reading: i just finished the husband's secret by liane moriarty & i LOVED it! i downloaded a sample of it on my iphone, and couldn't wait for the amazon order to come in, so i downloaded it on my phone/ipad. i usually prefer to read books in their original paper form, but when it's on my phone, i can sneak in a few chapters when i have unexpected downtime during my day. i went through this book pretty quickly, and it kept me guessing until the end. i highly recommend it!

watching: boardwalk empire!!! chester and i really liked this 4th season, and the finale last night was pretty crazy! sad at some parts, as usual, but i won't say anything else about it for those you haven't seen it yet. i'm also watching hostages, new girl, the mindy project, and scandal! i loved the last episode of scandal! so good.

listening to: various playlists on spotify, lorde's album on repeat, aaaaand some christmas music on 93.9 fm. i can't help it. it makes my road rage less severe, hahaha.

looking forward to: spending the thanksgiving holiday with my family back at my parents' house this weekend. hopefully scoring a decent amount of goose island's bourbon county stout on black friday. that's the only *outside the house* black friday shopping that i'm participating in. lots of reading. lots of crafting. :)

what have you been up to currently? i'd love to know!

current beauty loves of fall 2013

i always love when fellow bloggers post about their favorite skincare/makeup items. i'm not sure why i'm so interested in knowing what other people are using, but it's fun to discover new products and learn why they have become a favorite to someone. these are some beauty items that i'm loving right now:

1. real techniques expert face brush - i forget where i heard about this brush (surely a beauty vlogger), but i liked how it claims to create a flawless application with cream or liquid foundations. i have combination/oily skin (mostly oily), so i've always stuck to the powder foundations like bare minerals. and while i still love to use those, i have grown to love the rimmel bb cream (#4), and i really like using this brush to apply it. i am able to get a much smoother finish vs. using my fingers.

2. real techniques blush brush - after falling in love with the expert face brush, i decided to pick up this blush brush as well. it's really fluffy, and makes applying powder blushes super easy.

3. NYX studio perfect photo-loving primer - i really like smashbox's photo finish primer, but it's just a little too expensive to keep up with. this primer by NYX is really similar, and i usually pick it up when NYX products go on sale at ulta.

4. rimmel BB cream - so this BB cream claims to be a 9-1 miracle cream. i'm not really sure if i agree, and i don't find it to be mattifying, but i do love how it evens out my skin tone. i'm between light & medium, so i just mix them together before applying with the expert face brush (#1). once applied, i set it with powder to achieve more of a matte finish.

5. jordana twist & shine balm stain in "terra crave" - jordana products are very affordable, but unfortunately really hard to find in my area. i heard a lot of buzz about their new balm stains, and picked up "terra crave" when i spotted it at walgreens. it's a really beautiful color, and the stain lasts for a good while. not as long as the marker stains, but i love that these balm stains are really moisturizing.

6. rimmel stay matte pressed powder - i picked up the transparent shade and keep it in my purse for touch-ups during the day.

7 - 8. revlon colorstay lacquer lip balms in "coy" & "enticing" - these balms have been the latest craze in this style of lip color, and really hard to find. i picked up these at ulta not too long ago. the colors are gorgeous, "coy" being my favorite fall/winter lip color. at first i was a little disappointed that the color didn't last a long time on my lips, but after reading the packaging again, it didn't claim to be a balm stain, so i can't fault it for that. and they are really moisturizing.

9. blistex medicated lip balm - so this isn't a newly discovered product, but one that i repurchased with winter in full swing around here. i've always loved this balm, and keep some in my purse, at my work desk, and on my nightstand. it's perfect to apply with a stain, since those tend to be more drying than other lip products.

so that's what i've been loving in the world of beauty products! what have you been loving lately?


well i've certainly gone a looooong time without blogging… as usual, it was an unexpected break, and while i had a lot of things i wanted to share, i never made the time to post about them. so here's an abbreviated version of what's been happening around here.

my college friend laura got married on october 19th and had a halloween themed wedding!!! it was so much fun, and everyone went all out on costumes. chester and i went as a bear and goldilocks, and i borrowed his bear coat to wear at work on halloween :) it was a big hit.

we got to see the stanley cup! it made an appearance at a restaurant back in rockford, and my dad invited us girls along. unfortunately my sister couldn't make it, so chester came in her place.

at the beginning of november, we visited our friends denny and krystina in orange county for a super quick weekend trip. it went by way too fast, as it always does, but it was really fun. i'm kicking myself for not taking more photos, but sometimes it happens.

and lastly, the kelly family, along with our handsome dates, attended a family friend's wedding on november 9th.

sorry for being absent from this blog for so long! there have been posts i've wanted to draft up, so hopefully i can get a few up in the next week or so. thanks for stopping by!