Last night, I had an incredibly stressful dream where I had nothing to wear to a friends’ wedding in a cramped mansion. (Actually, it might have just been a fancy party…no one really clarified.)

What I do know is that everyone was dressed in incredibly trendy outfits, and I was there in, like, a colonial woman’s traditional dress.

The worst part was that I finally found a dress that I deemed suitable (though, in hindsight, I have no idea why dream Justine was so pleased with a brown suede embroidered cocktail dress with brown tights…no idea at all) when suddenly I realized that my (for whatever reason) phosphorescent lime green underwear was blatantly visible through the back. After shaking off the irritation that none of my friends (all of whom were present and milling around the mansion’s foyer) had pointed this out to me, I quickly ducked into one of three “dressing rooms” made up of heavy velvet draperies that someone had conveniently set up in the sitting room in case guests needed to change before the party.

Because that’s something that happens.

The problem was, the dressing rooms were crammed with old clothing (I think someone was also moving into/out of the mansion…?), and the second I took my dress off and put it down, I could not for the life of me find it again.

I kept picking up dresses that looked like mine when they were on the floor, but as soon as I put them on, they transformed into something dowdy or just plain hideous. (You know, something not nearly as fashionable as brown embroidered suede…)

I vividly remember that every dress was this weird length on me, hitting right at that spot on my legs necessary to achieve maximum frumpiness. I vividly remember this, guys.

The worst part was that everyone was getting impatient with me, so every time I picked up a new dress, I was like, “Don’t stress, guys, I found it,” and they would start clearing away the unwanted clothes and tearing down the dressing room curtains, and then I would realize this was not, in fact, the right dress and try to stop them and grab something different, but there were fewer and fewer options the more they cleared away and my friends were starting to abandon me to go to the party/wedding without me instead of waiting.

And then I woke up. And I’m obviously still a bit rattled because when was the last time I told you about a dream I had? (Just kidding. I know the answer to that question. It was September 24, 2010. THIS IS WHY I WRITE DOWN MY LIFE.)

But the point is, I don’t understand my brain. And I may be mildly too obsessed with clothes.

Anyway.

SPEAKING OF FASHION AND STYLE (sort of), I have another Influenster Beauty Blogger VoxBox review to throw your way. (And so ends the least graceful segue in history.)

I have really thick hair. (On my head…I’m not a wildebeest.) It’s also pretty long and I tend to have it cut with a lot of layers to keep it from feeling like a 100-pound tapestry on the back of my neck. The only problem with layers, though, is they make it pretty difficult to create that blogger-favorite hairstyle, the topknot.

For the record, the Internet is a little conflicted about whether or not the topknot (or ballerina bun or whatever) is still in, but I say any hairstyle that gets all your hair off your face and out of the way will always be in in my book.

But anyway. Sometimes it’s not the easiest look to execute. So when I received a pair of Goody Simple Styles Spin Pins, I was pretty jazzed to see if they worked.

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All you do is create a bun or twist, and then twist in the spin pins like cork screws, one on each side of the style, to hold it in place. And since they come in the same color as your hair, they virtually vanish.

I created this bun with my two:

Total disclosure: I had to use a couple of hairpins to tuck in some shorter layers that were sticking out, but the rest of the style is kept completely secure by the spin pins. And if you’re not as Type A as I am, you might not mind a few piece-y bits sticking out anyway.

So there you have it!

Anyone else use these spin pins before? Or have a dream they want to share with the class? Tell me about it in the comments.

I rarely start the morning without breakfast. And in general, I prefer to eat eggs or something with a lot of protein (lest I find myself utterly famished at, like, 9:30 a.m.).

The only problem? A full breakfast can take a lot of time to prepare. And when you’re already waking up before the sun to make it to work on time, the last thing you want is to have to get up earlier to factor in cooking time.

I’ve shared my TOP SECRET (not) recipe for the 2-Minute Egg Sandwich, and while this is still one of my favorite meals (weird, I know), sometimes a girl needs a bit more. Like, you know, a vegetable.

I try to sneak in as many servings of produce throughout the day as I can. I never make a smoothie without throwing in a few handfuls of kale or spinach, and my afternoon snack almost always includes a piece of fruit. So while the egg sandwich dominates in terms of ease and heartiness, it’s kind of a failure in terms of vitamins and minerals.

Which is why I was pretty excited to learn about egg cups.

I’m certainly not the first person to make egg cups or egg muffins, as they’re sometimes called on Pinterest, so I claim no culinary genius here, but I figured I’d share my favorite (and super simple) way to make them.

Super-Simple Egg Cups

Ingredients:
12 eggs (I use veggie-fed, cage-free eggs…because I’m a tiny bit of a hippie.)
2 red bell peppers
1 white onion
3 cups of spinach, chopped
Hot sauce (optional…but recommended)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the above ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
3. Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or canola oil.
4. Distribute the egg mixture in the muffin tin cups and bake for 30-50 minutes. Serve warm with a couple dashes of hot sauce if desired.

BAM. Breakfast is served.

You can serve them all at once if you’re having company, or the egg cups will keep for about four days in a sealed container in the fridge. Microwave two at a time for 40 seconds to reheat for breakfast all week.

Not bad, eh? What would you put in your egg cups?

 

Ah, fall. The leaves are changing, the air is cooling…and the fall Influenster Beauty Blogger VoxBoxes are arriving.

I think it’s obvious why this is my favorite season.

Some of you may remember the first time I participated in a VoxBox product review. I sort of dropped the ball last time and only really reviews a couple of the samples. (Oops…) So this time around, I want to really cover everything. Starting with…

First up, the Bath & Body Works Mini Candle.

I received the Cider Lane scent, which, come on. Right up my alley. I lit the tiny, spicy-scented candle about an hour before I had company over Saturday night, and the first thing my guests said when they walked in the door was how amazing it smelled in the apartment. That’s a win.

Bath & Body Works Mini Candles = A+

Next up, I tried EBOOST, a packed of effervescent drink mix that touts the ability to boost your mood, focus, and immunity with natural ingredients and no crash. Sounds pretty good, right?

I received the orange flavor, which made me a little nervous because I generally don’t like orange flavored things. (I had a bad experience with an orange-flavored medication as a child. I don’t want to talk about it.)

But (surprise, surprise!) I actually really liked this. It’s lightly fizzy, and the flavor actually did remind me more of a real orange than something artificial. (Though, if I bought it, I would probably get the Pink Lemonade or Acai Pomegranate flavor it also comes in.) Plus, it was a great drink the morning after a hectic week of late nights.

EBOOST Drink Packet = A

Finally, I tried out Not Your Mother’s Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream, a smoothing hair cream that fights out-of-control hair and reduces styling time with coconut and silk extracts.

I’m always on the look-out for a new amazing hair product. (You guys know how often my hair is a subject of concern in my life.)(Gawd that makes me sound shallow. Just trust me I think about other things, too.)

Anyway. I applied the cream after towel-drying my hair, and the first thing I noticed was how smoothly it applied. I combed my hair with a wide-toothed comb to evenly distribute the product and then let everything air-dry a bit.

No makeup whaaaaat?

Next, it was time to blow-dry. And in the name of total transparency, here’s what my hair looked like right after I finished blow-drying (meaning no other styling/curling/whatevs at all…also still not makeup…deal with it):

Super smooth! With zero additional heat styling! Success! It feels really soft, too, and the smell is also quite pleasant.

Not Your Mother’s Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream = A+

Welp, that’s all I’ve tried from the VoxBox so far. I still have three more products to review, so keep an eye out for that next week.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Welp, I survived the rest of American Made. It was a pretty incredible event when you think about what went into making it happen. There were also some insanely talented people from all over the country in attendance. The whole thing was pretty dang inspiring.

But if I can be honest with you guys for a second (and I like to think I can), I am what you might call “le tired.

My boss actually gave me and our Assistant Digital Editor (who was covering the event with me) today off. BUT GUESS WHO HAS LIKE SEVEN MEETINGS TODAY, ONE OF WHICH IS WITH TWO PEOPLE VISITING FROM CANADA THAT SHE CAN’T RESCHEDULE?

So…I’m going to work today. But I’m using my free day on Monday, goshdangit.

A three-day weekend! Such luxury. I’m already trying to plan all the things I want to do on the day off. I’m cleaning the apartment tomorrow, so I won’t have to worry about that. I’m thinking a run and maybe some crafting?? Since I’m so inspired by the crafting event I just went to?

I know, you guys. I live fast and loose. You either keep up or get left behind.

Anyway.

The event ended with a panel of bloggers who I have admired a looong time who were all giving advice on what it takes to be a successful blog. The one thing I wish they would have said is that, while great content is incredibly important, sometimes you just get lucky. You happen to know the right people and make the right connections, and you get a following. Sometimes that part does just happen. (Gosh, bitter much, Justine?)

But I’m not really bitter. My blog is not my full-time job. (At the moment…) It’s a side thing I do to keep myself writing. Heck, I don’t even think my blog knows what it is yet. Ya know, three years later.

There’s probably a metaphor about me and my life somewhere in there that I should be acknowledging, but I’m too tired to get all meta on you at the moment.

But the point is, the blog kind of inspired me to figure my blog (and, fine, me) out in the next couple of months. Is it just going to continue to be a random pseudo-diary with the occasional how-to? Should I go back to giving unsolicited advice more regularly? SHOULD I HAVE A THEME, YOU GUYS?

Two of the main themes of advice I heard over and over were:

1. Know who you are and make sure it’s something that isn’t out there already.

2. Take better pictures. Invest in a camera. WE LIVE IN A VISUAL WORLD, Y’ALL.

The second one takes fundage that I’m not ready to cough up yet. But I guess I also need to stop taking crapping pics in crappy lighting. (The trials of a working blogger…)

The first one I feel like I can actually do something about. I feel like the thing I have that isn’t out there already is, well…me. My voice. But maybe I’m just flattering myself.

I don’t know, you guys. And this is getting ramble-y, and I have to sign off and head to the train. So…help me out? What do you come to this blog for? Why? How did you find it? What do you think I should do with my life…er…blog?

This isn’t as life or death as I’m making it sound. As I said, my blog is not my main way of supporting myself, so there’s not nearly as much pressure. I’m just curious.

As predicted, yesterday was a long, exhausting day.

It was also pretty dang fun.

Even though I was on my feet 90 percent of the day, I was also spending time with people I actually like, learning about topics that are actually interesting to me. The entire atmosphere of the event was so positive and (dare I say it?) buzzing with energy the entire time.

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Plus, I got to talk to Tory Burch and interview Calvin Klein. They were both lovely. Also, Calvin’s a close-talker. Consider yourself warned.

Even the parts of the day that were less enjoyable (long hours, limited time to eat, the stress of getting posts up as quickly as possible) weren’t quite as bad since we had plenty of coworkers taking part to commiserate with. And, lets face it, whining about something that deep down you know is pretty cool is a journalist’s favorite thing to do. (Old habits die hard.)

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Plus, it had been a really long time since I had done any legitimate reporting. It’s kind of nice to get to try it out again now and then.

So, all in all, a good day. I’m tired for sure, but it was a nice break from the everyday of the office.

And today I get to do it all again. (Fair warning: I’m expecting my enthusiasm to wane a bit during round two…unless there’s something awesome lurking on the horizon I just don’t know about yet.)

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(More photos and information about the event can be found here.)

It’s early, you guys.

Today, I’m covering a work went at Grand Central Station that stars at 7:30 and goes all day.

Meaning, I have a long day ahead of me, starting with a 5 a.m. wake-up call. Oof.

It’s currently 6:36, I’m my first cup of coffee in and sitting on the 6:17 train. I mean, I know it could be worse. I know I have friends who used to or currently commute on even earlier trains.

But dangit. This is early. And I’m already feeling the tiredness start to scratch at the backs of my eyeballs.

Fortunately, I think the work went is going to be pretty cool. (You can follow what I’ll be doing here.) And, I mean, they serve coffee at Grand Central. So that’s something.

Obviously I’m just writing this post to whine. But maybe this switch in my routine will inspire something cool? A blog-worthy story perhaps? I’ll keep you posted.

You know, if I don’t fall asleep first.