Holidays

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful New Years Eve and that the first day of 2018 has been SPECTACULAR! I personally had a wonderful past 2 days enjoying time with my family and friends, but I wanted to pop in before the end of the day and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Like I did on Christmas Day,  I thought it would be fun to list some highlights from the past 2 days.

  • Went to go see The Greatest Showman with my kids, mom, aunt and some family friends. All I have to say is that Hugh Jackman is PHENOMENAL! Don’t wait to see this movie when it comes out on video. It’s one of those that you have to experience on a big screen.
  • Chinese food with above mentioned ladies after the movie. They say that it’s good luck to eat Chinese food on New Years, but that may be made up. Who cares! I love me some noodles.
  • Doing tequila shots like a college girl with my friends and dancing regaetton and salsa till the ball dropped. Needless to say that our dancing definitely got looser the more shots we took, but it was so much fun. If you want to see what our husbands did while we danced, check out my Instagram Highlights Story appropriately titled New Years Eve. 🙂
  • Before doing above mentioned tequila shots, playing Heads Up with all the couples and laughing our heads off. Mostly because we were also drinking cocktails while playing. I promise I am not a lush, but it’s New Years Eve!! You got let loose sometimes.
  • Smooching my husband and kids at midnight. I love them so much!
  • Waking up surprisingly NOT hungover. Must be all the Chinese food and carbs I loaded up on during lunch the day before.
  • Going to lunch at one of our favorite local restaurants, Flanigans, with my husband and kids to celebrate the New Year. It’s kind of a tradition.
  • Getting out with Sofia and walking the track by our house to neutralize all the food we ate the last 2 days and also to kick start our New Years resolution to be fit and healthy.
  • Capping the day off BBQ-ing some burgers in the new grill my mom received as a gift. I know that most of the US is under snow, but we have had the most beautiful weather in Miami the past couple of days. Not hot, but not cold. PERFECT!

Feel free to let me know what you guys did because one of my goals is to get to know you much better. I feel like we are all virtual neighbors here and it’s nice to get personal and find out how you are doing or what you did on any given day, so drop a comment and keep me up to date.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

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Holidays

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,

I hope that all of you have been enjoying Christmas so far. I have spending time with friends and family, but I wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas to my blog friends and share some highlights from the past few days:

  • Getting a boatload of makeup from my friends and family, including, but not limited to, the tarteist Pro Glow Palette, Becca Apres Ski Face Palette and Mac Jacobs gel eyeliner in Black. Reviews galore coming, my friends!!!
  • Drinking Coquito, which is a Puerto Rican holiday drink made with coconuts, condensed milk, spices and rum. A LOT of rum
  • Playing Head’s Up with my family on Christmas Eve. It’s even better when you are all sauced up from Coquito.
  • Teaching my mostly American daughter how to dance Salsa. She’s comes from good Cuban stock, so it’s in her blood. I just got to wake it up from it’s slumber.
  • Feeding the stray alley cats and giving them their own little Noche Buena feast. I’m such a Cat Lady!
  • Taking a mid-day nap in front of the TV and waking up to one of the best scenes in “A Christmas Story”. Poor Ralphie finally getting a chance to meet Santa to ask from the Red Rid BB Gun and getting told by the Big Man himself that “You’ll shoot your eye, kid!” Classic!!
  • Chinese Food for dinner. Honey Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Crab Rangoons, Egg Rolls, Special Fried Rice and left over Coquito. Awww Yeaaahhh, Baby!
  • Spending time with my kids, husband, mom, aunt, brother, in-laws, nephews and nieces.

Happy Holidays, my friends!

Maritza

Holidays · Subscription Boxes

The Friday Five – Subscription Box Gift Ideas

So you waited till the last possible minute to buy a present for that friend or relative who lives out of state and you know that either you pay BEAUCOUP money to have it overnighted or wait till after the holidays to ship. Option #2 is not a bad idea except you came home today and see Aunt Hilda’s present sitting on your doorstep.

Darn it! Now you can’t wait till after Christmas because if she took the time to wrap, pack and ship a present to you, you are going to look like a major SNOT for not being as thoughtful.

That’s ok, my friends, I got you! This is where Subscription Boxes come in. For a one time flat fee, your Aunt Hilda is going to be the recipient of not only 1 present, but 12 monthly gifts for all of 2018. You will officially be the favorite niece in no time.

I personally love giving and receiving subscription boxes. It is literally the gift that keeps on giving. The trick is to finding the right box for your loved one. With so many subscription boxes out there, I am sure you can find one for anyone and have a lovely email delivered right to there inbox before the 25th. However, if you need a little help, I have rounded up my favorite 5 Subscription Boxes

(Images procured from company websites)

#5 – Facetory

Do you have a friend who is a K-Beauty addict? Then I have got the subscription box for you. For as low as $8.90, your friend can have a box of Korean Beauty masks delivered right to her doorstep. Personally, after all the partying, indulging and drinking that one might do for the holidays, nothing says Welcome 2018 like a home pampering session with a nice hydrating mask. All the packages are also so cute and quirky that I’m sure you will be seeing your friend’s before and after hitting your Instagram feed before the end of the year.

Prices – 4 sheet masks

  • 1 month $8.90
  • 3 months for $26.70
  • 6 months for $53.50
  • 9 months $80.10
  • 12 months for 106.80

#4 – Vellabox

I know, I know. The Bath and Bodyworks semi-annual sale is right around the corner and soon you will be stocking up on candles to last you for a whole year, but what if I told you that for as low as $10/month (plus shipping), you will get a quality candle delivered to your doorstep each month, with a specially curated handpicked item made by some of the finest American candlemakers in the know? I think you will be up for that, right? And so will you bougie friend who thinks BBW candles are for the common folk.

Prices – 4.0z candle

  • 3 months for $36
  • 6 months for $72
  • 12 months for $120

#3 – Birchbox

Ok, so I know that Birchbox has kind of been getting a beating in the latest unboxing videos on YouTube and I will admit that sometimes I am like “C’mon, Birchbox! I don’t want another stinking Briogeo Hair Mask!” However, I have been introduced to some of my most favorite products via Birchbox that I would have never have heard of if I subscribed to just Ipsy or Boxycharm. For example, my beloved Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara? Yep. That was Birchbox. Au Naturale Crème Blusher is a travel staple for me because I use it as both lipstick and blush. Never heard of them before and now I love the brand. Also, the boxes! Presentation alone wins Birchbox extra brownie points. The best part? There is no stupid waitlist and your giftee will receive their first box in January. How nice is that?

Prices (Use Code: Gift20)

  • 3 months for $24
  • 6 months for $48
  • 12 months for $88

#2 – Rocksbox

So I am really new to Rocksbox. I have only received one box so far and I am IN LOVE and I am sure that your uber chic friend who is always wearing the latest trends will as well. For $21 a month, you will be giving her the gift of jewelry and who the heck wouldn’t want that? She can choose to just rent the pieces with the $21 subscription you will be giving her and if she decides to purchase an item, those $21 will go towards the final cost. You will be BFF’s till your old and grey.

Prices:

  • 3 months for $49
  • 6 months for $99
  • 12 months for $189

#1 – StitchFix

As a busy mom, I just don’t have the time or energy to go shopping for clothes. Ugg! I get so overwhelmed by the sheer thought of trying on clothes in a tiny, poorly lit dressing room, that I have been wearing the same yoga pants for like 5 years. That is, until I bit the bullet and decided to join Stitch Fix. If I remind you of a friend, please do her a great favor and buy her a gift card towards her first Stitch Fix. The next time you meet up with her at brunch and she looks like she walked off the pages of a catalog, I PROMISE you all the mimosas will be on her dime.

Prices:

Gift Cards that contribute towards their First Fix ($20 styling fee) up to a full wardrobe ($1000)

Till next time, my friends.

Maritza

Holidays · Sephora Saturday

Sephora Saturday – What to Buy with My $25 Gift Card

I feel awful that I totally missed my Friday post. I will admit the last couple of days have been unusually busy and I was unable to get a chance to sit down and write. Not to brag or anything, but I actually left the house and socialized with ADULTS. It wasn’t a kids birthday party or some school function, but actual events with people who are relatively at my eye level and the beverages didn’t come in a box with a bendy straw, but in glasses and were of the alcoholic variety.

Yes. I mean they had vodka.

One of those events was a work party in which I received a $25 Sephora gift card from my co-workers for Christmas (they know me so well!) and I am in the midst of deciding what to buy. I’ve been surfing their website, placing way more than just $25 worth of stuff in my cart and I am simply unable to come to a decision.

For Example, should I get Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored? If you have read any of my previous posts, you know how much I LOVE a nice red lip and $24 seems a bit steep for just one lipstick, but it’s literally the most beautiful red I have seen this season. I think it would be worth the splurge.

I could also go for quantity while getting the most bang for my buck and try out the new Sephora #Lipstories Lipsticks. As a Miami Cuban, I feel almost obligated to get Coconut Grove and Hot in Havana. At only $8 a piece, I still have enough to also throw in Popsicle.

I have been dying to try Nudestix pencils. I love the thought of one product that can be used as lip color, blush and even eye color, so maybe I should go with the What’s Your Matte? Nudes + Red ($24). It even includes a sharpener, which is awesome because I am always losing mine.

Maybe I should use the $25 towards a larger purchase, even though I really shouldn’t because my credit cards are still recovering from all the Holiday shopping I just did, and  get the Huda Beauty’s Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette. Those pinky sunset colors are just GORGEOUS and, really, it’s only $2 over the card value, so I wouldn’t be out a whole lot of money.

Similarly, but way more expensive, I can also get the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Palette ($49). Sure it is way over budget and I need another palette about as much as I need a hole in the head, but I can’t help it. I am obsessed with eyeshadows palettes. I love how colorful they are and I swear I would coordinate them with my outfits and carry them as a clutch if it wouldn’t be weird and completely impractical.

 

Also, can I tell you how much I LOVE the Try It On feature on the Sephora App. I had a blast “trying on” the eyeshadows from the Chocolate Gold Palette even though I am a little perturbed that an app can blend eyeshadow better than I could.

Anyone else have any suggestions for my cart? If so, leave them in the cart below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Holidays · The Friday Five

The Friday Five – Best Beauty Gift Ideas under $50

How can Christmas be only 17 days away? You know I’m freaking out a bit. I mean, how can I possibly fit in all the shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, school holiday shows, Christmas parties and drinking in just 17 days?

Ha! Who am I kidding? I’m drinking a glass of wine as I type, so totally do-able under duress.

But no worries, my friends. I am here to help you cross a few items off your Christmas list for that beauty addict friend and I PROMISE I will have a little something for everyone’s budget. Did I mention that all of these are under $50?

I got you, girl!

#5 – Soap and Glory Get a Smooth on Set ($7.99)

Now this one is a multi-tasker. I can envision this one as a stocking stuffer or possibly for that co-worker who likes to show some leg and wears skirts or dresses. Let’s not forget the teacher who is on her feet all day long and uses hand sanitizer like 500 times a day. She needs some moisturizer and, trust me, this Soap and Glory Set delivers. Flake Away will practically peel any layer of dead skin from your body (in a good way) and the Righteous Butter will add much needed moisture back. Did I also mention that you will smell like peach butter cream with this combo and how can that be wrong?

#4 – Maybelline Merry Minis Eyeshadow and Mascara Set (8.99)

Ok, I know we have all been there. You totally forgot about the Secret Santa gift exchange and your already on your way to work and don’t have time to go to the mall to pick up a present for your blue eyed co-worker. No worries. Just pull into the nearest Walmart or Walgreens and make a bee-line to the Maybelline display and grab a Merry Minis Eyeshadow and Mascara set. Not only do you get one of the cute little City Mini palettes with gorgeous warm shades of peach, pink and browns, but you also get a mini Colossal Volume Mascara. Perfect to keep in your purse to touch up your eye look before heading out to happy hour after work.

#3 – L’Oréal Infallible Metallic Eyeshadow Kit ($12.99)

Let’s say you have a lot of friends, but a small budget. That’s ok. I’m a firm believer that it’s quality, not quantity and not only will you be saving money by buying this set, but you will be giving the gift of a metallic eye look for the holidays. BONUS: Split the pack apart and pick up a bag of Peppermint Hershey Kisses and make goody bags to hand out to your besties while celebrating the holidays around some drinks and appetizers at your favorite local bar. Just tie a cute bow and you are done.

#2 – Estee Lauder 3 Piece After Hours The Nude Lip Gift Set ($32)

Yes, I know Kylie Cosmetics revolutionized the world with her lip kits and now everyone is jumping on the band wagon. GOOD FOR US because Estee Lauder has a gorgeous lip gift set that includes a full size lipstick and gloss and mini lip liner. This would be just perfect for that mom friend who is still using the same stubby little Nyx lip liner she bought before she had her first kid 5 years ago. Girlfriend, it’s time to move on and it’s your duty as her friend to help her take the first steps into investing in herself once again. I know first hand how quickly those little rugrats take over your life. The set comes in nude and red, but baby steps. Go for the nude and then transition to red.

#1 – Smashbox Drawn In Decked Out Shadow and Highlight 3 Piece Set ($39)

Much like Scenario #3, where you have loads of friends and a limited budget, yet you have a rep to protect because your friends are picky. Not that I’m poo-pooing L’Oréal in any way, but maybe these friends are all like “Eww…drugstore makeup” and even though you have told them how AWESOME Milani Matte lipsticks are, they are hardcore Sephora fans and only go to Walgreens to pick up cough medicine. That’s ok. We all have friends like that. I’m sure you like them for other reasons, right? Anyways, here comes Smashbox to save the day. They have come out with a holiday set that includes 1 buttery soft highlighter trio (the gold one in the middle is divine), 1 mini warm palette and 1 mini cool tone palette all with GORGEOUS packaging that will make your snobby selective friends shriek with delight. Just break the set apart, gently toss them in a cute gift bag and hand them out to your girlfriends over brunch.

BONUS: Macy’s is offering 15% of the above mentioned set from Estee Lauder and Smashbox. Just use code FRIEND at checkout.

Any other holiday sets that are worthy of a shout out? If so, leave them in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends.

Maritza

Holidays · Uncategorized

Happy San-Giving (AKA: Thanksgiving)

My parents and grandparents, who immigrated from Cuba in the 1960’s, never quite grasped the English language very well, however, they sure LOVED American holidays and traditions and Thanksgiving was one of their favorites.

One small problem, as Spanish speakers, they had a tough time pronouncing the “Th” sound, so it always kind of came out as “Sss“, so Thanksgiving was always “San-Giving” in my house.

It still is to be honest. Old habits die hard.

However, regardless of how you pronounce it, I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving/San-Giving!

PS – if you want to know what my life was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s as a Cuban American family living in Miami, check out one of my favorite shows “Que Pasa, USA?” It was actually made in the 70’s, but still resonated then and still does today. You can catch clips of it on YouTube and I’m sure that any First Generation American family can identify.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza