Friday Faves 6.29.12: All new things

I’ve got an interesting collection of recently acquired things on my Friday Faves list today!

1. Kivik loveseat from Ikea. Unfortunately, they don’t have the red cover offered online, so if you’re digging it, call your store ahead of time to see if they carry it. I bought mine at the store in New Haven, CT. My Dad & I picked it up yesterday and Stan & I assembled it last night. It’s a bit stiff out of the box, but Jill and I tested all of the couches and decided this was the most comfy for my budget. The popular Klippan one, with all of its awesome changeable covers? Super uncomfortable.

2. Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Creme by Burt’s Bees. My previous favorite cleanser from Neutrogena was starting to dry out my skin, so I thought I’d give this one a try. It’s made almost entirely from natural ingredients and penetrates deep into your skin to remove dirt & oils without drying it out. Plus it smells amazing and tingles so you know it’s working! Definitely my new fave.

3. Buffy exfoliating body butter bar by LUSH Cosmetics. Yes, I admit, part of my initial attraction to this body butter bar was caused by my obsession with the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But, for more practical reasons, I wanted to try it out to have a good body exfoliator other than sugar scrub. One of the salespeople in the Danbury mall LUSH tested it out on me and it left my skin silky smooth, so I nabbed one, then talked about Buffy with them for about half an hour.

4. Angelfish slip-on boat shoes by Sperry Top-Sider. My Auntie Kathy bought these for my birthday. They are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes I own. I was a little afraid that I was going to look like a total prepster wearing them, but I’ve been assured that they don’t cramp my funky style. I wear them with and without socks and they are equally comfortable and don’t make your feet smell.

5. Maddie Pushup Bra in hot pink by Aerie. As I described in my cheeky Pinterest comment, this bra is totally my new breast friend. I have small boobs, so it’s really hard for me to find a comfortable, well-fitting bra. It turns out that Aerie makes bras for people like me! So, if you’re having trouble finding a good bra in Victoria’s Secret, try Aerie. They’re way less expensive, too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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DIY: At-Home Spa Day

home-spa-lgSure, a weekend spa getaway or even just a few hours at a day spa can be super relaxing and you can feel its effects for days. But, that’s just my problem with professional spas — you spend hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars on supreme bliss that is only temporary. I challenge you to spend much less money and allow yourself to have temporary bliss more often, in your own home. Yes, I understand living situations can be difficult. Maybe you live with a boy/girlfriend or roommate who is always around which doesn’t allow you much alone time. Or, if you’re like me, you live with your parent(s), older sister, her husband, and their 7-year-old daughter on top of living with your boyfriend, so you never get so much as a minute alone unless you’re showering or peeing (I know, it’s rough). But there will still be times when, miraculously, everyone is gone from the house. Or, if your roommate is a total loner and never leaves the house, ask them nicely to step out for an hour or two, tell them you’re treating yourself to an in-house spa day, and offer to do the same for them when they need it. While you have the whole place to yourself, here’s how to create a spa-esque atmosphere in your own dwelling without breaking your bank:

  • Bubble bath~ I am a huge, huge fan of bubble baths. I try not to take them often as they are a huge drain of resources, but there’s nothing like half an hour or so of soaking up warm, bubbly water. Bubble baths, especially if coupled with a few burning candles around the bathroom, are a great way to de-stress, if only for a little while. bubblebarsYou can find bubble bath almost anywhere, but my favorite bubble makers are the LUSH natural Bubble Bars, which range from around $6-11, depending on the scent you choose. The LUSH Comforter Bubble Bar is by far my fave, and even though their website says you can get two baths out of it, I’ve gotten three and have enough left for at least another two! And it smells so yummy! Disclaimer: if you’re prone to yeast infections or urinary tract infections, bubble baths are probably not for you. May we suggest taking a long, warm shower and using a LUSH Emotibomb instead?
  • Self Mani-Pedi~ The average cost for a good manicure and pedicure duo can range from $30~$100+! While I agree that we all work our hands and feet pretty hard, most of us have the right tools in our own homes to give ourselves manicures and pedicures; a pretty nail polish, nail file, warm & soapy water, a good body lotion, and something to exfoliate with (loofah, pumice stone, or exfoliating gloves/brush). I found a great DIY manicure & pedicure guide on the Better Homes & Gardens website, here
  • Face Mask~ You can buy face masks almost anywhere, but you have to know what type of skin you have. Have Mark_Calm_Yourself_Hydrating_Maskoily skin? Get an oil-free mask, ones made with clay are best. If you have dry skin, make sure you get something that will moisturize it. Remember the strawberry acne-fighting face mask I wrote about here? My friend Sani and I made it from scratch and it cost us around $6, plus we had ingredients left over for more masks (or for eating strawberries while you’re taking that relaxing bath!). Other than my own homemade masks, my favorite one to buy is from mark (a line of Avon products for teens/college kids). It’s called Calm Yourself hydrating mask (I have dry skin).
  • Massage~ I realize that, unless you know a masseuse, nothing can compare to spa massages, and this is the one thing that I can justify spending big bucks on. However, if you have a boy/girlfriend or even a best friend you’re close with, I see no reason you couldn’t ask for a massage. I would offer to give one in return, so you’re helping the other person relax, too. You could even pick up a book of massage tips and practice on each other.
  • Relax~ The most important thing to do is relax. After you take your bath, sit on the couch for a while in your bathrobe and watch your favorite show or movie and just chill out. Or, better yet, meditate. If you’ve never had experience meditating, I suggest turning off your phone(s), sitting down and lighting a candle on a table in front of you. Take deep, calming breaths and just focus on the candle flame for a while, letting all of your thoughts flow away. I’m no expert at meditating, but this certainly helps me :)

Everyone needs a little time to themselves, but there’s no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on pampering yourself if you have the necessities available to you in your own home. And, if you’re broke like Mish and I, spas just aren’t an option, but we make do anyway! <3