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I like to think of myself as a sporadic yogi. I take occasional classes, practiced hot yoga for a few sweaty months, and pop on the occasional yoga video when I feel like stretching at home. I’m a sucker for the cute clothing for yoga and I love the idea of maybe, someday, being able to do a handstand. I’ve always enjoyed yoga but I never really explored my practice on a deeper level. I honestly used to think that a lot of the spiritual factors that come along with yoga were a bit bizarre, and even made me feel uncomfortable at times. However lately I’ve found my ideas and thoughts surrounding yoga changing and evolving.

I recently went on a following spree on Instagram, following so many strong women that are incredible at yoga. Most of the women include inspiring messages along with the pictures and videos they post, and I’ve found myself reading a lot of them. Most of their messages are simply about taking time for yourself, to explore your body, mind, and life on your own time, and the importance of slowing down. I love scrolling through my feed and reading these little reminders from such inspiring women.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to practice yoga more often.¬†I go to a yoga class that’s offered on my campus once a week, and then I take my own time to practice several other times during the week. I love the way yoga makes me feel. I feel strong and capable when taking a class, and I love the challenge that a new pose brings. Seeing and feeling the progress I’ve made with my practice makes me excited to continue with this journey. I often find that one of the most challenging things about yoga is just remembering to breathe. It can be easy to focus all of my attention on perfecting a pose, when the breath is just as important as the stretch and posture.

This month @beachyogagirl and @kinoyoga are hosting the #mayibeginyoga2016 challenge, and I’ve decided to participate! It will be a challenge in itself just to find time to get on my mat every day, but I’m looking forward to it! I know I have a long ways to go in a never ending yoga journey, but I can’t to see where I am just at the end of this month. IMG_0662

Namaste yogis!

e.l.f. has been one of my favorite makeup brands for a while now. They are affordable and offer a range of different products, most of which are surprisingly good. A lot of people tend to be skeptical about a makeup brand that offers products starting at a dollar, ¬†but just because something is affordable doesn’t mean it should be looked down upon.

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One of the best things about e.lf. are their brushes. They range from one to ten dollars and the options are plentiful. While I have a lot of their brushes, my favorites are the powder brush, angled blush brush, eye shadow brush, and the blending eye brush. The powder brush is dense and soft, and can be used with either wet or dry products. I prefer to use to apply powder to set my foundation and concealer. Although the angled brush says it’s for blush, I like to use it to apply bronzer. The brush is perfect for getting in the hollows of your cheeks, and applies product really well. The eyeshadow brush is perfect for applying all over lid colors or for applying a brow bone highlight, which is what I tend to use it for. The blending brush is great for, you guessed it, blending eye shadow. I find the hairs on the blending brush to be a bit rough, however for a dollar I can’t complain too much.
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One product many people tend to rave about are the moisturizing lipsticks. I have three of them and I wish I owned the entire line. They’re creamy, moisturizing, pigmented, and go on smoothly. Pink Minx is a gorgeous light pink shade that looks really natural when applied to the lips. Ravishing Rose is a deeper pink with more hints of purple, but is still very wearable for daytime. One color I had a problem with is Party in the Buff. It’s a nude shade with hints of orange, and while it feels the same in terms of formula as the other two, it tends to emphasise any dry spots on my lips. It’s also patchy and clumps up in spots. I’ve tried making it work but unfortunately this color just doesn’t seem to be for me.
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Another lip product that has received rave reviews are the matte lip colors. They go on smoothly, and with a thin shape the color can be applied precisely. The lipsticks are infused with vitamins A, C, and E so they aren’t too drying like many matte lip products tend to be. They’re also extremely pigmented and ¬†the color is long lasting. Tea Rose is a light, dusty purple and Berry Sorbet is a bright, pinky purple. Both look great with either a daytime or nighttime look.
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The last couple of products I want to mention are products I will be again and again unless something better comes along (doubtful). The e.l.f. eyeshadow primer is a dollar, and have bought countless tubes of this stuff. It goes on sheer, dries quickly, and keeps my eyeshadow in place all day. I’ve tried not using it and by the end of the day my eye makeup is a mess. I don’t know what I’d do without this product.

The eyelash curler is three dollars, and while there’s not much to say about an eyelash curler, I can say that it gets the job done. I’ve had mine for at least three years now and it hasn’t broken on me yet. e.l.f sells eyelash curler pad replacements as well; they come in a pack of five for a dollar.

The last two are what I start and end my makeup routine with. The Hydrating Face Primer is so refreshing and really moisturizes my face before putting my foundation on. Just like the lipsticks, it has vitamins A, C, and E, to keep your face from drying out throughout the day. It is a silicone based primer, so if that’s not your thing you probably wouldn’t like this primer. The Makeup Mist & Set is a new purchase, and one that I don’t regret at all. After spraying this mist my face looks like it’s glowing and healthy. My makeup looks incredible as well, and not like it’s just sitting on my face. I see a noticeable difference in terms of how long my makeup lasts when I wear this spray compared to when I don’t. At six dollars there’s nothing to lose.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite e.l.f. products. Let me know what some of your favorite e.l.f. products are in the comments!

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Apple pie is an American staple and my all time favorite dessert. While it’s the perfect Autumn treat I believe every time is the perfect time for apple pie!

Filling Ingredients:

  1. your favorite homemade pie crusts or 1 ready-made pie crust
  2. 5¬†1‚ĀĄ2¬†cups peeled cored sliced¬†cooking apples
  3. 1tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 1‚ĀĄ2¬†cup¬†granulated sugar
  5. 1‚ĀĄ4¬†cup¬†brown sugar, packed
  6. 3 tablespoons flour
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 1‚ĀĄ4teaspoon¬†nutmeg

Topping Ingredients: 

  1. 3‚ĀĄ4¬†cup¬†flour
  2. 1‚ĀĄ4¬†cup¬†granulated sugar
  3. 1‚ĀĄ4¬†cup¬†brown sugar, packed
  4. 1‚ĀĄ3cup¬†butter¬†or¬†1‚ĀĄ3¬†cup¬†margarine, room temperature

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 375¬įF.
  2. Fit pie crust into pie plate.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sliced apples, lemon juice, both sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Pile into crust.
  5. Prepare topping:
  6. In a medium bowl, with a pastry blender or a fork, mix flour, both sugars, and butter until coarsely crumbled.
  7. Sprinkle evenly over apples.
  8. Bake at 375¬įF for 50 minutes.

Take Note:

  1. I love cold apple pie and am not one for warm apple pie. I know, crazy, but don’t knock it until you try it. After you’ve had your warm slice, stick the rest of the pie in the fridge and have your next slice cold. You can thank me later!