Sunday, December 31, 2017

Last Empties of 2017!

The last day of the year just seemed like the right time to clear out my empties bin and start the year with a clean slate.  Here are all of the empties from November and December of 2017.  Somehow I finished a lot of makeup in those two months!

* Covergirl Outlast Foundation in Classic Ivory
* Covergirl Outlast Foundation in Ivory
* Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Face Primer Spray
* Wet N Wild Max Volume Plus Waterproof Mascara
* L'Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black
* e.l.f. Instant Lift Brow Pencil in Neutral Brown
* Carmex Classic Lip Balm X3
* perfume sample (old)
* Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara (mini)
* e.l.f. HD Lifting Concealer in Fair

Hair Care Products
* Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo
* Garnier Fructis Root Amp
* Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo (travel size)

Skin Care Products
* Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
* Treatment
* Cleanser
* Cerave Eye Repair Cream
* Olay Complete Sensative Skin Moisturizer with SPF 15
* Olay Daily Facials
* Feel Brilliant Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask
* Equate Original Clean Makeup Remover Wipes

Friday, December 29, 2017

My 2018 New Year's Resolution

Last year I set a new year's resolution of sorts to get my health on track so I could lose the weight that I had gained since leaving the classroom as a teacher.  I had done really well from summer of 2016 until about Thanksgiving and then I got off track after getting sick.  I got back on track at the new year, wrote weekly detailed blog posts about my progress, and did really well in 2017 until about September when Hurricane Irma hit us and I just never really devoted myself to living a healthy lifestyle again after that.  The weekly blog posts took me hours to do and was starting to feel more like a chore than an enjoyable hobby.  Then without making the effort to monitor my progress for the blog, I stopped trying altogether.  As 2017 comes to a close and I realize that I am now about eighteen months into a failed attempt to lose weight and keep it off, I started really trying to analyze where I keep going wrong.  My thoughts led me to two conclusions: #1 I can't focus only on weight because once I reach goal, I give up, and #2 I need an easier, faster way to hold myself accountable.  My new year's resolution for 2018 is to use a planner to keep track of several different metrics to encourage me to stay on track for good overall health.  While I probably won't write an entire blog post about my weekly updates, I might just share something on my Instagram page or maybe in an Insta story.  (I gave a sneak peek of this planner on my Insta Story if you want to check it out!)

I picked up this 5" X 8" weekly and monthly planner at Walmart for $7.88 [exact].  I wanted something that had both weekly and monthly pages.  I also wanted something that wasn't specifically set up to be a fitness planner so that I could decide what I wanted to track and what I didn't.  For example, while meal tracking is probably a great way to stay focused, I just know that I won't take the time to write down what I ate every day.  I wanted something that could motivate me, help me keep track and think about my activity, but could be quick enough that I would actually stick with it.

To decorate my planner, I bought these stickers from The Happy Planner on [exact].  The front sheet is cute little sayings but each of the five sheets is different and some of them have stickers to track calories burned, heart rate, time and distance, and more.  I thought they would be a fun way to add a little additional information on days where I do some different exercises.  I really like The Happy Planner brand of stickers and I have several other books that I use for different things and I plan to pull some of the appropriate phrases into this planner.

And even though the new year doesn't start for a couple more days, I've started using the monthly planner for December to keep track of some of the statistics I want to monitor.  Here's an example of what I plan on using my planner to track.

* number of steps
* quick notes on the length and type of exercise
* daily weight (blacked out because the whole world doesn't need to know what I weigh 🤪)
* bed time on work nights

* total number of steps with a goal of 70,000
* total minutes of exercise with a goal of 2 hours and 30 minutes
* average weight
* average weeknight bed time with a goal of 9:30 or earlier

* tallies of days of 10,000 steps
* tallies of days of exercise
* beginning of month weight
* end of month weight

I'm not sure yet if I will use the weekly to do section for some small goals to accomplish that week or if I'll need that whole section for my weekly break down.  I'm leaning more towards using it for my weekly analysis, since those things are already sort of to dos.  Then I'll have room for some fun stickers or something too.  Either way, I like that this planner has room for keeping track of things for the day, week, or month.

How do you ensure that your new year's resolutions or goals last?  To be honest, my 2017 resolution lasted for over nine months and I think that is pretty good for me!  But there's always room for improvement and I'm really looking forward to all the great things that 2018 will bring.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Beauty Haul

Happy Holidays!  I hope that everyone has/had a lovely Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you and your family celebrate.  We had a great Christmas here and I have to say, my hubby hit it out of the park with presents this year.  He alleges that I made it fairly easy to shop for me this year by keeping up to date with my Amazon wish list.  And he was apparently listening in on quite a few YouTube videos that I watched as well.  He's a keeper for sure!  I thought I would share just the items that he got me that are beauty related.

Profusion Cosmetics
the Treasure Box
This large palette comes with:
* large mirror
* 35 eyeshadows
* 10 lipglosses
* 2 blushes
* 1 bronzer
* 1 highlight
* 1 eyeliner pencil
* and a bunch of useless little applicators that I already threw away.

He's gone Profusion cosmetics hunting with me several times now and he figured this large palette would be fun to use and review for the blog, especially since it's still available (but in different outer packaging) now.

Simply Me Beauty
Eye Makeup Remover Pad, BB Cream in Light, Hi-Def Concealer in Light, and Radiant Highlighter
When I first heard through Safiya Nygaard's YouTube video that 7-Eleven was coming out with its own line of makeup, all under $4.99, I told my husband (who uses 7-Eleven as "his" gas station) to feel free to pick me up anything but the face products for stocking stuffers.  I guess he got confused about what I said but it will still be fun to try these out.

Taylor by Taylor Swift Eau de Parfum Sample
This was a free sample from another purchase at Sephora but hubby knows I love Taylor Swift so he picked out this one.

Broadway Colors
Waterproof Curling Mascara
The story on this was that he was killing time one day and the only store around was Dollar General so he picked me up a couple of items, including the profusion palettes.

Define-A-Line Eyeliner in Soft Black
Another item from Dollar General.

Profusion Cosmetics
Face Palette
This is another item that was picked up at Dollar General but I had thought about buying this same item at Burlington so many times and I just kept putting it back down.  It will be a fun one to use to do a whole face, since all the color items you need are here in one place.  In this palette you get:
* 1 mirror
* 24 eyeshadows
* 3 blushes
* 1 highlight
* 2 bronzers
* 1 brow wax
* 2 brow powders
* 3 lip colors
* 1 mini eyeliner
* and a bunch of useless applicators and brushes.  The blush brush shed everywhere and the little hairs are stuck in all the cream products.  

City Color Cosmetics
Sprinkle Palette
How fun does this eyeshadow palette look?  I had this one on my Amazon wishlist for a while because it looked like a really fun palette where you could mix and match lots of colors but you also don't have to be all that creative either.  If you just think of the palette as five duos with a light shade and a dark shade, it becomes a really easy colorful palette.

Beauty Treats
04 Smoky Palette
I didn't have this exact Beauty Treats palette on my Amazon wish list, but I had a few similar ones.  This one could be divided into a few different layouts to make it easier to use.  First, you could divide into six pans, left with cooler tones and right with warmer tones.  Or you could divide it into columns and have four trios that would work pretty well too.  And of course you could mix and match any which way you want if you're feeling creative.

Mixology Eyeshadow Palette in Sweet & Warm
Hubby picked this one out all on his own and I don't think I could have done a better job if I tried.  This will be a fantastic palette for work because everything is neutral without being downright boring.  It has a good mix of matte and shimmer, and I love that if I don't feel like being creative in the morning, I can just pick a trio and go from there or I can pull from different parts of the palette to create my own unique look.  I see myself getting a lot of use out of this for work.

Storybook Cosmetics
Wand Makeup Brushes
I had seen these Harry Potter inspired makeup brush wands on Pinterest months ago and squealed to my husband about how cool they were and at the time he encouraged me to buy them but I talked myself out of it, because I just really didn't need them but he must have tucked that information away.  And I might not have needed them but they are soooo cool!  They are the perfect gift for anyone who loves both makeup and Harry Potter.  These brushes are not licensed by Warner Brothers so they are not identical to the ones from the movies, but they appear to be inspired by them.  They are so pretty and cool that I almost don't want to use them.  I might just buy a little glass container to display them in my makeup area.  Although it would be cool to banish dark circles with a spell instead of concealer.

All in all, it was a fantastic Christmas for me and I now have weeks worth of fun products to try out!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Outfits of the Week: December 18 - 20

For this week, I have just three outfits to share with you.  It's impossible for me to pick a favorite, as I loved every single one of these outfits!

I really enjoyed this outfit, even though it's really simple and basic.  Maybe I'm just a simple and basic girl.  One of the things I really like is that everything is neutral so I could have some fun with a peachy eye look.  I posted about it on Instagram, if you're curious.

black ruffle blouse - Papaya
deathly hallows necklace - gift
heather gray cardigan - Papaya
skinny black belt - Bealls Outlet
moss essential chinos - Amazon
gray faux snakeskin and suede pointed toe flats - Payless

Today was my Information and Technology holiday party.  It was an ugly Christmas sweater party but with the temperature here in Florida reaching over 80 degrees Fahrenheit today, it was way too hot for a sweater and I didn't even really want to wear pants.  Enter a baseball tee and a skirt instead.  Less festive, perhaps, but everyone really enjoyed the Santa bopper though.  That was one dollar well spent!

Santa headband bopper - Dollar Tree (last year)
Christmas baseball T-shirt - Walmart (last year)
black skirt - Walmart
black tights - Walmart
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

I realize now that this outfit was almost the exact opposite of Tuesday's.  When I find a formula that works, I stick with it!  But really I just couldn't resist pairing this Christmas T-shirt with the red skirt for a super festive outfit.

black Christmas T-shirt - Walmart
black 3/4 sleeve cardigan - Boscov's
black skinny belt - Bealls Outlet
red skirt - Kohl's
black tights - Walmart
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My New Favorite Coat

As a Florida resident, coats aren't something I think about all that often.  I have a fantastic heavy weight wool winter coat (see it here) which is great for when I go back to Pittsburgh during the winter but it's a bit of overkill for most winter days here.  In Florida, we tend to have dramatic temperature changes.  For example, one day last week it was thirty-one degrees in the morning when I left for work and the temperature was just over seventy by the time I left.  It's so hard to dress appropriately!  But my new favorite coat makes it really easy because the coat is warm enough for thirty-one degrees and light enough to carry out of work in your arms the afternoon.

The features that most drew me to this coat were the cost and the hood.  Often when it gets cold here, it also brings rain as well.  When I ordered this coat online, I thought it would do the trick but I had no idea how much I would end up loving it.

The description on the website for this coat was not very detailed so when it arrived to me, I ended up feeling really surprised and pleased about many of the features that I hadn't realized it had.  One of the features I ended up loving was the fitted waist in the back.  I don't really notice this changing the feel of the coat when I wear it, but I definitely think it makes the coat look more fitted and flattering from the sides and back.  I also love that it's long enough to cover my bottom.  That won't be the case for everyone, but since I'm so short, it falls long on me and I love that because it keeps my backside warm!  There is nothing worse than having a draft sneak up between your pants and your shirt.

Additionally, the hood is removable.  There is a zipper that runs under the hood.  However, for me it's easier to just leave the hood most of the time because you just never know when rain might pop up.  Additionally, the hood has drawstrings that you can tighten and keep tight with the plastic caps.  This is great when it's cold outside and I want to really bundle up.

Another fantastic feature that was never mentioned on the website is the snap on the pockets.  The snaps are great because you can put a pair of gloves in the pockets and keep them from falling out.  But what I use the snaps for most often is slipping my cell phone into the pocket and then securing the snap to keep it from falling out.

And the final surprise of this coat was the sleeves.  First of all, they weren't 100 feet too long on me, which is important when you are as petite as I am.  Second of all, they have an invisible elastic band made of fleece, which is fantastic for keeping cold air from sneaking up your sleeve.

After all the raving I've done about this coat, I'm pretty happy to tell you that it's from  The original price is just under $20 but I paid $12 for mine and it's currently on clearance or sale in every size.  I'm usually a petite XS in shirts and I got it in XS in rich black (not petite size).  There is also an almost identical coat on sale at for under $13 and it is still available in lots of different sizes and colors.  If you think this coat is something you might be interested in, I suggest jumping on it now before they sell out!  I definitely think that knowing what I know now, I would have paid full price for this coat without hesitating.

$7.50: exact same coat - sizes XS and S only
$10.50: exact same coat - sizes 2X, 3X, 4X
$12.96: very similar coat - sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
$16.00: very similar coat - sizes 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Shop My Stash Drawer: December 16 - 31

It's time to shop my stash again!  With Christmas coming soon, I've been trying not to buy too many new things because I know I'll be getting some makeup for Christmas so there are just a couple of new things in here and lots of current favorites.  Let's start with the large palettes that actually get stored in a separate drawer because they are so big.

Large Palettes
* profusion blush palette
* profusion eye & cheek palette
* beauty treats sculpting palette - I want to try out the cream highlights in this palette.

Blush, Bronzer, Highlighter
* e.l.f. illuminating palette
* city color be matte blush in dragonfruit
* e.l.f. contouring blush & bronzing powder in fiji (matte)
* milani rose blush in romantic rose
* alverde rose tinted highlighter
* city color be matte blush in papaya
* city color be matte blush in guava
tarte deluxe amazonian clay 12 hour blush in fiesty

Eyeliner, Mascara, Brows
* nyx faux blacks eyeliner in blackberry
* rimmel scandaleyes eyeliner in nude
* pixi endless silky eyeliner in black noir
* rimmel scandaleyes eyeliner in deep blue
physician's formula shimmer strips eyeliner in nude eyes (brown shade)
maybelline unstoppable eyeliner in espresso
nyc high definition liquid eyeliner in extra black
* essence waterproof eyeliner pen in blackrimmel scandaleyes micro liner in black
e.l.f. mineral infused mascara
* l'oreal lash paraside waterproof mascara in blackest black
* milani brow shaping wax
* e.l.f. instant lift brow pencil in neutral brown
Trèstique Mini Brow Pencil in Espresso

Lip Products
* milani color statement lipstick in plum rose
* milani color statement lipstick in nude creme
* milani color statement lipstick in pretty natural
* milani color statement lipstick in naturally chic
* milani color statement lipstick in blushing beauty
* rimmel lasting finish by kate matte lipstick in 107
* rimmel lasting finish by kate matte lipstick in 104
* simple pleasures lip tint (no color name)

Base Face Products
* hard candy sheer envy hydrating primer mist
* covergirl outlast foundation in ivory
* rimmel stay matte foundation in ivory
* e.l.f. HD lifting concealer in fair
* e.l.f. undereye concealer & highlighter in glow/fair
* e.l.f. makeup mist & set
* nyc smooth skin loose face powder in translucent
* benefit boi-ing brightening concealer in no 1

* profusion eyeshadow palette in amber eyes
profusion eyeshadow palette in natural
profusion eyeshadow palette in nude eyes
profusion eyeshadow palette in smoky
* bys eyeshadow palette in peach
* w7 eyeshadow palette in mighty mattes
* bys on the go palette in matte
* nomad multi-perfection duo brow powder in brunetta brillante
* wet n wild photo focus eyeshadow primer

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Ipsy Glam Bag: December 2017

I always love it when my Ipsy Glam Bag comes in the mail!  And I was pretty excited to get my hands on the items in this month's bag after I saw the sneak peek earlier in the month.  Let's take a look at this pretty and festive bag first.

Silver and Mint Bag
This bag is really cute and it seems to be of pretty good quality aside from the fact that it sheds glitter a little bit.  I'm just never a big fan of loose glitter on things.  But overall, the bag is very cute.

Smashbox Cosmetics
Be Legendary Lipstick in Legendary

$16.80 ($21 for 3 g, I received 2.4g)
I'm not a huge fan of red lipstick for every day wear but the holidays are the perfect time of year to bust out a rich red and this shade is a really true red.  And I love that it's a mini size because I really just don't go through lipstick very fast at all.  My only concern is that it's a super creamy formula and I feel like that had potential for some smudging and with such a bold lip color I would prefer a more matte formula.  There's always the old double blot method though.

Faux Blacks Eyeliner in Blackberry
$8 for 0.04 oz, full size
I've gotten so many black eyeliners in Ipsy bags.  Don't get me wrong, they've all been awesome and some have even become favorites but I just was really hoping for something different because a girl only needs so many black eyeliners for two eyes, especially when I like to change up what I wear.  So I was thrilled when I saw that this eyeliner was dark but not black.  I think that the blackberry color will look amazing with my green eyes and I've had really good luck with NYX eyeliners in the past, so I'm really optimistic.  I tried it out this morning and found that it applied really easily and so far I'm really please with it.

L36 Tapered Highlight Brush

$13 ($325 for 25 piece brush set)
Let me just say that I can't even believe that someone would spend $325 on these brush sets.  For that price, every freaking brush better be amazing, unique, and perfect.  But when you break down the cost per brush for these, it's about $12-$14 a piece, which is still kind of pricey but not too bad.  The brushes are only sold in sets though.  All that said, I think this brush is the perfect size and shape for highlighting for me.  I used it this morning and found that it is precise enough to get the highlight exactly where I want it but fluffy enough to blend it out and look more diffused, which is just what I like in a highlighter.  I can see this brush becoming one of the ones I use almost daily.

Mini Brow Pencil in Espresso

When I first pulled this out, I was so ticked that they didn't include the cap.  It turns out the cap is shaped like an actual pencil, even on this mini size!  What a cute detail!  The pencil is actually retractable and the tip is shaped like a triangle.  I used it this morning and the color is slightly warmer than I would prefer and the formula of the pencil is dry and kind of difficult to apply.  I'll probably still use it up but I prefer my two dollar full size e.l.f. instant lift brow pencil in neutral brown.

Brilliant Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask

$17.50 ($35 for 4 masks, I received 2 masks.)
I like a sheet mask from time to time so this looked like fun but not the most exciting thing I've received.  Although for as expensive as it is for one sheet mask, I have high expectations for this product.  I definitely feel like I could use some detoxification on my face so these might have to get broken out one day during my Christmas time off for a little pampering.

Total Value: $65.30 + bag

Conclusion: I think this was a really great bag!  I'm really excited to try out everything that I got and I didn't feel like a single thing was a dud or a let down on first impression.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Outfits of the Week: December 11 - 15

Happy Friday!  What are everyone's plans for the weekend?  With all of my Christmas shopping pretty much done, I plan on sleeping, relaxing, and wearing my pajamas all day every day!

An exceptionally cold Monday morning seemed like the perfect day to bust out a sweater and the pink puffy vest.  Seriously though, I love this vest.  And I love that I was having a really great hair day this day too.  Why can't my hair look this amazing every day?

gray sweater - Walmart
pink puffy vest - Belk
mineral blue essential chinos - Amazon
taupe pointed toe flats - Payless

This day the weather had gone crazy.  Barely above freezing in the morning and then up to over seventy degrees by mid day.  It's impossible to dress comfortably.  Layering is the only thing you can do.

dried mulberry blouse - Vanity Fair Outlet
felix felicis necklace - gift
black sparkle cardigan - Kohl's
black skinny belt - Walmart
chambray skirt - Walmart
black fleece lined tights - Vanity Fair Outlet
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

I just loved this outfit!  There's something about layering a button down under a cardigan that I just love and I really think all of these pieces fit me really well.  I also really enjoy the color scheme that felt very fall to me on a day where Florida had some fall like weather.

chambray button down - Kohl's
burgundy window pane cardigan - Kohl's
black skinny belt - Beall's Outlet
moss essential chinos - Amazon
taupe pointed toe flats - Payless

This was my least favorite outfit of the week.  I just felt really wide and blob like in this dress.  The sleeves on it are way too long so I always feel like a kid wearing Mom's clothes in it, even when the sleeves are rolled up.  I really just need to alter the sleeves so they fit better but this sheer synthetic fabric is a bear to work with so I just keep avoiding it.  Maybe it would be easier to just make it a short sleeve dress rather than picking a half ton of threads out of the cuffs or the shoulders and resewing the whole thing.  But the outfit was cute for the first of three holiday celebrations I had at work.  This was more of a lunch with good friends so I didn't feel like I needed to be too holiday but the red toned tights were just right.

white and black stripe dress - Target
black cardigan - Banana Republic Factory
maroon fleece lined tights - Walmart

This day was another one of my Christmas parties and one of the bigger ones.  I wanted to be festive but still look professional enough so I went with a holiday sweater/sweatshirt and black pants with black flats.  But I was having a bad hair day so once I got to work, I donned my Santa bopper headband for the rest of the day and no one noticed my hair.   

Christmas sweatshirt - Walmart
black chinos - Amazon
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless