Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Closet Essential: The LBD

Hey guys,
This is the first of my "Closet Essential" posts. I want to do these to discuss wardrobe basics. I figured the perfect way to start the series was with my personal favorite- The Little Black Dress.

I am sure everyone has heard the phrase " Little Black Dress", but what exactly is a LBD? Some folks think that it is simply a back dress that you own. Any black dress. Any style. To me, a LBD is so much more.

Personally, I think that a LBD is one of the most key pieces in a girls closet. It should fit several requirements: It should fit you like a glove. This dress should not be too tight or too loose anywhere, it should fit you perfectly, and flatter your figure. Secondly, this dress should be able to transform. Of course, the dress should be beautiful on its own. You should be able to wear it alone to a classy event. But this dress should be able to be dressed up or down. While it should look great on it's own, you should be able to take it to over the top with a few key accessories and shoes. You should also be able to wear this dress casually. With the correct shoes and layers, this dress can be an everyday outfit. 

So, how do you find the perfect LBD? First of all, I don't reccomend anything seasonal. I wouldn't choose a dress that was styled only for summer or spring, etc. Choose something that is appropriate all year round. I also don't reccomend anything with a design( flowers, polka dots, etc). I think that the dress should be a classy black one. This is just my opinion, though :) Pick a good material. While a cotton LBD may be good for those casual times, it's hard to make a cotton dress look classy. My personal LBD is satin. Lastly, if you find a good one that fits perfectly, but may be a little pricey, splurge. It is always worth it to splurge on basics, because you will wear them so often. Your LBD will come to your fashion rescue more than you think!
Good luck ladies! I hope you find "the one". What does YOUR LBD look like?
X's and O's,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Marriage Trend

Hey Sugar Pies,
So there's a topic that's been on my mind alot lately. Marriage. Why? I am begining to see a new trend when it comes to marriage. I haven't found any statistics that prove this or anything, this is just what I have noticed!

Think of your grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa likely didn't wait until they were in their late 20's until they were married. Most people your grandparent's age got married very young, and started families young as well. They weren't in 5 year relationships before they decided to get married. Okay, there may have been a few exceptions, but as far as my grandparents and most people I have spoken withs grandparents, they were together for less than a year ( in my paternal grandparent's case, less than 3 months) before tying the knot. Our grandparent's generation didn't have much of a divorce rate, either. Maybe not all of them had happy marriages, but they seemed to try settling issues, or at least hold on. I don't necessarily think that it is good to hold on for the sake of not getting divorced, but this generation didn't call it quits easily!

Now, on to your parents. Our parent's generation had a HUGE divorce rate. I hardly know anyone whose parents stayed married. Most people my parent's age have been married and divorced- sometimes multiple times! So many people my age are children of divorce. Our parents split, we were bounced around between houses, etc. Some parents left entirely. As far as when they got married, I think there was a good mix of those who waited until they were a little older and those who married young. The majority of people I know, however, waited until they were a little older and were in longer term relationships.

So here's what has caught my attention lately. People my age( I am 20, been out of high school 2 years). SO many people around my age, or who I graduated high school with are getting married, engaged, starting families, etc. I am friends with a lot of the people I graduated with on my social network sites, and it seems like everytime I log in, a new person has gotten engaged, married, or pregnant. Last week alone, 4 girls from my graduating class were married. Several got engaged. I have been noticing this for awhile. It seems to me that people are getting engaged or married younger and younger! I personally think that the trend is cool. I really believe that my generation does take marriage very seriously. Many of us were children of divorce, and we know how hard it was for both our parents and us. The people I know who have gotten married couldn't be happier, and I think it's awesome. I am personally in a serious relationship where marriage is in the works( in the not TOO distant future;)), and I hope everyone my age who is getting engaged, married, etc, have very happy marriges. Of course, we cannot tell what the divorce rate of people our age will be, but I hope it is nowhere near where our parent's divorce rate was!

So all of this being said, what do you think? Are the trends different where you live? Do you think the trend is positive? Comment below!
X's and O's,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Learn Fast!

Hey everyone,

So, I am officially enrolled in German class! I am very excited to be leaning the language. Except there's one teeny little thing...... I am enrolled in German for Beginners 3 instead of 1. Yep, 2 classes ahead of the start. Uhm... wow. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I do not know absolutely any German. I know quite a bit of vocabulary, and I learn a new rule every day. But the 3rd class is feeling a little advanced. My teacher gave me the German 1 book with CD. I have 5 days to review the material in that book before my first class next Wednesday. On Wednesday, I will sit in the German 3 class and see if it is in fact too fast paced for me. If it is, I won't get the chance to go to language school, I will just have to buy the books and study myself. Well, my boyfriend and his family will help teach me of course. I have a few mixed feelings. On one hand, I feel like this is mission impossible! But on the other, I feel like I can force myself to learn quickly. I have never been confident in the classroom, or my ability to learn. So maybe all it takes is some faith in myself? I hope so! I will update again in a little while, I have a few things to do! I promise to update again today, though!
Auf Wiedersehn( hehe),

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Clinique's Superbalanced Makeup

Hey Cutie Pies,
So today, I am going to do  a review on Clinique's Superbalanced Makeup. This is a foundation that I use daily, and I am completely in love with it!
I cannot say enough good about this makeup. It gets its name because it absorbs excess oil where there is, and moisturizes dry patches on your skin. Superbalance! I like to call it "Smart Makeup". The formula is creamy, and blends like a dream. It is good for dry, oily, normal, and combination skin! I think the colors are beautiful as well. The coverage is light, and does not feel heavy whatsoever. I have combination skin, and I am really impressed. It NEVER shows patching(sighhhh of relief!), and I never look greasy. It is foundation perfection!

The only downsides are that it is a light coverage, and depending on your budget, pricey. Light coverage is perfect for me, but if you need a heavier coverage, this may be too light for you. A bottle costs $21.50. This bottle usually lasts me about 3 months or so, and I feel like it is worth the price. I have heard beauty gurus say foundations are "inexpensive" at this rate. While I personally don't find it to be too expensive, everyone's budget is different. I defintely remember when I was younger and didn't have much money- $12.00 drugstore foundation seemed like a lot to me. However, if this is within your budget, I defintely reccomend giving it a try! I adore it, and use it every day:)
Now to do the fun stuff, like iron my boyfriends laundry and unload the dishwasher:p
X's and O's,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yummy and Beautiful

Hey gorgeous ones!

I don't know about you, but I absolutely LOVE oatmeal. I eat it so often. I think it is delicious, and it is a great comfort food. It is also a healthy snack for the body. But did you know the BEAUTY benefits of oatmeal? That's right. Oatmeal is one of the best things for your skin. Here's why:
1. Oatmeal soothes the skin. It relieves dryness and itchiness. You hear of people with skin conditions taking oatmeal baths. Oatmeal does wonders for irritations.

2. The Oats exfoliate your skin, but are not too rough. Ahhhhh:)

3.It absorbs dirt, oil, etc. Yes. Oatmeal is a wonderful skin cleanser.

4. It has tons of antioxidants, and is 100% natural. This is awesome if you have sensitive skin, or don't want to put a ton of chemicals on your face.

To cleanse your face with oatmeal, grab a handful of oats( just the oats, don't actually cook the oatmeal!), and saturate with warm water. When the oats are good and soaked, rub them all over your face, like you would normally cleanse your skin. Rinse with warm water, and pat dry. Your skin should feel soft and look radiant. :)

I really hope you guys try this! It is such an affordable, natural way to maintain beautiful skin!
X's and O's,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adjustments, Adjustments.

Hey everyone:)
I am sorry I did not update all weekend, Saturday was busy, and Sunday was lazy. I have been here in Germany for nearly a week now, and there have been many many things to get used to! I thought i'd share.

Obviously, one of the biggest things has been the whole learning a new language thing.I know quite a bit, and have learned some this week, but I realize I still have much to learn. German is a difficult language, and I am intimidated by it. Somedays I feel confident that I will learn enough to get a job in 3 months, other times, I feel like it is near impossible. It is frustrating to watch tv, because I cannot understand it. It is also difficult to sit with the family. Don't get me wrong, I love them. But it is hard to have a conversation with people when you only understand a few words out of every sentence. I am praying that I start picking up more, and that I get more comfortable speaking it. Honestly, I feel like a huge dork whenever I say something in german :)

Another big adjustment is food and eating times. In the states, we generally eat 3 meals a day, dinner being the meal that is usually cooked and the whole family is present. Here, you eat a light breakfast, sometimes a second breakfast( or light snack), and lunch. Lunch here is the main event. My boyfriends mother cooks a lovely meal around noon, and that is our big meal of the day. She cooks even when the whole fmaily is not present. Whomever is home eats when it's hot, and the rest is left on the table for the others to heat up whenever they arrive home from school or work. They also leave alot of things at room temperature. For example, yesterday's lunch is sitting on the stove...not in the refridgerator. This seemed odd to me at first, but it isn't bad, and I haven't gotten sick or anything from it. They eat ALOT of bread here as well. We are talking a good 3 times daily. I am trying to get into a healthy pattern, because my body is a little overwhelemed by all of the bread. Every beverage here is carbonated, too. All of the water as well. I mean, you can get 'stilles wasser' (uncarbonated water), but when you ask for it, people look at you like you are nuts. That's fine by me, I hate carbonation :p

Other things I miss are my dog, my family, mexican food, and the familiarity of my old home. But, I am also loving my new home and trying to adapt. Speaking of my new home...

My boyfriend and I bought living room furniture last week. It was so exciting! We bought a black leather couch, a matching leather chair, and a glass coffee table. We are thinking maybe white walls? We want to go with a  modern theme. Any suggestions for walls and carpet?
X's and O's,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Counting My Blessings

Hello Beautiful Ones,
Today, I suddenly felt inspired to write this post. It probably sounds a little sappy, and Thanksgiving may be over, but I am feeling overwhelemed by how blessed I am. I have so much to be thankful for, and I feel that I don't express it enough sometimes. So, I thought what better place to do so than here?

I am so beyond thankful for my new life. As many of you know(or should), I just moved to Germany from the United States. While some aspects of moving here have been a little intimidating( learning a new language anyone?), I can never express how grateful I am to have a fresh start. I am in a place where I have no history. Nobody can hold my past mistakes against me. I have a chance to completely be myself without anyone ruining it, because not many know me here. I have needed a fresh start for a long time in my life. What a gift.

I am thankful for my friends and family. I couldn't have asked for a better family, or set of friends. They are all such wonderful people. They have pulled me through alot, and probably five me more credit than I deserve. I am surrouded by such loving people.

I am thankful for my health. I have wasted too many years loathing my body wishing for it to be better, etc. But I have often forgotten to be thankful that I am a healthy person. I have taken my body for granted, and been blind to all of the amazing things it can do. All of the times I have been down about my body, I have forgotten that it could be much worse. So many others in this world suffer from deadly illnesses, deformations, accidents, and many health issues. I realize that I have it pretty good, and I will never forget that again.

I am thankful for all that I have. Such a blessing to have clean water, enough food, and a warm roof over my head. We all wish for finer things, but so many others in the world are hungry, drinking contaminated water, etc. I know how lucky I am to be in the position I am today.

This sounds weird, but I am thankful for all of my mistakes and unfortunate events in my life. Especially last year, I went through alot of things that were difficult to deal with. I have made so many mistakes in the past. But all of these trying times and mistakes helped get me to the wonderful place I am in today. They made me realize how strong of a person I am. I wouldn't take any of it back.

I am SO blessed that I met the love of my life. Many people search for a very long time, or forever to find their soulmate. The One. I am so beyond lucky to have found the love of my life. Andre has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Everyday, I am reminded how lucky I am to have such a beautiful person by my side. He truly sees my heart, and understands me. He makes me laugh, he makes me think. He showed me what is was to really trust someone and let them in. He deals with me even when I am being a total pain. He has showed me what it means to love someone so much that it hurts. He has a big heart, and an award-winning smile. Andre came into my life at a very low point in my life. He changed everything for the better. I am thankful that we are finally living our fairytale together, and I am excited for the years to come. Thanks for eveything, Andre. I love you forever<3

I know, I know. Sappy, right? But I had to get it out. Instead of focusing on the negatives, we should always remember all of the things we have, and be thankful. What are YOU thankful for?
X's and O's,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.

Hello Hello! :)
First off, I want to apologize for not updating in a few days. My flights to Germany were all delayed, and I am horribly jet lagged. All things aside, I am finally here, and my adventure begins!:)

There's a topic that has been brought to my attention alot recently, and I've been feeling it alot as well. So I wanted to ask you guys: are you 100% happy with your looks?
If you answered yes... i'm going to go out on a limb and say that's probably not 100% true. Sure, many of you are probably happy with your appearance, but we all have things about ourselves that we consider to be flaws. For example, I have very short legs. I have always wished for them to be longer and leaner. I am also self concious because I am very busty, and I think that it makes me look top heavy in photos. I have never spoken to a person who loves every single inch of themselves. We all have aspects of ourselves that we wish we could change, or that they would disappear. I have been kind of depressed about my body lately, wishing I could be thinner, more attractive, etc.

Then, reality hit me. This is the body that god gave me. This is the body I am going to have for the rest of my life, and if I don't begin to love and accept it, my life is going to be miserable. I started to put things into perspective. I wish to be thinner, but the reality is, I am at a healthy weight, and I wear medium sized clothing. I have a gorgeous boyfriend who thinks the same of me. So why do I end up feeling so insecure about my looks?

We all know that models and actresses are airbrushed a thousand times over before their photos grace the pages of magazines. Actresses spend hours in makeup before appearing on camera. They all look flawless. Their skin is perfect, their hair is glossy, their smiles are perfectly white, they don't have a hint of cellulite or fat, their nails are perfectly manicured, their outfits perfect. But even though we know that they undergo hours of makeup and airbrushing, we tend to forget and compare ourselves to them anyways. We even see real life people who we perceive to be more attractive then ourselves, and endlessly compare ourselves. Comparing yourself is one of the most destructive things you can do to yourself. When you do, you are only making yourself feel down, and ruining your own confidence. You are also forgetting that the person you think is so flawless has things about him or herself that they feel insecure about.

Like I mentioned before, you better make peace with yourself, because there is only one of you, and you're stuck in your body forever. Having confidence and loving yourself is beautiful. There is also beauty in personality. Maybe your tummy isn't so flat, but you are the most forgiving person in the world. Maybe your skin isn't perfect, but you enjoy helping others. Just because you will never be a supermodel does not mean you aren't beautiful. The most beautiful girl in the world who is also selfish and mean, has an ugly heart.

So instead of comapring ourselves to others and moping around about our looks, start finding things about yourself that you love and focus on those things. Surround yourself with people who love you for you, and remember that confidence is the most beautiful thing in the world. Underneath a beautiful person, is a beautiful heart. What makes you feel beautiful?
X's and O's,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Flying Tips

Hello beauties:)
I don't know about you, but I fly ALOT. Flying is my favorite mode of transportation. But flying can take a toll on your skin, body, and patience. I am actually traveling by air tomorrow( long international flights), so I thought that this would be a perfect time to share some tips for a happy and more beautiful travel experience:)
1. 2 days before your scheduled flight, call or check the status of your flight online. Doing this will give you time to prepare if there are any changes or cancellations.
2. Make H2O your bff. At least 24 hours before you fly, be sure to lay off of the high sodium and greasy foods, and slam water. Your body naturally swells at a plane's cruising altitude. Your high sodium dinner the evening before will not help this situation. Water flushes out toxins in your body, and can reduce swelling. But water isn't just good to prevent bloating while traveling. Water is essential to your skin hydration. Planes recycle air, and this can be very drying to the skin. Water is your body's best friend everyday, but especially when traveling!

3. Clothes. So this is a topic that I know is discussed alot, but I have to add to it. What you wear to the airport. Being passionate about fashion, I'm not too fond of the whole sweatspajamasandmessyhair at the airport thing. Yes, you want to be comfortable. You will be doing alot of sitting. But this is not a pajama party. Yet some people go too far with fashion. You don't need excessive jewelry. Or six inch heels. You should keep in mind that you will be going through security, and that you could have to run to your flight to make final boarding call. I personally reccomend wearing jeans that are comfortable, but figure flattering. I like to layer my tops, because planes can get cold. As for shoes, make sure they are comfy...and match your outfit ;)

4. WATER! WATER! WATER! So, I know I brought up H2O already, but it cannot be stressed enough. While on the plane, drink as much as possible! Trust me. Also, I like to use a hydrating facial spray.

I could go on and on about the millions of tips I have for traveling, but it would take all day! Remember to grab any important documents you may need, such as visas, passports, IDs, etc. Double check your bags the day before, and just before you leave for the airport to make sure you have eveything you need! Do you have any other tips? Fave destinations? Let me know! Have a safe trip to wherever you need to go.
X's and O's,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Worthy Cause

Hey pretties!
So, in my last blog entry, I listed my New Year's resolutions. One of them was to become involved in a cause.  Have you seen this logo before? It is for the "Delete Digital Drama" campagin. The goal of the campaign is to put an end to cyberbullying. You're probably aware that cyberbullying has been a widespread problem for far too long. Think about it. How many negative or hurtful comments do you see on social media platforms on a daily basis? I know I see a lot! I also know there is so much more that we DON'T see. Things that happen in private messages, etc. Why? Why hurt others? People you probably don't even know?  It's easy to get courage over the internet. You aren't face to face with these people/ You can say whatever you want. But words hurt, personally or in the cyber world. So many people are dealing with immense amouts of bullying. It can affect someone's school or work performance, keep people from their everyday activities, and in some cases, push people over the egde to suicde or hate crimes.
  So, ABC Family and Seventeen.com partnered up to start this campaign to help eliminate cyber bullying. I recently learned about this campaign, and I feel so passionate about it. Together, we can stomp out bullying via the internet. Go to seventeen.com/delete to learn more information about the campaign and to find help if you are suffering. Let's make the internet a happy place. :)
What do you think about this campaign? Have you been cyber bullied? How did you deal? Let me know.
  Remember, love will ultimately set you free.
X's and O's,

New Year's Resolutions!

Although we are halfway through January, I thought I would share with you some of my New Year's resolutions. I love New Year's. It's a chance for a clean slate, for new beginings. I am blessed to have a COMPLETELY clean slate this year, since I moved out of the country. I don't know about you guys, but 2011 wasn't exactly my golden year. I have high hopes for 2012 though! My resolutions are:

1. Try my absolute hardest to not judge others. Everyone has a story, and nobody is better than anyone else.

2. Learn a totally new skill. Who knows? Maybe I am a champion skiier or something ;)

3. Try more daring makeup looks. And share with you of course! :)

4.  Take skincare more seriously. I didn't really have a solid skincare routine until this past summer. Now I have learned so much, and I need to maintain my skin!

5. Try out some new recipies. I love cooking and baking, but I rarely step outside of the box, because I am unsure if it will taste good. I need to have more confidence in the kitchen and go a little crazy sometimes! :)

6. Use forgiveness, and let things go.

7.  Become involved in a cause.

8. Be more creative with fashion! And again, share !

9. Stop comparing myself to others. Nobody is perfect, and nobody else can be me!

10. Count my blessings and realize how lucky I am for all of the things that I have, and remember that love will ultimately set you free

11. Have a totally crazy/ epic night with Andre( The boyfriend)

What are your New Year's resolutions? Any you think you might have a hard time with? Let me know!:)

Side note.... I have been tracking, and realize that I get quite a bit of viewers, but no comments! quit being so shy people!!!! :) I don't bite. ;)

X's and O's,

Manda Likes...

Hello there pretty people!:)
    This is the first of the Manda Likes entries. I hope to do these about twice a month( at least once) to let you know what my current product obsessions are. Here are a few things I just cannot survive the day without:

1. 12 Benefits Rapid Blowout Spray. I seriously use this stuff everyday. There are so many benefits( hence the title:p) and my hair looks so healthy. It gives your hair a really beautiful, natural shine.

2. Clean and Clear Daily Pore Cleanser. This cleanser is amazing. It makes my skin feel squeaky clean, but it isn't drying. It has little micro scrubbers for gentle exfoliation, but don't fret. The exfoliators are so small, it won't strip your skin. :)

3. EOS Lipbalm. I was originally drawn to this because I am a sucker for cute packaging. But once I started using it, I was hooked. It makes my lips feel baby soft, and hydrates for hours. It is all natural ingridients, and it smells so good :P

4. Pond's Dry Skin Cream. I am completely obsessed. It is extremely hydrating, but not too greasy. I use it morning and night, and my skin never shows dry patching! Plus, I got a big tub for just under $5. Affordable and effective?  Win! :D

5. Palmer's Deep Conditioning protein pack.  I use this once( sometimes twice!) weekly to deep condition my hair. At just $1.50 a pack, it is a total steal.

6. Rimmel London's Mpisture Renew Lipstick. This lipstick is super hydrating, and there are beautiful colors to choose from!

So that is the first of the Manda Likes  series. Keep your eye on these for contests! What are you obsessed with? Let me know below:)
X's and O's,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dinner! :)

Hey there!
So, for dinner, I made a little chicken recipie I like to call "The best damn chicken you ever put in your mouth".  It's very easy, and soooo delicious, I thought I'd share with you guys!
     You will need:
     1 can of French's dried onions
     Boneless, Skinless thawed chicken breasts( as many as you'll eat)
     Mayonaise( amount varies, enough to really slather your chicken breast0
     1 gallon sized plastic bag
Okay cupcakes, preheat your ovens to 400 degrees:) Pour the french onions in the plastic bag, and secure. Take a rolling pin ( or something heavy), and crush the onions. Pour the crushed onions into a dish. Slather the chicken breasts in mayonaise , and roll in the crushed onions. Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased oven-safe dish. Bake for 20 minutes, that's all!
 Sorry guys, I was going to take a picture, but I ate it before I remembered :) oops. Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you decide to try it!
X's and O's!

Intro To my Blog :)

Hello Everyone!
My name is Amanda Christine, and this is my blog. What's up with my blog name? Glad you asked...
   I am a makeup, beauty, fashion, travel enthusiast who has just moved overseas to Germany from the good old United States. My blog is going to contain alot of makeup/ beauty advice, reviews, etc, as well as me blogging about the lifestyle in Germany, and other random stuff that happens in my daily life.
  As an intro to my blog, I thought i'd fill out a "get to know me" quiz:

1. Favorite food as a child: Mac and Cheese( still up there on the favorites list!)
2. Favorite quote: " A girl should be two things: classy, and fabulous"- Coco Chanel
3. Favorite outdoor activity: being at the beach!:)
4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?: Taking out the garbage! It smells gross.
5. Favorite time of day: I don't have a favorite. I love something different about every time of day.
6. Favorite Color: Pink. Almost everything I own is pink. I live in pink.
7. Least Favorite Mode Of Transportation: Subways. They're dirty.
8. Favorite Sound: Waves crashing against the shore at the beach.
9. Favorite Indoor Activity Shopping. Shopping and getting ready. It's my therapy.
10. If you had a chance to change your name, would you? : No, I am rather fond of mine. :)

A picture of the boyfriend and I in Koeln Germany :)

Please leave your answers to the questions in the comments, as well as suggestions for future posts! This is the begining of a beautiful friendship, I can tell :)
X's and O's ,