Sponsored Post: HASK Products

Ok I admit it, I am a diva when it comes to hair care. 
I am that girl that buys overly expensive products just because I can. Probably not the best thing, but at least my hair feels nice? So I keep on telling myself that as I see my small paychecks go down the drain...

Well as a part of the Brand backer program, I have the pleasure of telling you all about some great new products released by HASK Beauty! I have used some of their deep conditioning products before and adore their organic quality, as well as the fact they make their products in the USA (cue patriotic song and fireworks). 

Did I also mention their products are made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, alcohol or artificial colors. They are color-safe, and they are not tested on animals? Plus their prices are not terrible, aka are budget friendly for all those hair care junkies like me.

In my package I received the Keratin Protein package, Argan Oil package, Deep Conditioners and smoothing oil.

Both the repair and strengthening conditioners are great quality. I love conditioners with substance and they both have a great, thick and creamy quality as well as lather well. I personally love the effects of the strengthening shampoo/conditioner moreso than the repairing, but both give you great results.

The Healing Shine treatments are great to use both after you get out of the shower, or after you style your hair. I prefer the latter, taming the look of fried ends after straightening my hair.

Both of the strengthening and repairing deep conditioners provided two uses each package. I use a deep conditioner weekly, and they fit in great into my usual regime. They helped cure some of the damaged ends I have and keep my hair fresh when using heat products.

Overall, definite thumbs up for the HASK product line. You can order them online, or in many Walmart, K-Mart, Rite Aids and some super markets.

What are some of your favorite hair care products? Let me know!

Note: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions, comments and statements are directly from Pinch of Lyss. 


Favorite Friday: The 5207.5

What is more frustrating than a bad hair day?

Nothing. I promise you nothing.

Especially here in Pittsburgh, the rainy days of spring bring on a huge, frizzy mess of hair. I constantly struggle trying to make my hair look beautiful and straight and shiny, then it fails.

My go to fix? A beanie.

I have never been a huge hat person. Honestly in high school I would always make fun of this one kid who wore a newsboy cap to class. But really, who even wears newsboy caps anymore? Anyhow, I find such beauty in a classic beanie. It is simple, versatile and depending on the style can add a pop of color to any outfit. You can look like a scene kid or rock your J.Crew necklace and oxfords. The possibilities are endless.

My favorite beanie to look to? Krochet Kids International’s 5207.5 beanie. This classic style is the perfect amount of slouch and fit, giving you that hipster vibe you have always wanted. Plus the hat is actually named after a beach house in case you have wanderlust for the west coast.

The best part of all? Your purchase of this and other products from Krochet Kids helps to empower women in Uganda by giving her work, thus giving her a way to provide for her family as well as personal and economic growth.

What is better than fixing your bad hair day, channeling your inner hipster and helping empower Ugandan women? Nothing.

Check out the 5207.5 here as well as www.krochetkids.org for more information.


Krochet Kids Photoshoot

Spontaneous photo shoots and gear that helps empower women? What more could you ask for.

The other day the weather was beautiful here in Grove City, leading to essentially all of campus skipping class to be outside. I was talking to my freshman friend about Krochet Kids International and found a bunch of my sorority sisters heading to a local coffee shop. One thing led to another and here we are with an impromptu photo shoot. 

Krochet Kids International sells bags, crocheted products and clothing all made by women in Northern Uganda and Peru. They provide a job, but also empower them. By providing educational as well as mentoring, these women are able to go and encourage economic growth as well as live more fruitful lives. They are able to provide for their families and bring food to the dinner table. The impact of Krochet Kids in these communities truly is incredible.

Another aspect of Krochet Kids I am impressed with is their mission model. Their mission is so heavily rooted in helping people, but not reaching out to simply "help poor people". Their final statement in their mission is that "we believe actions rooted in love bring lasting and powerful change. Our model for love is that of Jesus". A company rooted in love is something we should all strive for in our workplaces. Frankly, our lives.

Some of the products you see on myself and Ashley are the LOVE Africa Tee, A knit headband (similar 1, 2) and a classic hoodie sweatshirt (similar 1, 2).

Check it out, change a life.


Seasons of Change

Get ready, this is one of those bearing your soul types of posts.

As the sun is finally beginning to shine and winter fades, I have been extremely contemplative of seasons. However, not just seasons, but seasons of life.

The amount of seasons a person goes through in life is mind blowing. Truly, I look at my life as a 20 something and have been blown away by the waves of my life.

The coming of spring is slowly but surely revealing itself to be an overarching metaphor of my current life. Coming out of a huge season of trial filled with heartbreak, defeat and anger, I am finally feeling the hope Christ has gave us. For so long I was so angry. So burdened by this weight of anger towards everything. It clearly directly affected my relationship with friends, my happiness and my relationship with Christ. 

I just came off my yearly missions trip to Tucson, Arizona and cannot explain how hopeful I am. I am not sure if it is the people there or the way the sun shined, but God so clearly worked in giving me a wake up call.

I need to get myself together.

There is a season for trial and a season for pain, but that season is not life defining. It is now time to seek joy. Wholeheartedly seek the peace of Christ that I have been praying for this whole semester. 

One of my biggest struggles throughout this whole period of trial is my confusion with God's plan and the direction he has for me. Not just my future life, but my immediate life. For weeks I just cried at the series of changes thrown into my life.

Do I know what I am doing with my life? No.
Do I know what I am doing with my summer? No.
Do I know what I am doing with my major? No.
Do I know who will be my community once I graduate? No.
Do I even know what I am doing tomorrow? No.

But guess what. 

Our society tells us we have to have everything figured out. We so often think that if we cannot control our life, then we fail. Yet, God is the one who is ultimately in control. He has an overarching plan that if I try to control, I mess up. 

I am now seeking joy over anger. Seeking peace of worry. Seeking Christ over this world.

I am pretty pumped I am on to a new season. It feels good.


Favorite Friday: Winter Boots

Hello everyone!

I am happy to say Pinch of Lyss is back up and running. I am so glad I took that time off from blogging for a bit to really recollect myself and my thoughts. Do not get me wrong, I am still persevering through a lot of confusing trials right now, but I am able to function and focus. Thank you everyone for your wonderful prayers! I appreciate all of you more than you know. Continue to pray for me for clarity, peace and most of all for God to reveal his plan. I am at a huge crossroads with many things in my life and need direction. Thankful for the little things.

Now that we got that tangent out of the way, can we just talk about how Pennsylvania has been abnormally cold? I am not used to this weather at all. Literally I ask myself everyday, "Why is my college not in California? Why?". So in my efforts to keep my weakness to the cold in check, I have been obsessed with winter footwear. Here are a few of my favorite finds for winter shoes!
1 2 3
These boots are fabulous! Truly such a great alternative if you are not feeling like going with a classic L.L. Bean Boot. They provide warmth, are waterproof but also have a bunch of really great color and fabric combinations that can make any outfit pop.

I love L.L. Bean boots. They are classic, go well with everything and are extremely durable. I have had the same pair of shear ling lined Brown Leather boots since high school and they still remain fabulous and classic. 

Sorel Boots, like L.L. Bean, are great for durability. They can have both a hipster indie feel, or even tie along with a preppy outfit. I love that with their boots they have so much versatility. Plus that fur. All I want to do is sing "Apple Bottom Jeans" when I look at them.
5 6
 4. Ankle Lace-ups
These shoes are a mystery to me. I actually have this exact pair from G.H. Bass and I cannot find them online anywhere. However, these boots are one of my staples in my closet. I pair them with dresses and socks, skinny jeans and leggings. I love that they are a great transition boot from both fall to winter as well as winter to spring.

5. Suede Wedges
I cannot explain how badly I want a pair of these boots. They are so versatile, comfortable and the perfect heel for winter events. I love that they can easily transition from work to evening and that they look so fresh yet classic.

6. Motorcycle Boots
These boots also are a mystery as far as the link goes. However the style is incredible. They remind me of Timberlands, but without the thug life atmosphere.

Keep it real, keep it warm.



Hey friends.

So the past couple days have been pretty rough. Actually some of the roughest trials I have faced in a while.
Just letting you all know I am taking a short hiatus from blogging to get myself together. I would so much rather do that over lying and pretending everything is ok.

Here is some encouragement to you all for the week!

"Even youth will become weak and tired and young men will fall into exhaustion. But those who trust The Lord will find new strength" Isaiah 40:30

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” - Psalm 147:3

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21:4

"Above all else, guard your heart. For everything you do flows from it" - Proverbs 4:23


Weekly Wishes #2

It is Monday, I am up before 11, in class and in desperate need of Coffee.
Guess it is time for this weeks Weekly Wishes!

1. Get an A in intersession

I am currently back on my college campus for a program called intersession. With this, I am taking a 3 credit class in two weeks before the rest of campus comes back for the regular semester of classes. My class is Finite Math. Not necessarily hard, however not my favorite subject by far. I wish I could tell you all my motivation to succeed in my grades is high. Well it is not. However, 2014 is the year to change that.

2. Make blogging friends

In my constant quest to become a better blogger, I have been seeking friends. One of my favorite things about blogging is the community that comes from it. I want to not seek mere page comments, but develop real relationships with my readers as well as blogs I frequent.

3. Get all of my sorority projects completed

With the start of the semester comes the wonderful joy of taking new girls. New members to not just my sorority, but every sorority on campus, brings a new sense of joy and fun to the semester. I am so excited to see these new girls form friendships that will last a lifetime and contribute to something bigger then themselves. However, with new girls comes more posters/gifts/crafts than I can count. I need to just buckle down and get them done.

4. Apply to Internships

My goal for the summer is to get an internship. With being a Communications major, internships are crucial to success in finding a job. I want to put gaining an internship at the top of my priority list!

What are your weekly wishes for the week? Join the link up!

The Nectar Collective


Etsy Shop Launch

Normally I do not post on Sundays (sticking with that sabbath rule even in the blogging world), but this announcement is an exception. Guess I can check one thing off the New Years Resolution List.

I am proud to say that the Pinch of Lyss Etsy shop is open!

Pinch of Lyss Etsy Shop

In my shop I am specializing in hand poured scented soy wax candles, hand knitted products, as well as hand thrown stoneware and porcelain pottery. I decided to open by selling some of my teacup candles and will be working to add products within the next few months. 

I am not one to boast, but I am truly so proud of myself. Proud that I did not allow my perfectionist/type A personality get in the way of starting this shop. I am proud to be starting off small and slowly growing. 

It is ok to be proud.

Get excited for more products to come your way!



Favorite Friday: Hair Care

Best Hair Products
note: this post is not a paid sponsor post. all products are chosen by me.
It is Favorite Friday! This week I will be talking about one of my go to topics: Haircare.

More than makeup, more than clothes, I love hair care. My hair is truly the one thing I spend a lot of time on in the morning. I am all about researching and figuring out what the best products are. I will admit, I spend a lot of money on my hair. However, I spend it in the right places and save where I can.

Here are my 8 favorite hair care products!

This shampoo/conditioner combo is great. I use it every 2-3 days and it leaves my hair feeling clean and preserves my color extremely well. One thing many people do not realize about shampoo/conditioner is that it needs to be pH balanced in order for your color to be maintained. There is a whole list of ph balanced benefits as well. Definitely research the shampoo you use to make sure it is best for your hair!

This spray has 10 incredible benefits for your hair. I use it to prevent split ends and protect my hair from heat damage. Spray about 5-10 sprays when you get out of the shower.

I use a curling wand to give my hair some nice waves as well as more flexibility then a curling iron. In my opinion, the Remington 1 1/2 is the best low price wand out there right now.

Use a deep conditioner about once per week. I prefer to allow my hair to rest in it in a shower cap for 20 minutes. It does wonders for damage. I prefer Redken, but you know my love of Redken products.

My go to straightener. For some reason I cannot seem to blow dry my hair the right way, so I let my hair air dry and quickly run a straightener through the kinks. 

Now I know many of you are wondering, why did I put multivitamins under hair care? Well keeping yourself healthy is one of the best things you can do for your hair. Especially look for a multivitamin with a little bit of biotin. However do not buy biotin pills. Taking too much can do more harm then good.

7. Wide tooth comb

Never, and I mean never brush your hair right when you get out of the shower. A brush will pull and snag your hair and cause breakage. Use a wide tooth comb to de-tangle wet hair.

I love this leave in conditioner. It is somewhat like oil and great to add to rough ends. I love to run this in my hair when it is wet as well as after straightening to restore some shine.

What are your favorite hair products? Any tips for great hair care?



Rolo Stuffed Snickerdoodles

rolo stuffed snickerdoodles

It is another lazy recipe day! It is super snowy out here in PA, so no great adventures today. Sad sad.
Do not fear though, domestic Alyssa is here. I baked a great recipe today featuring all of our favorites. Caramel, cinnamon, chocolate and cookies. 

Welcome in the Rolo Stuffed Snickerdoodle. 

I altered this recipe a little from my favorite, Sally's Baking Addiction. Here is the recipe. Just replace the caramel with the rolo! It is such a great combination, and this recipe (unlike other snickerdoodle recipes) keeps the cookie puffy and beautiful.

rolo stuffed snickerdoodles
rolo stuffed snickerdoodles
rolo stuffed snickerdoodles
rolo stuffed snickerdoodles
rolo stuffed snickerdoodlesrolo stuffed snickerdoodles
rolo stuffed snickerdoodles

One tip: do not be alarmed by the crumbliness of the dough. Sally does not fully explain how crumbly it is, but man is it crumbly. Really use that heat from your hands to compact it. 

 In other news, the past few days have been relaxation central. I have seen a few friends from home and spent New Years Eve with several friends from college. Biggest blessing being surrounded by them for what made an awesome evening. 

Oh yeah. Plus J is staying at my house for a few days before we head back to school. That is pretty great. We have just been snacking like champs and running random errands. So good right!

Tea Kettle
Breakfast for Pinch of Lyss
Pinch of Lyss



Wanderlust Wednesday: Prague

winter in Prague
Winter in Prague via
"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it" - Bill Cosby