Empties v. 11 part 1

Every time, I’m like “dang it’s been so long since I’ve done an Empties post,” and this time it REALLY has. I was waiting on finishing a bottle of shampoo so I could renew that + the conditioner as a set, haha.

Also before we even begin looking through what I’ve used up in the past half a year or so.. I KNOW some of these pictures are blurry. I just opened up the pictures and saw them and was like…


So let’s just call it what it is – POOR PHOTOGRAPHY – and move on. Dust yourself off and try again, like Aaliyah sang. Here we go. The pile of stuff that’s been taking up a bunch of space in my bathroom closet. It’s actually a large amount so I’m going to do this in two parts. Here’s part one.


Healthy Hair Diet Shampoo + Deep Conditioner
Hard pass. 🙂

NYM Way to Grow Shampoo + Conditioner
I bought this set when I was staying over at someone’s house. I wanted to love it. I really really did… but I just couldn’t. I don’t even know what it is, but I just can’t. In general I feel like I keep trying to love NYM products, but I just can’t seem to be all in. Anyone else?

Caress Mystique Forever Body Wash
I got this sample in one of my Jane.com orders and I AM IN LOVE! I feel like Caress body washes are REALLY fragrant, and I love that I can continue to smell them on my skin long after the shower is over. I’m going to keep my eyes open for this one.

Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil
MY FAVE! This has been present in a LOT of my empties posts. They no longer sell it, so when I found a bunch for sale at Ross, I STOCKED UP! I’ve raved about it many times before, but ugh. This would be a staple in my routine if it still was being stocked in stores!

Victoria’s Secret Pink Warm & Cozy Hand and Body Cream {19.25/50 smelly things used up for my 101 in 1001 list}
Um. My FAVORITE scent. It’s so… warm… and…. cozy. 😀 I love love love love love the scent of this. I feel like if I ever don’t have something Warm & Cozy in my stockpile of beauty products, something is super wrong.

Biore Baking Soda Pore Cleanser
I purchased this earlier year for a sponsored post, and I actually really love this! I keep it in my shower, and it has just the right amount of scrub. I’m a huge fan of this stuff.


ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Kitten
They no longer sell this color – I somehow received two tubes of this, and I liked it enough but it actually melted and completely fell apart! Probably my fault for keeping it in my car for like half a year. 😀

Herbal Essences Naked Shampoo
I’m a sucker for trial sizes. I actually can’t remember what I thought of this. Sorry, y’all.

Coola Makeup Setting Spray
I got this as a sample in my Birchbox over the past summer, and I used it faithfully every day until it ran out… and I have no idea what it’s supposed to accomplish. What is setting spray? Someone help me out. I have no idea if it was effective or not.

Bath + Body Works Sleep Body Lotion {20.25/50 smelly things}
In high school I had a hard time sleeping and my friend gave me some of this Lavender + Vanilla lotion and I fell. in. love. It actually helps me unwind at the end of the day as I’m laying in bed, ready for sleep. It also helps that I literally NEVER use this lotion aside from bedtime so I’m conditioned to smell it and get sleepy.

Stila Huge Extreme Mascara
I got this mascara in my Birchbox, and I LOVED the jet black color, but I HATED how clumpy this mascara looked when it was on. I got in the habit of first applying this mascara and then using another mascara to kind of get rid of the clumps, and eventually realized it just wasn’t worth the hassle. I wonder if it’s just the mascara wand that is the problem. IDK.

Whish Shave Cream Pomegranate
THIS SMELLS LIKE BUTT ABORT MISSION DO NOT BUY THIS. I actually LOOOOVE Whish shave creams so I was really disappointed when it smelled so foul. Ugh.

Bath & Body Works Be Enchanted Body Lotion  {20.75/50 smelly things}
Okay so I KNOW I already have a problem with lotions and sprays and stuff but you guys. A month or so ago I was at the bins, and I saw a WHOLE BAG full of STUFF. Travel products. Small lotions. BIRCHBOX SAMPLES. It was $6, you guys. That’s LESS than the cost of ONE Birchbox and you had better believe I BOUGHT THAT BAG OF STUFF. Anyway, this lotion was from said bag of stuff. I really loved this Be Enchanted smell. I just love smelly things, unless they smell like butt (refer to the product directly above this one).

Bath & Body Works Sleep Moisturizing Hand Cream {21/50 smelly things}
Please refer up a few reviews and that applies here, too.

Suki Foaming Cleanser 
I still think this is one of THE BEST cleansers OF ALL TIME. It starts scrubby and then gets foamy and IT SMELLS SO AMAZING!! Unfortunately It costs a zillion and a half dollars, so I try to ration it and then re-purchase it when Birchbox has a sweet deal. Actually do me a favor. If you’re on the fence about Birchbox, sign up and then I’ll get $5 to use in the Birchbox store. Thanks in advance.

OK, BRB.. .we’ll continue this soon. 😀

October 26, 2016

Coffee Talk

The weather has changed here in the Pacific Northwest. We had leaves fall for like two days and then the rain came to wash away their crunch and replace it with a slippery, slimy coating that makes it dangerous to walk on even the flattest of sidewalks.

Justen and I braved the chill to meander around our humble little downtown Vancouver USA. There’s a park in downtown called Esther Short, and it’s kind of the hub of things happening in our city. It seems like there’s always something. We walked around and admired the leaves for awhile. Justen cracked me up because he was all about taking a picture of a leaf. Like… I documented Justen taking pictures of a leaf like it was an episode of True Life: I Took A Picture of A Leaf.




Anyway. After walking around downtown Vancouver for a little bit, we ended up in our favorite coffeeshop, Compass Coffee.


It seems like just yesterday the weather was getting warm and we were able to take our coffee outside but now we’re having to stay inside again. It’s been so blustery here lately – rain and wind and stuff. I love being cozy inside when that stuff happens.

So anyway. I tried the lavender honey latte, and it was SO GOOD. Praise hands!

Let’s pretend we’re getting coffee, me and you.

Here’s what I’d talk about.


FIRST // I finally finished Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Revisited. and I’m really to try a written budget. Ever since I left my full-time job, I’ve been feeling like I need to have a better picture of what money I have, where it comes from, and where it goes. My mom pointed out that I’m ALWAYS on the go – I told her that I’ve been interviewing for, getting and working babysitting gigs. She asked if I saw it in my money in and I was like… IDK, because I really don’t know. That has to change, like today.

SECOND //  I have a few new TV shows that we should probably discuss. Haters Back Off!, American Housewife and Designated Survivor, to name a few. A Netflix original, and two ABC’s. I’ve never really been one for White House dramas or anything, but they played the trailer for Designated Survivor like five times an episode during Bachelor in Paradise and I was DYING to watch it – and it’s really great! Can we just vote Kiefer Sutherland as president? Please?


THIRD // I’ve been looking for a pair of distressed jeans EVERYWHERE. One day a few weeks ago, my Forever 21 gift card from Christmas was burning a hole in my pocket so I took a trip to the mall and there were these jeans. Only $30. On the same trip, I also bought this shirt, which I’d actually thought I’d put on when I got dressed, haha. Instead I grabbed a long sleeve white shirt I’d been wanting to buy and finally found at Old Navy for $0.47 on clearance. No joke.

FOURTH // After almost a year of lurking around the TIU community, I finally took the jump and joined the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m in desperate need of getting my physical health back in check. I’ve been AMAZED at all of the recipes they have available on the Nutrition Plan – meal planning is suddenly so much more fun. I’ve got 15 lbs to lose by the end of the year, remember?! 🙂


FIFTH // How cute is the necklace I’m wearing in the pictures? Happiness Boutique let me pick out an item to receive, and I chose this necklace. I love how sparkly it is! I guess it would go really well with a fancy dress, but I personally feel like jeans and a long sleeve shirt were in desperate need of some fancy. Their site is full of a huge variety of accessories and clothing. Have you ever heard of them? Go window shop your heart out 🙂

SIXTH // Since starting my new job, I’ve been hitting my FitBit goals like cray. I actually forgot that awhile ago I set up a formula on if this then that where a tweet would go out every day I hit my goals, and I’ve been excited to see how often those tweets have gone out! I ordered two new FitBit chargers from Amazon BECAUSE I realized recently that awhile ago I must have enrolled in AchieveMint, which gives you points (WHICH YOU REDEEM FOR MONEY) for your activity. What! If you use a fitness tracker, you HAVE to check it out.


SEVENTH // That new Bruno Mars song is my JAM. I could watch Bruno Mars videos on repeat all day, every day. I just think the way he moves is SO COOL – and I would really love to be his hype man even just for one day. He always looks like he’s just having a lot of fun. Also, I just spent like 30 minutes in the black hole that is Bruno Mars videos on YouTube and it ended with me discovering this shirt. Bruno Mars sells a #BLESSED shirt. My life is complete.

Well, that’s everything I have to tell you today.

What’s going on in your world?

October 24, 2016

Why I’m finally voting.

I’ve only voted in the presidential elections once. Ever since then, I’ve developed this “don’t vote, don’t complain” mentality. I don’t vote for presidents because I don’t feel I know enough or care to know enough to make an educated decision. And that’s my right as an American. Some people have gotten all angry about me not voting, but hey it’s the land of the free and I’m CHOOSING to not vote, not being lazy or taking that opportunity for granted.

This election season is… a nightmare. It’s chaos. I don’t know if it’s always like this but I tend to turn a blind eye because I’ve chosen not to engage, but man. I get why people joke about losing friends over things they post on Facebook during election season.

This year I’ve registered to vote again. and I’m going to vote. and my heart is breaking over what I see on Facebook. Not just because people are turning into grade A jerks, but also because they’re doing it for no real reason, as far as I can see.

As someone who has never participated in elections and finally decided to vote, I wanted to share with you the two biggest factors in that decision.



One of my best friends from high school grew into one of the most opinionated people I’ve ever met in my entire life. and over the course of the year, we’ve had a few conversations about this election. She’s mixed – her dad is black and her mom is white – and one day she told me that if a group of people are targeted based on their skin color, even if it’s not hers…. she worries. and as I thought about that, and thought about how my own (step)family are immigrants with dark skin and heavy (filipino) accents, I started to understand.

Here’s the thing about race. I’m  not going to dive into this as deep as I would if this were an entire blog post dedicated to race issues or if we were in person. You can’t tell a person what they can and can’t be worried about. One of my friends is this big huge black dude. Like… he’s massive. He can bench press two baby elephants at once. He’s terrified of being pulled over, based on his previous experience and what’s going on in the news. I can’t tell him he can’t be terrified, because I am not a big huge black dude. Side note: he also wears girl deodorant and loves smelly candles and buys frappuccinos. I’d be more likely to cause trouble than he would. But when I get pulled over, I get immediately concerned for my insurance, not my life.

You just can’t do it.

In that conversation, she wasn’t trying to persuade me. At that point she knew my “don’t vote, don’t complain” stance and had never made me feel inferior for it.


Then once day I watched a video online. Nobody sent it to me or forced me to read it, I just happened to stumble upon it and decided to watch it. It was a comedian who was joking about the presidential election but at the end pointed out something about one of the candidates that I could and would never be able to unhear or unsee. It clicked – between that conversation with Savannah months before and that video – that this was one election where I would actually be upset if one candidate won, and I realized that in order to have any say about that, I’d have to vote.

You know what didn’t make me decide to vote?

Mean Facebook posts.
Mean Facebook comments.
People telling me to and how I should.

The two arenas in which this decision happened were private and personal.

That means that all of the mean, harsh words going around Facebook have done nothing to impact me regarding the election… but it definitely made me start avoiding people in real life. I can’t un-see that kind of meanness.


I don’t love political discussions, so I will end this post with the most true meme that you will ever encounter.



Okay but for real: have you ever found any benefit in social media discussions about politics? Have you ever had your mind changed because of a Facebook conversation/post/etc?

October 19, 2016

Derma-E Review

There are moments when being a blogger/influencer is really awesome. Like pinch-me-I’m-dreaming-is-this-real-life awesome. Time for one of them!

A few years ago, I received a full-sized bottle of one of Derma-E‘s products in a subscription box, and ever since then I have been heart eyes emoji about Derma-E. They’ve been my go-to, since it’s hard to find a brand like theirs in stores like Target or Ulta. All of their products are Cruelty-Gluten-Soy-and-GMO-free.


Starting this month, Derma-E is unveiling new designs. They still have the same great products, but they’re swapping out their bright, bold colors for a more muted, earthy look. Their new packaging is more simple and light. In addition to their new designs, they’re also updating the look and feel of the brand on social media sites. Judging by their Instagram alone, they are setting the perfect stage for their new look!

Derma-E sent me two products – one in the old packaging and one in the new.. both with the same great products they’ve been making since 1984 – to show you the past and the future of Derma-E. I know, I know… get on with it, right? Look at this new packaging:

Derma-E unveils new packaging // stephanieorefice.net

On the left is what I’m used to seeing, and on the right is their BEAUTIFUL new packaging – am I right? It looks so much more crisp, clean and mature. The great news is that it’s only the outside that’s changed – inside of the glass jars is still the same product I’ve come to know and love. All of their products have a gentle, light, natural scent. and my experience with all of their creams is that they’re heavy on the moisture and lacking all of the greasy residue I’ve experienced with other products.

Derma-E unveils new packaging // stephanieorefice.net

So like I said – those days when blogging pays off? My face gets to be taken care of day and night with Derma-E’s hydrating cream just so I could tell you about their wonderful new packaging.

You can find these and many of their other products at Target, Ulta, Whole Foods and Walgreens around the country.

Two questions for you. Have you ever tried Derma-E products? and what do you think of their new packaging? Describe it in one word!

Sponsored by BrandBacker

October 17, 2016

When Jesus says “No.”

You know how people say that God answers prayers with three answers: yes, no and wait? I think that saying is dumb. God’s not like a Magic 8 ball with only a few generic responses. I think sometimes in my life God has answered my prayers with “LOL OK if you really want it…..” which is neither yes, no or wait. Sometimes I think he answers prayers with complete silence, which isn’t “wait.” I understand the heart behind limiting God’s answers to our prayers, but I don’t agree with it.

The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind, and not just for me.

One Saturday morning I woke up with a heavy heart. I was attending the worst kind of funeral and praying for one of my lifelong friends and another one of my best friends brothers. There was a lot on my heart, and I got frustrated because I sometimes feel like God isn’t actually doing anything in the lives of people around me – do you ever feel like that? Like your prayer request list is long and your praise list is full of who God is, or ways you’ve seen him work in the past, but nothing you’ve been praying for seems to turn into a praise?

I got to thinking about when Christ was on earth. One of my favorite blog posts is called When Christ Wasn’t There, and I think about that lesson often – what Jesus teaches us when he seems to be staying away from our hurt. But sometimes Jesus walks straight into our hurt, like the time Jesus was going into the town of Nain and as he was walking in, a funeral procession was walking out. A widow had lost her only son.

Jesus saw her and his heart went out to her and he told her not to cry. Then he brought the dead son back to life and gave him back to his mom. We read that in Luke 7:11-16. It’s a really beautiful story. Especially for that woman and her son and everyone in the presence of that miracle.


…but what about all of the funerals Jesus DIDN’T interrupt? What about those widows, those mourners? What about the parents whose child Jesus DIDN’T heal, or the blind man who never saw?


There’s a weird peace in that. You know.. it’s just Jesus doing his Jesus thing and healing some and not others. Not because one is better, one is favored, one is more loved or important… but because Jesus just does what Jesus does and that rarely actually makes sense to people. Like seriously, if I was God’s PR person I’d be requesting a meeting to discuss what appears to be the series of poor PR decisions he’s made in the lives of those I love recently.

but I am not God’s PR person. I’m not called to strategize and evaluate the decisions of God. I think if anything I’m called to just stand there in the face of all the crap of life,  wrap my arms around the people I love, weep and say “I don’t know, man. I just don’t know.”

and there we have it. One more thing not required of me – to know. I don’t think I want to know, because I think the burden of that knowledge is far too heavy for my puny little human heart, my limited human mind, to bear. Adults often spare children the hard stuff of life; we soften all the D words – divorce, disease, death… and we let them glimpse the reality of grief, but we spare them the full weight of it. and maybe that’s what God does for us. Maybe he spares us the weight of why babies die and why changing your Facebook profile picture to say “PRAY FOR THIS PERSON,” doesn’t necessarily spring Him into action.

I don’t know, man. I just don’t know.

I keep trying to tell God what would really make him look good to nonbelievers – healing, restoration, healthy babies, financial favor…. and God continues to interrupt some funerals and not others, to heal some lepers and not others, to bring eyesight to some but not all. I don’t know why, but realizing that this isn’t some new pattern of behavior for Jesus has helped me have some sort of peace. God’s will be done, and I doubt I’ll ever understand it on this side of Heaven.

I don’t know, man.

I just don’t know. 

October 12, 2016