Friday, November 27, 2015

Kushyfoot Tights

Kushyfoot Tights

Working from home doesn't require many dress up days, so when I get the chance to pop on a dress for an actual reason, I go all out. Michigan's officially in winter mode so tights are a must. I had the opportunity to test out some of Kushyfoot's tights recently when Alex's family and I went to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas. At first I thought, "heck these are just tights I'm sure they'll be fine," but there's actually a noticeable difference between these tights and other brands.

I wore the Shaping Tights for the entire day and by the end of it I was seriously in love. The tights were such high quality; thick, but breathable. You know when you buy a cheap pair of tights and they just seem thin? These felt so much nicer. I didn't worry about runs or tears like I usually do because they were just, better. The shaping effect I was a bit worried about, but I felt secure and knew my tights weren't going to get loose throughout the day and slide around. I can't really comment on how "shaping" they really were as I tend to have a very, unchangeable shape, but I loved everything about them.

I can't wait to keep testing out all the other types of tights from Kushyfoot. I never thought I'd become brand loyal for things like socks and tights, but these guys really know what they're doing.

xoxo Kayla

Thursday, November 26, 2015

New Beauty Bits & Old Favorites

I've fallen in a habit of constantly repurchasing tried and true favorites. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but new products have to try their hardest to even get a second glance from me these days. With the recent Sephora VIB Sale I found myself stocking up on holy grails rather than seizing the chance to branch out.

I've purchased the Stila One Step Correct so many times I've lost count. I grabbed two in this order hoping they would last until the next VIB Sale. I also snagged up a full size of the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask as I'm just about done with my smaller tube of it. It's a great mask in the winter when my skin gets exceptionally dry and needs some serious help. 

I almost purchased another Living proof Perfect Hair Day Styling Treatment when I saw it was a 100 point reward. Sephora (online at least) has a rule where you can only get one type of reward per order so in my infinite wisdom I ended up placing four different orders to end up with the same ounces as a full sized bottle without spending any extra money. Savvy saver award right over here please. Plus it meant I could get the same free sample each order so I could really test out the products rather than just getting a tiny sense of them. Score.

I did however branch out a bit from just purchasing favorites when I stumbled upon a Body Shop while out shopping with Alex's family the other day. I went in with my mind on the essentials, but ended up walking out with two new purchases in a range I've loved in the past. I added the Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask and the Face Mist just to give them a go. I'll definitely report back and share how the (tiny) adventure into the unknown goes. I also purchased two more Vitamin E Hydrating Toners and another two Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polishes. My favorites and ones I'm sure to use up in no time.

So there you have it. A haul from a beauty gal who's stuck in her ways as of late. But sometimes when you find a good thing, why mess with it?

xoxo Kayla

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Must Have Beauty Desk Essentials

beauty desk, hair products, must have beauty desk products

beauty desk, hair products, must have beauty desk products

beauty desk, hair products, must have beauty desk products

Although I've paired down my makeup stash exponentially since the start of this year, the beauty bits that remain on the side of my desk have been remaining strong in number. I keep this little dish on top of my Alex drawers that reigns in all the products that are better off standing or close at hand. There's just something about this fleet of products that I can't say no to.

Nearly all the products are hair products as I haven't been able to find a better alternative to store them. I do very little to my hair (we've come to a sort of agreement) so if I do use product, these fair few are it and I rarely stray. My two go-to products are the Oscar Blandi Texture & Volume Spray and the Living proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling treatment. Both work so well together to create a messy, lived in look while adding volume and keeping the oils at bay.

The rest of my hair essentials are Bumble and Bumble products from one set or another. They all do more or less the same thing in the end, but I prefer using the Thickening Dryspun Finish over the Surf Spray or the Thickening Hairspray. It works quite similarly to the Oscar Blandi spray, but holds a bit differently for a more gritty look. I've also been testing out the Living proof Instant Texture Mist, but I haven't been a fan.

I'm desperately in love with the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray so it's great to have it so readily available. It sets my makeup with a flawless, blended finish and everything is brighter, longer. I also keep a couple of lotions from Soap and Glory if I ever need a quick dose of moisture.

One day I hope to have a little less of an out in the open solution, but it is nice to look over to see all these beauties lined up in a row.

What do you keep on your beauty desk?

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How Instagram Helped with My Anxiety

How Instagram Helped with My Anxiety

Anxiety isn't something I talk about much on the blog (or anywhere for that matter), but the last couple of weeks it's been harder than normal. I just wasn't feeling myself. I was overwhelmed, stressed, and didn't really see the point in anything I was doing. One night amidst the anxiousness, I decided to start another Instagram. Sure one would think adding another Instagram to the mix would make things worse, but for me it did just the trick. 

The problem wasn't that I felt too busy, but that I felt busy in the wrong sorts of ways. Everything I worked on had a purpose, an end goal with timelines and checklists. I craved something that was completely pointless and completely mine just for the sake of being mine. So Homebody Dreams came to be.

In my head I see the life I want as a blend of whimsical and simplistic. Soft tones, beautiful patterns, every day a Sunday. I always feel like that was in the future if only I could get there. I wanted a place to show myself that a life like that already exists and I don't have to wait for it. It all mattered on perspective. And it's working. 

Every time I log in or post a new picture I feel calm and like I'm living the life I thought was always slightly out of reach. I've started seeing my life the way I desperately wanted to see it, all because I was able to compile it in one place. After sort of forcing the first few photos I began seeing and feeling the calm everywhere. It's a wonderful feeling and the anxiety has been nudged back into the little hole where it doesn't bother me so much.

For a while I didn't share the account with anyone. I didn't want it to become another chore or something controlled by followers and likes. But over time I realized that if it could provide my overactive brain a sense of calm, it could maybe do that for someone else. 

Scrolling through the photos I'm able to see the life I've always wanted, that's been around me the entire time. And that's some sort of wonderful.

xoxo Kayla

Monday, November 23, 2015

StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner Review

StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner Review

I'm going to be honest, the StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner had me a bit apprehensive at first. The name alone leaves a gal wondering if her skin is going to completely fall off and a new one would pop up in its place. Yet after the first use my anxiety was instantly put at bay and I found myself with a pretty solid product.

The directions say to put this on at morning and night after the rest of your skincare routine; something I found a bit odd but I followed the directions. It's a somewhat thick cream-like lotion that's scentless and sinks into the skin very quickly. It reminds me a lot of a thicker moisturizer, but it wasn't overly hydrating so I still used another moisturizer just in case.

The best part? I could actually see a change in my pores after using it a handful of times. They definitely weren't as noticeable and my complexion looked more even and smoother. It's gentle, the little pump on the end is a great touch, and it didn't irritate my skin. All good things.

The biggest turn off is the price. $99 is quite a gamble for a product that may or may not do what it says on the tin. Even though I did notice a change in my pores and overall appearance of my skin, I still don't know if it's worth a hundred dollars to achieve. I'm cheap and know it's likely there are other, more affordable options out there that could do the same thing.

It's definitely a product to check out if you're in the market for something gentle to reduce the appearance of pores. As always, not all skincare products work the same for everyone, but this one definitely did something for mine. That price though. What a bummer.

What skincare products do you use to reduce the appearance of pores?

xoxo Kayla

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Lancôme DRAMA LIQUI-PENCIL Longwear Eyeliners

Lancôme has always seemed like an older woman's brand, but boy did I miss the mark on that one. I recently had the chance to test out their DRAMA LIQUI-PENCIL Longwear Eyeliners and the colors alone make it obvious that Lancôme is trying to shake those labels.

I'm quite on the fence about these. I've tried quite a few shades and love the color range and options, but am not sold on the product itself. It's incredibly soft textured, but doesn't apply terribly well to the tight line. A regular lining of the lids works better, but I usually opt for a tight line over the effort of fully lining my lids as I can get quite messy and shaky handed. They tug ever so slightly when applying, but the lasting power is seriously impressive. The colored options are incredibly pigmented (in a good way), but the lighter shades barely show up. 

When there's a positive there seems to be a negative right behind it leaving me unsure on my overall opinions. I know I'll definitely get some usage out of the greens, purples, and blues in the collection, but I wouldn't necessarily run out and purchase these on my own accord when I find the Stila eye pencils to be just as creamy, but overall better at with what the Lancôme ones lack. I'm happy to have them, but I wouldn't necessarily say you need to run out and buy all of them immediately. It's a good product, but I could recommend others that are better.

All in all I can appreciate what Lancôme's doing and look forward to seeing what other products they come out with as they work towards breaking their "elder" appearance.

Have you tried these before? What's your go to eyeliner brand?

xoxo Kayla

Friday, November 20, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are my weakness. Put glaze on a delicious, cinnamon bun and I'm done. When I decided to hop back into baking again this was the first recipe I tried from the 1001 Cupcakes, Cookies & Other Tempting Treats. I just couldn't resist.

I've gotten into a habit of writing down when I first baked a recipe and jotting down notes in the margins. I like the feeling of a used recipe book. Plus my oven is iffy on the best of days and I really need to keep track of proper oven times.

After adding together all the dry ingredients (see the full recipe below), you mix together all the wet ones before pouring them together. There's just something so satisfying about separating the egg yoke from the egg white. I had never done it prior to this recipe and it makes you feel like a baking ninja.

Once all the wet items are whisked together, they're mixed with the dry to create a soft, moist dough and it's set aside. Next is the filling. A blend of a couple different sugars and even more cinnamon for a nice paste. 

After the filling is blended, it's time to roll out the dough. I find my dough to be fairly sticky more often than not, so I use a healthy amount of flour on top of the parchment paper I've laid out. That way the dough won't stick when I roll it into a log. 

I'm sure there's more of an official way of spreading the filling out on the dough, but I take the back of the spoon and just go crazy. It's all going to the same place in the end anyway!

This next part makes me feel like a true baker. You take the parchment underneath the rolled out dough and pull it up and roll the dough into a log-like shape. Then you take a very sharp knife and cut it into even sections. The recipe says it makes eight, but I always end up with 10-12 in the end.

Pop them down on your parchment lined, greased tins and pop them into the oven!

As they're baking, make the glaze. Boiling water is definitely a must to make sure all the ingredients melt and create a nice smooth glaze.

This cinnamon rolls are heavenly and I must admit I've made them a few too many times to count. It's definitely going to be a recipe I use for years to come.

Makes 8-12 cinnamon rolls

  • 7 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour (seriously. self-rising is a must)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (more if you want it super cinnamon-y)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • generous 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp superfine sugar
  • heaping 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 oz cream cheese, softened (make sure it's softened or you'll have a tough time)
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • about 2 tbsp boiling water (it means boiling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Line round cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter
  • Place flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in large bowl and mix
  • In separate bowl place butter, egg, and milk and whisk together
  • Combine with dry ingredients and mix till soft dough forms
  • Mix filling ingredients together in separate bowl
  • Place dough on floured parchment and roll out to about 12x10 inches
  • Spread filling on dough evenly
  • Take edge of parchment and pull up, rolling the dough on top of itself to form a log
  • Cut log into equal sized pieces and place pieces equal distance apart in the cake pans
  • Bake for 28-30 minutes
  • Sift confectioners' sugar into large bowl and make well in the center
  • Place cream cheese and butter in center
  • Take bowling water and pour on top of mixture and stir to mix
  • Add vanilla extract and set aside until rolls are done
  • Let rolls set for 5 minutes before adding icing glaze
  • Serve warm and try not to eat too many

Definitely send along a photo if you make these!

xoxo Kayla