never planned on adding skincare tips to this here little style blog. Plenty of style bloggers do, and it makes sense because they have gorgeous, flawless skin, so who wouldn’t want to know what products they use? I, on the other hand, do not have gorgeous, flawless skin. Now hold up. I’m not trying to call myself hideous, I’m just saying my skin is not the feature that gives me the most confidence.

But then I got to thinking – maybe the girls who have good skin just have good skin, and it doesn’t have much to do with the products they use. And maybe girls like me would like some honest opinions from someone who isn’t perfect.

Recently I received (free of charge but with no condition of a blog review) a generous assortment of skincare products from Enza Essentials. After telling them my biggest issues (oiliness, redness, and breakouts), they sent me a customized regimen with instructions (pretty cool, huh?). I became a pretty big fan of two of the products in particular.

Enza offered to sponsor a giveaway (for 2 winners!) of my favorite product, so I figured why not give this skincare review stuff a try?! I picked 4 products from different categories to review for you. Product #4 is the one you have a chance to win! Giveaway instructions are at the end of this post.

1. Moisturizer: Philosophy Hope in a Jar

philosophy hope in a jar review, skincare

To be honest, I’m not terribly picky about moisturizers since dryness is not something I have a problem with. But, as I learned from my Enza representative, even people with oily skin need to moisturize! With the cold, dry air of winter approaching, I’m thinking of restocking my supply of philosophy hope in a jar. I used up a jar last winter and really liked it. My favorite part? It smells nice. Probably not what I’m supposed to focus on, but hey, if it’s the last thing I slather on my face, it might as well make me smell good.

2. Face Wash/Exfoliator: Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish

laura mercier face polish review, skincare products

You know how when you get something from Sephora, they give you samples of other stuff in the hopes you’ll get hooked on it? Yep. That’s definitely what happened with this Laura Mercier Face Polish. I don’t use it every day because it’s one of those gritty, super exfoliating washes, and my sensitive skin might get a little too polished. But I do notice an improvement in dullness after using this stuff, plus my cheeks feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

3. Redness Treatment: Enza Essentials Rosacalm Skin Serum

enza essentials review, rosacea treatment

I’m generally pretty skeptical of skin serums because I always assume they’re trying to trick us into thinking they do something just because they’re expensive and have snazzy packaging. But I have to admit this Enza rosacalm* actually does something. I tend to be a little blotchy and red on my cheeks. It’s nothing I can’t disguise with makeup, but it would be nice eventually to use a little less cover-up. This stuff doesn’t work right away (I used it twice a day for about a week before I started seeing a difference) but it did work for me. One day I woke up and looked at my clean face in the mirror and thought, “Why do I look so pale?” Then I realized it was just because I wasn’t so red.

4. Blemish Treatment: Enza Essentials Spot Extrator

acne products, enza essentials review, spot treatment

Last but not least, let me tell you a little about Enza’s Spot Extractor*, which two lucky people will win! I’m one of those fortunate people who, at age 28, gets to hang on to my youthful skin…in the form of zits. I’ve used a zillion different acne cleansers and creams and none seem to make a difference. While I have still had new breakouts since starting to use the Spot Extractor, I’ve noticed they are healing much more quickly than usual and aren’t getting dry and cracked along the way.

I think the key to its usefulness for me is that it’s so easy to use. It’s a nifty little roller ball, so I can dab it on quickly; there’s no excuse to skip it. It’s also a clear liquid which means I can put it on in the morning under makeup and it won’t turn into a crusty white spot (not cute). Moral of the story: I’m a fan. I recommend it to anyone who gets pesky blemishes now and then. But because I know no one likes to shell out $25 for a skincare product they’ve never tried before, I’m excited to give you a chance to get one for free!

Giveaway Winners:

Congrats to Karen (@klcampy) and Ashley (@joyfulgirl86) – you have both won an Enza Essentials Spot Extractor!

*Rosacalm and Spot Extractor provided courtesy of Enza Essentials. All opinions are my own.

The Fall-iest of All Fall Meals. Ever.

fall meals, beertails, pumpkin beer drink, vegetarian chili recipe

Boy, do I have a treat for you guys today. It’s starting to really feel like fall out there, Halloween is right around the corner, and I’m about to tell you what you need to know to make the BEST. FALL. MEAL. EVER. Seriously, it doesn’t get any fall…er…fallier? I don’t know…than this: piping hot homemade vegetarian chili and a cool drink of cider and pumpkin beer.

While I can’t claim the beertail idea myself, the chili is my own creation based on a few other recipes I found. *Pats self on back.* Scroll down for the details on how to make your own fantastic fall feast! If I can do it, so can you, because I am about as effective in the kitchen as my cat. We both usually just stare at our reflection in the dishwasher.

fall meals, beertails, pumpkin beer drink, vegetarian chili recipe fall meals, beertails, pumpkin beer drink, vegetarian chili recipe

Sarah’s Sassy Chili Recipe (working title)

1 cup diced onion (about 1/2 an onion)

1 cup diced green pepper (about 1 whole pepper)

1 package (12 oz.) of imitation ground beef (I use Morningstar Farm Crumbles)

[Put these first 3 ingredients in the pot and heat for a few minutes until the onions start turning translucent. Then add the rest of the ingredients below, and simmer for at least 35 minutes.]

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I did this in the can; doesn’t have to be perfect)

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 mini can (I think it’s 6 oz.) tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes with liquid left in

2 teaspoons(ish) minced garlic

1 tablespoon chili powder (or more if you want it spicy)

1 tablespoon cumin

[Serve with shredded cheese of your choice on top!]

fall meals, beertails, pumpkin beer drink, vegetarian chili recipe

Pumpkin Cider Beertails

Put a cinnamon stick in each glass

Fill 3/4 of the way with a pumpkin ale

Top off with sparkling cider

Squeeze in a lemon, then use as garnish

Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top

fall meals, beertails, pumpkin beer drink, vegetarian chili recipe