Friday, February 10, 2017


The Clock Tower, Staunton VA
I absolutely love reading currently posts on other blogs or watching vlogs on this topic. It's a great way to find new shows, books, products, recipes, etc and a way to interact more on topics normally not discussed or as often.

For awhile I debated combining this with a Favorites post, but figured I'd keep that separate. I try to use products a few times before labeling them a favorite, it's easy in blogging/vlogging to label everything as a favorite, and it's hard to see the true opinions of the writers. I do not rely on the blog for income, it is purely a hobby, so I will be as transparent as I'd like when it comes to my opinions on products.

I would like to have some cool graphic I designed in Illustrator or Photoshop to express all these in a creative, streamlined picture, but for now a list works!

-The Crown, Netflix. Among a few other ongoing shows I watch, I've been enthralled with The Crown. Did you know that this week the queen celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee, celebrating 65 years on the throne, becoming the first British monarch to sit on the throne for 65 years? That is incredible and just astounding. Now I need to finish watching this series. I am dragging it out to savor every episode- so many shows I rush thru and binge watch, then find myself in a show hole. Maybe tomorrow night I'll create some ambiance in my office with lights, candles, a blanket, and watch an episode with a cup of tea. *Have I mentioned I'm a massive anglophile?!*

-The Quiche of Death, M.C. Beaton. My mother in law, my fellow murder-mystery enthusiast, found this AcornTV series in their catalog, pointing it out to me back in October. Well, on the way home from dinner that night I ordered it on DVD thru amazon.  I have since binge watched Series 1, and found myself in said show hole. For now the fan group on Facebook and the books are tiding me over. Only downside? Books are nothing like the show, so I'm having to re-picuture every character!

That big ass cup of tea above, didn't you catch that hint? That cup is just absolute perfection, and is my current favorite tea cup. I bought it for myself Christmas Eve, sitting beside a pool, at the beach, hand in hand with my husband, feeling sorry for myself. I know, pathetic. I'm working on dealing with holidays and expectations, and loneliness, and rejection...yada yada yada. This tea cup reminds me of the occasion and setting when I bought it, but in a good way. I have an amazing life and need to remember that daily- especially when sipping Black Currant tea and nibbling on Cranberry Almond thins from Aldi.  Here's another shot:

I'm super excited to start sharing videos on here and Youtube- well, maybe equal parts excited and terrified. I have filmed 2 get ready with me (GRWM) videos and need to hurry up and edit them so I can post them and not chicken out. I haven't really decided what else to film yet, maybe hauls, vlogs, ??? I seriously don't know yet. What I do know is I have a ton of fun filming them, so hopefully you'll like them as much as I do!

I have never been a fan of avocados, but have been trying them different ways recently in an effort to get us to eat more healthy fats. I've been making a simple guacamole recipe that I don't love, chopping them up over salads or rice bowls, and actually that's about it.

Chicken Fajita Salad with Cheddar and Greek Yogurt
I tried avocado toast over a year ago and hated it. Maybe I'll try it again now that I've eaten it more? I have been craving an egg salad sandwich recently, and upon grabbing this cookbook to flip thru this past weekend while meal planning, I flipped to a recipe for egg salad with avocado and pickled celery. That to me sounds divine and I cannot wait to report back.

This nail polish. OMFG. I just can't. I literally cannot. This is Alysha from Julep Maven, and it's in the top 10 polishes of my life. That is not trick photography, that's what it looks like in direct sunlight. I also picked up a nude and a cobalt blue holo the same month and cannot wait to use them now as well!

What are you currently reading? I have 20+ books on my kindle in queue to be read, but I'll always take a recommendation!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

BareMinerals Dirty Detox Mud Mask

During the Super Bowl, or just Sunday night as it was called in my house, I had 15-20 minutes to kill until it was time to get a ham out of the oven. I had been meaning to talk more about my love for this mud mask for awhile now, and I was finally able to get some good pictures in the other day. So I popped it on again and was mindful of all the lovely details.

I am very hesitant when it comes to products I use on my face due to my *extremely* sensitive skin.   Although I'm overly cautious, I also like to promote self-care, and well let's face it, FORCE myself to relax. That's pretty much what a mud mask is, isn't it? Or any mask for that matter. You try not to smile, laugh, cry or frown, so you lay as still as you can. Turn on Pandora spa radio, dim the lights, burn some candles and voila at-home spa.

I decided to give this mud mask a try, as I can use most, if not all BareMinerals products, and trust them to be easy-going on my skin. I did purchase the additional brush and cloth kit ($18) and I am very happy I did. The brush is contoured perfectly, and allows you to get an even distribution and around eyes and your mouth with ease.

The mud mask itself is green in color, silky smooth, and smells divine, with hints of bergamot and eucalyptus. The mask itself contained 4 mineral-rich clays, charcoal, and papaya enzyme for a "fresh and ridiculously healthy looking glow ("

Immediately upon application, I had a cooling sensation, partly I'm sure due to the temperature of the product, but it was a refreshing, soothing experience. It took all of 2-3 minutes to paint my entire face, then I left it on as the instructions say, 10-15 mins.

You may notice two different outfits- pajamas and my Eagles sweatshirt.... I'm using pictures from my first experience using it and my most recent. 

While wearing it, my skin does feel tight and taunt, as to be expected when wearing a mud mask and it is drying. What I do like is that even when wearing it, I can smile and laugh- see photos below...smiling caused wrinkling, but no cracks!

When it's time to remove the mask, all you need is a wash cloth and warm water. Again, I purchased the add on brush and washcloth kit, which contains a black, waffle-textured cloth. The mask itself wipes right off, first swipe shown here:

Wipe, rinse, wipe, rinse, wipe rinse. Done!

I do want to add- in the picture where it's in the process of being wiped off, my skin is slightly red, but only because of the temperature of the water and my sensitive skin. Once it has a second to cool down, my skin is even colored. And feels divine. Soft, nourished, hydrated, and refreshed. No, seriously it does. This stuff isn't 5 stars on every site for no reason!

I did not immediately put on lotion as I wanted to experience all the benefits of the mask. About an hour later I threw on some of my night cream from Beauty Counter to ensure hydration overnight. 

Now, here's the bad news. It's AH-MAZING, so it's sold out like everywhere. It retails for $35 on their site, and you can sign up to be notified when it comes back in stock. I bought mine awhile ago on Ulta or Sephora, and will be replacing it when I run out. This is definitely a keeper!

Side note- please, please, PLEASE be careful when using masks. Please spend the extra money, read reviews, ask friends (OR ME!!) for referrals for safe ones, because there are some toxic masks out there. I know I am overly cautious and super hesitant to try most non name brand products, but it's usually for a reason. My sweet friend Jen just this week used a black mask, and the results were catastrophic- we're talking not able to be removed, horrible reaction, and red, puffy, irritated skin 24 hours later. PLEASE  be careful my sweet friends!

Do you have a favorite mud mask? Do you prefer sheet masks?

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Self-Imposed No Buy

August 2012 I had my first self-imposed no-buy, I survived to tell about it, and haven't been able to stick to one again since. FOR SHAME. Over 4 years I have bought what I want, when I want, and WTF enough is enough. My sweet blogging friend Elizabeth over at Cheers Elizabeth has inspired me to join along with her for the month, stop by and say hello!

I'm writing this on the 3rd, and it will go live on the 6th, but I did start on February 1st! Trust me, I binge shopped an Ulta and a Sephora order around 10:30pm on the 31st of January, but tightened the belt on the first.

I define my no-buy as any extraneous spending over my monthly "allowance" of spending cash. I haven't decided if I want to disclose what that amount is, but for now I'll say $XXX amount. I have already spent some of my allowance on my favorite subscription services, which I will break down below. Some of my subscriptions will come out of the house fund, but majority of them will come from my allowance. As will the pedicure I thoroughly enjoyed tonight after work. ($35)

I definitely have my fair share of subscription services, I've listed them below.

Monthly Subscriptions:

  1. ipsy ($10) I've talked about ipsy a lot, and definitely given out my fair share of free bags to try<<enabler alert: let me know if you'd like a free bag to try.>> This will be my last month of ipsy- I don't even really LOVE any products I receive, and frankly I'm kinda over the sample sizes. (I really wish I would have canceled before the no-buy, but that's ok!)
  2. Boxycharm ($21) LOVE this box- full sizes, amazing products, and without a doubt worth the price.
  3. Glossybox ($16) This is usually $21/month but I tried it out on a coupon code. I haven't decided my thoughts on this one yet- the last 2 months I got were excellent, but do I need another subscription beauty box? This is the last month at a reduced rate, so time to decide.
  4. Julep Maven ($21) I do love that with Julep we get to see what's in the box before ordering it, and most months I just skip out of meh-ness. I did pick up an AMAZING purple holo, and some gorgeous oil slicks recently, but I'd say in the last 12 months, I've ordered maybe 3 times. February was NOT one of those, so this will not come out of my budget.
  5. PopSugar ($20) This is normally $39.95, but Thanksgiving weekend they ran a special offering $100 off a 6 month subscription, making it $19.12/month for 6 months, I couldn't pass it up! I have been debating cancelling this box- they're not as good as they used to be, and I keep hoping they'll redeem themselves the next month. I still have 3 more months at this reduced rate, so I have time to make up my mind. 
  6. FabFitFun ($16.67/month) This is a quarterly box rather than a monthly, but I figured I'd add it to my monthly budget. Quarterly price is $49.99. This is an excellent box- what Popsugar USED to be. Comes with a great variety of products- I'll share a box soon I promise!
  7. Texture ($5) Have an iPad? YOU NEED this app. I used to have a TON of magazine print subscriptions, then I found Texture, which is hundreds of magazines for a monthly charge. It's normally $9.99/month for Basic Membership and $14.99 to make it Premium- which adds People, USWeekly, Time, etc. Definitely worth checking out. Send me your email and I'll send you a coupon code- they don't have a referral code/link.
  8. Plum Deluxe ($16) This is an organic loose tea subscription, and this comes out of the house fund. I drink water, 1-2 cups of brewed coffee, and a pot of tea a day. I LOVE tea.
All told, $88.67 in subscriptions. Yikes. And to be honest, I have a few months' worth sitting in my closet untouched. In my defense, I do only open and use products I know I'll like, everything else gets boxed up and sold on eBay in lots. I sell about 1 lot a month for $50, which brings the monthly subscriptions cost down to $38.67, much more manageable!

The second part of this no-buy is to sell $500 worth of excess STUFF and put it on debt. This includes subscription items/lots, planners and planner supplies, clothes on postmark, eBay, and Facebook sales. Oh, and I guess Stella & Dot. (This isn't realistic as any profit made from trunk shows is donated to a charity of the hostess' choice, but any outside internet sales will count.) Anything I raise OVER this, will go towards my allowance this month or next.

There are some caveats to this plan that I will deal with along the way. One such hiccup is my monthly work bonus. This is commission more than a bonus per se, with 100% of the bonus at my discretion. This month it will go on debt 100%. Or be invested into my Etsy shop.

So, who's with me? It's not too late to start! Let's close our wallets and put a little more away in savings together. I will be blogging about this along the way, and will summarize my experience on March 1st. 
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