Saturday, December 13, 2014

arm the animals

Thank you everyone who has entered my giveaway. It's still open! You can win 4 turban headbands. They make great stocking stuffers! You can enter here
The giveaway ends the night of December 15th! 

Back to Arm the Animals. Can you tell that I love this company? Arm the Animals is a creative clothing company that donates a generous portion of their proceeds to animal shelters. I feel so much more comfortable making purchases when I know my money is going towards a good cause. I love their shirts so much that I keep on buying more and more. They're so creative and unique! Now I've got my eye on this one.

Feel free to visit their online shop. Which ones are your favorite?

- Christina

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

a christmas playlist that will last you the whole season

You guys, this playlist has over 300 songs. Artists include Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong & Dean Martin. To name a few. Of course A Charlie Brown Christmas' soundtrack is included too. ;) You can listen to it album by album or put it on shuffle (which I prefer). This 15 hour (!) playlist has been keeping me company while working, online Christmas shopping, & car rides. These are the type of songs that I enjoy during the holiday season, and I hope you do too!

- Christina

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P.S. My giveaway is still open to win 4 turban headbands. They make great stocking stuffers! You can enter here.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

giveaway! // turban headbands (CLOSED)

 Is everyone freaking out on what to give people for Christmas? Ya, me too. Lemme try to make it a little bit more easy for you. 

I'm hosting a giveaway of 4 handmade headbands made by yours truly. These headbands are made from soft Sophia fabric (& elastic) and are perfect to give to your girlfriends for Christmas. I use mine for my dirty hair days or while working out. You will win all four headbands pictured above.

To enter:

1. Follow me on Bloglovin' or Google Friend Connect (you can see Google Friend Connect on the left).
2. Follow me on Instagram.
3. Additional entry, post any of the above photos on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag 
#cityloveeegiveaway (and be sure to tag me! @city_loveee/@city_loveee)

Comment below to let me know you've done at least step 1 & 2!

Giveaway ends December 15th. Good luck!

- Christina

Photos by Ashley Richards, my sister. Feel free to check out the rest of her work!
Modeling by Courtney Seymour, one of my dearest friends. She's a model/actress so please check out her work!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

vlog number three

So I wanted to jump into Vlogmas with the rest of YouTubers but it's HARD! For one thing, I don't have interesting things going on like they do. It seems that they are going to events all of the time & have fun things to do. Me on the other hand, I go to work in an office 8 hours of the day. I can imagine that isn't very riveting material. So I'll keep up with my vlogging but I have decided that there is no way I can do it on a daily basis. & I'm fine with that. :)

I hope you enjoy my 3rd vlog! I'm sure you've noticed that I enjoy making videos so thank you so much for watching.

- Christina

NOTE: I just recently installed Disqus into my site. If you do not see the hyperlink that says how many comments are on this post (the link you would typically click to leave a comment), please click on the title of the post. 
For some reason it is not saying ex: "3 comments"

Friday, November 28, 2014

EASY vegan pumpkin pie & whipped cream

In the blogging world, this post can be considered out of date because Thanksgiving was yesterday. But you guys have pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving, right? I feel that pumpkin pie is more of holiday pie not necessarily just a Thanksgiving dessert.

Anyway, my older sister Natalie (she runs a vintage Instagram shop, so feel free to check it out!) made this YUMMY, simple, vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year. Since I've become vegan, I have felt leery about making my own vegan pumpkin pie. In recipe photos, they seemed to not have a firm consistency. But that's not the case for this recipe. The simplicity of this recipe is insane. 5 INGREDIENTS! (It says 4 in the title of post, but you need to purchase or create your own pie crust.) Kathy posted this recipe in 2011 and according to the comments, people have been making this pie year after year. I think will will too. Great recipe!

I made delicious & also simple, vegan whipped cream. It has 1 ingredient and 2 optional ingredients. The recipe calls for coconut milk, but I used coconut cream (which I found at Trader Joe's). You whip it up with sugar and vanilla extract (to taste). Don't expect this whipped cream to taste exactly like typical whipped cream. It still has it's coconut taste, but it's fresh and yummy. (Like it's photoed in the post, it tastes SO GOOD with strawberries.)

This dish was the highlight of my Thanksgiving. What was yours? 

- Christina

NOTE: I just recently installed Disqus into my site. If you do not see the hyperlink that says how many comments are on this post (the link you would typically click to leave a comment), please click on the title of the post. 
For some reason it is not saying ex: "3 comments"

Friday, November 21, 2014

50 facts about me (video)

It wasn't my intention to post two videos in a row, but I hope you still watch! You've probably have noticed that I have fallen in love with YouTube. They have a lot of fun "tags" & I decided to start with the 50 facts about me tag. (& hey! It's my 50th blog post!) I think it's a fun way to learn more about me. Some of the facts are super random and some are just nice to know. Hope you enjoy! 

 - Christina

NOTE: I just recently installed Disqus into my site. If you do not see the hyperlink that says how many comments are on this post (the link I would typically click to leave a comment), please click on the title of the post. For some reason it is not saying ex: "3 comments"

Also, you're welcome to leave a comment on the video itself on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

vlog number two

I am so happy you guys enjoyed my first vlog. Vlogging is fun! I really appreciate your positive feedback. Here's another installment where you follow me around. ;) 

Thanks for watching. Hope you enjoy! 

- Christina

NOTE: I just recently installed Disqus into my site. If you do not see the hyperlink that says how many comments are on this post (the link I would typically click to leave a comment), please click on the title of the post. For some reason it is not saying ex: "3 comments"

Also, you're welcome to leave a comment on the video itself on YouTube.

Friday, November 14, 2014

mini lush haul

It seems that during the holidays everyone is drawn to LUSH. I first went to LUSH last year around this time. I figured I could find some great presents there. I got some bath bombs as gifts. I also received Olive Branch Shower Gel as a Christmas gift from my dear friend Teresa last year. I loved it. 

LUSH is a mostly vegan (they sometimes use honey as an ingredient), cruelty-free company.  (They note a "V" next all of their vegan items.) They are very public with their stance on animal testing. So much so, that they have "fighting animal testing" printed on their bags. Not only are they ethical with animals but they insure good working conditions for the people that create their products & grow their ingredients. You can read more detailed information about LUSH here

With all that being said, I am very inclined to shop there. So here is my mini haul! I wanted to find a vegan surf spray & I found LUSH's Sea Spray. I figured it was worth a shot & I LOVE IT. I have never used a surf spray before so I have nothing to compare it to, but I feel it does a good job. It's a great way to add texture, waves, & a GREAT smell to my hair. It smells so fresh, clean and natural. It works well when your hair is wet or dry. The other day I spray it in my hair wet and when it was dry. (It just gave my hair some extra body midday.) I'm happy with how my hair looks with this product. It really works for me because I shower in the morning and don't have time do my hair. This surf spray just gives my hair body that I wouldn't have if it just dried naturally. It also doesn't have a crunchy, hair gel feel which is great!

I also decided to try a face mask. The Cupcake Fresh Face Mask has the best reviews out of all of the face masks. I was also draw to it because it's described as helpful for spotty skin. I've been having major breakouts lately, so I thought it was worth a try. Right after I tried it, I noticed my face calmed down. My skin feels so soft. I really need to stop touching it. I think this "pot" (they call the containers pots) will last me about 3 masks. If you return 5 pots to LUSH you can get a free face mask. (Or you can use the pots to plant cacti ;). See here.) They're pretty affordable for $6.95!

I'm really happy with haul & will definitely buy these products again. Do you have any favorite LUSH products? 

- Christina

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NOTE: I just recently installed Disqus into my site. If you do not see the hyperlink that says how many comments are on this post (the link I would typically use to leave a comment), please click on the title of the post. For some reason it is not saying ex: "3 comments"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

current beauty wishlist

I'm sure by now, you're aware that I love e.l.f. (ACTUALLY (!) they posted my haul on their Instagram!!!) I am very happy and flattered by it. But yes, I love e.l.f., but I'm also obsessed with other vegan/vegan-friendly companies, OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics), Ion & LUSH. (I have a tiny LUSH haul that'll post later this week, so stay tuned.) 

I'm not very impulsive when it comes to any type of shopping. I like to sit and think about my future purchases. I like to sit and think because I'm cheap and any type of spending gives me shopper's guilt and I'm saving money for traveling (less than 4 months, people!) I did some online window shopping the other night and here's what I'm crushing on. 

OCC has a bunch of products since I last looked. They are primarily known for their lip tars but nowadays they have a bunch of other products. Claire Marshall (yes another reference to Hey Claire, haha.) mentioned OCC tinted moisturizer in one of her videos. Very intrigued! I've never worn a tinted moisturizer but I feel that they are very much up my alley. I feel it would be good for my nonmakeup days. 

They also have a lip liner that I believe would work well with a lot of my lipsticks. The color is NSFW - true red. Right now Sephora has that color's lip tar and nail polish on sale for $15 as a set. I'm also crushing that nail polish. 

My friend Andrea mentioned to me when I posted about lip liner last, that there are clear lip liners. Did you know this?! e.l.f. has a stick for $3. Worth trying out, right? 

I'm also looking for a vegan dry shampoo. I've been using this one for a year or two but now I want to use a dry shampoo from an aerosol can. I'm kind of tired of the loose dry shampoo. 

Have you heard of LUSH's massage bars? This one has the best reviews and I'm really tempted to try it out.

Have any of you tried any of these products? Any products you're looking to purchase? 

- Christina

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product images from herehere, here, here & here. collage by me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

vlog number one

I put so much pressure on myself for my first vlog to be "perfect." Which lead to procrastination. I will be completely honest and say this vlog is out of date, but I would imagine it's still entertaining. I watch other YouTubers old vlogs, do you?

I hope you enjoy this weekend vlog. This is the video version of this post. ;) 

- Christina

Monday, November 03, 2014

e.l.f. haul

I really appreciate all of the feedback that I got from my last makeup post. I am diving into wearing more makeup and your encouraging words and tips are so helpful and appreciated. If you haven't check out that post, there's A LOT of valuable information in the comments section, so please do.

ELF Cosmetics is a cruelty-free, vegan company (excluding a few brushes) and have hundreds of affordable items. To be completely honest most of my makeup are ELF products. I got no shame in that. I'm new to the makeup game. I've been wearing foundation, mascara and eyeliner for more than 10 years but lipstick? liquid eyeliner? eyeshadow? I'm starting to get the hang of it but I'm still learning.

I bought some of their Moisturizing Lipstick at Target and it worked so well on me! I ordered more. I've been enjoying Rosy-Go-Round and Red Carpet. I also got the Mineral Lipstick in Ripe Rose to have a more autumn looking lipstick. (I'm wearing it in this photo.) It looks a lot more pigmented in the online listing. I wish it was darker, but I do like it. 

For a few years I've been using mineral foundation but after watching so many YouTubers use liquid foundation, I wanted to try it out again. I don't know why I thought to choose the color "Buff" but it was way too dark. I went back to Target and bought "Porcelain." I think "Buff" might work in the summer. We'll see. 

The eye shadow palette was a freebie because I order a certain amount. I'm really excited to have all of these colors to play with! Now I just have to figure out how to mix and match. I also don't wear many colors so it will get me out of my comfort zone. 

So this is my ELF haul! What do you think? Do you have any favorite ELF products? 
I'd love to hear about it!

- Christina 

Monday, October 27, 2014

makeup techniques i want to master

me. with my minimal makeup.
Recently I've been spending hours watching beauty YouTubers (specifically Lilly Pebbles, Vivianna Does Makeup, and Hey Claire). I started following them because of their vlogs but their reviews and tutorials are very helpful as well. It's really inspired me to be more experimental with my makeup. I want to try more variety of products and brands (specifically cruelty-free and vegan, so it takes a little more research!). I'm typically very minimalist when it comes to applying makeup but now I want to learn more techniques. Here are some techniques that I want to learn: 

Cat Eyes - I have never owned liquid eyeliner. This process seems very daunting. Even people who are really good at it make mistakes. I can foresee this taking A LOT of practice.

Brows - My eyebrows are blonde. They were REALLY blonde when I was growing up. Now that I'm older, you can see that they exist. But not very much. The first half of them are there but they kind of disappear, if you know what I mean. I don't pluck them because there isn't much to pluck. I would need to shape them but that'll take some practice. Fortunately my bangs cover them for the most part. But I still want to learn!

Eyeshadow - My eyeshadow experience is one color all over my lids. I wonder what it's like to experiment more! This huge palette came in my Eyes Lip Face order. I want to use it!

Bronzer - How should it be applied? Which color is the best? I'm confused. 

BlushHow should it be applied? Which color is the best? Are they all pretty much the same? I'm confused.

Lip Liner - I have a good amount of lipsticks but no lipliner. Is there a catchall lipliner that can work for multiple colors? Which colors would be the best colors?

So I'm trying to figure things out! I'm excited about it. Beauty YouTubers are so inspiring. I have this huge haul of makeup that I received from ELF. Interested in a haul post?

Shout out to Charli Marie for her makeup storage post. I will definitely be using that as inspiration when I organize my makeup. 

Are there any techniques you want to learn or need to practice more? Any bloggers or YouTubers you suggest for tutorials? Let me know in the comments below!

- Christina

Friday, October 17, 2014

tips to stay active during your work day

I used play college volleyball, so I would have mandatory, intense exercise 6 days a week. I still exercise. I do cardio, lift weights, yoga, and play volleyball recreationally. But I am not pushing myself as hard as I was being pushed while being a collegiate athlete. Now I work at a desk job 40 hours a week and have noticed a difference since I stopped playing volleyball. I'm not as strong as I once was, but I'm working on it! 

To keep myself in check, I make sure I get up an move around during my 8 hour day. In the past, I noticed that I would sometimes sit at my desk for hours. With thoughts of spider veins and cellulite, I know I just need to keep my blood flowing. 

Here are some tips for staying active while working:

Set an alarm for the top of each hour. When the alarm goes off get up. Walk around. Do some squats. Stretch. If you don't have time to get up right at that moment, hit "snooze" and get up in 10 minutes.

After you use the restroom, do an exercise. Whether it be 20 squats or a minute wall-sit. (If no one is around, I'll just do these in the handicap stall ;))

If you have to login to your computer or email using a password, make your password a reminder to stay active. So you're constantly typing in something you want to implement. Example passwords: getmoving, standup, getuppp.

After you spent your day sitting, get some cardio in after work. Spend at least 30 mins exercising. Pack your gym clothes in the morning so you can go straight from work to the gym.

I typically pack my lunch so during my lunch break I like to get up and go for  a walk. Not only are you getting exercise, you are getting some vitamin D from the sun.

Also, use the stairs! 

I hope these tips can help you. Which one is your favorite? Do you have any tips?

- Christina

P.S. - Not striving for perfection is key. Some days are better than others. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

tom. petty.

This was a complete surprise to me. One of my best friends, Dee Dee, had an extra ticket to last night's Tom Petty concert. Tom Petty is one of my favorite artists & he's extra special to me because one of Keith and I's first dates was going to a Tom Petty concert. Oh, and I flat out just love his music. We had incredible seats and I could argue this was my favorite concert. Thank you so much for inviting me, Dee Dee! Oh, I also made a Tom Petty playlist on Spotify so you can check him out. If you have heard of him, I made a point to include not so popular songs so you can listen to songs you may have not heard.

- Christina

P.S. I named the playlist "Tom Petty For Lyfe," and spelling life "lyfe" to be silly. Come to find out the Urban Dictionary definition is pretty funny. 

photos by: dee dee & i