Monday, September 26, 2016

Instagram Roundup

Hello! And happy fall!! I got home last night from a weekend in Kentucky and realized I didn't put together a blog post. Oops! So I figured an Instagram roundup/maybe a life update might be a good idea! You can always shop my Instagram posts that I've linked through Shop Style Collective by clicking the Instagram Shop tab at the top.

I have lived in the outfit! Jeans and a plain, neutral top is my go to outfit for grad school.

I wore this to school on a day where I really wanted it to be fall but the weather wasn't quite cooperating

I wore this to school because every now and then even grad students like to get dressed up!

This sweater is from Wal-Mart. Yes. Wal-Mart. I can't find it online but I suggest checking in the store!

Also from Wal-Mart? This dress.


I dubbed this my "pseudo rocker" outfit. My friend told me I looked like a cute biker. Either way I love the edginess of this outfit.

I got to be part of Cents of Style's Life is... series. Sorry I don't know anything about the bike - it was some random student's that must have been in class!


Okay so if you made it to the end here's a quick life update: Life is crazy. I have two manuscripts due this Friday that I'm submitting to a journal that's highlighting the HPLC conference I went to in San Francisco this summer. I'm trying to finish writing them while still figuring out one last experiment! My parents are on vacation for a few days so I picked up the two dogs on my way home from Kentucky yesterday so my apartment feels significantly smaller with a human, a cat, and two dogs. I'm looking forward to this weekend when I get to take the dogs home and have a relaxing weekend with family. Grad school is getting rough but I'm seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Life Is An Adventure

This post contains affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you shop through them.

Top: Cents of Style | Kimono: Charming Charlie | Jeans: American Eagle | Booties: Just Fab
(Shoutout to the student whose bike I used as a prop while they were in class!)

This year has been crazy good. I've gotten to travel to new places, and I'm not even done with my trips yet this year! I've been to Michigan, New Jersey (twice), California, Pennsylvania, soon I'll go to New York, and I'm actually going to Kentucky this weekend. Four of those places I'll have gone this year are new to me! These have all been some of the best adventures I've ever taken. But it's not just traveling to California or New Jersey that make life adventurous. It's exploring the next small town over. Or exploring new places in your own city! It's the adventure of getting a McDonald's ice cream cone at midnight with your best friend. 

Adventures don't have to be this grand trip. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some cost money, some are free. I saw a picture on Pinterest that said "say yes to every adventure" and that's exactly what I've done this year. Any time something came up that took me out of Oxford, I tried my hardest to say yes to it. While there were always logistics to work out, I don't regret any trip I've taken. Another Pinterest quote (#pinterestforthewin) said "Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show." And y'all how great is that! Stories and memories are so fun because you get to replay that adventure over and over in your head. You get to relive it any time you want!

My entire life has been spent in a small town. From growing up to grad school. But life is an adventure. And there's so much to see outside of your own little bubble. So pick a new place you've never been to and go. You don't have to go far. Start with the next town over, then the next city, state, country. Get out of your bubble. Go find an adventure because that's what life is!

Check out these Life is... shirts from Cents of Style. Life is so many things! It's beautiful, grand, sweet, tough (but so are you!), and an adventure. I encourage you to get the one that speaks to you. Then wear the heck out of it! Wear it as a reminder of what life is. If it's beautiful, pursue beautiful things. If it's tough, remember you are just as tough! And from today until Sunday, these shirts are only $15.95 and have free shipping using the code LIFEIS1 so jump on the shirt that speaks to you!


I would love to know what shirt you pick! If you get one of these shirts, post it on social media and tag me (@ashleyerichardson on Insta and @ashleyerich09 on Twitter) so I can see it and repost/retweet it. Celebrate what life is to you! I think it makes it more exciting that way.

Also just a fun little bonus: If you follow me on Snapchat (@aerichardson) or Instagram, you probably saw my story of how one of the chemistry professors walked out as I was taking these pictures with my friend Taf. This particular professor is very intimidating, but she was actually really cool with what we were doing. That is, until she realized I said I take pictures of clothes, not that I take pictures with no clothes! I'm sure my face was bright red. But Dr. Hagerman, you can clearly see I take pictures of clothes and they are on my person! Here's a couple pictures Taf snapped of our interaction. I show every emotion on my face!


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Faux Suede Vest

Shirt: Old Navy | Vest: Kohls | Jeans: American Eagle | Booties: Nordstrom

Tomorrow is the first day of fall y'all! I just need this weather to cooperate. The high is in the upper 80s the next few days and I just can't. Thankfully it looks like the temperature is finally going to start dropping next week. This is when the Midwest is just a pain to live in. Seasons never change like they should!

I love this outfit because it just screams fall! This vest is going to carry me well into the new season. I'm already wearing it with a t-shirt or tank top, but I'm so excited to be able to wear it with long sleeves on a regular basis. As for long sleeve shirts, I highly suggest y'all check out Old Navy. Their shirts are so comfy, perfectly priced, and I appreciate that they're a little longer.

What are y'all most excited about for fall? For me, it's the cooler weather, the clothes, and all things pumpkin!

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Monday, September 19, 2016

September Birchbox: Unboxed


It's that time of month again! No not that time of month. Birchbox time!! Before I start making too many bad jokes, let's get right into the samples.

1. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle ($20) // I've tried Klorane dry shampoo before and I wasn't a big fan. Unfortunately nothing has really changed. While it definitely gave my hair texture, I didn't feel like it did anything to make it look less greasy. Also it doesn't have a smell so for some people that would be a major plus but I like my dry shampoo to smell like something. Definitely not a fan of this stuff.

2. Bioderma Sebium H2O ($16.90) // I LOVE micellar water!! It's all I use to wash my face. (It's just slightly soapy water but you don't have to rinse - just swipe a soaked cotton pad over your face and it's clean.) This product smells so good - very fresh and clean. I'm hesitant to pay that much for face wash, but it's pretty great stuff. I'm trying different brands of micellar water and this one is definitely my top three though! I'd probably buy this with some Birchbox points.

3. LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil - Birthday Suit ($12) // I have a LOC lip pencil in watermelon or something and I love it! But I hated this color. It looks so bad on me. It's a nude but it's lighter than my skin so it makes me look like an ice queen. Other than the color though, I love this stuff. It goes on so well and is really moisturizing! I want a full size in the pink color I have, but definitely not this color!

4. Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Rinse ($10) // This stuff definitely smells like lemon but when you use it, it doesn't make your hair smell like lemons. This rinse is supposed to get rid of built up product on your scalp without drying it out all while making your hair shiny. Two comments on it: First, I felt like I used almost my entire sample just to feel like I had fully saturated my hair. Granted I have a ton of hair, but still. Second, I can't actually attest to the shine because I had a shine treatment put on my hair a week ago when I got it colored. But it did make my scalp feel cleaner. I use a ton of dry shampoo so I felt like it was really clean after using it. Since it's only $10, I would actually buy this but only use it maybe once a week.

5. Milk Makeup Highlighter ($24) // I've been getting into highlighter lately. This stuff is a creamy stick highlighter. It's not as in your face as some of my other highlighters which was nice. It gave a dewy shine to my cheeks without looking overdone. It also goes on so smooth which is nice. It looks even better after I've dusted translucent powder over my face - it kind of helps to tone it down a smidge more.

This Birchbox was all over the place. But I don't mind. Sometimes getting a product a second time is cool because maybe my taste has changed!

On a different note, y'all. The exposure my last post got was incredible. I've never worried about pageviews, but that post alone had more views than my last 11 posts!! How crazy is that??? I was floored when I saw that yesterday. Maybe I should share posts on my personal Facebook page more often (or y'all could go and like Life & Reactions on Facebook, follow on Twitter, or follow on Instagram). So thank you thank you thank you for all the love! It seriously is why I keep trying to come up with good content and keep posting.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Black Shirt Dress (from Wal-Mart!)

This post contains affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you shop through them.

Shirt Dress: Wal-Mart (exact, similar) | Shoes: Target | Bag: Anne Klein (found at TJ Maxx) | Earrings: Charming Charlie | Necklace: Charming Charlie | FitBit: Charge HR | Sunglasses: Old Navy (similar)

There's really something to be said about the dresses you can find at Wal-Mart. I'm in love with this shirt dress from there (as well as this maxi dress)! Then paired with these booties? It's such a perfect fall outfit! Last weekend was sunny and 75 so it's as close to fall as we've gotten so far. I found this bag at TJ Maxx over the weekend (praise the Lord for TJ Maxx amiright?!). I love how structured Anne Klein bags are - they never lose their shape. 

Have y'all checked out the new Instagram Shop page? I explained it in the previous blog post, but you can shop Instagram outfits I post without signing up for e-mails!

One more quick note - Check out the sweet deal Cents of Style is having today! You get a blanket scarf + a pair of wedge ankle boots (just like what I'm wearing in this post!) for only $29.95 with the code FOURYEAR!! 30 bucks for a scarf and booties to help launch your wardrobe into fall. You cannot beat this!! BUT it's only good until Monday 9/19 so get on it!!


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Addition to Life & Reactions


Hey y'all! I realize I've been really bad about posting my every day outfits on here with links to everything. That was a huge part of starting my blog though: letting people know where I got each piece of my outfit. Finally acknowledging this hole, I knew something needed to change.

I've been using Shop Style to search for my outfit pieces because it's so much easier than searching each retailer's website (literally just type "old navy gray shirt" and all the gray shirts from Old Navy show up!). There's no e-mail sign up with Shop Style unless you subscribe to their newsletter but you don't have to! 

Then I learned about Shop Style Collective. It's an affiliate program through Shop Style so basically I earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links on my blog. You never pay more for the items I link to, the companies are just kind enough to give me a small commission if you buy something! You may have noticed I include the disclosure "This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you shop through them" in some blog posts. Those are through other affiliate programs (again, no extra cost for you!) and I'll continue to do that for the other programs, but when it comes to Shop Style, I figured I would just make a blanket disclosure post to cover it!

So now for the new addition! You may have noticed I added an "Instagram Shop" page recently. If you visit that page, you'll see my Instagram posts that I've chosen to link outfit pieces to through Shop Style Collective. If you click on a picture you like, links to my outfit will pop up. If I can't find the exact piece on Shop Style, I'll try to link other similar items at a similar price point (no linking a $300 pair of jeans for a pair I only paid $35 for).

If you ever see an Instagram post that you want to know where I got something that doesn't make it to the Instagram Shop page, let me know! I'll do my best to get it up on the Shop page as quickly as possible. My heart behind doing this is making it easier for you to know where I got things from. It's also nice that I can earn a little extra money through this (#poorgradstudentproblems), but there's no pressure to ever buy anything! 

I really appreciate all the love and support y'all give this blog. All of you faithful readers give me life and energy to keep creating content for L&R!

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Endless Summer Influenster VoxBox Review

I received these products for free from Influenster for testing purposes, but all opinions are my own.


Hey y'all! Okay so if you don't know me (or you haven't picked up on social media), I LOVE fall. Like it's my favorite season hands down. I live for cool weather and honestly am hating how many jobs there are in the south when compared to the north. I don't do heat! But summer still brings some great things with it. First, there's no school! Or if you're a grad student there's no undergrads on campus which means parking is a breeze (insert praise hands). There's so much freedom that comes with summer. Maybe it's all the vacations people take, but summer is the time to get out and explore. And as much as I love my neutrals and fall tones, there's something about rocking a hot pink dress on a hot summer day.

This VoxBox was all about endless summer. While I can't wait for the temperature to drop below 70, the feeling of summer is something I love year-round. Keep reading to see what all I got in my box!

 Woo-hoo! Love getting VoxBoxes from Influenster!

I had never heard of this brand until getting my box. It's sold at Target and is really affordable. Now I wasn't a huge fan of the mascara. It'd be great for a more natural look, but I just didn't get the volume or length I was expecting. But the eyeliner. Y'all! This may be my new favorite liquid liner. It goes on so smooth, has great pigmentation, and stays put all day with no smudging, smearing, or running. I did the ultimate test of running 7 miles with it on and it looked as good as when I put it on that morning!

I've tried other NYM products before and I've always had a great experience with them. This leave-in conditioner made my hair so soft but worked so well at de-tangling my hair. Bonus: it smells so great! This would be great to keep in your beach bag to get rid of the salt water tangles!

I'm usually a fan of protein shakes because they're great for post-run recovery. But I was NOT a fan of this stuff. At least not until I let it sit in the fridge for a while. When they say mix with cold water, they mean COLD water. Not just cold water from the tap. Once it was chilled, it was pretty good! I'm not sure I would use it all the time, but this sample was good!

I've been a HUGE fan of Seche's top coat. It's thick but dries quickly and stays on like a gel. I put it over other brands of polish and it still prevent chips for at least 5 days (that's a long time for a chemist to have chip-free nails!). The color is very vibrant, but I needed two coats for sure. I've had it on all weekend and even with working in the lab, I'm currently chip-free!

I specifically got to try the jasmine green, pu-reh, and tumeric teas. The jasmine green is yummy! It's just got a hint of jasmine which is refreshing. The pu-reh was VERY strong! I needed some sugar because it was so bitter. But it caffeinated me as well as a cup of coffee! The tumeric tea was...interesting. Not bad just interesting. I've never had much exposure to tumeric (#midwestlife) so that may be why I'm just not sure about it. I honestly don't know what it tastes like because I can't place the taste...other than tumeric!

I love getting VoxBoxes because it's so fun to try new things! Have you ever tried any of these products? Are there any you want to try now?

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