There hasn’t been a #ThursdayThoughts in awhile so it’s time to get personal. I’ve finally rounded up all of the photos from Katy Perry’s Witness Tour, which was harder than you might think becasue my computer and phone died within two weeks of each other. To explain my concert experience, I have to back this up a bit, nearly 10 years.

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Katy Perry has always been a huge part of my life. We’ve lost a lot of music legends over the last year and I sympathize with so many of the people who experience these musician’s deaths as though they are a friend. If there is a musician, actor or comedian you feel that way about, then you understand. You’ve listened to their songs to get through a hard time, watched your favorite movie over and over again to escape reality for two hours or repeated their stand-up special so you can laugh.

Katy Perry has been that person for me. I associate so many of her songs with certain periods in my life. Once on a long car ride with my friend we made up an entire choreographed hand dance to “Hot ’n Cold,” because we were cool like that. In high school, I made my Facebook status the lyrics to “Firework” (because making your status song lyrics showed emotional complexity) and my crush liked that status. I pretty much took it as a marriage proposal and analyzed the meaning of his virtual approval with one of my friends for the next few hours. If I ever hear “Dark Horse,” I’m instantly transported back to SpoCo (one of my favorite college bars) where I drunkenly rapped all of the lyrics, drink in one hand, imaginary mic in the other, and showed off my truly awful dance moves.

These might seem like strange examples of what I classify as a “good time,” but each of these memories makes me smile.

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As an album, Witness has a different tone for Katy. For all of the critics who say, “she’s changed,” well, yes. It’s been a decade. Don’t expect that a 33-year-old woman doesn’t have some stories to tell. Different doesn’t mean bad, though.

I had a few people ask me how this tour compared to the California Dreams Tour or Prismatic World Tour, both of which I attended. The experiences are too different to even compare. She didn’t wear a wig (unless you count crystals as a wig), she didn’t have as many costume changes and there weren’t floating poop emojis. It was still fun and entertaining, it was just done in a different way. It was a true blend of Katheryn and Katy.

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Katy performed two nights in Chicago and I went on the second, which also happened to be her birthday. Throughout the concert, her parents, friends, family and even her dog surprised her while she was on stage. Two of her cousins were actually seated directly in front of us, disguised in crazy wigs and face masks so she wouldn’t see them. Despite the fact that I was extremely sick the week of the concert, it was an amazing night and the overpriced tickets were well worth it.

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So where does all of this leave us? I’ve gone through a weird time in the last year, writing about experiences I’ve had that have been on my mind lately. Almost every song on the album has related to one of those stories in some way. Personally, Witness came out right when I really needed it most. Now all I can do is patiently wait until the next album comes out. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another five years.

 

I hate cooking. Here’s why:

  1. I hate doing dishes. I would honestly rather clean the toilet. I try to cook all of my food in one pot or pan if possible. When I bake my food, you bet your butt I line the tray with aluminum too so I don’t have to wash the sheet.
  2. My very tiny apartment doesn’t have a vent above the stove, which means that the sans-door bedroom located next to the kitchen will smell like whatever I cook that night.
  3. I don’t even have flour in my apartment. If it’s beyond pasta or a chicken breast, it’s outside of my skillset.

Needless to say, I don’t do a lot of cooking. Enter, Kitchfix. I found Kitchfix when Erica from Everything Erica was talking about it on her Instagram Stories. I decided to check it out and give it a go. Best decision I’ve ever made.

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Basic rundown of Kitchfix:

  • Local Chicago peeps cooking some great food and whipping up awesome granola
  • A ton of Whole 30, paleo and vegetarian options
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack options with prices ranging from $5-$20 dollars (most around $12)
  • Menu changes weekly, you can see a picture of the dish online as well as the nutrition information
  • Only $6 for delivery, $1 to pick up at one of their numerous “hub” locations (mainly local gyms) and free to pick up at their kitchen (on Grand Ave near Ashland)

Orders are packed nice and neat with your sauce on the side as you can see above. Now that I’ve tried a bunch of their food, I decided to rank everything that I’ve ordered. I plan on continually updating this list every time I order, so I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens on my Instagram.

Starting at the bottom and moving toward #1:

11. Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup – If you like spice, you’ll love this soup. I am not a spice person and was not expecting it to have a kick like it did. However, I was hungry and it was still tasty, so I finished it.

10. Mustard Pork – This dish was good, it simply wasn’t my absolute favorite. The sauce was really nice, just a hint of mustard tang.

9. White Chili – This chili was really good, but had just a tiny, tiny kick to it. Keep in mind, I’m also very anti-spice, so I’m probably a bad judge.

Starting with this dish on, I would re-order everything #8 and above. I really struggled to rank the dishes from here on up, but I pretty much ranked them based on how frequently I would re-order each dish.

8. Paleo Beef Stroganoff –  The week I ordered this I had a SERIOUS craving for beef stroganoff. The food gods answered my prayers. I was skeptical of cashew “cream” sauce, but holy smokes it was amazing. Only complaint: there could always be more mushrooms.

7. Grilled Chicken Salad with Tangy Avocado Vinaigrette – I want to put this dressing on everything I eat. No joke.

6. Paleo Shrimp Diablo – My biggest complaint with shrimp dishes is that they normally only have 3 shrimp, but this bad boy was loaded. Total win for shrimp lovers.

5. Grass-fed Beef Picadillo – I normally only eat beef out at restaurants and cook a lot of chicken at home. It was nice to get a little red meat in my routine and the dish was delicious.

4. Power Green Veggie Quinoa Bown – While this may seem basic and kind of boring, this green dish is very tasty (hint of lemon), filling and gets a lot of greens in your diet. I’ve gotten 4 or 5 between my last 3 orders. It’s that good.

3. Paleo Chicken Kale Ceasar Salad – This is one of the few salads I’ve ever eaten that actually makes you feel like you’re eating something of substance and not just leaves. The kale is hearty, the dressing is delicious and I really do feel full after.

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2. Southwest Brown Rice Pilaf – While pretty basic, this brown rice pilaf was amazing. It hasn’t been back on the menu since my first order, but I’m still dreaming about it…

1. Tuscan Shrimp and Sausage Butternut Risotto – I wouldn’t have thought that this combo would work, but it does. The sausage had a bit of a kick to it, but it was quite tasty.  Once again, the dish was loaded with shrimp.

When you have an account you get a referral link for friends: If you would like $30 off your first order of $35 or more (no, that isn’t a typo), you can use my referral link HERE. Transparency: I get some money off, you get some money off, you get money off for your friends…we’re all winning here.

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All orders also come with this handy-dandy bag. Save those 7 cents at the grocery store (and the planet).

If you have any questions, ask away in the comments below!

The Sephora Sale is back for a second round this year and now is the time to shop! There are a bunch of great hair care, skincare and makeup goodies on sale for under $50 and even $25. I rounded up what I think are some great stocking stuffers that any beauty lover would be sure to enjoy.

Sale Dates: Friday 10th – Wednesday 15th

20% off for VIB Rouge Members

15% off for Insiders

Under $25

Bite Beauty The Perfect Bite Lipstick Set ($25) – Creamy and long lasting

Becca Glow on the Go Highlighter Set in Champagne Pop or Opal ($20) – Because glow

Peter Thomas Roth Meet Your Mask ($25) – A great sample pack

Under $50

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray Duo ($42) – Great time to stock up on a staple

Benefit Cosmetics Work Kit, Girl! ($32) – Ideal for your handbag and when you’re on the go

Deborah Lippmann Very Berry Polish Set ($36) – Perfect shades for winter

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette ($44) – An incredible value and so many colors

Also, keep in mind, it’s great to buy big sets that you can then split up into multiple gifts.  While some big-ticket items like the Urban Decay Naked 4some may seem hefty, you’ll save at least $15 on each palette depending on your discount. Here are four of the best sets to split up for gifting.

Naked 4some: $46 each ($8 savings)

Too Faced Palettes: $16 each (plus there’s a bag and mini mascara)

Nirvana Fragrance Collection: $12 each

Jo Malone Miniature Candle Collection: $20 each

 

With the holidays coming up, I got gold sparkles and metallics on my mind. Normally I go for the shimmer on my eyes and not on my lips, but I was very intrigued when I received the new Maybelline Matte Metallics Lipsticks from Influenster to try. Personally, I find metallic lips a little intimidating, so I was excited to try a lipstick version since most of the metallic lipsticks on the market are liquid.

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There are a total of ten jewel-toned lipsticks in the collection. Maybelline claims that these lipsticks have a “Sophisticated brushed metal texture,” which I agree with. These lipsticks aren’t blinding metallics and certainly don’t give off any glitter, but they do have a very pretty shimmery finish that is still comfortable on the lips.

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I received the shades Molten Bronze and Smoked Silver. Neither of these colors really work well on my skin tone. I can make molten bronze work by mixing it with a berry but on its own, it’s too brown for me. One shade I’m really drawn to in this collection is Copper Rose. Copper Rose is a very pretty rich, raspberry shade with purple undertones. I really see this collection working well on medium to deep skin tones and especially someone with warm undertones. Jewel-toned lips are hard for someone who is fair, and especially someone with pink undertones. Not to say it can’t be done, because there are no rules to makeup, but it would take a little more balancing out with the eyes.

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Mattes are a tricky formula because they can accentuate dry lips, which is made even worse when you add shimmer. These lipsticks aren’t as matte as a liquid lipstick would be, or even MAC’s matte lipstick formula, but I think Maybelline did a good job making this formula as matte as they could, while still making sure it gave off a nice finish on the lips.

Overall, this collection isn’t for me, but I really think some of these shades would look stunning on medium to deep skin tones. Plus, if you like the classic scent of Maybelline lipsticks, these will be right up your alley.

It’s tough to say if I get more excited about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale or the Sephora VIB Sale, but I have to say, I’m pretty pumped about the VIB Sale this year. I always take this opportunity to stock up on my staples like hairspray, brow pencils, setting spray and other products I use consistently use throughout the year.

The Sephora Sale is also a great chance to get some of your holiday shopping out of the way. While the VIB Sale is only open to Rouge members this weekend, I wanted to share what I’m planning on getting so you can start thinking about what might be on your wish list. I’ll have a makeup and beauty gift guide up next week as well once the sale is open to more Sephora shoppers.

Sephora VIB Sale 2017 Dates:

November 3-6: 20% off for VIB Rouge Members

November 10-15: 20% off for VIB Rouge & VIB, 15% off for Insiders

Fresh Sugar Lip Beauty Box: For 3 years now I have passed up on the mini Fresh Lip Treatments and regretted it come January. Not this year. I’ve gone through a few full-size ones, so I’m excited to have a variety with the minis.

Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda: Too Faced has some of the best holiday kits in my opinion. I had the Too Faced Joy to the Girls palette a few years ago and it was well used and loved, so I have high hopes for this one as well.

Olehenriksen A Brighter Truth Brightening Essentials Kit: This is where my inner coupon lady comes out: 1 oz of the Truth Serum is $48. The kit, which comes with 3 products including .5 oz of the Truth Serum, is $34. If I get two during the sale, I’m getting the same amount of serum plus 4 oz of cleanser and 2 oz of moisturizer for only $7 extra. When people ask me how to save money on makeup–this is how. Value kits and sales.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Mini – Moonstone: I’m tempted to get both Moonstone and Vanilla Quartz, but I’m going to stick to just the one for now. I just finished a sample of Moonstone that lasted a decent amount of time, so I think this mini will be more than enough and it’s more affordable than the full size.

It! Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream: My current eye cream is nearly out so I know I’ll need a new one in the next month. I still haven’t found my holy grail eye cream, so maybe this will be the one.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – Taupe: I’ve gone back and forth between the Brow Wiz and the Brow Definer, but right now I’m having a love affair with the Wiz, so I’m picking up an extra.

Bumble & Bumble Spray de Mode: I go through cans of this stuff every year. I like to get 1-2 during the sale to save a little bit of cash. I’ve been devoted to this hairspray for almost 10 years–that should be testament enough.