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Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Favorites

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

best beauty products of 2016

Since 2016 is coming to an end I've decided to do a round-up of my favorite new discoveries this year. I was really set in my beauty routine but I tried a lot of new things this past year. These products may not necessarily be new this year, but they're new to me and special enough for me to tell you about 'em.

  • NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Whipped Caviar- I tried so many liquid lipsticks this year but I think regular lipstick is still my go-to lip product, specifically NYX's matte lipstick in my favorite shade *ever*, Whipped Caviar...but man, what a gross name. 
  • Pacifica Power of Love Essential Eyeshadow Palette- I had been eyeing this palette for a long time but couldn't justify dropping $20 for it with the small pan sizes and some pretty mixed reviews I saw online. Thankfully I found it at TJ Maxx for only $10. The colors are beautiful, blend well, and feel so smooth. This is a great everyday palette. 
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper- Everyone and their mom had been raving about this eyeliner, so I was very happy when my sister gifted it to me. However, my first impression wasn't good. I was used to a shorter, thicker applicator so I had trouble with the long, thin applicator. I eventually got the hang of it and now I'm hooked. This liner lasts the longest and looks the best of any I've used.
  • Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion- I didn't see the point in using a shadow primer before I used this. I had never used one before because I thought it wouldn't make a real difference. I received a couple free samples from Ulta, tried it out, and loved it. I definitely notice and miss it on days when I forget to wear it. 
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade - I love this product to finish off my brows because it fills them in and just makes them look so clean and nice. Plus, it goes such a long way and when they say "waterproof", they mean it. 
  • Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette-  I haven't been using this very long but oh my goodness, I am in love. It makes me feel like a little ethereal pixie and it's all I can do not to go overboard and put it all over my face every day.  
  • Pacifica Dream Big Volumizing Mascara- This mascara has plant fibers in it to help lengthen lashes and the length of the wand can be adjusted. 
  • Urban Decay Full Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette- I wouldn't classify this as an everyday palette, but I do use it every day. My favorite shades are Gossip, Iced, and Mean. 

  • Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask- I wasn't a fan of the baby powder-y smell at first, but I got past that when I realized how great this stuff was otherwise. The formula is nice and thick and goes a long way. I mentioned a while ago that I actually use it as a cleansing conditioner.
  • R+ Co ANALOG Cleansing Foam Conditioner- This stuff. Is. Amazing. I mentioned this a while ago as well and no, I did not cool on it. Washing my hair less often to preserve my color was killin' me, so this product was a lifesaver. It just makes my hair feel so clean and light and it smells so good. 
  • Bed Head Rock-n-Roller 2-in-1 Bubble Curling Wand- This curling wand definitely resembles a sex toy, but it is the only curling wand I've ever liked. I use it to make my hair more wavy than curly and the waves hold very well throughout the day. Usually when I use a curling wand the curls or waves fall out almost instantly, but not with this wand. 
  • Sparks Color Care Protecting Spray- I started using this during the winter, so I haven't been outside much and can't yet say how much UV protection it provides, but it makes my hair so soft and silky and smells amazing. It has jojoba oil, sunflower oil, carrot seed oil, and more. Basically just a concoction of good-smellin', hair-softening goodness. 

Face & Body:
  • Nip + Fab Kale Fix Clay Mask- Though the bottle is a little smaller than I was expecting, I love this stuff. I don't feel much of a difference when rinsing it off, but once I pat my face dry it's like "oh, hello, baby-butt face!" 
  • Lush Guardian of the Forest Bath Bomb- It's no secret that Lush makes amazing products, especially bath bombs. This one is woodsy and wonderful. 
  • Tony Moly I'm Real Sheet Masks- I thought I was a cucumber peel-off mask kinda gal, but these are so much better. Not only do these masks not get stuck in my hairline, they leave my skin feeling soft and refreshed. 
  • Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner- I don't know why I ever used any other toner. This one doesn't dry my skin out, doesn't have a harsh smell, and leaves me feeling so soft and refreshed. 

What new discoveries did you love this year? 
Monday, December 26, 2016

Music Monday: Favorite Albums of 2016

Since I've been sharing Music Monday playlists for quite a while now, I figured it was only right that I share my favorite albums from 2016. I started drafting this post over the summer and it has been so difficult to narrow my choices down to only 10. It was incredibly difficult to try to pick the rankings of the albums, so this list is in no particular order. I also chose one favorite track from each album and that was definitely harder than I thought it would be. This whole post gave me so many headaches, but I really enjoyed working on it and I hope you give at least one of these albums a listen, especially if you haven't already.

favorite albums of 2016, lemonade by Beyoncé

Lemonade by Beyoncé
Favorite track: Freedom

favorite albums of 2016, Two Tongues Two by Two Tongues

Two Tongues Two by Two Tongues
Favorite track: Azalea
favorite albums of 2016, LP2 by American Football

LP2 by American Football
Favorite track: I've Been So Lost for So Long

favorite albums of 2016, White Hot Moon by Pity Sex

White Hot Moon by Pity Sex
Favorite track: Dandelion

favorite albums of 2016, I Don't Think It Is by Say Anything

I Don't Think It Is by Say Anything
Favorite track: #blessed

favorite albums of 2016, Second Love by Emmy the Great

Second Love by Emmy the Great
Favorite track: Social Halo

favorite albums of 2016, Shape Shift With Me by Against Me!

Shape Shift With Me by Against Me!
Favorite track: Suicide Bomber

favorite albums of 2016, Remember Us to Life by Regina Spektor

Remember Us to Life by Regina Spektor
Favorite track: The Light

favorite albums of 2016, Cody by Joyce Manor

Cody by Joyce Manor
Favorite track: Over Before it Began

favorite albums of 2016, "Awaken, My Love!" by Childish Gambino

"Awaken, My Love!" by Childish Gambino
Favorite Track: Redbone

I also wanted to include a couple EPs that deserve to be included on my list. I told you it was hard to narrow my choices to 10.

favorite albums of 2016, Crushed by Weakened Friends

Crushed by Weakened Friends
Favorite track: 95

favorite albums of 2016, Tender Warriors Club by Lady Lamb

Tender Warriors Club by Lady Lamb
Favorite track: Heaven Bent

As I always do, I've made a Spotify playlist for you but unfortunately Lemonade isn't on it since Queen Bey has chosen to not release the album on Spotify. Nevertheless, enjoy!

What are your favorite albums from 2016? Tell me in the comments!
Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: December Birchbox

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

December birchbox review

As you can probably assume, I received my December Birchbox a couple weeks ago, tried everything out, and I'm ready to share my thoughts with the world. That's how these reviews always go. Last month's box was pretty good so I had high hopes for this one.

december birchbox review

Birchbox also sent a couple bonus gifts this month-- gift tags and a little round button mirror.

december birchbox review
  1. amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, $24- I had never used a blowout spray before this one so I didn't know what to expect with this product. It claims to protect, nourish, smooth, and volumize hair. While I'm not sure how well it protects and nourishes, I did notice it made my hair feel softer. However, I didn't notice much volume goin' on. 
  2. English Laundry Eau de Parfum No. 7 for Her, $70-  For some reason I was afraid this was going to be a "grandma scent" but I actually really like it and I've been using it almost every day since my Birchbox arrived. It's floral, but not too floral because it also has notes of vanilla, sandalwood, and musk. I think it's a good winter scent.
  3. Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel, $48-  I absolutely love this. I've used it before, my mom discovered it a few years ago and would frequently let me use it, so I was happy to receive it this month. It leaves my skin feeling so fresh and smooth, but I really hate that price tag. 
  4. LOC One & Done Shadow Stick in color "On Point", $10-  I've really been feelin' shadow sticks lately (like NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil--give me all the colors!) so I couldn't wait to try this one out. This one boasts being waterproof and creaseless for up to 11 hours, but I have yet to use a shadow stick that didn't crease, so I was skeptical about that claim. I tested it twice-- once with eyeshadow primer and setting spray, and once without. Both times I wore it all day and there were no creases. For what it is, it's a great price and I would consider purchasing this. 
  5. Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel, $18-  I always thought that clear mascaras were one of those things that couldn't be messed up. Well, I was wrong. This product is supposed to hold brow hairs in place and give a bit of a glossy finish. I applied this over my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and I noticed no difference, it was like I hadn't applied it at all, other than the fact that is smeared my clean lines. I waited for it to dry then applied it again and got the same results. I don't normally use clear mascaras anymore but when I do I think I'll stick with elf Cosmetics' Clear Brow & Lash Mascara (which is only $2).
december birchbox review

Have you tried any of these products? Interested in signing up for Birchbox? 
Monday, December 12, 2016

Music Monday #32

Some people (certainly not me) can't stand listening to non-stop Christmas music, so here's a break from all the Christmas playlists. I present you with a completely normal, non-Christmas-y playlist.

Be sure to come back on the 26th (or sooner, that's cool, too!) to see my favorite albums of 2016! I've been working on the list for a while and I'm excited to share it with you.

View all past playlists here or follow me on Spotify.
Saturday, December 10, 2016

Gifts for Your Furchildren

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

I know I'm not the only person who buys Christmas (and birthday!) presents for my pets. My pets such a huge part of my life, they're family, so I love to include them on holidays. My dog who was with us for almost 17 years, Bert, absolutely loved Christmas. He would stick his head in gift bags and pull out the tissue paper, he would pull wrapping paper off of presents, and he would reluctantly cooperate when I would put a Santa hat on him. Sadly, Bert passed away a few years ago but I try to keep his memory alive by making Christmas special for my cat, Kai, and dog, Theo. Do Kai and Theo really get what's going on? Eh, maybe not, but it's still fun!

Princess Cat Bed, $98.10+ - The crown attached to this made to order cat bed adds a tiny bit of modest flair that your cat undoubtedly craves.

Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Glow Bone, $13.95- I think KONG is widely considered the most indestructible kind of dog toy, but Theo managed to destroy those toys within days and it was very frustrating, not to mention dangerous. I found the Orbee Tuff bones at an L.L. Bean outlet and decided to give them a try. Theo has been chewing on these bones for a year now and they are still almost like new. They say this bone is for "moderate chewers" but from my experience with it, I think that's being a bit modest.

Cat Scratch Turntable, $39.95- Do I even need to say anything about this? It's hilarious.

 L.L. Bean dog bed, prices vary- While these beds can be a bit pricey, they're worth it. Theo has the couch bed and absolutely loves it, plus L.L. Bean has the best guarantee out there. I'm confident that this bed will last for his whole life.

Have Your People Call My People Tag, $14.50+ - This ID tag is so cute and is a nice break from all the plain, boring tags out there. They also sell one that reads "call my mom before she freaks out"...I think that one would be good for my pets.

Pictured is the 2PET Slowly Bowly

Slow Feeder Bowl, prices vary- Your pet may not actually enjoy this. It may frustrate them but it's for their well-being. These bowls are available for cats and dogs and the designs inside the bowl make your pet have to slow down instead of gobbling up their food in under 60 seconds and can help prevent bloating. Theo used to scarf down his food but this spiral bowl has forced him to slow his roll quite a bit.

Do you give gifts to your pets for holidays/birthdays? Tell me in the comments!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

First Snow

boots by L.L. Bean - ribbon laces by Dr. Martens - socks by L.L. Bean
A couple days ago it snowed the first non-flurry snow here! Is it the "first snow?" if it was snowing here back in the spring? Whatever, I'm counting this as the first snow of the 2016-2017 winter season. I was actually dreading the first snow, but it's hard to hate something so pretty. Plus, Theo absolutely loves the snow, he goes berserk, and it's hilarious. I can hardly get any shoveling done when he's around because he tries to eat all the snow I scoop up.

I figured that a snow day was a good time to play around with my new camera a bit, so I did just that and threw together a quick video to give you a glimpse of this snowy situation. I highly recommend watching in HD, of course.

My 'ol trusty-dusty Canon Rebel camera doesn't have video capabilities, so now that I have one that does I'm hoping to incorporate videos into this blog somewhat often. Be sure to subscribe to my channel!

What's your favorite season? Let me know in the comments!
Monday, December 5, 2016

Music Monday: Modern Christmas Classics

When Spencer and I started dating, it was around Christmastime-- and my definition of "Christmastime" is late September to January 5th-- anyway, he mentioned that he didn't like classic Christmas songs. That seemed so strange to me, it still does, but I try to cool it with the Tony Bennett and Bing Crosby when he's around. If you're looking to get into the Christmas spirit, today is your lucky day.

For this Music Monday, I have made an hour-long playlist of newer Christmas music in case you or someone in your life doesn't care for the classics. I hope you enjoy it!

Do you like the classics or newer songs? Both? 
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Gifts for the Outdoorsy Types

We all have a little Leslie Knope in us, don't we? Whether it's the sugar-crazy Leslie, incredibly organized Leslie, or the park-loving Leslie. I personally identify with the park-loving Leslie, so for this gift guide I'm focusing on gifts for those who adore the outdoors. Whether the outdoorsy person you're shopping for is more of an trail adventurer or backyard explorer, hopefully this list will help you out a little bit.

Here's 10 things for your outdoor-lover: 

1. The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning: A Polar Journey, $27.19- This book is composed of journal entries, recipes, photos, and more from the first civilian environmental cleanup expedition in Antarctica. Sounds pretty fascinating to me!

2. Rivers of America Map Poster Print, $45- This would be a great addition to someone's maybe the wall in my living room.

3L.L. Bean Katahdin Pom Hat, $29.95- You didn't expect me to compile a list like this and exclude L.L. Bean, did you? I'm not one for wearing big company logos, but I'd make an exception for this hat inspired by L.L. Bean's old logo, featuring Mount Katahdin.

4. Annual National Park or State Park passes, price varies- I got an annual pass to Acadia National park for only $50 then his parents gave him a Maine state park pass for his birthday, so we're pretty set with parks. For only $80, you can get a pass that admits you to over 2,000 federal recreation sites around the country. That's insane!

5. VSSL First Aid Kit$66.50- I love this first aid kit because, unlike so many others, it isn't in a huge bulky box and still comes with a great amount of supplies. Plus a flashlight!

6BioLite NanoGrid, $79- For those who don't want to be completely off the grid. This can charge 3 smart phones or provide light for 72 hours.

7. Sir/Madam National Parks Canvas Picnic Tote & Blanket, $76- This cute and informational tote folds out to act as a picnic blanket, then folds back up to carry your stuff home.

8Natural Forest Floor Wall Clock, $39.50- Yet another (really cool looking) way to bring the outside in.

9Sun Printing Kit, $28- For the artsy-outdoorsy types! Use this paper, the sun, and water to create beautiful works of art.

Leave It Better tank, Harrington Sure Big Sur tee

10. Parks Project tees, prices vary- I love me some Parks Project tees. I have this one and it is so comfortable and great quality. They have so many great designs for so many parks. Plus, the Parks Project does a lot to help our parks.

Which item is your favorite? Which Leslie are you? Tell me in the comments!
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

7 Ways to Do Black Friday

Thankfully, more and more retailers are starting to make big statements about not opening for early shopping on Thanksgiving night. Unfortunately many retailers aren't there yet and many people have to go to work after they eat Thanksgiving dinner. Black Friday still means long lines, early openings, and people generally acting kinda crazy and rude. I mean, how do we go from a day of gratitude to a day of "I'll punch someone to get a slightly discounted toy for my kid" so quickly?! Instead of feeding into that, I like to stay home and decorate for Christmas, though I already did that this year, and spend time with my loved ones.

A photo posted by POPPYSEEDER (@pppysdr) on

Here's some things to do this Friday instead:
  1. Instead of Black Friday shopping, take part in Buy Nothing Day. How do you participate? Simple: buy nothing on Black Friday. 
  2. If you do shop, shop at locally owned stores. It's a great and easy way to give back to your neighbors and your community. Etsy even has an option to find local events or locally-based stores. Which brings me to...
  3. Support a small online shop, like ones on Etsy, Society6, Redbubble, Storenvy, etc. There are so many amazing creators on those sites with great products to choose from.
  4. Donate to charity, even if it's just a couple dollars. This year, with certain upcoming events, I'm making it a point to donate to environmental, pro-immigrant, LGBTQ, and women's health organizations. 
  5. Donate to a GoFundMe or similar. I see GoFundMe pages floating around Twitter and Facebook all the time, usually for someone's crushing medical expenses or surgery for a pet. Even if you don't know the person who needs help, it would mean so much to them to receive a small donation from you. 
  6. Support your favorite creator. Many YouTubers, bloggers, etc. have Patreon accounts or some other way to just give them a little tip, whether it be one-time or recurring. You could also buy an album from a band you love, whether they're on iTunes or Bandcamp. If you really love what a certain person is making and you have the means to support them, consider throwing a dollar or two their way. If you can't donate, simply "like" their Facebook page or share their content. 
  7. Take some time to think. Sure, I love getting presents and I love covering my house in sparkly decorations but when it comes down to it, the holiday season needs to be about the warm fuzzy feelings above everything else. Humans produce insane amounts of garbage, spend ridiculous amounts of money, and generally go a little bonkers this time of year. Take some time for yourself to relax, reflect on what Christmas means to you or what you would like it to mean, and figure out ways to do Christmas better. 
How do you spend Black Friday? 
Monday, November 14, 2016

Music Monday #30

Here's some jams I've been loving this past week. What have you been loving lately? Send me recommendations! 
Don't forget, you can follow me on Spotify and see all past Music Monday playlists here.
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Review: November Birchbox

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

First and foremost, can we appreciate this beautifully designed box? Yes? Okay, let's move on. I was very excited to receive this month's Birchbox, especially after the September and October boxes were a bit underwhelming. I spoiled the surprise and peeked at my items online before they arrived and sighed in relief because, finally, I was confident that I would love the products I was being sent. Scroll on to find out if I was right!

  1. Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain, $25- Each month Birchbox allows you to choose from 3 products, and I chose this product over an eyebrow pencil and a blush/highlighter duo. It adapts and changes colors to compliment your skin tone, which is pretty cool. The product itself was a peachy color, but when I put it on it turned more of a light rosy-bubblegum pink. While it's a cool idea, looks pretty, and smells great, I don't think this is a product I would purchase. The color was very sheer and I just wasn't as pleased with it as I thought I would be. I sort of regret not choosing the blush/highlighter duo. But if you like sheer, multi-purpose cosmetics, go for it!
  2. Marcelle New-Age LumiPOWER 3-in-1 Moisturizer, $26-  I used this moisturizer day and night till it was gone and didn't notice any differences in my skin. From my experience with it, it's not any better than a moisturizer you could find at the drugstore. It's not bad, just not special, certainly not special enough for me to drop $26 for a full size bottle. 
  3. R+Co ANALOG Cleansing Foam Conditioner, $29- I've been conditioner-only washing (or co-washing) for a while to help preserve my color. I've been using my Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask almost everyday to co-wash, even though it isn't technically a cleansing conditioner, and it's been getting the job done well but usually I have to shampoo my hair after 2 days. I used this product on day 4? 5? Who knows. It had been quite a while since my last shampoo. I got in the shower as a super-greaseball, and I was expecting my hair to still be really greasy when I got out.I didn't put any other products in my hair, just this one. Holy wow, my hair felt like it was freshly shampooed. So light, no grease, and a subtle, pleasant scent. This product does cost a bit more than I like to spend on a single hair product, but it might be worth it, especially if I'm going to keep my colorful hair around for a while. I love this stuff. 
  4. JUARA Candlenut Body Creme, $35- This stuff smells so good, clean and not overpowering, and is very moisturizing. However, the sample was so small that I can't say much else.
  5. Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, $24- I was so excited to receive this! I feel like Benefit is synonymous with good lookin' brows. I've also used their Goof Proof Brow Pencil and loved it (but unfortunately it was also a free sample sent to me and the color was way too dark for me--I looked ridiculous). I was afraid the color Birchbox sent me would also be too dark, even though it is the lightest color available. My brows are naturally platinum blonde, almost white, so when I don't fill them in they're basically invisible. I first used product by itself on a no-makeup day and it wasn't too dark at all, it still looked natural. Then I tried it out on top of my eyebrow pencil to further define my brows and keep the hairs in place. I would definitely buy this. 

Have you ever used these products? Have any similar products to recommend? Want to sign up for Birchbox? 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Stocking Stuffers for the Sass Queen

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

Halloween has come and gone so now it is truly the most wonderful time of the year, Christmastime! One of my many favorite things about Christmas is the stocking tradition. Growing up mine always included lots of chocolate, an assortment of nuts (which I always gave to my sister), a toothbrush, an orange, and then lots of little items that varied a bit as I got older. As an adult, I struggled the first time I tried to gather some great stocking stuffers for friends. I couldn't give my friends nuts and a toothbrush, I don't think they would be charmed by that.

If you're like me and go a little crazy with stocking stuffers, it can really add up! So I've made a list of items that are $15 or less that would make great stocking stuffers for the "sass queen." I definitely still recommend including candy, hot chocolate mix, and tea bags! You can't go wrong with any of those.

1. Girl Power socks, $9.98 OR Duchess of Sassytown socks, $9.99, in case your sass queen isn't down with cursing.

2. Queen of the Shower Cap, $8.50.

3. False lashes. My favorites happen to be Ardell's Curvy lashes, $3.99. Don't forget the lash glue, $5.99.

4. e.l.f Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow, $3.

5. NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick set of 3, $15

6. Tattly temporary knuckle tattoos, $5

7. Unicorn tissues & wipes duo, $5.50

8. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater, $7

9. Ulta Salon Formula nail polish in Aubergine Queen, $1.97

10. Tony Moly I'm Real sheet mask, $3.75

What do you usually put in stockings? What's the best thing you've ever received in a stocking?