Spa Microdermabrasion vs. At Home PMD

We have been seeing PMDs all over the web lately and they sound amazing, so we decided to test them out. If you don’t know what a PMD is, it’s a Personal MicroDermabrasion tool. It promises to save money and time, while smoothing out your skin. We wanted to compare the results of a spa microdermabrasion to an at home treatment with the PMD. We went to the new Ulta location in Brickyard to get a microderm treatment from Master Esthetician Ayla. Ulta offers some of the lowest prices we have ever seen for microderm treatments, starting at $50, while the PMD costs around $150.

MICRODERM COLLAGE

microderm 3 microderm 4 microderm 5Spa Microdermabrasion

  • you feel pampered
  • does not hurt at all, feels like a tiny suction cup on your skin
  • they not only do microderm, but all kinds of moisturizing and cleansing treatments on your face
  • they know exactly how much pressure to put on your skin
  • It only costs about $50 and most people only need to do it every few months to maintain smooth skin

PMD

  • You can do it anytime, anywhere, you just need to plug it in
  • You have to watch an instructional DVD and read all instructions before you try it out
  • You have to test out a few options before you find out which setting is best for your face.
  • You have the possibility of causing serious harm to yourself if you choose an attachment that is too rough for your skin.
  • If you are familiar with microdermabrasion and not afraid to try it on yourself, it will save you money if you use it at least 3 times.

Overall, we had a great experience at Ulta. If you have dry skin that needs a little TLC, a microderm is a great treatment. After getting the treatments, makeup goes on skin a lot better and stays on longer. Microdermabrasion also gives you a nice healthy glow. After a couple of tries, we both feel comfortable using the PMD, but we feel like we need more practice to get the same results as the spa. Have you tried the PMD? What did you think?

The Brickyard Ulta location is offering a great discount on skin services through January! You can make an appointment by calling (801) 466-9129.

Hawaii Must-Haves

I look forward to our trip to the Big Island of Hawaii with Sam’s family every January. It’s the perfect way to get over my post Christmas blues. I’m sharing some of my favorite moments from this year’s trip and a my top five things I can’t live without on a beach vacation!

1. Sun Hat: I bough my black and white one at Walmart in Hawaii for $14.99! I always find gems there. I’ve entered that phase of life where I realize how dumb I was trying to get tan as a teenager and now I slather on SPF 50 every morning!

2. Spray Tan: This is directly related to #1. I always feel so much better putting on a bathing suit in January when I have a spray tan. It also takes away the pressure to come home super tan or for me red as a tomato because of a sunburn.

3. Kindle: I love to read, but rarely get the chance to read books straight through unless I’m on vacation. I read a few this trip, but my favorite was “What Alice Forgot”. It is the perfect beach read and has a great ending!

4. Dresses: I brought 3 dresses instead of jeans or shorts and was very happy with my decision. I wore them all multiple times and they were so easy and breezy. Lots of people have asked where the yellow floral dress is from, I actually got it at Primark this summer in London even though it looks totally Hawaiian!

5. Alterna Bamboo Beach Summer Sunshine Spray: this stuff smells like a tropical vacation in a bottle. It also protects your hair & scalp from the sun, while making it nice and shiny. By the end of the trip, I was seriously spraying it on everyone’s hair every morning.

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DSC_0593 DSC_0835 DSC_0819I have the best in-laws! They make this trip so much fun. We especially loved our whale watching boat tour, snorkeling in clear water and standup paddle boarding this trip. We also learned how to play a hilariously bad version of ultimate frisbee on the beach every night at sunset. So many fun memories, but I am already looking forward to next year!

Memorable Moments from 2014

 

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1. The Fainting Spell AND the answer to why the fainting spell happened in the first place!

2. Graham’s at the Grammys: Our Grammys adventure

3. Brooke’s exciting engagement to Parker and her engagement pictures taken at Albion Basin.

4. Meeting the one and only Martha Stewart where we were able to do an interview!

5. So many amazing bridal showers including this one! 

6. Bridal pictures at the state capitol where a group of Asian tourists swarmed Parker and Brooke.

7. Britt’s Europe trip to London, Monaco, Italy!

8. Brooke’s gorgeous wedding day and reception  that went flawlessly!

9. Last minute Halloween ideas were fun this year with pinata and tooth fairy.

10. What we are thankful for after such a jam packed year!

 

Steal or Splurge

We love finding you high style looks for low prices. We collaborated with photographer extraordinaire Melinda Jae for this segment and were blown away by her talent. We shot the photos in a stunning home in the hills near the Capitol.

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Which is the Steal and which is the splurge? Take your guess!Melinda1PRICE

Steal is on the LEFT, Splurge is on the RIGHT

We love this simple and casual look. We have been searching for brown boots that you can walk in all day comfortably and we found them! We love this pair from Spring Step Shoes.

Steal: Sweater Kohl’s (here) $21.99, Corduroys Forever 21 (here) $15.90, Boots www.springstepshoes.com (here) $169.99 (real leather)

Splurge: Sweater Express (here) $59.95, Corduroys Anthropologie (here) $88, Boots Nordstrom (similar here) $188
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We love the look of a classic black and white dress. We could not believe what a great deal this dress was!

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Steal: Kohls $71.25 (here)

Splurge: Express $150

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We had to save the best for last! Guess which is the steal!

Melinda3priceSplurge: coat White House Black Market $260 (here),  shoes Nordstrom $375 (here) = $635

Steal: coat Target – I got it for $40 Black Friday, it was $69 yesterday, now it’s $55! (here), shoes Kohls $29.95 (here) = $69.95

Merry Christmas from the craziest twins around! Wedding photography

Who else wants to live in NYC?

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Have you ever walked off a plane and not wanted to get back on? That is pretty much what happened when I went to New York last weekend. I have only been in the city during the Fall before this trip and Christmastime is a completely different story. Everything is decked out! From the trees to the windows it is beautiful.

Here are a few reasons why I wouldn’t mind staying in NYC a little longer:

- The Hackett clan. Some very fun family members live in the Big Apple and already know all the very best places to go. Automatic tour guides! We were able to travel with Parker’s mom, Linda, who is an NYC expert and so much fun!

- We saw Phantom of the Opera for the first time. Parker has listened to the CD for years, I will never forget the look on his face when the music began. Having the option of seeing a  Broadway show on the weekends = amazing.

- FOOOOD! We were introduced to Schmakary’s on 45th. We devoured the Red Velvet and the Chocolate Peppermint cookies in seconds. So yummy. Although I still need to try out Levain Bakery! And of course we made a stop at Shake Shack.

- Friends that have adorable studio apartments in classy neighborhoods that make delicious Sunday brunch.

- The hustle and bustle inside all of the pop-up Christmas markets.

A couple of things during the trip that didn’t go as planned…. 

- Getting sick on the 4th floor of Macy’s in Santa’s Workshop surrounded by thousands of people and having my husband sprint 3 blocks to track down some Pepto Bismol. Disaster averted. He is a pretty much the best.

- Ferry to Staten Island at night. Holy cow, so romantic! Except that when I thought Parker was already on the ferry… he actually wasn’t so he didn’t experience the views with me. Long story short: we need to go back so we can ride it together and enjoy the awesome view.

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IMG_1354 IMG_1358 IMG_1360 IMG_1367 IMG_1449 IMG_1450 IMG_1454 IMG_1459 IMG_1482 IMG_1484 IMG_1487 IMG_1492 IMG_1501 IMG_1497Thanks to Kent, Linda,Kristin, and Parker for an amazing trip!

 

 

Christmas Traditions

I love traditions because they make every holiday and season special with something to look forward to! I have made a special effort this year to not only remember old traditions, but create some new ones too.

christmas traditionsHere are our Top 10 Christmas Traditions:

1. Decorating Gingerbread Houses. The picture above is of our cute friend’s Mel & Alan who are amazingly crafty and awesome with graham cracker and frosting. Even if they turn out terrible, it is always so much fun!

2. Walking Through the Windows and Hot Cocoa at the Grand America. I love this gem of a hotel in downtown Salt Lake City and I love that they go all out for the Christmas season. Just a tip, go sit in the Lobby Lounge and listen to live music and order the coconut hot chocolate because you will never be the same.

3. Ice Skating. This may be the last year for this tradition because Britt had a little accident on the ice. She was pulling off an awesome trick and then went down… hard. Luckily she was laughing, but she did end up with some pretty nasty cuts and bruises. We all helped her and then laughed our heads off.

4. Nativity in the Glen. This tradition has gotten bigger and bigger every year. Instead of standing around watching a nativity, you get to walk through the beautiful Glen in Sugar House, which is transformed into old town Bethlehem. It is a collaboration with countless volunteers and various churches in the area. We turned it into a girl’s night and had so much fun!

5. Picking out a live Christmas tree. This is the best smelling tradition I can think of! It’s always fun to go walk through the trees. We just go to a lot, but maybe one day we’ll be tough enough to go into the forest cut down our very own :)

6. Watching White Christmas. It’s the classic of all classics and it never gets old. We grew up thinking that we were going to be dancers just like the sisters in the movie. It just makes me smile!

7. Holiday Baking. We love baking year round, but there is just something about making Christmas treats for others that makes it more fun during December. This year we tried a new recipe from Macy’s with sprinkles in the dough and they were delish! #simpleandsweet

8. Christmas Morning Brunch at Grandma’s house. We’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. One of our sweet grandmas prepares the yummiest food for our extended family. It includes Christmas morning casserole (eggs, bread, sausage, cheese), sticky buns, endless sweets and chocolate milk. Christmas morning would just not be the same without it.

9. Kurt Bestor Christmas concert/The Forgotten Carols. Britt has been going to the Kurt Bestor Christmas concert for quite a few years with the Haslams and they love it. This year, Parker and I decided to go to the Forgotten Carols last minute and it was amazing. Definitely a Christmas concert we are going to try and attend every year.

10. Christmas Love Letters: I love this tradition Britt and Sam have. This is the only required gift of Christmas. They write sappy letters to each recounting their favorite moments from the past year and include a few hopes and dreams for the future. It’s a great way to remember what matters this time of year.

We hope you are having a fabulous Christmas season! We would love to hear about some of your favorite Christmas traditions!

Give your guy a gift you can be proud of! {+giveaway}

We love the guys in our lives and this year we wanted to give them things they would actually use. As newlyweds we have the added excitement of wanting to set the bar high! This year we were really pleased to discover some awesome Utah companies that have quality products. We are pretty excited to share what we found. However, if your name is Parker or Sam stop reading now!)

You can watch the segment here: Guys Gift Guide

cotopaxi jacketCotopaxi Ski Jacket: This is a Utah company that has a great mission — they sell amazing outdoor gear and give back to humanity. We loved this jacket because of the fun colors and great quality. It’s also going to last you a while, they have a 61 year guarantee! Details on entering to win below. toothbrush

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Toothbrush – Black Edition: It’s the James Bond of toothbrushes and your guy will love it. Everyone brushes their teeth (hopefully), and this makes your mouth feel sparkling clean. I’ve told you before that marrying Sam was a great thing to do for my oral hygiene because he has trained me to floss everyday, a habit I was not very good at before I married him. He also loves to brush his teeth for about 5 minutes straight, I know what an overachiever! This electric toothbrush cuts down on brushing time, looks manly and makes your pearly whites sparkle.  This one is on the pricey side, but they have great options from $49 and they last forever!

arvo watchArvo Watches: Arvo was started right here in Utah and offers the most bangin’ watches – for just $50 bucks! They are super classic and not trendy or tacky looking like so many of the more expensive options out there. We are in love… and we also might have gotten one for ourselves. ;)

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Art of Shaving Kit: This is a Macy’s special that you will not regret! I bought it for Sam last year and he has officially named it his favorite Christmas gift I have ever given him. He uses it almost daily and swears it makes shaving more fun.

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ScentSationals wax warmers: Every guy loves to rep his team, but what if their school spirit also made their space smell amazing?! The Scentsational line is perfect for any true blue BYU fans or Utah Utes out there. We both have split marriages (husbands went to the U, we went to the Y) so we ordered one of each :) They are $20 bucks and available at the University of Utah and BYU bookstores as well as select Macey’s Food stores and the ScentSationals outlet store in Provo.

If you would like to win the Cotopaxi coat (keep in mind that it is a size Large) just comment below with your email.

You need to be able to pick up your prize from the station in SLC. For an extra entry go to each of our Instagram accounts and comment on the giveaway picture that we have posted. @2BrookeGraham @BrittanyGrahamHaslam

Good luck!  ***UPDATE: GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED*** Congratulations Collin Eggertz on the new coat!

 

Favorite Salt Lake City Trail Runs

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image via jarviedigital.com

Thanks to the amazingly warm Fall we’ve had in Utah, Britt and I have been able to stick with our trail running without freezing our tootsies off. We both try to workout at least 5 days a week (to balance out all of the cookies that we eat) and it’s nice to break up time at the gym with some fresh air. It’s also a lot easier to convince yourself to go running when it is sunny outside and you aren’t worried about slipping on ice! We thought it would be fun to share our top three favorite trails in the Salt Lake area. We are always looking for new ones and would love to hear about any trails that you love!

1. Pipeline: This is a popular trail up Millcreek Canyon. It has the perfect amount of up’s and down’s without making you want to puke. We love this trail year round – it doesn’t get prettier! The only thing to know is that on warm weekends, the trail can get a bit crowded because it’s awesome and a lot of people love it.

2. Bonneville Shoreline Trail: We were introduced to the Salt Lake portion of this trail a few years ago.  We love it for it’s steady, flat path and gorgeous views of the valley. Perfect to do right around sunset! It’s also great for mountain biking.

3. Sugar House Park: The park feels new thanks to the extended bike path and tunnel being completed. Since we are both huge babies and hate to go trail running by ourselves (Britt is positive she would be eaten by a mountain lion), this trail is perfect for solo runs because the park is always filled with people. It’s super accessible and open year round!

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*Clothing from Lululemon at Trolley Square. We love their comfy tanks with built in bras! #TrolleyHoliday

 

Gifts for Your Girlfriends + GIVEAWAY

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I don’t know about you, but we are getting tired of seeing gift guides that look adorable and then you click on them and everything is over $200. We love our girlfriends, but not that much :) Ok totally joking, but we decided to round up some of our favorite products that are affordable & amazing!

Obsessed with her SKINphytomerPhytomer: This French company has a local office in Salt Lake City. We have been trying out a few of their products for the past month and can say it has made an obvious change in our skin. We are super careful about what we use on our faces because we have sensitive, acne prone skin. These products are gentle, but still leave your skin looking and feeling so nice. Phytomer is carried in a few spas in the Salt Lake Valley: AquaVie Day Spa, The Spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge, The Grand Spa at Grand America. I’m also going to admit that Sam has started sharing the eye/lip moisturizing cream with me because it makes a visible difference in the softness of your skin. All products can also be purchased online via www.lespausa.com.

Obsessed with Good SCENTSbronze lanternWe love a good candle, but hate that you always have to have a lighter or match nearby. We recently discovered these delicious, wick less candles from Scentsationals. The perfect gift for everyone at only $20 bucks a pop!  We love their elegant designs that look more like a piece of home decor than a candle. Our two favorite scents are Vanilla Pumpkin Cream and Laundry Fresh. Yum! They make your whole house smell amazing. They are made by a local company with an outlet store in Provo! You can find it at 201 East Bay Blvd. or go to www.scentsationals.com They also have special offers and discounts on their website.

Can Talk MAKEUP All Day Longulta beauty pack

Tis the season to buy beauty products! Seriously, if you are looking for great deals on your favorite makeup or if you want to try something new, now is the time! Ulta is carrying tons of amazing holiday beauty kits that contain makeup  that usually costs double the price. The gift packs start at $10 and go up from there. They make the cutest stocking stuffer ever. ULTA.com

Loves HOT COCOA & Warm Sweatersmacys sweateraaaaa

There is nothing cozier than sipping a cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace. Which is why we picked up some adorable Kate Spade mugs to go along with the cute and cozy sweaters from Macys. macys.com

Wears the Cutest CLOTHES

tai pan fashionI just recently found out that Tai Pan Trading is so much more than fabulous Christmas trees! They have an amazing clothing boutique with very affordable clothes and accessories. I’m wearing a few of my favorites in the photo above. The shirt, earrings, bag and bracelet are all Tai Pan. Here’s another secret: this exact peplum top (same brand & everything) is also at Nordstrom for double the price you can buy it at Tai Pan!! taipantrading.com

If you would like to win a bunch of these goodies just leave a comment with your email here on the blog. Good luck!!

Boys gift guide (and giveaway) coming soon!

 

 

 

Three Holiday Looks

Tis the season for holiday parties, which means it’s a great time to try something new when it comes to your hair and makeup. Brooke and I are hair and makeup junkies, but we love to see how other people apply makeup  and do our hair because it’s always a little bit different. We partnered with our friends at H2Blow Dry Bar in Salt Lake City to show you three fun holiday looks. We brought my darling sister-in-law Annie to spice things up. She has gorgeous long hair, so we wanted to see what they could do with it! H2Blow Dry Bar is a genius idea for anyone that doesn’t feel like getting themselves all dolled up. We were in and out in about an hour and a half. Can I just say I wish I had someone to blow dry my hair for me everyday? They also have 4-5 makeup artists on hand to do makeup. We were also thrilled to work with makeup artist Jill Marie. She is an absolute doll and used the new makeup line Becca (exclusively carried at H2Blow) on all of our faces.

Annie – Before & After

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This is obviously the BEFORE, but Brooke totally cheated and wore some bronzer. Annie and me are sporting our true natural beauty :) DSC_0079 DSC_0082 DSC_0083 DSC_0087 DSC_0089 DSC_0104 DSC_0112 DSC_0113You can go in and request any hairstyle, whether it’s a braided undo or flowing waves, they can do anything! Now the fun part, we are giving away a free blow-dry and makeup session at H2Blow Dry Bar! You can book hair and makeup online 7 days a week. You can also buy the entire Becca makeup line and all hair products they use. We are crazy about the Unite Root Lifter… it’s amazing! They also book large groups, which would be so much fun for a party!

Comment here to enter to win. For more information on H2Blow Dry Bar, go HERE

UPDATE: GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Congratulations to Aura Maria Davis on the Blow Dry and Style!

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