Thursday, December 31, 2015

FAVORITES WEEK : Fashion

The final week in 2015 has flown by, and it's already the final day of my favorites week!  So far, I've shared my favorite posts from 2015, favorite running products, and favorite beauty products.  Today I'll be talking about my favorite fashion from the year!

I'll be taking Friday off from the blog, so I'll see you again on Saturday (where my posts will end in 2016...so weird)!  I'll be sharing my first week's meal plan for the Whole 30.  If you haven't joined the Facebook group, there's still time!  And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my introduction post where I talk about #RunningWhole30.

If you have any questions about #RunningWhole30, please let me know in the comments or send me an email!  I'll be writing a FAQ post next week and want to address everyone's questions and concerns!  

Now, let's get back to today's topic and talk fashion favorites.  Happy New Year's Eve!


P.S. - I included some affiliate links in this post.  These are all items that I used and loved all year, and everything was bought with my own money!  You'll be able to browse all the items that I mention in a handy widget at the bottom of the post!  Thank you for supporting Gretch Runs so I can bring you better content in 2016!!  


Outfit


Madewell cardigan, Target dress, Target scarf, HM tights, HM boots
I really loved how this outfit looked all together, and the best part was that everything in this outfit was really affordable.  I picked up the cardigan from Madewell on a super sale around this time last year, and have gotten so much use out of it.  The dress was a really cheap T-shirt dress from Target, and I love using it as a neutral base for an outfit.  The booties were a great find from HM, and I love how the scarf added a little pattern to a basic outfit.  


Tops


Without a doubt, this was my best and favorite purchase of the year.  I got so much use out of this jacket, and it took all of my outfits from meh to super cool.  I paired it with dresses, skirts, pants, jeans, and shorts.  It's so versatile, and a really good deal when it's on sale! I also love the fact that it's not leather, but looks really luxurious and expensive.  There aren't too many details on it, and it gives every outfit a chic cover.

Express Trapeze Dress

Another favorite this year was this versatile dress from Express (by the way, I can blame all of my Express purchases on Gina!  I started following her blog this year and completely revamped my wardrobe because of her!).  The dress is so comfortable and flattering!  I paired it with so many different things this year, so I decided to pick it up in a different color on sale!



Bottom


It was tough for me to come up with my favorite bottom of the year, because I mostly always wear blue jeans and black jeans.  The pairs that I have are so old that I can't find them online, so I decided to share these pants from J Crew.  I've had a pair of black ones and grey ones for a few years now, and they're still in amazing shape.  They're pretty much like a pair of leggings, but super thick and flattering.  They're an investment piece for sure, but they are one of my most-used bottoms in the fall and winter!


Shoes

If you see my weekly outfits, you'll notice that I wear these shoes constantly!  I picked these up on a whim when I needed a new pair of everyday sneakers, and I love them.  I think they are really cute shoes that match everything that I wear.  They're really lightweight and can be thrown into the washing machine and dryer if they get dirty!  They come in so many different colors and patterns, so I might have to add another pair to my rotation this year!


Accessory


I decided to splurge on a purse with my tax refund last year, and it was such a great purchase.  This little bag carries everything that I need (phone, wallet, keys, Kindle, chapstick, mirror) and is really adorable!  I love the black hardware, and even though I wear it pretty much daily, it doesn't show any wear and tear at all.  If you're looking for the perfect every day bag, I would recommend checking out Rebecca Minkoff!


I wear a necklace pretty much every day, and this one has been my favorite for 2015.  I love how simple the design is, but I still get so many compliments on it!  The chain length can be adjusted, so it always looks perfect no matter what I'm wearing.  It's neutral enough to go with any color scheme and outfit, but adds the perfect finishing touch.  I'm so glad I picked this up!


Store


Express
A lot of my favorites this year were from Express!  I never used to shop there and thought it was just a store filled with party clothes, or glitterly outfits for New Year's Eve.  Boy, was I wrong!  I've gotten so many great deals from Express this year, and their items are some of my most-worn pieces of the year (see above- leather jacket and trapeze dress).  I also love their reversible Barcelona camis, skinny jeans, and portofino shirts.  They're all staples in my wardrobe now, and I can't believe I waited so long to shop there!


Tool


Ibotta
I honestly can't believe that I waited so long to use the app Ibotta.  It's simply amazing, and I'll never shop without it!  All you do is search the app for the store where you're shopping, or for the groceries you're picking up.  Watch a short video or fill out a quiz, and you instantly get a rebate after purchasing the item.  I've already earned over $40 (buying my normal products), and I only started using the app a few months ago.  If you haven't tried it out already, do it now!  You can register with my referral link (or use my code ibcqejn) to get some extra money!

Ebates
Another tool that I use to get back a lot of money when I shop online is Ebates.  All you have to do to use this free site is search for a store, click the link to be routed to the website, and shop!  Ebates will automatically apply a percentage of your purchase to your account and send you a "big fat check".   Making money off of shopping?  YES PLEASE!  They also have tons of coupons for stores to help you save more money! I have a referral code for Ebates as well if you're interested in joining!


Shop my Favorites:


What questions do you have about the Whole 30?
What is your favorite purchase of the year?
Do you have a favorite shopping app that you use?

Linking up with MarCynthia and Court 
as well as Heather and Amanda

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FAVORITES WEEK : Beauty

Welcome to Day 3 of my 2015 Favorites!  Today it's all about beauty.  I'll be sharing all of the top products that I used throughout the year in a variety of price points.  I tried out so many different makeup products this year, so I feel fairly confident recommending these!  I hope that you'll find something new to try, and please share your favorite products from the year!

P.S. - I included some affiliate links in this post.  These are all items that I used and loved all year, and everything was bought with my own money!  Thank you for supporting Gretch Runs so I can bring you better content in 2016!!


Face

In the past year, I've tried out so many different foundations- from really low end to expensive high end.  To me, nothing really compares to this foundation from Covergirl!  There are so many things that I love about this product:  there's a pump in the bottle so that you can control how much comes out; there is a huge color selection so it matches my skin perfectly; it goes on really smoothly and stays put all day; and it can be applied sheerly or built up if I need more coverage.  Simply put, this is my favorite foundation ever!

This is a spray that I apply pretty much every day, and it makes all of my makeup look amazing!  If you're not a fan of a powdery face, this is a spray for you.  It gives me a slightly dewy finish on my makeup,  and helps everything last all day long.  I've repurchased this more times than I can remember this year!


Eyes


I honestly can't remember a single day since I picked up this product that I haven't used it.  I wear it during the work week as a simple eye shadow (just apply a swipe, some mascara and concealer and I'm ready to go!) or as a base on the weekend for other shadows.  It's such a simple product to use and looks so beautiful and subtle on the eyelids.  If you haven't tried this out, I highly suggest it!

I will remember 2015 as the year that I mastered the winged eyeliner- mostly thanks to this eyeliner!  The tip of this is so thin that it's really easy to apply a straight line.  It also lasts all day on my eyelid without fading or creasing at all!  I've tried it in the black and brown shade, and I'm a huge fan!

Out of all the makeup products out there, mascara is probably the one that I'm most picky about and always in search of the best one.  I decided to try the Super Sizer after reading so many good reviews about it, and it definitely lived up to the hype.  The brush is a little odd to use, but it makes my eyelashes so long and full!  When I wear this mascara, I get asked if I'm wearing false eyelashes.  It's amazing!


Lips

This lip product was a staple for me this year and I used it almost every day as soon as I got out of the shower!  As a balm, it's so smooth and creamy, and makes my dried lips feel and look amazing.  It also tints your lips very softly, and stains them all day long.  There are a few shades of this product and I want to try more of them!

I love wearing neutral lipsticks, and also love matte lips.  Unfortunately, this usually is a recipe for disaster, with disaster meaning chapped and cracked lips.  Luckily for me, I found the creamy matte lipstick this year and I'm in love!  The lipstick is so smooth and creamy (hence the name) and it was perfect for an every day lip.


Nails


Revlon Gel Envy Polish
source
I don't paint my nails all the time, mostly because my nails seem to chip almost immediately after applying.  I discovered the gel envy polish by Revlon this year, and I'll never buy another brand!  The colors are all really opaque and beautiful, and last on my nails for a week with no chipping.  I also got a top coat from this line that I love!  I just wish that there were more colors available!

When I'm looking for something a little more special for my nails, or want my nails done but can't maintain them for a week or so, I use nail wraps.  I tried the Jamberry wraps after a friend had a Facebook party, and I'm obsessed!  These are really easy to apply, and last way longer than my previous favorites from Sally Hansen.  They're a bit pricey, but don't dry up so I use them sparingly when I want something a little special.  I love all of their seasonal wraps, and they also have school spirit wraps that would be great for a big football game!


Skin


Trader Joe's Nourish Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer
I revamped my skin care this year, and I decided to try out Trader Joe's products.  They both got great reviews on Paula's Choice, and they're really cheap.  Both of these have done great things for my skin and haven't irritated it at all!  I love the pump on both of them so it's easy to use, and will continue to repurchase.

Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit
As a part of my skin clearing goal for the year, I also decided to start wearing sunscreen regularly.  I wasn't really finding any that I liked very much, so I was excited to try out Sephora's annual Sun Safety Kit.  There are SO many products in here that I've loved, and I can't wait to repurchase this next year.  I highly recommend everyone picking up the kit when it's available!


Hair


Is there anything more annoying and frustrating than brushing out wet hair?  Brushing can break your hair, and using a wide tooth comb is so time consuming (and painful!) so I was excited to try out the Wet Brush.  The bristles go through my hair so easily, and doesn't damage my hair at all.  I love this brush!

John Frieda Luxurious Volume 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment
My biggest hair issue is flatness, and this product completely eliminates that.  When I use this, I find myself having a great hair day for an entire week!  My hair has natural looking volume, and also makes my hair look thicker overall and healthier.  I'm not sure what's in this, but I'm in love!


Tools


Real Techniques Brushes
I own so many Real Techniques brushes, and I think they are so high quality.  The bristles are so soft and last for a really long time with no shedding.  I use mine and wash them constantly, and they're still as good as new!  I suggest trying out their kits so that you can try out a few brushes at a time, but my single favorite brushes are the Expert Face Brush, Stippling Brush, and Shading Brush.

Beauty Blender
This might be an expensive sponge, but I honestly use this daily and think it's well worth the money.  I use it for foundation, concealer, cream blush and highlight, and for touch ups during the day.  Other brands make cheaper versions of this, but I really think nothing compares to the real deal, and it's worth splurging!  I spend a lot of time cleaning and sanitizing my sponge after each use, so I can use it for a really long time.  Other sponges wear out quickly, so in the end I'm spending less money!  


What's your favorite makeup product of the year?
Any products that really haven't worked for you?

Linking up with MarCynthia and Court 
as well as Heather!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

FAVORITES WEEK : Running

It's day two of my 2015 Favorites Week, and today we're going to be focusing on my running favorites!  I'll be taking you through my favorites in every area imaginable- from clothes to races and everything in between.  I hope you enjoy hearing about my favorites, and I would love to hear what you loved this year as well!

P.S. - I included some Amazon affiliate links in this post.  These are all items that I used and loved all year, and everything was bought with my own money!  Thank you for supporting Gretch Runs so I can bring you better content in 2016!!


Clothes


Vest
I got a bright white vest on a whim last winter at the Columbia outlet, and it's quickly become my favorite running piece.  It's great in a variety of weather conditions, and I wear it almost on a daily basis.  The one that I got was really inexpensive from the outlet mall, so I suggest heading there to find a good deal!


Lululemon Speed Shorts
This year I also bought my first Lululemon pieces.  Even though they're expensive, I really think that they are worth the investment.  My favorite are the speed shorts, which are so comfortable and cute.  I only own one pair right now, but I wear them so much!  Lulu sells so many different lengths of shorts if you're uncomfortable with such short shorts, and they're always coming out with new colors and patterns! (p.s I'm wearing them in one of the race pictures below if you want to see them in action!)


Target C9 Capris
Out of all of my bottoms, I wear my cheap Target capris the most!  I love them for running, yoga, weight lifting, and for casual wear as well.  These have held up so well over the past years that I've had them!


Socks



SmartWool PhD Running Ultra Light Micro Sock
I discovered these socks after doing a test run during a Run Club workout.  We each got to try a pair of these socks, then got to keep them after the run.  I love how thick these socks are!  Not only are they really cushioned and compressive, but they also wick away moisture really well.  They're perfect for every season, and I absolutely love them!


Lilly Trotters Compression Socks
I picked up a pair of these after a fellow blogger posted about a Kick Starter campaign for this brand.  The socks in this line are so adorable, and they're also really comfortable!  I love being able to support smaller companies, so I suggest checking out this line if you want cute, functional socks!


Shoes


Brooks Pure Flow 4
This year I discovered the Pure line by Brooks.  I love these shoes for a few reasons- they're really light weight and comfortable, and they're also pretty cheap!  Right now these shoes are on sale for $80, but I've bought them as low as $60.  For me, these shoes are perfect from every distance from a 5k to a half marathon!  All of my PR's this year were from these shoes!


Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats
These may not be considered shoes, but without them I wouldn't have run in the winter at all!  I can't believe that it took me 24 years to buy these, but I will never be without them again.  I did a full review of them here, and highly suggest trying them out if you want to run when it's icy and snowing!


Accessories


Garmin Vivoactive
I may have only gotten this watch a month ago (and still owe a review on it!) but I'm in love!  It's a great watch for running, but I also use it for swimming and can't wait to try it on the bike as well.  There are so many cool features, and I'm so glad that I got it on the Black Friday sale!


Fuel



Picky Bars
For the longest time, I struggled with fueling for races.  I always got a stomach ache and nothing seemed to settle in my stomach. I decided to try Picky Bars (which are created by the amazing runner Lauren Fleshman) and I'll never go back!  These taste great and have all natural ingredients.  I especially love the caffeinated flavor (which I linked) but they're all amazing and don't upset my stomach at all!



To go along with that, I also tried out tons of fuels and never had any luck until I tried Honey Stinger.  It's not really thick and heavy like most gels, so it doesn't bother me at all before or during races!  They also taste great!  There are so many great varieties that I've tried, so I linked to a variety pack.  I also love their honey waffles and think they'll come in handy for fueling during my marathon training runs! (P.S. They're coming out with Gluten Free waffles in January!!)


Race


I loved this race for so many reasons.  The course was so beautiful and easy to run, and I finally hit my goal of breaking 2 hours in the half.  I also fell back in love with running thanks to my two new friends (my "guardian angels" as I think of them) who helped pace me for most of the race!  I would suggest this race to anyone who's looking for a new PR, and I'm thinking of doing the full marathon in 2016!

This was one of my favorite races this year, not because it was a PR or a particularly eventful race, but because it was my first time running in Central Park!  For my birthday, Dan and I took a trip to New York City and Philadelphia, and I got to run a race on my 25th birthday.  It was the perfect way to celebrate (only a runner would understand why waking up at 6 AM to run a 5 mile race while it was cold and raining would be a great present) and definitely a highlight of the year!


Track Workout


I love to switch it up at the track and try different workouts!  I was so excited to find Lauren Fleshman's track workouts on the Strava blog, and this was my favorite!  I really liked the mix of short and long intervals.  I used this workout a lot when I trained for my half and it really helped!

Runners- what was your favorite running product from last year?
What is your favorite shoe right now?
Most memorable race?


linking up with Tuesdays on the Run  
Wild Workout Wednesday and Jill