Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Let Your Heart Be Light

Hi everyone :)
I just wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas! 

From our family to yours, wishing you peace & blessings today, and every day.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Winter Beauty Buzz

Happy (let's call it what it is) one-more-day-until-the-weekend! 

I don't know about you, but I am counting down the days until Christmas.  I will have five uninterrupted days off work and lots of time to spend with my family and friends.  Glor-i-ous :) 

This week has been pretty quiet in my neck of the woods.  We have a busy weekend up ahead (all fun stuff!), so I think my body has forced itself to rest up and lay low knowing that come Sunday, I will be in need of a giant nap. 

I was trying to think of some clever way to segway into the "subject" of this post, but truthfully, for some odd reason, I've been really into reading about random beauty tips and beauty products lately (go ahead, call me vain). 

It might have something to do with the book I just finished reading - Kyle Richard's, Life is Not a Reality Show (love me some RHOBH!).  Kyle writes a couple of chapters about the daily rituals/products she loves the most, so it got me thinking...

While it is a priority most of the year, lately, numero uno on my beauty product list has been all about MOISTURE. 

It's getting cold, and my skin tends to get very dry this time of year (we are talking painfully dry!), especially since I spend a lot of my day working in a office with stale air and paper. 

LOTS of paper. 

Here are my absolute favorite products for moisture.  

All can be found in my medicine cabinet and crazy-over-stuffed bathroom closet right now, and they'll probably be stashed all year around because they are just that awesome. 

Say Yes to Carrots Repairing Night Cream

I love the "Say Yes to Cucumber" lazy take-off-your-make-up wipes, so I was interested in trying other products from this company.  I have been on the lookout for a good night cream for many years and this is honestly the first one I have tried that I am satisfied with.   

I was nervous though.  

Is my face going to turn orange? Am I going to smell like a carrot? 

Sounds kinda ick before going to bed if you ask me. 

Well, my skin stayed pasty pale as usual (ha!), and I have to say, this stuff has a pleasant, soothing smell.

I lather this on every night before bed and wake up feeling like my skin is glowing, but not greasy. 

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

This stuff is the holy grail of face moisture.  

You are going to think I am bat-spit-crazy, but my hand to God, I started to notice some lines developing on my forehead a couple of years ago.  

I'm not sure if it's because I am so "expressive," or because I spent so much time "thinking" in law school, but this was NOT okay.  

My mother has amazing skin has developed very few wrinkles as she has aged, and gosh darn it, I didn't get her tan skin so I sure as heck better be getting the elasticity. 

I went to the spa, spent way too much money on face products, and this was the only one worth keeping in the regular routine.  

This B5 gel somehow managed to smooth things out a little up north.  It is pricey, and sometimes hard to find, but worth it if you're in the market for this sort of thing (tip: it is very good after chemical peels or microdermabrasion treatments). 

Almay Smart Shade Smart Balance

Two-in-one.  I'm not a fan of Pert Plus, but I am a fan of tinted moisturizer. 

Bring it on!

I love Laura Mercier, but this is a good inexpensive alternative that I used last winter and again this year.  

It blends really nicely and does not feel greasy throughout the day. 

Moonlight Path Triple Moisture Body Creme

Ohhhh the Bath & Body Works debate.  You either love it, or you leave it. 

I got this lotion as a present from Justin's grandma a couple of years back.  I keep buying it, running out, telling myself I'm not going to buy it again, and then going back for more. 

For some reason the scent is just so fresh to me - and it feels so nice to put on before bed and right out of the shower.  It's a little thicker than a regular body lotion (it's a "cream"), so it is great for the winter months.  

Smith's Rosebud Salve In-a-Tube

All of my bridesmaids received this in their gift bags.

I am a chronic chap stick buyer.  

I need a chap stick in my purse, on my desk, in my car, in my bedside table drawer, in my medicine cabinet, in my coat pocket, under my pillow...everywhere. 

This has been my favorite "chapstick" to date - it's essentially colorless, smells nice, and I have found it to maintain its moisture longer than any others I've tried.

Yep, you need some too :) 

(Try Sephora or Anthropologie to get the tube - I hate greasy fingers). 

Keratase Nectar Thermique

Ohhh boy.  Holy grail of hair product. 

I have gotten away from using expensive shampoos & conditioners in recent years (my favorite drug store brands are Aussie and Pantene), but I will splurge for a good product. 

I strongly believe in minimizing heat styling, but if I let my hair air dry, it looks like a hot mess. 

This is a great leave-in product that I smooth over my ends right before I blow dry, and it seems to help with keeping my hair healthy through my next trip to Salon Buzz (the best Salon in Chicago, ladies!!). 

So there you have it! All of my faves! 

Go find them, or maybe even request for stocking stuffers. 

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Something to talk about: What is your favorite 'moisture' product right now? Tell me, tell me!! 

P.S. I am now back to updating the workout log on the Sweat Seshes page - check it out for some ideas if you want to switch up your routine. 



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Let's Catch Up

Well hello there!

It has been far, far, FAR too long.

I know.

I knew it had been far too long when my now mother-in-law (yes, I am MARRIED!) could not even remember the name of my blog.

Sad face.

Where have I been?!

Why did I stop blogging?!

Is this blogging break going to be forever?!

All very valid questions you have there.

Trust me, I have been meaning to get back to my computer and type away for a long time now.

I think, partially, it has just been daunting thinking about all of the things I need to catch you guys up on.

If you know me personally, you probably have a basic idea about where I have been since March (yes, holy cow, March!). Thank you, Facebook :)

But for the rest of you, let's do a crash-course of the last 9 months of my life.

Where did we leave off??  

I ran that 5K.

{Marissa, Sarah, Me, & Mary Beth}

And it was a PR for me as far as pace goes. 

Don't be too impressed.  After that, I pretty much fell off the fitness wagon until after our wedding.  

Seriously, who STOPS working out before their wedding?

I did, however, stay very, very active...

...on the wedding circuit. 

We had Justin's friend Kara's wedding in May. 

Then some of our close friends, Kristen & Seth's wedding in June.

Then wine club went to Minnesota for our fellow wino - Jenna's - wedding. 

In between those amazing events, I had a beautiful shower back in my hometown of West Lafayette, Indiana thrown by my former neighbors.

{The gracious hosts, Ron & Josette}

{Me & my future groom in the garden}

I attended the bachelorette party of one of my very best friends - Megan (in the green, below) - in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. 

Then rounded out the summer with two additional, amazing wedding showers of my own. 

First, there was a very thoughtful day shower thrown by my very good friend, and bridesmaid, Christina at her new home. 

{Me & the beautiful hostess}

{Potted herb favors in Mason Jars, pinterest-worthy for sure}

And a beautiful event thrown by Justin's aunts in the Wine Cellar (ohhh yesss) of Villa Macri in Granger.

We were blessed by a tornado warning towards the end of that shower.  

Never a better time to be stuck in a basement...

...a wine-filled basement :) 

And then, my friend Megan was married. 

Megan is one of my oldest and closest friends - we became close at the beginning of high school when we managed the boys' varsity tennis team (I will spare you of a throwback pic, just can't do it after that gorgeous one above).  We've been through so much together - roommates freshman year of college at IU, roommates again when we first moved to Chicago, heartbreaks, shenanigans, celebrations, and now being all grown up and married.  It was a very special day to share with her, and I was so incredibly happy to be a part of it. 

Megan had about a two weeks to recover before it was time for my bachelorette party. 

We celebrated with a weekend in Southwest Michigan - winery hopping - it was an absolute blast and, in my opinion, a perfect way to send me out of singlehood. 

I was reminded why I do not take shots...especially tequila shots...

...multiple tequila shots. 

And I think I showed everyone that yes, I really do know how to let loose from time to time :) 

After that, it was a complete whirlwind until the arrival of our wedding weekend. 

{Rehearsal Dinner @ Papa Vino's - last night as Jessica Morrison} 

{Me & my beautiful MOH & bestest friend, Ashley}

{Me & my bridesmaids getting glam} 

{Happiest day of my life - 9/15/12} 

And, so now, we have come full circle. 

Hi, I'm Jessica Miller.  It's so nice to meet you! 

I am enjoying my days as a newly-married woman, back to my usual business of living life as a twenty-something attorney in Chicago...and striving to make it a happy, full, and healthy one. 

{At our breathtaking resort in Aruba for our honeymoon. Take...me back!}

{Us at the Notre Dame - they are going to the National Championship, I have a very happy husband} 

{One of my favorite weekend activities - wine tasting at Lynfred Winery} 

{Us at Thanksgiving - first holiday as "The Millers"} 

So, I know that this recap has been entirely too abbreviated and I will need to do some full recaps down the road.  

But, for now - consider yourself mostly caught up - and I can't wait to share the fun-filled adventures in the future with all of you! 

Have a wonderful Sunday evening, friends!

I am off to the grocery store to get some food for dinner, then home to prep for another week in the life.  

Who knows, maybe I'll see you tomorrow? ;)  



Something to talk about: What would you like to see more of in the future of BEBT?