Fabfitfun 2018 Fall Box

It’s about that time again when the new Fabfitfun fall box comes out! And I was pretty excited about this one!

First off, the box itself is adorable! I may be biased, because fall is my favorite season. But, look at how cozy it is!

The 1st thing this box comes with is a Beauty Blender. This one is in a light pink color, not like their usual hot pink ones. This usually retails for $20

The second item I took out are two Glamglow bubble sheet masks! I’ve used some of Glamglow’s products before and have loved them so I’m sure this mask is amazing!

The retail price- $18

The third item is a Luna bar. Which comes with a coupon to order on Amazon.

The fourth item in this box is touch-in SOL Metallist Liquid Foil Lipstick Duo in “Penny”. I’m not a huge fan of metal or foil lipsticks but the color is pretty. So who knows, I might love it.

Retail price-$24.99

The fifth item is SKIN&CO Roma Blue in Capri Shower Gel. This is a multi purpose shower gel that smells so good!

Retail price- $22

The sixth item is another skin care item. GROWN ALCHEMIST POLISHING FACIAL EXFOLIANT: Pink Grapefruit & Glucomannan Extract and it helps exfoliate dry skin.

Retail price- $67! ( I’m way too cheap to buy this on its own)

The seventh item is a cute little tea pot by Alfred. I’m not a huge tea lover but I know Chris will definitely get some good use out of this one! Retail price – $26

The eighth thing is a grey and white towel by Simply Whimsical. I love any neutral shade and it seems to go great with my kitchen.

Retail price- $14.99

The ninth product is a Catherine Malandrino Umbrella. If you know me you know I either brake or lose every umbrella I own so hopefully this one lasts!

Retail price- $39.99

LAST but not least is the Vince Camuto Luck Tote ! It’s beautiful vegan leather bag and probably my favorite thing in this whole box!

Retail price- $128

If you want to see these items or buy a box here’s the link and shop away!

https://fabfitfun.com

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Guest Takeover: My AWESOME Fiancé

Hello, all you sexy little weirdos! I have hacked into my future wife’s blog and now I get to do what I have always wanted to……….write a blog strictly dedicated to Ryan Gosling’s left pec…..WOOF.

Just kidding…

SO, as most of you can guess from the title, I am the one who is engaged to the lovely, beautiful, amazing, kind, caring and incredible woman who runs this blog. Brittany A. DeRenzis or as you know her, BrittanysBasicallyLiving. Can we talk about the fact how her initials spell “BAD”. How could I NOT fall in love?!

She told me I could write about whatever I wanted, so I will write a little about inspiration and where it comes from. Not just for me but in general.

Inspiration is a very loose term. People can get inspired from multiple different types of art, music, travel experiences, anything really. With something that is so broad and open to interpretation, I think it would be stupid for someone to try and actually define inspiration.

To feel inspired is really just to feel change. You saw something, something happened, and it made you feel differently than you did five minutes ago. That’s all there really is to defining it.

I think too many people get depressed over the feeling of useless inspiration. The feeling of wanting to do something and feeling different but convincing yourself that there is no possible way you’d be able to do it. The thing is, useless inspiration is just as valid and true as inspiration that causes others to create music or art or a film, or even to throw a rock through a window. What matters is how you feel and how you decide to carry out this new amazing feeling you’ve just felt. Even if that is just enjoying the fact that something was actually able to move your emotions that much.

You may be wondering how this ties into my fiancé. Well, for two reasons:

  1. She inspires me every day

As cheesy and corny as this sounds it is 100% true. She has always been an advocate for me when no one else was. She’s tells me to follow what I feel, not what I know. She is always there with me to experience new forms of music and art and film and it makes me happy to be next to her.

2.  She feels.

When I say she feels. That may seem simple. Well, newsflash, it is. She feels love. She feels hate. She feels anger and lust and anguish and anxiety and confidence and insecurity and is not afraid to tell me what she feels.

When she watches or hears something that inspires her, she is able to recognize and appreciate the mere fact that something was SO powerful that it was able to move her.

THAT is why I love her so much and THAT is why I want to marry her and spend the rest of my life with her. Because even if we’re listening to a song, she is taken a back that something so powerful just gave her goosebumps. And she can do nothing but feel  her arm, stroking it back and forth, amazed that she just went though that change from something that she didn’t know existed five minutes before.

Some of us never find someone who you can find a real connection with. I was lucky-enough to find that person at 20 years old. Almost 7 years later, we still go to bed happy every night, and we always look for things that can help us feel a little different than we did five minutes before.

That’s my two cents.

Cheers,

-Chris

I’m on a boat OOTD ( couple edition)

Recently, I went on a yacht around NYC for a friend’s birthday! It was really great! It was a beautiful sunny day and we got to see the Statue of Liberty 🗽  and of course, take as many selfies as we wanted!

I noticed when I was getting ready I really had no idea what I would wear to something like this in the middle of summer.

I wanted to wear something light that also covered me from the sun.

I went with theses pants from Forever 21. From a distance, they look like a maxi skirt but really they were loose fitting pants with a slit up the side and a pair of shorts underneath for extra coverage.

For the top, I just went simple with a blank tank top from Primark (which you can never go wrong with).

Finally, I paired this outfit with some nude sandals from Kohl’s and a hat from H&M and of course some sunglasses 🕶!

The hat didn’t last very long because it was so windy I was scared that it would fly away!

Chris was also having trouble trying to figure out what to wear on a yacht. He wore a bright white men’s dress shirt by Michael Kors with plaid shorts from American Eagle. And since we were going on a yacht, he said, “I can’t NOT wear these shoes..” His slip-on leather Steve Madden dress sneakers.

But, he’s not that fancy, those are fake Ray Bans he got on the beach in Mexico for $10…

What would you wear to a boat party?

Leave it in the comments below!

Xox

My Skin Cancer Scare

As most of you know, I LOVE to take selfies. Whether or not I post all the ones I take…Well, that’s another story. Let’s just say my phone’s storage is basically half taken up by my own face.

I have had a few moles for some years now, along with some birthmarks as well. This was nothing new to me and I was used to seeing them on my body. So, during one of my selfie-taking sprees, I noticed that a little mole that was on the very top of my forehead was more noticeable than ever before. It got me interested enough to look back to old pictures and notice that it wasn’t even there!

As you can imagine, I instantly knew what it was. I have cancer and I’m going to die. Anyone else who has anxiety, especially when it comes to ANYTHING medical can relate to that instant thought. (no, I don’t have cancer, btw.)

I went to a local dermatologist – I’ll deal with this woman in a bit – and I had them take a look. Long story short, they wanted to take a biopsy, right then and there. I have never had anything more than a tattoo needle touch my skin, and now they were about to take a piece of my head out?! The way she explained it, she made it seem like a quick and easy process. Take a small biopsy, get test results, and even if they remove it, it’ll be quick and painless. Little did I know…

Thankfully, the results came back negative for any type of cancer or Melanoma. It was an Atypical mole, which is common on people who are prone to moles and have fairer skin. So, as they said before, they would take it out and would need me to come back in.

NOW I will deal with the doctor. In the past decade I have seen internal doctors, dermatologists, gynecologists and other types of doctors. Never in my life did I meet a doctor who was so short with people, a doctor who wouldn’t slow down to explain and who set me into a panic attack over the phone, making me think that I was in danger and needed it out immediately.

After speaking to the physician assistant (really nice woman named Carla) I felt better. She explained things slowly, told me it was okay and actually made me understand. It was bad enough that I needed to have his done, but this doctor made me feel stupid on top of everything. I think she forgets that WE ARE NOT DERMATOLOGISTS. So, you saying long medical words that no one understands and then getting ANNOYED when I say I don’t know what it means, really did not make me comfortable!

The day of the procedure, they made me think (because they said so) that it would be one stich. Not SEVEN on two layers like I got. This picture below is what it looked like the day of the procedure. (this was to remove a 1/8 inch long mole)

This was a nightmare. I am getting married in April, and I look like someone attacked me with a bat. Along with constant changing of bandages, not getting it wet (or showering for two days) it also came with a giant headache. For two weeks straight. Also, as an added bonus, I went through the most excruciating pain I have ever felt when she stabbed my head with the needles for anesthesia.

Regardless of how rude and how terrible at communicating the doctor was, she did a good job and was able to remove everything. The stiches were removed a few weeks later and it is actually healing really well! It has already lightened up so much! As you can imagine I was (still am) terrified that this will ruin my wedding pictures that are costing me thousands of dollars…

Now:

This was a very scary experience. For those of you who don’t know me too well, I do not handle medical things well at all. I get very worried, very anxious, I panic and I get worried that something is wrong. A lot of people have the same experience. This was a very big learning experience for me. Not just about how to detect things that change size on my body (which we should all be doing) but also how to handle situations that are scaring me to death.

I’ve also learned how important sun protection really is. I’m very pale so I always put sunscreen on when I went to the beach, pool or any outing where I was in the sun for more then a couple hours. But now I know that it really is important to put sunscreen on everyday, even on those cloudy days that you think won’t matter! I started to do my research about what time of sunscreens are the best and the strongest so I can have peace of mind from now on.

The sunscreen I use is Blue Lizard Australian sunscreen

The only I don’t like about it is that you have to reaalllllyyyy rub it in or you’ll look like a ghost!

A easy tip to wearing sunscreen everyday on you face is using a foundation that has spf in it!

Let me know if you’ve gone through something similar and how you felt!

Wedding Planning: The Venue

So many people told us “Good luck!” and “Try not to stress too much!” when it came to picking a wedding venue. They clearly don’t know me very well!

My fiancé proposed to me on November 9th, 2017. We had our venue booked by December 3rd

I wanted to start the process right away and I wanted to make sure I found a place that we could make our own! So, I started doing research.

Too many venues in Westchester and NYC are very plain and all have the same décor and they don’t let you customize things too much. On top of that, they are extremely expensive! The average for a moderately sized venue for just under 100 guests in Westchester County is about $140/person, before all the taxes and fees and so on.

If you’re looking into NYC and Brooklyn, forget it. There is a beautiful venue called The Foundry in NYC. It almost looks like a giant greenhouse, and since we are having a very boho-inspired wedding with lots of greenery, this place looked perfect. BUT, the cost for food & beverage was $150/person and that didn’t include chairs, tables, linens or any entertainment whatsoever. After all the chair rentals and linens and so forth, you’re looking at almost $200/person or maybe even more.

We wanted something different. So we thought outside of the box. We wanted a place that had a beautiful view, not a window that looked at NYC or a brick wall. We wanted a place where we could bring in any décor we wanted (as long as we didn’t put holes in the wall). So, we looked a little more north.

The further up north (away from the city) we looked, the more that we discovered there were these tucked away gems of venues that offer amazing packages. We also thought about all the people that would be traveling to the wedding. Some from upstate and some from Westchester, where we live.

After only 3 weeks of looking and researching, we went to Cove Caste in Greenwood Lake, NY. Greenwood Lake is about 30 miles west of the Tappan Zee Bridge (I will never call it the Cuomo Bridge). We went and saw that this place was BEAUTIFUL! It has a restaurant with an outdoor bar downstairs, along with a stage on a mini beach for live music! Upstairs was the room for the reception. It is incredible! It has these beautiful big windows that look right out on to the lake. The ceremony has an altar down near the water on a stained wood platform. What was the really great part was the difference in cost and what we got out of it. They include all the tables and linens and chairs and even wedding cake. They offered a signature cocktail we can make for our wedding and they are letting us do any kind of décor they want! They even own a 2 bedroom apartment across the street where they have the brides and bridesmaids get ready!

We just went to our tasting with our parents and ate on the water, and we couldn’t be happier that we chose this place. It actually is less travel time than having to get down to Brooklyn on a Saturday night, which worked out better for all of our guests!

The main point of all this is that if you plan ahead, do your research and know what you want, there is no reason to settle for a regular venue that overcharges. A wedding is your day and you are the one that makes it memorable.

You may think three weeks is fast, but it could be worse. It only took me an hour to choose my wedding dress!

Tips for Organizing a Pantry!

This weekend I decided it was time for me to actually figure out a neat plan for my pantry. When I first moved in I bought a couple baskets and jars. But, everything still just ended up looking messy. When things are messy it gets so hard to find things that you need and things get forgotten.

Brace yourself! This is the before picture and I don’t even know how it got like this!

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I definitely needed to get more baskets, smaller jars and a shelf so I would be able to see everything I have without moving everything around.

I went to homegoods and Marshall’s to get most of the stuff I needed. It’s way cheaper then The Container Store and I think they have really cute stuff!

This is what I came up with!

 

 

As you can see, I dedicated the top shelf to my little furry child. I found these super cute white and black cat baskets that I used to store her extra food and treats. In the middle, I found this Rae Dunn jar that just says meow and that holds her everyday dry food! So cute!

The next shelf I did all my jars, they still don’t all match yet but we’re working on it!

I bought these from IKEA a while ago and it makes pastas and rice look a lot better in glass jars rather than boxes!

I found a white metal shelf that’s originally for plates but it works so well to be able to see all the jars at once.

Next I decided to put all my canned goods. I bought this 3 level shelf to put everything in order and it made the biggest difference!

338FD2E0-9CDB-4941-8EC8-C6EA469F9991The last two shelves I used baskets also black and white to tie in everything.  I used these to store snacks, bread and all of kitchen tools! It just makes everything a lot neater and clean-looking and I’m so proud of how it came out!

What to you think?! Let me know in the comments below!!

xoxo

 

How to set up a Hot Cocoa Bar

This year was the first time Chris and I hosted my family on Christmas Eve!

We cooked all the food and decorated the house and as I was planning the decor I decided to jump on the trend of cocoa bars and I’m really glad I did!

Here’s my setup and where I got all the goodies!

Most of the stuff is from HomeGoods or Marshalls.

The twinkling lights are on Amazon and they were pretty inexpensive.

The cute little coffee cups are from Stop & Shop.

The straws are from Michaels!

IMG_4742

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetIMG_4144IMG_4742IMG_6279I really liked how it turned out and I think it’s a great idea for when you throw parties so everyone can just help themselves!

If you wanted this for all year round, I feel like you can mix and match for different holidays and seasons and it would be really cute!

Hope this inspires you in these cold winter months.

xoxo