You probably clicked on this article out of sheer curiosity, thinking “hmm, maybe there’s something in here I don’t know about”. Well I can’t promise you’ve never heard of these products, but if they’re not hanging out on your shelf, you need to get them there, pronto.

I’ll preface this by telling you that I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my beauty routine, and I really don’t like to spend a ton of money… but I do like to feel like I’m treating myself the best I can:) So here are the 5 beauty products I couldn’t live without:

1. it’s a 10 miracle leave-in product.

This stuff does wonders for my hair! I spray it in after every shower, and since I started using it, it takes me waaaay longer to get split ends between trims, and my hair is shinier and softer.

2. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm.

I use this every. single. day. right after I put on my lip liner. Gotta keep those pretty lips… well, pretty!

Bonus item: the Burt’s Bees Aloe & Linden Flower After SunSoother is the best if you ever forget to wear sunscreen.

3. Goody Ouchless Paddle brush.

I’ve had this brush for ten years, no exaggeration. I will never buy another kind of hair brush. (Other than my blow-out brush… duh 😉 ). This doesn’t hurt my tender little head at all, and did I mention that it’s lasted like forever?

4. Mary Kay

There are too many products that I LOVE from Mary Kay to pick just one, so I narrowed it down to my four faves for you:

  • TimeWise 3-in-1 cleanser, and Age-Fighting Moisturizer. To be honest, I don’t use the rest of the “Miracle set”… I stick to the necessities! These keep me free of breakouts, and get all of my makeup off at the end of the day. And you’re never too young/old to start avoiding the affects of aging!
Mary Kay TimeWise 3-in-one Cleanser & Age-fighting Moisturizer - Coloring Outside The Life


  • Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. Um, yes. This is literally the best eye makeup remover ever. I don’t need to say more. Do yourself a favor and get this immediately.
Mary Kay Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover - Coloring Outside The Life


  • Microdermabrasion Plus Set. This gets rid of that inevitable dullness that your skin tends to get after a while, and brings back the glow that we’re all looking for. I use this about once a week to keep my skin crazy soft!
Mary Kay Microdermabrasion Set - Coloring Outside The Life


  • Suncare Sunscreen Broad Spectrum (SPF 50). This is literally the best sunscreen ever! The major test was when I applied this each morning while I was in Haiti, and I didn’t even get pink. It goes on like a lotion and doesn’t leave me feeling like a grease ball, like other sunscreens tend to do. (And yes, sunscreen is absolutely a beauty item!)
Mary Kay Sunscreen Broad Spectrum - Coloring Outside The Life


5. Happy Socks

I have a pair of adorable cow socks that make me stupidly happy:) My theory is that everyone needs things that make them smile for no reason. Because happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t. (Go ahead, name that movie!). I don’t know about you, but I always feel prettier and more confident when I’m smiling naturally. So go get yourself a pair of adorable socks, just because you can!


Cow Socks - Coloring Outside The Life



I would love to hear what yall’s favorite beauty products are! Let me know in the comments:)

Love, Alanna


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for One

I usually make a strong attempt to eat healthy… But sometimes I think we all deserve a totally UNhealthy treat! (My excuse today is that I have a nasty cold, no voice, and ouchies on my hands from work.) This cookie dough comes together in like two minutes flat, and is DELICIOUS!  So here’s my recipe:

Cookie Dough For One

Cookie Dough For One recipe - Coloring Outside the Life


  • 1 1/2 Tbs Softened butter
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp Brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla
  • Pinch Salt
  • 5 Tbs Flour
  • 2 Tbs Mini chocolate chips



Mix your butter, sugars, milk, vanilla, and salt all together in a bowl. (a mug works well too.)


Add in your flour and chocolate chips, and mix everything together.


Pour yourself a glass of milk, turn on your favorite show, and eat your delicious cookie dough! To quote one of MY favorite shows,

“Treat yo self!”

(If you haven’t seen Parks and Recreation, you really must)

Cookie Dough For One recipe - Coloring Outside the Life


  • If you like your cookie dough cold you’ll want to refrigerate it for a little while before you eat it.
  • If you can’t finish it all in one sitting, it saves well in a sealed container in the fridge.

Coloring Outside the Life

Hi! And welcome to the blog:)

First I’ll introduce myself so you know who you’re dealing with and what’s to come. I’m a 22 year old wanna-be designer who lives in an old apartment building in San Antonio.

Apartment Building - exterior

My husband and I got married in May of 2013, and are still head-over-heels in love with each other!

Wedding kiss

I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m crazy about 43% of the time. But whenever I tell him my newest ideas, he’s always my biggest fan and favorite helper.

We throw all the life we can into our two bedroom, one bath apartment, and we employ a lot of brilliant low-budget schemes to make it happen.

We don’t have any kids of our own at this point, but we LOVE all of our nieces and nephews! (babysitting is totally included in my Auntie duties!)

I’m SO excited for y’all to follow along with me as I share awesome tutorials, recipes, and design tips with you! You can look forward to some Valentine’s Day decorations, DIY pillow forms, a giant chalkboard, and some SUPER cheap but classy curtains and curtain rods! … as well as some secret projects I’ve got up my sleeve;)

I love you all!

Alanna Staffel