Monthly Archives: March 2012

Friday Favorites : NYS Parks

March 30, 2012

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely do my fare share of complaining when it comes to my current location. It’s a pretty boring and rural area to live in and hopefully not my perminant resistance. There’s typically not much to do around here, especially for my age group. But now that spring is here and summer is right around the corner, there’s hope! In the winter, there’s really nothing to do around here. (Which is probably half the reason I started Vanilla and Rose in the dead of winter!) But I’ve found in the past few summers that there’s some gorgeous places to visit! Some of my favorite spots are the small state parks in the area. I thought I’d take a quick moment today to share some of my favorite spots. Just last week, I was in the Ithaca area and decided to stop by Stewart park. I took a few minutes, sat on the park bench, almost got attacked by a Canadian goose (no surprise there) and enjoyed the lovely spring afternoon. It’s probably one of my favorite parks and I know I’m not the only one. On that day alone, there were several people on their lunch breaks enjoying the weather, a few people walking and even a couple doing yoga in the grass. Can it get much better than that?

Here’s some photos from last spring/summer I took.

CCC Nature Center
Nature Center

CCC Nature Center
Nature Center

CCC Nature Center
Nature Center

Stewart Park
Stewart Park

Stewart Park
Stewart Park

Lakeside Park
Lakeside Park

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Lakeside Park

TOMS
She-Qua-Ga Falls

Havana Glenn
Havana Glenn

Havana Glenn
Havana Glenn

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Stewart Park from last week (The water level is extremely low right now!)

For more photos of the state parks and more visit Vanessa Reed Photography.

March Fragrance

March 29, 2012

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It’s March fragrance time! I can’t believe this month is almost over. Where did it go? I still can’t believe Easter is right around the corner as well, wow! Either way, I thought I’d share my fragrance choices this month since I started this little series in February.

This month, I went a little more floral but not too much. I’m actually looking forward to April because I have some amazing floral fragrances I’ve been neglecting all winter and can’t wait to break them out again! So, for this month I went with some more neutrals (well, somewhat). My day time pick is American Eagle Outfitter’s Bohemian. The bottle I have is actually the old packaging style so if you go to their website or in stores you’ll see it looks much different now. This fragrance has many notes (check out last months post for more information about notes) that I love. The top notes are grapefruit, verbena, kumquat and garden herbs including cilantro and ginger. These top notes scream fresh spring time! Middle notes include peach flower, jasmine petals and citron flower. Once again, hello spring! And lastly, the dry notes are musk, cedar wood and patchouli. It’s funny how I always seem to go for these notes! Overall, it’s a great fragrances and I highly encourage you to go try it on if you’re in the area! AE also has two other fragrances I love but I’ll go more into those later on!

My second fragrance this month, and the one I prefer to use after I shower and right before bed, is Crabtree and Evelyn Rosewater. I love this fragrance! If you love rose then this is a must! I can not express how in love with this I am! I fell in love two summers ago while on vacation in Florida and I still can’t get enough of it. Once again, this body is an older style but it’s still the same amazing fragrance. Their website describes it as rosewater with light notes of violet, florals and musk. It’s perfect or perfection as Chandler on FRIENDS would say! (Guess what I’m watching right now haha)

Brown Polish

March 28, 2012

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I’m not usually one for brown tones. They typically don’t go well with my olive complexion but every once in awhile I’ll run into a brown polish… or four that I enjoy! Here are some of the browns I have in my collection currently. From left to right: OPI – Suzy Loves Cowboys, OPI – You don’t know Jacques!, Ulta – Set the Nude, Unknown (label fell off) - Cappuccino

Pinterest Boards : Health

March 27, 2012

One of my boards that’s still small but powerful is the Health board. I love it even though it doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of content like some of my other boards. Here’s a small amount of a few of my favorites!

My favorite thing to pin on this board? Healthy snacks! They can make such a difference in your life style. Here’s one of my favorites: sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com via Vanessa on Pinterest

A weight chart with a little twist. Everyone is different and some weight to height charts are ridiculous to what your ideal weight should be! Here’s one from my board: theultimatefemale.com via Vanessa on Pinterest

Super creative way to track your weight! Source: givemethirty.blogspot.com via Vanessa on Pinterest

When you need a little motivation! Source: tipofyourtonguetopofmylungs.blogspot.com via Vanessa on Pinterest

One of my all time favorite articles and what really got me set on eating healthier this year! Source: laurenconrad.com via Vanessa on Pinterest

Events : Reed’s Bow Favorites {9}

March 26, 2012

Tropical get-a-ways and southern inspiration? Yes, please! I have some gorgeous event favorites to share with you today! As always, check out Reed’s Bow for more event inspiration!


I’m loving this Tiffany style blue lately!


Oahu wedding! (I wasn’t kidding, I love this blue!)


This Jamaican wedding is absolutely gorgeous! Definitely check out the link below to see all of the photos! Between the scenery and her dress – wow, just wow!


An amazing spin on the typical beach wedding! You’ll find very original and beautiful photos from this Maui wedding.


And for anyone looking to add a little southern flare to their event! Cotton! Who would’ve known it would be so pretty!

 This is by far one of my favorite photo sessions!

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Weekend Trip to DC

March 24, 2012

Last weekend, I ended up taking an impromptu trip to Washington, DC. I’ve always wanted to visit DC and actually added it to my 101 in 1001 (#88). One of my friends lives down there, so it was the perfect chance to not only visit but also get to see the city! I’m super excited that I took my weekend off and went. Not only did I get to see the typical tourist attractions (The Capitol Building, Washington Monument, the Smithsonians, White House, and Cherry Blossom Fest) but I also got to enjoy a gorgeous 80 degree weekend in the company of a good friend! Perfect!

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We started the day off by visiting the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It was pretty interesting to see so many things within such a small space. It really brought back memories of Space Camp when I was little and a recent trip to Huntsville, AL.

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After that, we headed over to the Capital Building which was absolutely gorgeous last weekend! There were a ton of people in the area (including a graduation of some sort?). Once I got a few photos there, we headed to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History because the little kid in me really wanted to see the dinosaurs! I was amazed at how small (yes, SMALL) the T-rex was! I mean, I still wouldn’t have messed with the guy… But yea, that was definitely a fun place! After that, we did a lot of walking… My main tip about DC? If you don’t enjoy a good hick to sight see then it’s not the trip for you! Luckily my trusty Toms were perfect and I felt fine afterwards (minus the lovely Tom’s tan I already have – in March! Yikes!) Anyways, I snapped a few photos during our walk to the Washington Monument! I’m pretty happy with how the photos came out. It was extremely hot (and apparently humid out) so most of my photos came out a little hazy!

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Once we finally made our way to the Washington Monument, I got a good view of how far we walked! What a hike, but definitely worth it! I also got a good look at the Lincoln Memorial but we decided that time really did not permit to go there which I was fine with. There’s always next time!

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After the Washington Monument, we decided to stop by the White House since I’d never seen it before and on our way over we found a gorgeous patch of cherry blossoms! It was probably one of more beautiful things I saw all day. Yes, I know I was around some amazing history and architecture but look at the canopy! And to add to the lovely scenery, there were dozens of people under the trees just relaxing, picnicking and enjoying the day.

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Our last stop was the White House! I’ve always heard that it’s super small compare to what you see on tv and that’s not a joke! It’s a pretty average house actually! I guess when you live in a world like ours today, this large house (when it was built) looks like a pathetic building compared to some of the celebrity homes you see! Anyways, it was a beautiful building plus the history of it alone is amazing. The White House was really the last of the DC attractions we went to. After that we ended up going to a little pizzeria a few blocks away, UpperCrust Pizza. It was a tiny little place but the pizza was amazing and their service was great! We decided to duck in for a quick dinner and a drink (after all it was St. Patrick’s Day) and ended up staying for hours and having a fair share of drinks! Overall, it was a great trip and I definitely can’t wait to get down there again!

(Full set of photos available at Vanessa Reed Photography)

Brushes and Cleaning

March 23, 2012

I’ve been a little lazy lately and decided to just use instagram today! My most recent thing has been trying new and different brushes. As I’ve mentioned before, I decided to go to Elf to try brushes! Why spend $30+ on ONE brush if I’m not even going to enjoy it! So above are my current brushes I’ve been testing and trying out! They’re all Elf and they’re definitely giving me an idea of what works best! Here’s a run through of what you see above!  I use this for my bronzer every morning! It gives me the perfect coverage without becoming overwhelming. Also, I know others use this brush for blush sometimes. This angled eyeliner brush is perfect for my occasional use of cream eyeliner! *Not Pictured*  I had been debating on purchasing a fan brush for highlighting purposes. So, I decided to pick up this less expensive one to give it a try. After a few uses, I like the concept but do not recommend this specific brush. The brush itself is low quality and not feather like – at all – which is something I’d want out of a fan brush. Although it’s called a powder brush, I use this for my foundation! Perfect coverage every time! A lovely kabuki, especially for its price, that I use on a regular basis. It’s a great alternative to the Too Faced kabuki which stole my heart a few years back! It’s main purpose in my collection is for all over powder! I use this right before using the complexion brush (below). A larger version of the above kabuki. It’s great for blending powder and bronzer into the neckline. *Not pictured*  A new favorite! I didn’t have high hopes for this little brush but after purchasing it, I fell in love! I use this for my new blush I mentioned last week and love it!  This complexion brush I use daily for my overall finish. After all my powders are on, I use this to do one last sweep over everything and blend. I love this one and it reminds me a lot of a brush I previously used and loved from EcoTools.  Eh, the bad egg. I believe this is suppose to be a less expensive version of the complexion brush but yikes. A lot went wrong. The brush is very poor quality and doesn’t give a good coverage at all. The texture of the brush reminds me of something you find in those cheap little kid kits that you can buy at Walmart. I highly dislike and do not recommend – at all.  The perfect eyelash/brow wand! At $1 you can’t go wrong and it combs brows perfectly! I use this every day. *Not Pictured*  This is a great foundation brush! It’s inexpensive but does the trick. I usually use this to apply my foundation to my face then use the “powder” brush mentioned above to blend and spred it out evenly.  Last on my daily list are these sponges! I usually find that any sponges provided in my compacts get gross and old way before I’m done using the actual makeup inside. I decided to purchase this as an alternative and fell in love! They are super soft and help apply compact makeup perfectly! *Not pictured* So, there you have it! My daily run through of my new brushes! I am definitely enjoying them right now! In addition to these brushes you may notice a bright pink brush on the right, that’s actually a facial cleaning brush I purchased on Sephora! You can check it out here! And just when you thought I was all done ranting and raving today, I’m not! There’s more. So, what about brush cleaning? There’s so many products out there lately and I never know what to select! Elf actually has a few products here & here in which I purchased as a gift for a friend during the holiday season but have not tried myself. In addition to these, Sephora also has a pretty good selection for brush cleaning. My biggest advice is to use both a brush cleaner and a brush shampoo. I typically try to use the cleaner on a daily/weekly basis. I’d love to sit here and say I use it daily… but I don’t. As for the shampoo, I try to do this once a month so that my brushes don’t get too messy or any bacteria grows on them! (Gross, I know… the not so fun facts of makeup use! – Also, just as a reminder, brushes usually take 24+ hours to dry so don’t wash them before needing them. I usually wash half one day and half another or wash them all the night before a day off in which I won’t be wearing makeup!) Anyways, I’m currently using Bare Escentuals Quick Change for my cleaner. As for my shampoo…

Yea, that’s right! Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap and baby shampoo! I’ve used baby shampoo for years now and love it! And just last week, I decided to give Dr. Bronner’s a try and it worked wonders as well! So, that rounds up what I have right now in my little collection. Hopefully it’s helped you with some new brush ideas (with the possibility to getting them pretty cheap from Elf). But, if you already know what brushes you love? Sephora has a great selection online right now! One thing on my list of things I want next is this little item! I’ve heard so much about it and it was in last months BirchBox, even though I didn’t get one! Also, Real Techniqueshave been popping up everywhere lately, so I definitely have my eye on their brushes in the future hopefully! Lastly, I’ll leave you with some Pins that deal with brushes! (The last photo is actually where I got my brush display inspiration! It may be hard to see in the photo but there’s actually coffee beans in my mug.)

Dream Bags

March 22, 2012

Ready for some real eye candy today? Well, I have it for you! I’ve said before I’m a comfy girl at heart. Jeans & a hoodie – yes, please. But the one thing I’ll indulge on first is definitely a great bag. Really, is there anything better than a gorgeous purse? No. No, there is not! Here’s some of my favorites I’ve been eyeing lately… and then some more realistic finds as well! Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest (especially my Style board) if you want to see more of my favorites!

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Look at those beauties! Oh, I can’t even pick a favorite! I’m loving the great pastels of 2,3,5 & 9! I’m typically a classic tan bag lover though, so the others are what would be ideal, never go out of style (at least time me) bag! And #4… oh, if only!

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Oh #1… what a beauty! How beautiful is it? Sold out beautiful! But one can hope, right? (Just say yes…) My next love? #3… Kate Spade has recently stole my heart! What a gorgeous bag! And my latest obsession, these clutches! I’m definitely in the market to get one of these lovelies for my Bahamas trip next month!

Watch the Cracks

March 21, 2012

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Crackle polish is either a hit or miss with everyone. In all honestly, I had crackle nail polish back when I was a 5th grader so I thought it was kind of crazy how everyone was SO amazed by it this time around. It’s no secret that fashion trends (including polish) always come back around and, yes, maybe I’m getting up there in age but seriously… what was the big “WOW” about the crackle this time around? Anyways, me being the ridiculous polish buff that I am figured I should probably give crackle another try this time around. My verdict? It’s definitely improved from the polish I had years ago but still not anything I’m head over heels for. For a good month or so I was all about mixing it up and seeing what I could do with the different polish colors. Now, they are rarely used but I keep them around “just in case”. The left is China Glaze – Crackle Glaze Lightning Bolt (over Pure Ice – Black Rage) and right OPI : Black Shatter (over OPI : Alphine Snow). So, what’s your thoughts on crackle?

Pinterest Boards : Flowers

March 20, 2012

Happy first day of Spring! I thought I’d celebrate by featuring my Flowers board from Pinterest! I have so many amazing pins on this board that it was definitely hard for me to narrow down only a few to share on here today but here we go!

Not only are these flowers gorgeous but the color inspiration behind this photo is amazing! Source: amymerrick.com via Vanessa on Pinterest

Weddingchicks.com did an amazing series with all different colored flowers! Absolutely amazing! Here’s just one of the many articles. Source: weddingchicks.com via Vanessa on Pinterest