Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Update: My 2018 New Year's Resolution

At the end of 2017, I made a New Year's Resolution to use a planner to keep track of my fitness progress.  Now into the third month of the year, I thought it would be a good time to share an update on how that is going for me.  If you follow me in Instagram, you may have already figured out these updates but I thought that all together, they warranted a blog post of their own.

1. I had to get a bigger planner.
While the original floral planner I bought was doing the trick, I found that it was just kind of small for days when I had multiple things I wanted to write or larger stickers that I wanted to use.  I'm using the same style of planner but in the larger version and I'm finding that size works perfectly for me.  [small floral planner] [large striped planner]  One adjustment I've made recently was to take the pages out of the striped spiral bound planner, hole punch them, and put them into a binder inside of a Big Happy Planner case.  It's just much easier for me to write and decorate when I can remove the pages and I also love the way these binder bound planner cases look.  The fact that it was my favorite color and also said "Hustle" on the front just sealed the deal.

2. I have changed my morning routine to include thirty minutes of exercise first thing every week day.
I am a real stickler for a routine but when I had to change my workout times to the morning when I was traveling during the beginning of February, I just found that working out in the morning was so much easier for me to make it a part of my routine and be consistent.  Now I exercise every weekday for thirty minutes first thing in the morning and I don't have to think about it when I get home from work.  I have more free time for hobbies and getting things done around the house.  I spend a little less time on my hair and makeup to compensate but overall, that's working out really well for me.

3. I'm physically and mentally healthier.
There's just something about exercising regularly that makes you feel so good both inside and out.  I feel like I have more energy now than I used to, probably because exercising vigorously each morning helps me to sleep better at night.  I also feel good about myself and when I look in the mirror, I like what I see more than before.  While it's not a dramatic change in my look, I just feel like things are firmer than before.  And the scale says the same.  I've lost about five pounds so far, and while I went into this without a goal of losing weight, I figured that living a healthier life would probably cause that.

4. I have a new hobby.
I have enjoyed decorating my fitness journal so much that it lead me to find a new hobby in planning.  Now, not only do I have my fitness journal to fill out and decorate each day, but two times a week I also now do a bit of planning of a few things to get done around the house in my personal planner.  I've bounced around a bit with some different small personal planners but have settled on one that I really like right now.  I'm using the A5 sized planner inserts that I bought at Walmart but I'm keeping them in my Recollections A5 Mint Planner that I bought on super sale at Michael's.  [Creative You Geometric Planner Binder] [Recollections Creative Year A5 Planner Binder in Mint]

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ipsy Glam Bag: March 2018

My Ipsy bag came in the mail earlier this week but it's been a busy and fun week of spring break and today was the first day that I had time to sit down and write the post.  Let's check out what I got!

DIY Create Bag
The bag alone is fine but to me the idea of taking markers and coloring the bag myself is totally juvenile.  I'm not in middle school anymore.  I don't want to color a bag and then every time it gets a bit of water on it, I'm going to have a mess on my hands.  Nope.  My bag will stay black and white.

Contour Cosmetics
Lip Kit Pencil in Juju
This lip liner is fine.  It's a pretty run of the mill lipliner but the shade matches a lipstick that I wear a lot so that's a plus.  However, I would not have bought this on my own and it's not really something I'm getting excited about.

Balm Dotcom in Rose
This is another product I'm just none too thrilled about receiving.  First of all, Ipsy, please stop sending me lip balm.  I'm loyal to Carmex and nothing is ever as good to me.  But also, I'm not a fan of rose scents.  They might have won me over if they sent me the coconut but I don't like the scent of rose and the texture of this to me is just the same as thick vaseline.  I'm probably going to give this away, which is why I made sure to not touch it to my lips and only apply it to a clean finger.

Beauté Basics
C405 Contour Blush Brush
Another dud.  I've already gotten one contour brush from Ipsy in the past and I really liked it but this one is so weirdly small, I don't know what you would use it for.  I guess it would maybe make a nice contour brush if you wanted something really precise but I don't normally wear contour so this brush will probably not get used.

Tarte Cosmetics
Sex Kitten Eyeliner
This makes the sixth black eyeliner I've gotten from Ipsy.  How many black eyeliners does one person need?  Before even trying this one, I've already given it away to a friend who loves Tarte eyeliner.  Another dud for me.

INT Cosmetics
Eyeshadow in Goddess Gold
I would describe this shimmery eyeshadow of more of a bronze taupe than a gold.  It's really pretty but I feel like I already have so much of this shade in my collection and I know I have also gotten similar colors from Ipsy.  It's just fine but not blowing me away.

Conclusion: I have to be so negative but this bag just didn't do it for me.  There was really nothing at all that I was excited about once I received it and I feel like I've had that happen a lot lately with Ipsy.  I'm kind of to the point that I'm considering cancelling my subscription.  April of this year will mark my one year anniversary of subscribing and I've decided that we'll see how that month goes and then I'll make my decision.  But just to keep from ending this post negatively, I received a bonus item this month (redeemed by points for it) and it's my favorite item this month!

Absolute New York
Eyeshadow in Skinny Dip
This eyeshadow was a bonus item that I received because I redeemed the points that I had earned by reviewing my past products I've gotten.  This shade is somehow both common and unique at the same time.  It's a shimmery beige but it has just a hint of a peachy warmth that makes it slightly deeper than other similar shades that are more champagne colored.  I really love just tossing this shadow on for a natural look and I've worn it several times already since getting it.  I see myself getting a lot of use out of this product!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Outfits of the Week: March 12 - 14

Hello friends!  Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, I'm back to using my artificial LED light for my outfit of the day pictures instead of natural light.  Boy, do I miss the natural light!  The LED just casts weird shadows.  Luckily, pretty soon the days will be getting longer and the morning light will come back along with spring.  Speaking of spring, I'm bringing you this week's outfits a little early, as I'm taking some time off from work for a mini Spring Break.  Some rest, relaxation, crafting, and time spent with friends will do this gal a world of good right now.

The Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins is always so hard for me.  I'm never tired at my normal time according to the clock the night before so I fall asleep later and wake up at what feels like an hour before the normal time.  I figured wearing a comfortable pajama like dress would make me feel better but it didn't make me any less tired.

black shirt dress - Ross
pink cardigan - H&M
faux pearl cardigan clip - made by me
fleece lined tights - Vanity Fair Outlet
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

This day my boss and I were supposed to be working in the warehouse, hence the more casual outfit, but it was super cold and we got busy working on other projects that day, we never made it to the warehouse anyway.  But it was a comfy outfit that doubled great when I had to run to the store after work.

black polo - free from the school where I used to teach
olive polar fleece - Target
walnut essential chinos - Amazon
black boat shoes - Amazon

This day I had an important meeting and wanted to look professional.  I love how this outfit looked!  The foxes add a cute touch of whimsy and the cardigan clip classes things up.

mustard fox blouse - Papaya
heather grey cardigan - Papaya
faux pearl cardigan clip - made by me
white skinny belt - Walmart
mineral blue essential chinos - Amazon
grey faux suede and snakeskin pointed toe flats - Payless

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Empties: January - March 2018

I went to put something in my empties bin the other day and realized it was pretty full.  It seemed like a good time to go ahead and share what's in there so I could fill up my recycle bin for pick up the next day.  Let's take a look at the makeup, skin care, and hair care items I've used up from January to the beginning of March this year.

1. L'Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black - Love this stuff!  Already repurchased.
2. Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara in Classic Black - I loved this stuff for a long time but I felt like after years of love, it started to flake off on my eyes.  So I'm using up what I have stashed away but really prefer the Lash Paradise.
3. NYC Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder - I've had this kicking around for ages too and I'm trying to use up some of my powders that aren't my favorite.  This was one of them.  It does the job just fine but for me, loose powder is just so messy.  My makeup desk needed a good dusting off after a month or more of using this.

Hair Care
1. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist - I've used this a couple times a week since high school to help keep my hair hydrated.  I still swear by it!
2. Briogeo Scalp Revival - Ugh, this stuff!  I didn't even finish it all but it was so awful that I kept it around just to tell you why you should steer clear.  I got this in an Ipsy bag and it's supposed to be an exfoliating shampoo.  I'm not really sure what that means but I can tell you that this smelled very minty, like toothpaste, and had a menthol-like cooling tingle.  It did not lather and I tried using it multiple times and even after multiple times of washing my hair, I still had to go back in with my regular shampoo to get my hair clean.  This stuff is terrible!

Skin Care
1. Equate 2-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths - This is what I use to wash my face at night and also get off all of my makeup.  Sometimes if I don't wash my eyes well enough, a tiny bit of waterproof mascara or eyeliner will linger but that's more of a laziness problem than the product.  I highly recommend these.
2. Equate Moisturizing Lotion - This is a generic store brand lotion that works for all parts of your body, including your face to moisturize.  I use it at night since it doesn't have SPF.  I also use it on my hands any time of day.
3. Dead Sea Salt Scrub - This was a generic salt scrub that I bought at Big Lots.  I wasn't a big fan of it but I still used it up.  The smell was less almond and vanilla and more moth ball.
4. Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Body Scrub - I bought this from Target's website around Christmas to exfoliate my legs.  It smells and works amazing and it's really affordable but now that they don't have free shipping, I just can't justify placing an order just for one five dollar tub of scrub.  I keep trying other kinds but nothing compares to how lovely this smells, how luxurious it feels, and yet somehow, it's incredibly affordable as well.
5. Cerave Eye Repair Cream - I've tried lots of eye creams but I just always seem to come back to this one.  It hydrates but absorbs really well.  I already have a backup but I'm working my way through one I like less right now.
6. ME Beauty eye makeup remover wipes - My husband bought these for me for Christmas and while they take off makeup okay, I used them all over my face to remove my makeup before working out and I ended up with blackhead like crazy.  Which is weird because I never get blackheads like that.  I don't recommend these at all.
7. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes - I bought these for a work trip I took and then used up the rest after I got home.  Get these instead of the ME Beauty ones.  They work better and don't make my skin angry.
8. Equate Beauty Original Clean Makeup Remover Wipes - These ones are the best bang for your buck.  They work just as well as the Neutrogena, but have less fragrance in them, are much more economical, and I actually like them better.

That's it for my empties so far this year!  I hope you're having a great 2018!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Outfits of the Week: March 5 - 9

Happy weekend!  I'm so looking forward to some time to relax and enjoy some hobbies!  A little me time could do this gal some good right now.  I hope you get to enjoy some time for you as well.

Once again, I have some how forgotten about my dresses for the last little bit.  I'm vowing here and now to wear them more because they are just so easy and comfy.

navy shirt dress - Ross
burgundy windowpane cardigan - Kohl's
pearl cardigan clip - Amazon
navy tights - Walmart
brown buckle flats - Rack Room Shoes

If it ever appears as if I have my life together and know what I'm doing, this picture is evidence of the contrary.  I had no idea there was even a hair clip attached to my cardigan until after I edited these photos.  No idea how it got there or where it went to afterwards.  Hot mess, right here!

black tie neck blouse - Kohl's
pink cardigan - Kohl's
chambray skirt - Walmart
black tights - Walmart
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

I'm pretty sure I've worn this outfit before but some times you just need something quick and easy.  And it works!  I still liked this outfit no matter how many times I've worn it.

white and black blouse - Papaya
black cardigan - Banana Republic Factory
black sparkle cardigan clip - made by me
black skinny belt - Beall's Outlet
cabernet essential chinos - Amazon
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

Earlier this week it was the hair clip on my shirt, this time it was just my hair.  I didn't really have time to style it because I forgot that I needed to stop and fill up my gas tank in the morning.  At least the outfit looked good!

black floral blouse - Papaya
heather grey cardigan - Papaya
cardigan clip - Amazon
black skinny belt - Beall's Outlet
moss essential chinos - Amazon
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

This outfit wasn't my favorite.  I didn't love the way the shoes worked with the pants.  I guess they were too close in color without being close enough.  But it was Friday and it was all good!

blush tie neck blouse - Papaya
navy cardigan - Kohl's
faux pearl cardigan clip - Amazon
white skinny belt - Walmart
boulder grey essential chinos - Amazon
faux snakeskin and suede grey pointed toe flats - Payless

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Travel Makeup and FOTD

Hey friends!  A few weeks ago I had to travel out of town for three days and two nights for work.  I snapped a few pictures during the trip and I thought I should finally get around to sharing with you the makeup that I packed for this trip, my face of the day, and how it all worked out for me.

I love taking my Real Techniques brush holder with me when I travel.  For this trip, it was holding the following brushes:

* face powder brush
* blush brush
* undereye powder brush
* flat eyeshadow brush
* pointed eye blending/crease brush
* crease brush
* pencil brush
* blending brush
* fluffy shadow brush

In addition, I also brought the following items:
* wedge sponges to apply foundation
* bare mascara spoolie for removing mascara clumps
* cotton swabs
* tweezers
* lash curler

I learned from my last travel makeup experience and brought a mirror this time in my Unii palette.  Inside it, I brought:

* physician's formula powder
* nyx eyeshadows in: pixie, i have a headache, tryst, betrayal
* mary kay blush in citrus bloom
* sally girl eyeshadow in champagne
* covergirl cheekers blush in rock n rose

Additional products I packed included:
* covergirl outlast foundation in ivory
* nyx dewy finish setting spray
* clear air roller ball fragrance
* milani color statement lipstick in pretty natural
* e.l.f. instant lift eyebrow pencil in neutral brown
* e.l.f. shape and stay wax
* wet n wild photo focus eyeshadow primer
* rimmel scandaleyes in nude
* maybelline define a line in brownish black
* l'oreal lash paradise waterproof mascara in blackest black
* benefit boi-ing brightening concealer in no 1

For this makeup look, I used the citrus bloom blush and stuck with the three matte eyeshadow shades.  I used the lightest shade all over, the middle shade to transition, and the darkest shade on the outer half of the lid and lightly to line the lower lash line.

I loved the way this makeup turned out.  It was long lasting and professional while still being pretty.  However, there are a few things I would do differently in the future.  While it was nice having a large mirror with the Unii palette, the palette was just much larger than what I needed.  I think I could have brought a usable mirror in a compact while still bringing less products and taking up less space.  But this worked out just fine for what I needed.  I also think I might just start brining my Real Techniques miracle face sponge when I travel.  It takes so much longer for me to apply my foundation with a little sponge wedge and I feel like I don't get as good of a blend.  I might look into the new little travel cases they've come out with for the sponges, as it would be worth it for me to get my makeup done faster when I'm traveling.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Outfits of the Week: February 26 - March 2

Happy weekend, friends!  I've got big plans to stay home this weekend and craft like crazy!  It's going to be so fun!  What kinds of things do you like to do in your free time?

I was trying really hard to convince myself when taking these pictures that if I smiled like I was happy about it being Monday, I would be happy about it.  That lasted for about an hour until I got to my desk at work and checked my email.  Not every day can be Friday, I guess!  Anyway, the outfit was just fine.  I need to remember this blouse for casual wear on the weekends.  I think it would transition really well.

black shatter blouse - Kohl's
red cardigan - Kohl's
black cami secret - Burlington
black skinny belt - Bealls Outlet
palisade essential chinos - Amazon
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

I really liked this outfit.  I just think I really like these pants and any thing I pair with them seems to come out looking really cute!  And they are so incredibly comfortable as well!

navy blouse - Vanity Fair Outlet
charcoal cardigan - Papaya
faux pearl cardigan clip - Amazon
chili red pants - JC Penney's
taupe pointed toe flats - Payless

Hello bare legs!  I originally had on tights on this morning but I wasn't feeling great and they were just squeezing me and since it was going to be over eighty degrees anyway, I figured I might as well just start the bare legs season now.  That is one great thing about Florida.  Also, I loved this outfit!  It was so cute and I loved the mix of the colors and the fits.  This is a new favorite outfit for sure and definitely my favorite of this week.

burgundy blouse - Bealls Outlet
nude cami secret - Burlington
heather taupe cardigan - Papaya
mixed neutrals cardigan clip - made by me
olive casual skirt - Kohl's
taupe pointed toe flats - Payless

This outfit was just fine.  There was nothing bad about it but there was nothing that really excited me either.  But it was professional and did its job so I guess that's all that matters.

navy pintuck blouse - H&M
olive blazer - Amazon
brown skinny belt - Walmart
light fawn essential chinos - Amazon
brown buckle flats - Rack Room Shoes

I swear these maxi skirts have grown.  I have this same style in a different color and they both used to not drag the ground but now they are both long enough that I really need to hem them.  One of these days!  Until then, they still serve as super comfortable work wear for Fridays.

olive tank top - Kohl's
black 3/4 sleeve cardigan - Boscov's
grey maxi skirt - Sears
black buckle flats - Rack Room Shoes