Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Break Adventures: Tarpon Springs

As my spring break comes to a close, I thought I would write a post about one of my adventures this week.  My mother and I decided to take a drive to spend the day in the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The town of Tarpon Springs was built around the sponge docks.  Many Greek sponge divers came to Tarpon Springs, and today the town still has a strong Greek influence.  While visiting Tarpon Springs you can sample Greek cuisine from one of the many Greek restaurants, purchase sponges and souvineers, visit the aquarium or the museum, or take a tour of the sponge docks.

Mom and me

Saganaki (flaming cheese)... seriously delish
Bread, Saganaki, Greek salad, and Greek pizza
Sponge boats and sponges
"T-Shirt Outlet
Voted #1 in Tarpon Springs by our mom
Open: When we are here
Closed: When we are not"

We had a lot of fun shopping and walking around.  One shop had homemade soaps made with goat milk, olive oil, and all-natural ingredients.  The soaps came in a variety of scents.  I chose oatmeal honey, sugared citrus, sandlewood, and blackberry vanilla.  If you would like to check out their soaps and other products, you can visit their website, here.  I also got two new necklaces, two sets of bracelets, and a pair of earrings that match one of the necklaces.

All in all, it was a great day!  If you would like to find out more about Tarpon Springs, click here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to Give Yourself the Perfect Pedicure at Home

It's that time of year again!  SPRING BREAK!  Spring break is a sign it is time to break out some of my favorite things... flip flops.  Flip flops are a spring break must have if you are headed to the pool, the beach, or when you are making a quick run to the store for party supplies.  Here in the Sunshine state though, we tend to wear flip flops and sandals almost year round.

After wearing boots and tennis shoes for most of the "winter" (yes, I put it in quotes because in Florida we don't have much of a winter).  I decided that it was time to give myself a pedicure.  The dry weather combined with my love of boots has really taken it's toll on my feel.  They aren't pretty.  So today I decided it was time for a pedicure.  Naturally I don't feel like spending a ton of money for pedicures every week, but with a few supplies I can do my own at home.

Step 1:

Take off any polish that is on your toes.

Step 2:

Clip your toenails.  Clip them straight across and do not round the edges.  Doing so prevents getting ingrown toenails!  If you would like to file your nails, file them the same way (rather than back and forth) as it helps to prevent your nails from breaking.

Step 3:

Add a little bit of cuticle cream if you would like (I used Sally Hansen Healthy Cuticles Now).  Gently, push back cuticles with an orangewood stick.  If you start to push back the skin around your toes... STOP.

Step 4:

Fill up your bathtub or a small bin with warm water.  Let your feet soak in the water for at least 15 minutes (the more dead skin you have on your feet, the longer you'll need to soak them).  Add a few drops of some essential oils (such as peppermint) or bath salts if you would like to.

Step 5:

This is the gross part.  Scrape the dead skin off of your feet focusing on your heels, the balls of your feet, and the sides of your feet.  For this you can use a foot scraper or pumice stone (I use a Ped Egg).  Warning: Do not scrub too hard.  If your skin looks pink stop.  The point is to take off the excess rough skin, but you do need some tough skin left to help protect your feet.  I use the Ped Egg.

Step 6:

Slather on a foot cream.  Put on socks to help the cream to really soak into your feet.  For added hydration, leave your socks on overnight.  I used Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Foot Cream with Shea Butter.

Step 7:

Put on a thin coat of nail polish base.  This helps to protect your nails from being stained by your nail polish, as well as help your polish last longer.  I used Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat.  Make sure that you wash all cream off of your nails before applying your base or polish.

Step 8:

Paint your nails with your favorite nail polish.  Use cotton balls to keep your toes from touching each other.

I chose China Glaze nail polish in Re-Fresh Mint.

Step 9:

After your polish dries, add a clear top coat to help your polish last longer.

You're all finished!  Make sure your polish is completely dry before putting on shoes or walking around too much.  If your polish starts to chip, it's time to give yourself another pedicure!

What is your spring polish color?  Do you prefer the DIY yourself approach, or do you visit the salon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thank you!

I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you, Dear Reader.

Just over 6 months ago (on August 30, 2011) I created this blog and wrote my first post.  I didn't have any readers at that time, and I wasn't sure that I ever would.  6 months later, I have 8 "official" followers, with many more visitors to my page each week.  In the past month, I have had over 290 visitors to my blog, and close to 1,300 visitors total during the life of my blog.  Okay, so many some of you may be thinking that my numbers aren't all that impressive.  But to me, those numbers are huge considering the amount of time I have been doing this.  Not to mention I almost didn't start a blog in the first place because I was nervous that no one would be interested enough to read what I wrote.

I have had readers from countries all over the world including Russia, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, the Ukraine, Australia, the Philippines, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Belgium, Moldova, and many more!  I was shocked that people here in the United States wanted to read my blog, let alone people from other countries. :)

So thank you for coming to "Glass Slippers and Combat Boots" and for reading my posts.  It means so much to me.

If you wouldn't mind sharing, please let me know what you like about my blog.  Because I write on such a variety of topics (yes, many are completely random), I am interested to know what you, the reader, enjoys most.  How did you find my blog?  What are some topics you would like me to write about?  Or, if you have any suggestions, comments, etc, please leave them in the comments.  I would love to hear from you! :)

Thank you again.  XOXO

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
- Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You! 

Dr. Seuss, born as Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born on March 2, 1904.  If he was still alive today, Dr. Seuss would be 108 years old!

Growing up, I loved reading Dr. Seuss books.  In fact, today, I still love reading them.  One of my favorite books has always been Green Eggs and Ham.

I have always loved that Dr. Seuss' books feature rhymes.  When read aloud, they have an almost musical quality to them.  Some books, such as Hop on Pop, or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, can help beginning readers to improve their fluency and reading ability.  Other books, such as Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Lorax teach valuable lessons like how to treat others.

Guess what?  Even celebrities love Dr. Seuss books!  Check out Tim Tebow reading Green Eggs and Ham...

Awesome, right?  I have always been a Tebow fan, but this makes me like him even more.  See kids, even big football players think reading is cool!

Next, check out Justin Bieber reading The Cat in the Hat.

I think it is really cool that celebrities are taking the time to show kids that reading is cool.  I can't wait to share these videos with my students one day.

Last, I thought I would share my excitement with you about a movie that hits theaters today!  Which movie you ask?  The animated movie based on Dr. Seuss' The Lorax!  The movie stars the voices of Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms and Betty White.  If you haven't seen the trailer already, be sure to watch it!

Adorable, right???  Is anyone as excited to see it as I am?

Okay, I think I have shared enough videos for one day.  I hope that you find them entertaining (I know I do). :)

Do you love Dr. Seuss?  Are you celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday in any special way today?  Do you have any great videos of other celebrities reading Dr. Seuss books?  Please share in the comments below!  I would love to read them. :)

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not." 
- Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Review: ELF Brushes

Instead of making a separate post for each of the ELF brushes in my collection, I thought I would create one post to review them all.  The ELF line makes all kinds of makeup (ELF = Eyes, Lips, Face) and brushes.  While I am a fan of the ELF eyeshadows, the brushes are only so-so.  On to the reviews...

Brush #1: ELF Blush Brush
2 out of 5 stars

This brush is okay.  The best thing about it was the price ($3 at Target).  The brush is a nice size and fits comfortably in my hand.  The bristles are not as soft as I would have liked and are a little thin.  You can definitely feel that the brush is not very good quality.  I typically use this brush to apply bronzer in the shape of the number 3 on each side of my face.  It doesn't pick up the product that well and I feel like I have to apply more than I would normally have to.  I found that my bronzer discolors the bristles a little bit which is weird considering they are black.

In short, I think this brush would make a good brush to leave in an emergency kit in your car, or a good brush to pick up if you find yourself traveling and you left your best brush at home.

Brush #2: ELF Eyeshadow Brush
4 out of 5 stars

I really love this brush.  Definitely a steal at $1.  I picked this brush up at my local Target.  I am sure there are better eyeshadow brushes out there, but this one definitely surprised me.  The bristles of the brush are short but thick.  It really is the perfect size for applying eye shadow to your lid and brow bone (I will probably buy a separate brush for the crease).  If you are looking for a basic eyeshadow brush on a tight budget, this is the brush for you!

Brush #3: ELF Brow Brush:
3 out of 5 stars

This brush was another $1 bargain.  Once again, it isn't the highest quality, but if it you are on a tight budget (like myself) it is definitely worth the price.  It may not be the best one made, but this brush gets the job done.  I picked up this brush at my local Target.

All in all, I would have to say that the biggest advantage of the ELF brush line is the price.  Most of the ELF brushes that I have seen at Target were priced either $1 or $3 per brush.  While the brand isn't the highest quality, if you are looking to expand your brush collection on a tight budget, I would definitely recommend them.  For the important brushes that are used for more application, such as foundation and blush brushes, I would spend a little more money for a better quality.  But for your minor brushes, such as eyeshadow and eyebrow brushes, ELF makes a decent product.

Interested in reading about more brushes?  Check out my review of the Make Up Forever HD Complexion Starter Kit which included a fabulous kabuki brush here, and check out my review of the Too Faced Sun on the Run kit which included a flatbuki brush here.  For my review of the Sephora Professional #45 brush, please click here.

On a final note, I am not affiliated with ELF or Target in any way.  This review is purely my opinion and was completely honest.  It was not affected by anyone else.  I am not trying to persuade you to purchase any of the products listed.  I try to research my beauty products thoroughly before I purchase them so that I know what to expect before I buy it.  I want to write my own reviews so that I can help others who like to research their purchases too.  I hope that you found this review entertaining and informative.

If you have any questions or comments about my review or the brushes listed, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: Sephora Professional #45 Mineral Powder Brush

4.5 out of 5 stars

With the multitude of brushes placed before me, I asked a Sephora salesperson for help.  She recommended the mineral brush because it would take less time to use than a regular foundation brush and that it gives your liquid foundation an airbrushed look.  She made a great recommendation!  I love this brush.  I decided to purchase it and use it with the Make Up Forever HD Complexion Starter Kit (You can read my review of the HD Complexion Starter Kit here).

The size of the brush is pretty nice.  The brush is wide enough to cover a large area, but it can get smaller places (such as the bridge of your nose) easily.  The only place I have a little trouble getting to is right around the sides of my nose (you know that awkward place just around your nostrils).  I found that the best thing to do when it comes to that area is to get it as best as I can with my brush (the sides work well) and then blend where needed with my fingers.  When applying my liquid foundation, I use the brush to dab the product where I need it, and then blend it in by using a circular motion.  The thick bristles are perfect for blending!  Why did I take off a half star?  This brush was a little pricey, and it is a little difficult to clean when used with liquid foundation.  I was able to clean it well enough, but the white tips are easy to stain.

Top view
In short, I love the look that this brush gives my makeup.  I will definitely be trying more of the Sephora brush collection.

Be sure to check out the "brushes" label for more brush reviews!

On a final note, I am not affiliated with Sephora in any way.  This review is purely my opinion and was completely honest.  It was not affected by anyone else.  I am not trying to persuade you to purchase any of the products listed.  I try to research my beauty products thoroughly before I purchase them so that I know what to expect before I buy it.  I want to write my own reviews so that I can help others who like to research their purchases too.  I hope that you found this review entertaining and informative.

If you have any questions or comments about my review or the product listed, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! :)