What I found in July!
This month’s favorites might be a little smaller than last months because I’ve honestly been really consistent with my face routine and my closet hasn’t grown too too much, but I still wanted to show you guys what I tried this month and what I’m loving!
So, Jay Som is a small band from California who opened for Foster the People at the Paramore and Foster the People concert I attended earlier this month. (More on that here.) The lead singer (who goes by Jay Som) is this adorable little lady who absolutely stole my heart with her chill personality and cool-toned voice. I loved the entire vibe of Jay Som’s music and aesthetic. I was really excited to see that they are a highly streamable band, and all of their music is on Spotify! I’ve been jamming their song Baybee from their 2017 album Everybody Works!
Through my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify, I’ve found a few new artists who I’ve saved to a playlist I created called Discovered. My favorite song on the playlist right now is actually a cover by a band called CHVRCHES of the Arctic Monkey’s 2013 hit Do I Wanna Know? CHVRCHES version is just so chill and relaxed. The lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, has a such a nice voice and the synth-y sound is characteristically CHVRCHES. There are also some really well placed male backing vocals too that I’m a super big fan of!
Lastly, I’ve been a big fan of Chet Baker’s song I Fall In Love Too Easily. It’s a super old song, but it popped up on my Discover Weekly playlist and I fell totally in love with Chet’s voice and the jazzy piano! The sounds are just so great and I’m excited to add this to my Study playlist for the Fall semester!
I’ve been pretty consistent in this area because this summer has been unbearably hot and the foods in my June Favorites are specifically tailored to the hot hot summer sun! (Plus, those blueberry muffin Quest Bars are amazing and I refuse to give them up.)
Alas, attempting to live off protein bars and açaí bowls is hard (and costly) and my SO doesn’t share the same diet as I do, so I’ve had to start branching out in some ways.
This month got a little weird in the kitchen. I’ve got two words for ya: Duck eggs.
My SO’s mom gave us a bunch of duck eggs earlier this month because she’s got a coworker with a duck. The fact that this duck was so close to me was weird at first.
And I know how that sounds, and I realize that it’s probably far better to eat this nice little coworker ducks unfertilized eggs then maybe a GMO infused chicken egg, but it was honestly just weird at first. Apart from knowing the source being weird, the taste of a duck egg is also sort of weird? I mean, don’t get me wrong, it tastes like an egg, but it’s just really rich and the actual egg is super thick. It was weird.
When we first cooked the eggs, we tried to scramble them. I was absolutely not a fan of this. The taste was way too rich and I was grossed out by how egg-y it tasted. Then, in an attempt to figure out how I was going to continue eating the twelve eggs we were given for free, I proposed the grand idea of “Egg Sammies”. I realize the idea of an “Egg Sammie” is super self-explanatory, but I wish I had a photo of what mine look like because I honestly felt like a genius when I found a way to cook these duck eggs without the flavor overpowering my whole plate! (They taste SO egg-y.) Who knew I’d be so content with (and proud of?) some toast, avocado spread, sandwich turkey, and a slice of provolone cheese?
The second meal that my sweet SO and I have been swearing by are Bertolli Frozen Meals. We love pasta in this house and we were making pasta a lot, but because we’re lazy and because I work and go to school, we started trying these frozen Bertolli meals because they feed two people and they take ten minutes to make. (Typing this makes me realize how little time I want to spend cooking.) They come in a good variety of different flavors but my personal favorite is Chicken Parmigiana & Penne! I was honestly really skeptical about these before we tried them because I’m super picky about meals like chicken parm, I really don’t ever eat it unless someone prepares it at home, but the frozen dinners are suuuper delicious and I was pleasantly surprised! We’ve tried a few others and we liked them but Chicken Parmigiana is 10/10 the best. We buy ours from Target! They have a pretty decent selection.
Okay while these next two aren’t food, they are major parts of my diet. I drink them daily.
First, my true love: coffee. I actually just drink Folger’s coffee but I was excited because this month I got a new coffee pot!
I had been using a Keurig for two years, but I went through so many k-cups! Also, I can drink a ton of coffee and k-cups are pricy. For a hot minute I was using the k-cup coffee filter and just filling that with coffee ground but I was still wanting two or three cups of coffee in the morning and so I traded in (I’m actually just letting my big brother use it when he moves.) for a 5 cup Mr.Coffee coffee pot. The coffee pot cost $17, and my coffee was about $7 and I’ve honestly been set all month where I would have had to buy more k-cups every two weeks when I went grocery shopping.
My second favorite drink of choice is Pepsi Zero Sugar. (I feel like I should say I drink a lot of water too? I just really like diet pepsi and coffee.)
Obviously there isn’t a whole lot I can say about diet soda; it’s terrible for you, honestly. However, out of all the diet sodas, this one has the best taste. I love regular Pepsi, and I hate the way diet soda’s taste but Pepsi Zero Sugar (like Coke Zero) doesn’t have that super fake-sugar taste that makes diet soda gross. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t taste like a regular 150 some-odd calorie Pepsi, but it’s so good compared to other diet sodas! 10/10 would recommend.
I haven’t really wavered from my summer face routine. It’s pretty much completely 110º weather proof, but I did come across a couple of new and old things when I did my makeup for the Paramore concert!
I’m going to start with my new favorite face wash!
e.l.f.’s Exfoliating Scrub has been life changing for my skin! I didn’t realize that exfoliating often was okay until just recently, (I honestly just got into skincare big time this spring!) and exfoliating daily has done my skin so many favors! I still haven’t cleared my acne completely, but that is because I was neglecting my night time skincare routine for most of the month and it’s caused me some pretty gnarly chin breakouts, but this has been helping! (You can’t out clean a bad skincare routine and taking your body off hormones!) Texas weather has really been terrible, (I keep saying we live in the Dante’s 9th ring of hell with Judas.) and because I was breaking out due to hormone imbalances, I was covering up some problem areas with concealer and then neglecting to clean my face at night after a long day of sweating and letting concealer seep into my pores.
Which is gross.
I’ve started using the Formula 10.0.6 toner and the Neutrogena makeup remover wipes I talked about last month as my new night time routine and I’m already seeing a difference in my chin!
Up next, I’ve found this amazing body wash!
I’d originally used the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash at my SO’s moms house when we were house sitting for his parents in late June and I immediately loved it. I’m not a big body wash person, I’ll usually just use my shampoo because buying body wash is extra money and I try to be picky about what I spend money on. The reason I even decided to ‘splurge’ on body wash (and as you can see, I still didn’t go all out and by the on-brand one,) was because I used the Aveeno body wash one time and it cleaned the clogged pores on my upper arm and helped my arms and skin feel smoother and healthier! The off-brand version works just as well too. I got this from Target and it smells so great!
When I was getting ready for the Paramore concert, I went to ULTA in the hopes of finding a new eyeshadow palette with some good colors for an eye look I had in my mind. While I found an awesome eyeshadow palette, I’m also really stoked about the highlight I found! Some ULTA’s carry a well-known online brand called ColourPop! I’ve been using ColourPop for years now, but I’d stopped using them in 2017 because, even though they were cheap, I really wasn’t loving their lippies and I wasn’t super excited about having to pay shipping when I could find better matte lip products at Target. What I had found from ColourPop, that I had absolutely loved when I was buying from them religiously, was their highlights.
ColourPop’s cheek highlights are absolutely AMAZING. I swear by them. But when I stopped buying their lipsticks, I decided to branch out and try other brands highlights too. And honestly, I missed this highlight. This specific color is called Flexitarian and it is by far my favorite of all their different highlights! The best thing about ColourPop’s highlight (and their shadows) in general is that they’re bold and creamy but they aren’t wet and thick. You get the look of a bright powder highlight, without adding anything that makes your face look like you have an extra powdery layer. It gives you that bold highlight but it melts right into your powder and sits on your face without moving. I’ve also been using it daily for my minimal summer makeup routine and it looks great. It’s a dream for all skin types and for all kinds of makeup looks! When I saw it at ULTA, I was so stoked. I grabbed it and bought it without even thinking twice. My cheek highlight and inner-eye highlights have been popping OFF lately too.
I’m wearing it in this photo from my Instagram! (That’s literally not FaceTune at ALL, ColourPop is delivering that entire nose highlight.)
While I rediscovered the best highlight ever, I also discovered a new eyeshadow palette! I was looking for a pretty, warmed toned, new eyeshadow palette because I’ve been using the same palettes for over a year and that’s just not healthy for your skin. I knew I wanted warm tones because of the top I’d found, and when I went to ULTA, I found a Makeup Revolution palette that is absolutely gorgeous and had all the colors I wanted!
I love love love reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows when it comes to literally anything but I absolutely have to have an eyeshadow palette that has these colors in it at all times because they’re the only colors I like to wear on my eyes! When I found this palette I was super excited because it retails at ULTA for $7 and because ULTA is great at putting out testers for certain brands, I got to swatch the palette before buying. Every color in this palette is a hit, even the shimmer shades which can be really hit or miss. I’ve used Makeup Revolution before, and I honestly wasn’t surprised by how great this palette was because I’ve always loved their products!
(Just a sidetone: If you’re more on the pale side, you might not be able to use any of these shimmer shades for an inner-corner or brow bone highlight because they’re just not light enough! I use my ColourPop highlight!)
This month I didn’t shop too much because I was spending a lot of time in thrift stores during May and June so I decided I’d take a break from buying clothes and focus on cleaning out my closet instead. However, I did want to get a cute outfit for the Paramore concert. I spent three whole days shopping for an outfit. This is what I ended up with:
The only thing thrifted in this photo are my shorts! They’re from a thrift store in my city called “Texas Thrift.” I’d never gone there before I went on my big search for the right pants to match this top. These black shorts were actually a pair of super long high waisted skinny jeans that someone who was probably 6’7 wore. They were so long but I was immediately in love and the dense denim material was perfect for cutting up! They’re super comfortable, cost me maybe $4, and have become my go-to high waist shorts this month.
The top is from Forever 21 and it’s honestly so comfortable too. (A trend for outdoor concerts!) The material it’s made from and the how flow-y it is made it perfect for sitting out in the sun in Texas in the middle of July. I was hot, but I mean it’s July in Texas and the high’s have been 108°, so being hot was a given. The top didn’t make it worse like so many button downs can, it was breathable and really comfy, it almost felt like a high quality t-shirt! It retails for $15.90 and you can order it online or go in store and find it. It also runs true to size!
In May, I was seeing a bunch of photos of women wearing this pair of super cute black shoes in loafer and mule form and I fell in love with them. I just couldn’t figure out where anyone was finding them, so I turned to the only person I could think of who would know where to find these shoes: my Uncle Vic. Vic DiBlasi loves shoes, he just does. My Mom (his sister) loved shoes. My Grandmother (their mother) loved shoes too. DiBlasi’s love nice shoes so I knew he’d know where to get them. When I showed him this photo
he informed that those are actually Gucci loafers and they retail for almost $800. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so confused about wanting something in my LIFE. I’d never, probably even if I made more than enough money to do so, buy an $800 pair of shoes. That just makes me nervous. I would maybe consider it IF I could get insurance on them or something. Honestly, how could I guarantee that I won’t screw these up? After a quick moment of supreme heartbreak, my Uncle asked me what size I was and when I told him, he said he’d look around the internet for knock-offs. But, because I shop at Target on literally a weekly basis, it wasn’t long before I found some myself.
Target was only carrying a mule version of the loafers but that was more than okay with me. I just wanted something that looked like those beloved Gucci loafers. Target’s knock-off’s were retailing for $22 and after knowing how much the originals were, that felt like a steal. Right now, on Target’s website, these pups are on clearance for $16.08! I haven’t taken these shoes off since I got them, and they honestly go with every thing I wear. They are a staple and I 100% recommend everyone gets a pair. They are amazing!
That’s it for July, guys! I know this post ended up being really long. If you made it all the way to the end, I really appreciate it. I always want to be able to deliver a bunch of new stuff for y’all to try because I love finding new things to try out! If you got anything out of this post, I really think it should be the knock-off Gucci mules. Go to your local Target and try to see if they have them. They’re a great staple piece and I think everyone should have a pair. Gucci makes them for men too, I believe, and while I haven’t found a knock-off version for men, I’m sure they are out there!
I hope you guys enjoyed your July; this month has been a pretty wild for me! I’m excited for August and for my last full semester of college to start.
and I have hope in who I am becoming.”
― Charlotte Eriksson