January Favorites

I can’t believe the first month of the year has come and gone! January was full of friends, executing a few projects at work that I am proud of and getting back on track to a healthier lifestyle. January also had its sour moments as well, but as I heard at the Philadelphia Women’s March, “We are going to fill the world with peace, love and joy”. And that we shall! Now onward to my January favorites.

Health

Let me give a shout out to Weight Watchers because damn they invested a lot of money into their mobile app. Its way, way, WAY better than it ever was before. Plus they have this kick ass feature called Connect which is a live feed where the Weight Watchers community can post updates. Dare, I say that Weight Watchers is FUN?! I think it is. I love Connect because I can celebrate my victories, ask for advice and follow specific feeds to chat with other members all within the app. If I ever meet the creator of this feature they will get the biggest hug from me.  (An actual conversation I had on Connect!)

Skincare

In the month of January I tried out the Peter Thomas Roth Facial on the Go Kit. Its comes with the Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, FirmX Peeling Gel, Cucumber Gel Mask, and the Cucumber De-Tox Bouncy Hydrating Gel. My first thought when I opened this was “Damn, that sales associate at Sephora was right. If you want to try out a new brand, always go with a kit.” If you buy a kit, you can try a variety of the brand’s projects that are meant to target part of your routine OR any area of the skin you are looking to improve. I was most intrigued by the Cucumber Gel Mask and Cucumber De-Tox Hydrating Gel, but the whole kit has impressed me. The Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel foams as you wash your face which really made me feel that this cleansing gel was doing work on my skin. Plus it smells like spring and citrus, which is always fine by me. Just using this in the morning or at night made my skin feel so soft. I’ve never had that experience with a cleanser before. I am also new to peels, so when I first applied the FirmX Peeling Gel, I had this wtf moment where I was applying it and I thought “Is this supposed to happen?!”. I guess a peel actually shows you when your dead skin cells are being removed versus any type of scrub where you just assume it happens. Again, my skin is super soft. I think this kit is a big win if you are looking for something new.

Bridal

I am sure many of you have heard of the website Minted. Its a great stationary website that has a full wedding collection and this is where I opted to get my save the dates from. After I placed all of my save the dates in the mail, I thought “ah yes, another thing I can check off my to do list with The Knot.” 

A few days later my phone blew up with texts from friends and family saying that we picked out the most beautiful save the dates. Other words to describe them were “beautiful, regal, cool, unique and I am going to frame this”. Damn, ya’ll – THANKS! So for my fellow brides or friends that know the question is going to be popped soon, I highly recommend this as a stationary vendor.

Television

Riverdale on the CW, please be everything you have promised to be and more. At the age of 28, I just realized that I have watched more shows on the WB/CW over the span of my life versus any other channel. Buffy, 7th Heaven, Everwood, Summerland (AKA the first show Zac Efron was ever on), Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, The Carrie Diaries, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Jane The Virgin, Supergirl, The Flash and now Riverdale. The show is from the creators of Gossip Girl and TVD so I hope this show delivers.

Images via my own WW account, |x| |x|

2016 and hopes for 2017

Be kind to myself.

I’m not shy about talking about my inner battles with having tough times or feeling depressed. A big light bulb moment is realizing that negative self talk isn’t going to help me progress or move forward with any aspect in my life. Hopefully, I can decrease the negative self talk with productive ways to progress and move forward.

Self Care.

2016 was the year I realized that my self care is pampering myself. Whether that is getting a manicure, getting my hair done or trying a new face mask. I’d feel like a million dollars every time I would walk out of some sort of salon. I had a lot of wedding events in 2016 to keep me motivated with my beauty regime. Now I have my own wedding AND my best friend/maid of honor’s wedding to look forward to as well!

Learn what works for me.

This is an open ended statement pertaining to topics such as – health, exercise, project management, scheduling, cooking, etc. I get very overwhelmed when I feel like I work on too many projects at once. Literally in my office alone I talk to myself and say “Girl you gotta do one thing at a time.” Kind of crazy, but saying it out loud, keeps me in check.

Invest in education.

I want to read more, but it’s also my golden age of TV. I need to find a balance lol. I did invest in a ticket to The Blog Connect. I’ve never been to a conference before and I think this will help me reach new heights with digital marketing, branding and content creation.

Invest in time with loved ones.

Everytime I visit my mom, I get so sad when it’s the day we are leaving and she drives off to work. I look forward to my mid-afternoon text from my dad. All my closest girlfriends are some way involved in my wedding. Scott and I have toned down our extravagant dates, but I do love a nice dinner out with him in Philadelphia. (My favorite one this year was going to Nomad Pizza and then Fat Tuesday’s on South Street. Then we walked all the way back home to South Philly.) I hope in 2017, I can build upon my relationships with family and friends since they are all gearing up for a big milestone in my life.

Have FUN planning my wedding.

This morning I remembered this wedding planning video. It really is accurate AND honest.

Just enjoy the ride.

Simple as that.

September Beauty Buys

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After an incredibly hot summer where I basically gave up wearing any type of makeup besides concealer and mascara, I decided to step up my game a little bit last month. In September, there were a few stand out beauty products that I added to my collection so I figured why not share?

  1. Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek: I got this in my birchbox subscription last month and it took very little time for me to fall in love with this combination product. I loved the coral color that added a little bit of color to my cheeks without looking daunting on my pale skin. I apply one stroke to each cheek then blend out with my fingers. Easy as pie and great for mornings when I am rushing out the door.
  2. Colourpop Cosmetics Creme Gel Liner: I’m on the hunt for eyeliner that doesn’t run all over my eyelids and I think I have gotten a little closer to that with the gel liners from Colourpop. The liners have a smooth application which again works out for me since I am always in a rush in the morning. Sometimes, the eyeliner runs and sometimes it doesn’t. Anyone have advice on how to fix this? I will be forever indebted. I bought the colors Swerve, DTLA and Fast Lane.
  3. Colourpop Cosmetics Satin Lip and Lipgloss: Lipstick or any lip color at all. Welcome back to my life. I gave up wearing lipstick after Scott and I started dating. (He wouldn’t kiss me when I had any on. So instead of dealing with our silly banter, I just resorted to wearing chapstick for the past three years.) Before my 28th birthday, I decided to treat myself to some new liquid lipsticks and a new gloss for fall. I didn’t want to jump the gun and get a matte liquid lipstick, I figured the Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip might be more up my alley. What’s even better is that I picked the colors based off of places I have actually been to – Echo Park (a nude peach) and London Fog (red). I am digging how long the color lasts and I don’t have to fully reapply throughout the day. I mean even my mom was impressed with London Fog because it lasted through a whole steak dinner and didn’t come off. For lip gloss, I bought Sookie (yes, love me some True Blood. Especially Scott Foley’s season) and what I thought would be a dark berry is more dark purple on me. My coworker and I said it’s definitely reserved for going out with the girls and not to be worn at work lol.

Skin Is In

My mother and grandmother have always been into their skin routines. Moisturizers, oils, homemade face masks with fruit… you name it, they did it or used it. I remember sitting in the kitchen always thinking that my mother’s vigours skincare routine was unique and sometimes silly. I guess I just didn’t understand the cold, hard truth of aging until I turned 25 years old.

Now, almost three years later, discussing skincare is one of my favorite things to do with my girlfriends. I love learning what products they are using, what new products we have seen on the internet and sharing all kinds tips. I figured today I can share with you my updated daytime skincare routine.

Morning and night I wash my face with Cetaphil. As much as I want to try a bunch of new cleansers that are out there, Cetaphil is my security blanket. I love it too much to switch. Plus it helped me out during a dark period of my freshman year in college when I got acne. But moving on… Next I soak a cotton ball with Thayers Witch Hazel and gently swab my face to pick up any leftover product that my cleanser didn’t wash away.

Onto serums and moisturizers!

I have to give it up to the lovely saleswoman at the Sephora in King of Prussia who introduced me to the DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge eye cream back in December. After a terrible allergic reaction to false eyelash glue, the skin underneath my eye because rough and concealer would crack in all the wrong places. I was a very sad Panda haha. This eye cream helped hydrate my skin and get it back to normal.

After eye cream, comes a serum application. Currently, I am using the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum. I’m still within my first month of using it, but so far so good! Previously, I used this serum from Olay (great price point!) and this one from DermaLift by Skinn. The reason why I switched to First Aid Beauty is because I wanted a serum that was a water based gel. Next, I use a second serum for my neck. I know…. A bit extra but I want to make sure I am photo ready for my wedding next fall. It’s all about prevention am I right?!

Finally, I’m still sticking with my true blue daily moisturizer by Kiehl’s. Its never done me wrong and it has SPF 30! PS – Have you guys checked out the new buildout for the Kiehl’s store at The Shops at Liberty Place? Soooooooo beautiful!

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So there you have it. My updated, late twenties, daily skincare routine. Do you have any favorite products that you use? Please share them with me on Twitter @jadebarnes!

Hello. Its Me.

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Hello. Hi. How are you? It’s meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. And I know its been absolutely forever since I have written a post. Honestly, I needed the time off. A big ol’ mental health break if you will and I don’t mind admitting that. My friend Emily from Her Philly wrote this blog post last week and it spoke volumes to me. So after our chat, getting through the work week and having a relaxing weekend amongst friends and family – I decided its time to write a blog post. Incase you and I are connected at all on social channels here are some highlights:

  • I got a new job (in a completely different industry)
  • Scott did the damn thing and said he wanted to hang out forever so we’re engaged
  • Planned two kick butt bridal showers and bachelorette parties as a bridesmaid
  • I have been to 3 out of five weddings for this year
  • Had an engagement party
  • Made spaghetti squash
  • Went back to the gym for the first time. (Weight rack and power walks, I missed you)
  • Ran after a Mr. Softee Ice Cream Truck and cried when he didn’t stop for me. And I am not lying. That did happen. I wanted a chocolate milkshake.

I think you see a theme here….. lots of weddings and new job! I have just been going with the motions of a few big life changes. I wondered how the blog would fit into my new life. I was anxious about fitting in with all of the new bloggers I was meeting. I also had a hard time letting go of some mean comments that were said to me from people I had met in my past. Was I still good enough to keep this little space of the internet that was mine? You know what, I’m going to pull an Adele and say hello. I’ll figure out a new content schedule that fits with my new life, that seems full of adulting. Then I’ll get back to being Jade & The City.

xo.

[Image via]

February Beauty Buys

February Beauty Buys

  1. Jack Black’s Intense Lip Therapy – It was a sad day when I realized my trusty Burt’s Bees just wasn’t going to do it for me anymore. Summertime office air conditioning was making my lips dry and with winter on the horizon I needed a chapstick, balm, cream or whatever to keep my lips hydrated for longer. I went to Sephora to get Jack Black’s Intense Lip Therapy and I have never looked back. My lips stay hydrated through my winter commutes to work and I find myself applying this Lip Therapy less often. I purchased the Grapefruit & Ginger flavor. Another bonus is its SPF 25!
  2. LUSH lip scrub – Dry lips aren’t cute. Feeling like I would try anything I remembered that LUSH has a variety of scrubs I stopped by one day to pick out the Bubble Gum lip scrub. I have all good things to say about this lip scrub. Its a great price point, smells good and tastes great! If you are looking for something to help your winter chapped lists, head to LUSH.
  3. Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo – I’ve gone my entire life washing my hair every other day. I loved that I never had to use dry shampoo unless I needed it for my “three day hair”. All of a sudden entering my late twenties has made my “second day hair” looking like a mess by the end of work. I knew it was time to step up and add a dry shampoo to my beauty regime. I remembered that Kate from LSIASB wrote a hilarious blog post about a Not Your Mother’s product so I figured to try out her recommendation.

January Beauty Buys

Maybe most of these purchases happened at the end of 2015… However, all of these products are awesome and its my blog so here goes to the first beauty post of 2016!

January Beauty Buys

  1. DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge Eye Balm– To make a long story short, I false lashes to a wedding in the beginning of November. I put them on myself, I felt awesome, they looked awesome and I got a ton of compliments. The downside, I had a crazy reaction to the lash glue and my eyelids got so swollen! The skin around my eyes were dry, sensitive and didn’t recover until recently. I told my sob story to my Sephora sales rep and she guided me over to three eye creams before I settled on the Wrinkle Revenge Eye Balm. What I love about this product is that it works quickly. The first two days, I noticed a big difference in how my makeup was laying under my eyes. The obvious patchy eye makeup stayed smooth throughout the day! My “dark circles” have lighted up and my skin is smoother. If you are in the market for an eye cream, my sales rep has worked at Sephora for 10 years and she said this cream hasn’t lost its sales appeal. Also, the jar should last you 4-5 months. A little goes a long way!
  2. Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer– Another Sephora purchase! I have been using drug store concealer for the last 6 months but I wanted to get a concealer that was hydrating since I have been having so many issues. For a price point of $14, the gel serum concealer + the eye cream have put me at ease. Both have done wonders for me. I’m a very happy camper. I use color 05 Parfait.
  3. NARS Audacious Mascara– Ladies, if you want to throw away your eyelash curler, get this mascara. I love this is mascara lengthens my lashes by leaps and bounds! It feels very light and it doesn’t take forever to come off at the end of the night. I love, love, love it.
  4. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish– If there is one product that I learned to really love in 2015 it was a highlight powder. This was another impulsive makeup purchase when I was walking through Macy’s in the summer, but I have been using the Mineralize Skinfinish ever since. I bought the Global Glow shade because it can be used on my skin all year long. The lighter shade, Lightscaped, was recommended for only summertime use. I’m a girl who likes to stretch my dollars as far as I can so I went with the more universal shade.

California Dreaming

True story, I’m a reality TV junkie for anything Southern California. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules are all on my rotation when they come on during the year. Wow, it felt good to say that out loud and mow you all know my guilty pleasures for reality tv.

hollywood

Driving to Hollywood in 2010.

Though its nice to watch sunny California via Hulu, I’m counting down the days until my vacation in March. Scott and I are going to visit his brother Mike in Los Angeles and I can’t wait to show Scott around town. Here are a few items so far on my list:

Joan’s on Third – Whenever I talk to a friend who lives in LA, Joan’s on Third

The Honorable Society – Yep, getting another tattoo. I went here in 2012 and I am looking forward to going back. THS has great customer service and it was very easy to book a few months in advance.

PUMP – I said if I couldn’t go see Britney Spears in Las Vegas, I had to eat at a Lisa Vanderpump restaurant. Luckily, The Honorable Society is a 20 minute walk from PUMP so we’ll have a nice afternoon and early evening in West Hollywood.

In & Out Burger – What fast food dreams are made of.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) – I am counting down until I can see the light installation in the front of the building. Scott and I haven’t been to any art events as of late, this will be a nice switch up to our usual entertainment and dining choices for vacation.

Hike a beginner trail…. – I went on a hike during my trip to Asheville, North Carolina this summer and I can’t think of a worst first experience. (Dramatic, I know.) Besides getting motion sickness and then not being able to catch my breath the entire first half of the hike, needless to say it was terrible. When I found out the NC hike was classified as moderate to difficult and I was at a higher elevation then my breathing was used to. Hopefully I will find redemption in LA.

If you have any Los Angeles or California recommendations, let me know!

 

Adult Milkshake for the Holidays

Though Hanukkah has come and gone, we still have Christmas and New Year’s to think about! While everyone is thinking about baking and cooking, I am thinking about what new cocktail recipe I can feature during my annual New Year’s Day party. (If you have never been to Philadelphia on New Year’s Day before here is information about the Mummer’s Parade and a video series.) Thanks to the DuClaw Brewing Company, I was able to take their For Pete’s Sake Imperial Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter and create an adult milkshake!

For anyone who is wondering how I decided to go with an adult milkshake, here’s why. As much as I want to get into baking – it hasn’t hit me yet! Working in the retail industry this year has been completely exhausting and I’ve made a few extra tips to happy hour because of it, ha! When Scott told me the beer finally came and we should make brownies, I had no desire to bake. The lightbulb did go on though for making a boozy milkshake. Also, Scott has never had a homemade milkshake before so it was time to change that as well. The For Pete’s Sake Imperial Porter is a bolder cousin of DuClaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus! It has an ABV of 9% and has a roasted malt flavor with subtle notes of fruit and coffee. If you ask me one 12 oz beer is the perfect option to make milkshakes for two!

Now let’s get started on the recipe. (Serving size – 2)

milkshake

Ingredients

1 – 12oz For Pete’s Sake Imperial Porter

1/2 quart of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

4 oz Chocolate Syrup

5 – ice cubes

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Pour porter into blender first. (The blender I am using can be found here. Its great because it has a milkshake option for blending.)

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I scooped a half quart of vanilla bean ice cream for this recipe. Here’s a tip – The more ice cream you add the thicker the milkshake will be!
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Next is adding in the chocolate syrup. As you saw above I said to add four ounces but its really your preference. By adding the chocolate syrup, it enhances the chocolate notes in the beer.

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Now blend for around 5 minutes.

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Ready to pour!

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Time to consume! I used two 12 oz glasses for serving.

I hope this tasty milkshake can be added to your list of holiday drinks for this week. From my family to yours – happy holidays!

Thank you to DuClaw for sponsoring this post!

therapy

This past weekend I got to see two of my sweet friends get married at a gorgeous historic mansion in Philadelphia. We danced, ate amazing food, and saw so many old and new friends through out the entire weekend. Of course there are so many topics that we talked about and one left an impression on me.

“What do you have to lose if you go to therapy?” How did this get brought up? To make an incredibly long story short, a friend was/is considering writing an article about experiencing therapy for the first time in his late twenties. Our table was unanimous that it was a great idea for a story and that it could help so many men in his audience break their own potential stigma’s about therapy. So that got my wheels turning. What was I afraid of sharing my own story?

I’ve been to therapy. Its not scary. It was tough. It was safe space where I was able to tell someone all of the weight I had been carrying on my shoulders from my adolescence and early twenties. Do I think about going back? Sometimes.

Sometimes, I think I can’t handle all that the world has to throw at me. Sometimes, I don’t know how to tell a loved one that what they said to me stuck to me in the wrong way. Sometimes, I can’t get out of bed. And sometimes, the tears stop and I can move on.

Hopefully, I can help someone by what I just said. Your never as alone as you think you are. And there is always tomorrow.

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