Beauty

Beauty
Beauty

Parenting

Parenting
Parenting

Blogging 101

Blogging 101
Blogging 101

Birthdays, Migraines, & the History of Rap...

The weather man is calling it Frigid Friday here in Northwest Indiana, and I couldn't agree more. I mean, you know you are living in the wrong place when you walk outside, and the wind hurts your face. Yeah, it kinda sucks, but at least some good things happened to me this week!
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one Saturday was in-line for the worst day ever. It was the hubby's birthday, and of course, I woke up with a migraine. Sure, I am used to migraines, but I am not used to getting a aura before one. This was a throwing-up-blurred-vision-my-hand-going-numb-I-feel-like-I'm-dying aura, and it scared the shiznit out of me. But being the person that I am, I went to work, was sent home, and then spent the next 4 hours in bed after taking some drugs. I guess that's protocol when you feel like someone is digging an ice pick in you eye, right?
 
I woke up feeling better, and since it was the hubby's birthday, I went through with our plans to go out. Do you seriously know how it feels to sit in a bar, and not drink anything with alcohol in it? Oh, and blaring music from a can't-mix-for-shit DJ? Yeah, it sucks. But at least the hubby had fun, and I can now say that I am addicted to bar coke.

 
two Continuing with the hubby's "birthday weekend", me and Lil Man decided to pick up an ice cream cake for Daddy on Sunday. Lil Man was so excited that he was able to help Daddy blow out the candles.
 
 
three Sunday we also went to do our taxes... and I am seriously psyched for the money to come in. The hubby and I decided that we are getting new phones, I can get a new camera, and we are going to pay off bills. Responsible, huh?
 
four Other than the fun birthday festivities, I have been working my booty off on my final paper and final exam for one of my classes. Well, I am proud to say that my grade came back for my final paper and I got a 91.5, which is an A-!!!!!

five A letter came from my grad school this week inviting me to walk at Graduation! I am so psyched. I have one class between me and my degree, but I am so ready to be done.  
 
 
six Earlier in the week, Justin Timberlake was on Jimmy Fallon... and they revisited their "History of Rap".... Made my night...
 

 
 
Linking up with: Lauren for H54F, Jennie for Friday Favorites, Whitney for #backthatazzup, Darci, April, Christina & Natasha for 5 on Friday, & Allie & Jen for Pit & Peak.
5

The Blogmopolitan Quiz {Round #2}

Since today is Thursday, I was going to give you another part of "refresh your makeup bag", but in all honesty, I have just been so busy with my final paper and final exam this week, that I just haven't had the time to write it up for you. Yeah, grad school kinda sucks.
 
Anyways, instead of the regularly scheduled programming, I have decided to jump on the cool kid train and fill out another round of The Blogmopolitan Quiz. You see, when Erin debuted the first round of The Blogmopolitan Quiz, I instantly fell in love with the idea, (and quickly filled it out) since being a blogger is kinda like being a celebrity.

Now, I'm not saying that I am a Bloggy Celeb, by any means, but filling out a Cosmopolitan-esque celeb quiz, kinda makes me feel like one. Yeah, that's the idea.
So, if you want to fill out your own, or even read the other cool kids' answers, you can check it out HERE. :)
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2

WIWW: Caroline G Shop Love

I guess you can say that I kinda have an addiction. Sure, I have talked about this issue before, but sometimes, I find something totally and utterly amazing, and then have to snatch it up. Yeah, I am talking about my addiction to buying what other bloggers are "selling."
 
Sure, I have calmed down a bit, considering that this month was supposed to be a "no spend" month, I kinda failed. I say supposed because I renewed my sponsorship on Lauren Elizabeth, bought a pair of sweat pants from Target, and bought a new necklace from Caroline G.
 
But, this isn't about what I should have done, and what I actually did... it's about my obsession with Caroline G necklaces.


You see, no bloggers have been actually "selling" the necklaces this month, the problem is the fact that Caroline G has been running FREE NECKLACE offers on Facebook.
 
Yeah...
 
But, I only bought one... so it's a start, I guess. I don't know... We'll revisit this later.

Anyways...

My newest necklace was the navy three stone, and once I received it, I knew I had to take it out for a spin. So, I threw on one of my favorite color combos, and enlisted my hubby to take a couple picture for y'all.
 
cardi: Target clearance
shirt: Maurices
tank: Maurices
jeans: Silver Jeans
necklace: Caroline G
 
After taking the pictures, Lil Mann wanted to get in on the action, and since the cardi was oversized, I couldn't say no :)
 

Linking up with Bella for Confessions, Kathy for Hump Day Confessions, The Pleated Poppy for WIWW, Shanna for Random Wednesday & The Fitness Blondie for the Hump Day Blog Hop.
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Better-than-Olive-Garden Pasta

If you have been around here for awhile, you know that I usually don't talk about food. Sure, I love food as much as the other guy, but honestly, I don't cook, I bake (unless I'm starving, and the Hubby isn't around). But, in true random Wednesday fashion, I am going to share with you my favorite pasta EVER! Like, I love this pasta more than a fat kid loves cake. Yes, it's just that good.

So, if you want to get all literal about it, you can find the actual recipe HERE. But, if you would LOVE to see some fun cooking pictures, you can read on :)

Better-than-Olive-Garden Creamy Garlic Pasta
 
one // In a pot, bring 2 tsp olive oil to medium-low heat.
 
two // Add 4 cloves of minced garlic (I used minced garlic in water) and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes.

 
three // Mix in 2 tbsp. butter until melted
 


four // Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 3 cups of chicken stock. Raise heat and let it come to a boil.


five // Once at a rolling boil, add 1/2 lb (usually half the box) of spaghetti or angel hair pasta, and cook as to the directions on the box.

 
six // Once the pasta's cooked, reduce heat and stir in 1 cup grated (I use shredded) parmesan cheese until completely melted.

 
seven // Turn off heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of heavy cream
(the original recipe also calls for 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, but I usually don't have it on hand)
 
 
eight // Serve immediately & Enjoy!!! Yum Yum!
 
 
As you can tell, this pasta is super easy, and there is practically no way that someone can mess it up! You should try it, and come back to tell me how you liked it!!! :)
4

The 411 on hair masks

Winter is cruel, and that’s a fact, Jack. 

All laughing aside, winter can be cruel on your skin, on your nails, and especially on your hair. And since everyone longs for that beautiful, bouncy, and shinny hair, they tend to use smoothing creams and hot tools to tame those seriously unwanted flyaways and hideous hat hair. Yeah, I said it. 

But, don’t worry, I’m guilty too… And I have found a solution to all the damage.

A little back story…. I received a sample packet of a hair mask with a recent purchase of It’s a Ten Miracle Leave In, and that little packet sparked a quest to dive into the world of hair masks to find my hair’s soul mate. 

But, alas I soon found out that there are an insane amount of hair masks out there, and most of them do not offer a one-time-use sample packet. Quite frankly, this revelation kinda sucked, because I didn’t feel very comfortable paying $30+ for a bottle/jar of hair mask. Especially when I could whip up one at home. 

So, instead of completing my quest at Ulta or Sephora (even though I love both stores), I decided to go drugstoring. I really don’t even think that is a word, but you get it.

To date, I have tried six different hair masks, and I plan on trying more. Until I try more, here are my conclusions…. To help you “decode”, I have also included a rating scale: 1= not a fan, 5= I would pay for a full-size bottle.

It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask // 5 // After trying this baby, I fell in love. I am a big fan of the leave in, so it’s only natural that I would love the hair mask too. It left my hair feeling soft, silky, and healthy, and smelled rather nice. I would definitely buy a large size.

Fekkai 3 minute Technician Color Care // 1 // I had received a sample in the mail, and when I had my hair dyed, last month, I decided to use it. Truthfully, I didn’t see a big change. Usually I am a fan of Fekkai products, but I felt like I had too much residue left in my hair afterwards. My color still faded (granted it’s not the mask’s fault), and my hair felt really greasy after. 

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque // 3 // A big name in the world of hair masks, this product boasts a large price tag for a single serve packet, and is well worth it. I really liked the smell and the silkiness that it gave my hair.

Not Your Mother’s Intensive Hair Unit Renewal Treatment // 5 // This mask is a GREAT cheap hair mask, as you can pick up a single serve package for under $3, and a whole bottle for under $8. I really liked the smell, and the way that it made my hair feel.

Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner // 2 // I decided to pick up Hask's hair mask for a couple of reasons. A) I am a part of brand backer and wasn't chosen to try their products, and B) It was cheap. When I picked up a packet at Wal-Mart, I was seriously surprised that the full size product was only around $3, which was the packet, and there was enough in the packet for two uses. In my honest opinion, Hask does make a nice hair mask. It didn't smell, was extremely light-weight, and made my hair silky and manageable. The main draw back that I wasn't a fan of... it made my hair too manageable. I seriously couldn't do anything with my hair, due to the silkiness.  

Hask Argan Oil Intensive Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment // 2 // The only difference between this mask and the Keratin one, was the fact that the other one had Keratin in it .

Honestly, after trying all the different hair masks, it almost seems like a five dollar bottle of coconut oil mixed with some honey and used as a hair mask, would be more beneficial to my hair and my bank account. But don't you worry your little head, I am going to keep trying different hair masks, especially when a single packet is less than $5, for you, my readers. See, I love you gals (and guys, if there are any), and I want to be able to give you the best recommendations out there :)


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Happy Birthday to my hubby

Happy Saturday to all! I just wanted to stop in and say Happy Birthday to my hubby. Even though he doesn't read my blog (don't ask me why, cause I have no idea), he is an amazing supporter of mine. So, to show him some love, I made him this, which basically chronicles our past 6.5 years together :)


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H54F {2/21/14}

Wow, I seriously can't believe that it's already Friday. I mean, where in the world, has this week actually gone? I have no idea, and it's kinda crazy! Anyways... my highs of the week :)
 

one // the hubby had some testing done at the hospital, so me and Lil Man decided to go to the mall and ride on the carousel. We both had a lot of fun, and it was nice to get out and do something that he loves to do.

two // mother nature is very cruel. On Tuesday, the polar vortex decided to call a truce and give us a near 50 degree day. Even though it was kinda windy, it was nice to experience the first "heatwave" of the year, especially cause I know it's not going to last.

three // on a recent trip to Target, my "no clothes spend month" goal was broken due to some boyfriend sweats... but they were only $5.98... and they are super comfortable.

four // I can never say it enough, but Target does have some really good clearance. I picked up two $9.99 picture frames for $2.98 a piece. I am trying to collect black picture frames, to complete a gallery wall when we move (eventually), so I was actually a little psyched.

five // one of the perks about sponsoring other blogs, is having the chance to participate in the monthly group giveaways. Personally, I love participating, especially with the bigger name ones, because you get more exposure, and of course, build your following. So, this week, I am participating in not one, but TWO different giveaways! Yeah, cra cra shiznit!

Oh, before I forget, my sponsor spotlight went up on Whispering Sweet Nothings today, and I think you should check it out... well, after you enter the giveaways, of course! You can enter both below :)

Linking up with: Lauren for H54F, Jennie for Friday Favorites, Whitney for #backthatazzup, Darci, April, Christina & Natasha for 5 on Friday, Allie & Jen for Pit & Peak, and Shane for Weekend Wanderings.

 
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Refresh your makeup bag {part 2}

A couple of weeks ago, I started a series called "Refresh your makeup bag", and for part one, I gave you a cute lil chart that showed expiration dates of cosmetics. For part two, I am going to show you how I clean my makeup brushes. Please note that there are so many "recipes" for brush cleaning solutions, and they can be found on Pinterest, so there isn't really a "wrong" way to clean your brushes.

After reading this chart, I'm sure you probably are wondering why you should actually clean your makeup brushes... So, I will show you!


No, that is not coffee... it's the dirty cleaning water from my brushes, and I swear to you, the only stuff I used was vinegar, baby shampoo, and warm water. Yeah... that's why!
Next up is part 3, where we will be talking about choosing the right makeup bag :)

4

I'm the kinda girl who...

I have been reading some new blogs lately, and have come across some Liebster Award posts. Well, the one thing that I have found that is rather common is the number 11, of course, and each one of them goes like this… a thank you for the nomination, 11 facts about the author, 11 answered questions from the nominator, 11 bloggers nominated by the writer, and then 11 asked questions for the writer’s nominees. 

If you remember, I was also nominated for this award, but not one, but two fellow bloggers. But, I have come to realize something… I didn’t include all of the components. Yes, I thanked my nominators, I answered my questions, I nominated, and then I asked question. What was missing? The 11 facts about me.

This realization actually presented a problem, though. I didn’t want to just post a random list of things about me (say what?), or go back and edit the original post.

Enter Holly from Hey, Hollywood. When I saw on Instagram yesterday that she was going to be hosting a “I’m the kinda girl who…” linky, I finally came up with the solution. What if I participated in the linky, and gave you some random facts about me? Killing two birds with one stone? Eh, it works, right?
  
 

I'm the kinda girl who...

... is always behind the camera. I never rarely take pictures by myself, due to body confidence issues, so I am either behind the camera or taking selfies. Or taking selfies with Lil Man.
 
…tends to put family before herself. This includes sickness and medical issues. For example, I have yet to go see a foot doctor for the large bunion on my right foot that is always in pain, because I know that they will most likely want to do surgery. Alas, I don’t have time for that with the number of tests that the hubby has been going through for his upcoming and extremely daunting back surgery date schedulation. So what if I can’t wear heels… no one said flats weren’t cute!

… loves redecorating the house over and over. Most people’s living rooms get changed up maybe twice a year, but mine… whenever, I get the itch. And yes, that includes moving couches around.

… has way too many clothes. This is always an issue, but alas I never have anything to wear. #girlproblems

… has an addiction to chapstick. No, not the actual brand, but the more generalized form of chapstick… I have a tube in almost every room of my house, due to my dry lips.

… who actually excels at writing term papers, case briefing (it’s a law school thing), and term papers, but half the time doesn’t show it because I either don’t like the topic or I’m under too much stress.

… loves painting her nails. Who doesn’t? I, on the other hand though, have an issue with anything dark on my finger nails. I have rather short nails, because I am a recovering nail bitter (ick, I know), so I love almost clear, but has a shot of color polishes; i.e. Essie Allure, OPI Buble Bath, or a glitter.

… loves wearing flip flops, even though the world can see the dryness of her heels.

… stresses rather easily.

… believes in love at first sight and that everything happens for a reason.

… if asked to describe herself in three words, can’t. It’s like picking your ultimate favorite food, nail polish, or blogger. It’s hard.

… is always late. I guess it’s either a gift or due to my procrastination tendencies, but unless I have a “this is the final deadline, meet it or something bad will happen”, you can guarantee I will be late.

... is rather indecisive. Sure, I can make decisions, but then I will turn around and change my mind two seconds later.

… never leaves the house without at the very least, mascara on.

... is a kid at heart.

If you have the need to know more, you can always read my "about me", or click the about me under what I ramble about on the right side of the screen :)
  
What kinda girl are you? Head on over to Hey, Hollywood and link up :)


5

February Favorites

If you're a girl then there is a chance that you have heard of this little oil by the name of Argan. This oil's uses range from skin care, body care, nail care and even hair care, because of it's multitasking benefits happen to be phenomenal. I mean, what other product on the market can be used as a facial moisturizer, to soften cuticles, to treat split ends, and as a body treatment (i.e. to soften scars, fade stretch marks, and minimize rough patches on elbows). I can't think of one.
So, after hearing from a number of people that they have fallen in love with Josie Maran and her line of 100% Pure Argan Oil products, despite the large price tag, I knew I just had to try them, since during the winter my skin, especially on my face, tends to get rather dry.


one // two // three // four // five

I decided to take a  trip to Sephora to grab a concealer and a sample of this supposed miracle oil, and if you shop at Sephora, then you know that you just can't walk in and not buy just one thing... right?
Sephora had a wide range of Josie's Argan Oil products, so I picked three: Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment, Argan Oil, and Argan Oil Light.
For a hydrating treatment, the Milk does what it's supposed to. I have been using it at night for a couple of days, since it's kinda heavy, but I really do like it. I have woken up to softer, smoother, and hydrated skin. The Argan Oil is also kinda heavy, but I have been layering it over the Milk. I have seen a difference, like I have already said, but that could be due to the "double dose" of the miracle oil. Also, if you read the reviews, the Milk is almost the exact same as the Argan Oil. So, if you had to pick between the two, I guess go for the least expensive? The nice thing, the Argan Oil can be used for the face, skin, and as a cuticle softener. And I'm a sucker for a multitasker!
Out of all three products, which I am still using, I have fallen head-over-heels in love with the Argan Oil Light. I can usually tell that my face is drier during the day than at night, and because of that, I like to use serums. The Argan Oil Light doesn't have a funny smell (neither did the other two, for that matter), and it is a lighter version of the Argan Oil, which means that I can put it on after I wash my face, and then layer my moisturizer over it. The benefits definitely outweigh the price tag for this product.
I also picked up the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, which is like the little sister of the famed 12 shade Naked, Naked 2, and Naked 3 pallets. The Basics gives you six beautiful basic eye shadows, and is definitely worth the money. You can customize so many looks out of the six shades, and is literally half the price of the 12 shade ones. On a side note, I have been wanting to try the 12 shade ones, because everyone loves them, but being a mother of an un-potty trained toddler, I have not been able to foot the large price tag. And the only reason that I picked up this one, was because Sephora was hosting a Urban Decay thing, and with every Urban Decay purchase, you get a nail polish. AND with the purchase of these beautiful and worth it shades, I received a gorgeous silver polish called Addiction... Suits me, huh? You can see how pretty it is here!
The fifth thing, was the whole reason that I decided to make the trip to the holy grail... concealer. I have tried a lot of different under eye concealers, since I tend to have dark bags (due to late nights and early mornings), and the best one I have found is Benefit's Fake Up. It comes in a lipstick like tube, and the make up is surrounded by a moisturizer. This stuff is a godsend! After grabbing multiple samples, I finally decided to make the commitment and buy a tube, and haven't looked back.

I am pretty happy with this month's Sephora haul, even though I actually only bought two of the products, and I am relatively positive that I will go back and actually purchase the Argan Oil Light.
1

Why I Write

At work the other day, while I was telling my co-worker about my blog, she asked me a valid question... Why do you open yourself up like that?

Truthfully I went blank. I seriously couldn't tell her why I blog. I mean there are several reasons, but there isn't a valid reason that I have for opening myself up, and bearing my soul for all to judge. It's just something that I enjoy. Yeah, that sounds sick and twisted... Forget that. Really it's because people can judge and comment all the negativity that they want to, and it's fine, because I moderate my comments.

After some hours of soul searching (truthfully it was like 10ish minutes), I finally came up with a response... I just love to blog write.
 
I love feeling like my blog has a purpose. I love feeling like I'm a journalist, and I'm reporting on my life. I love the fact that I can write a post on the fly. I love the sense of community between bloggers, and that we like to encourage each other.

I love the sense of realness. I love to read posts on struggle and triumph. I love to identify with the writer. I love being able to imagine that they are telling me their story, while we are having coffee at Starbucks.

I love writing. I love being able to WRITE WHAT I WANT, whether it be about Lil Man, or a beauty product, or a DIY project, or even my struggle with depression. There are no rules. There are no word limits. There are no boundaries. There isn't anyone grading me on my topic. Or sentence structure. Or the fact that I start a sentence with But.

I love that I don't have to please anyone, because truthfully if you don't like what have so say, there is a little red "X" button in the top right corner. No one has to like my pictures. Or lack thereof.

Simply put, no one has to like me. Sure, it'd be awesome if you pull up a chair (or couch) and stay awhile, but like all things in life, you have a choice. No one is holding a gun to your head, and forcing you to read what I write, word for word.

And that's what I love about writing.
 
 Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss
4

Why hello there, Friday :)

Horary, it's Friday... Yay? Eh, I'm not so sure about that, but we'll pretend that this week has been super awesome, k?

So today's edition of the usual Friday post is better said in pictures... and pit and peaks again, k?

Eh, just go with it... I promise only to show pics of the peaks (highs)!

Peaks:
one // Allow me to tell you a little story...

Since I finally submitted my midterm, like seven pages of straight typing midterm, I decided that it was finally time to start day drinking....

Until I ran out of wine....  Then found a bottle in the bottom of my fridge... And drank it.... Renewing my faith in day drinking....

btw, I am totally kidding... I have a rambunctious three year old and responsibilities.

two // I took a cute lil pic of me and Lil Man....

(I have removed it due to privacy issues)


three // I made some super awesome finger lickin' good bbq chicken.... (recipe to come next week)


four // I heard a great song in the car to work....

Which boosted my self-estem, cause I watched this video...
Damn that girl can get down!

 

five //  To top it all off... I made some Valentine's Day cards out of construction paper. The best thing? They look like a five year old made them! And my hubby gave me some wild flowers and a card for VDay! Yes, he is just that sweet :)



And now with the pits.... :(

one // We replaced the starter in the hubby's car, and then had to turn around and buy a battery for my car... talk about a double whammy...
two // Remember when I talked about my depression issues? Well, since I have been having a flare up, I haven't been able to concentrate on anything. That includes school. I haven't been able to work on my Capstone (the one class standing between me and GRADUATION) to the best of my ability, and well, I feel as if I may fail. So, after talking with financial aid, I am going to drop it, and take it in the second term (my classes are split into 8 week sessions, meaning I take 2 classes every eight weeks).... Awesome, right? Yeah... no. The class isn't offered next term... What? Basically if I don't take it next term, I don't graduate in May. So, I have been talking to the head of the program, and she is going to see what she can do about getting it offered. I am going to pray...
three // The hubby and I have been talking about his upcoming back surgery. Basically his back is screwed (literally) and in order to give him relief, they have to go in and add more hardware. The surgery date isn't set, but I really think that it is the most unwanted and daunting date that I have ever wanted to set. It's just one of those things hanging over our heads. The good news... he has some more tests that the doctor is sending him for, before the doctor will even set the date. I will keep you guys updated.
four // I'm sick again... :(


I really hope next week I have good news to give you!

Oh, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO EVERYONE OUT THERE!!!
I am linking up with: Lauren for H54F, Jennie for Friday Favorites, Whitney for #backthatazzup, Darci, April, Christina & Natasha for 5 on Friday, and Allie & Jen for Pit & Peak.

4

An Easy DIY Valentine's Day Craft {and swap box reveals}

Today I was going to do another edition of "Refresh you makeup bag", but since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, I thought that an easy DIY Valentine's Day craft was of more importance. But, don't worry, next Thursday, we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming, and I will bring you Step Two of how to "Refresh you makeup bag" :)

Also, today I will be showing you the fruits of my Valentine's Day swap boxes!! Excited? I am!

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I was at Wal-Mart last week with Lil Man, and he wanted to paint. I decided that I was going to get him some of those easy to paint sun catchers, so he could make them for his Grandma and Great Grandma for Valentine's Day. He liked the idea, and then some cute Rub-on transfers caught my eye. I picked it up, and the hamster started turning. So, I headed into the craft aisle, and found some hanging ceramic tiles.  


The rub-ons cost $.97 and the hanging tile cost $1.97. Both are from Wal-mart.


Step 1: Cut out your designs and arrange them how you want them, with the sticky side down.
(I let my son pick out the designs, since these are for his Grandparents for VDay)

Step 2: Rub the designs with the enclosed popsicle stick, making sure that you rub the WHOLE design.

Step 3: Remove clear covering, making sure not to ruin your design. 
There is no reason to spray with a clear coat, but you can for your piece of mind.

Step 4: Give as gift or hang on your wall :)


My finished product... I didn't listen to my own instructions in step 3, ad ruined the bottom design. So, I just replaced it with two new designs, and then was super careful not to do it again.

Total cost of cute gift: less than $3.00 
Time spent making a cute gift: less than 10 minutes 

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Since February was going to be a no-spend month, I told my hubby that I didn't want him to buy me anything for the upcoming lover's holiday. Unfortunately, I still felt the need to be given something, and since I love giving gifts, I decided to sign up and participate in not one, but two different Valentine's Day swap boxes.

The first swap I participated in, was the V-day Swap box hosted by Rachel of The Rachel Way, Mandee of Life, Chaos, and Quotes, and  Ashleigh of The Darling Prepster. I was paired with Stephanie of The Dreams Weaver, and I couldn't have been happier with my gift.

I received a gold owl wax burner and a  handmade card.

The second swap I participated in was the Galentine's Day swap hosted by Allie at Tales of a Twenty Something and Ashten of Always Ashten. I was paired with Kallie of But First, Coffee, and I loved everything that I received.

I received an handmade card, journal, chocolate bar, nail polish, lotion, and a "Mommy's Sippy Cup" wine glass with a straw!

For each of these swaps, the partner and I would e-mail back and forth, so we could get to know each other. I loved this part about the whole thing. I love making new friends, especially in the bloggy world.
So, since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, are y'all ready? Have you gotten that special someone that special gift yet?
5

Fashion Blogger I am Not

Hi, my name is Tabitha and I have a confession...

You know those really pretty fashion bloggers out there, who model all of their rather pretty and perfectly put together look with the amazing accessories that you lust after? And you just sit there and look at your screen like...



Yeah, sadly I will never be one of them...



Sure I can "copy" a look from Pinterest and do my makeup and make my hair all shiny, but it all comes down to five essential things that fashion bloggers like Karly Kim, Lauren, Shanna, Niki @ Glossy Blonde, Kate @ The Small Things Blog, and others have... and I don't.
one // They have a great body image. Yes, they are each beautiful, but I am talking about the fact that they know what pose works for their body, and they WORK THAT SHIT. Now me on the other hand...

 sweater: Maurices // Leggings: Oakleigh Rose// Boots: Target // Necklace: Caroline G Shop
two // They either live where there is no snow or can make an outdoor picture look like heaven or have learned to take their pictures indoors... Yeah, haven't figured that one out yet either...
 Shirt: IWYP by: Whitney Ellen // Boots: Target // Scarf & Leggings: Oakleigh Rose

three // All fashion bloggers have something in common... they have great cameras and tripods (or someone to take all their wonderful shots)... and they wear shoes... I on the other hand, have no tripod, have a nice little point and shoot, and take my "outfit" pictures in my bedroom mirror (which really needs to be cleaned). BTW, I know Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy takes her pictures in a mirror, so I feel like I have hope. Because her photos look amazeballs!!!!
sweater: Jo Fresh from JCP // Necklace: Target Clearance // Jeans: Silver Suki Jeans // Socks: Fluffy
four // This goes with the camera thing, but they always have great lighting in their pictures... And they always include their WHOLE body in the shot...

 Shirt: Target // Sweater: JCP // Jeans: Maurices // Shoes: Mudd

five // They know what clothes work for their bodies, and they take the pictures of the clothes (hence the term fashion blogger). I, on the other hand, don't rather hate, but dislike my body, so I am the #selfie queen :)


Yep, so that's my confession... I am not, nor will ever be, a fashion blogger. Therefore, I will continue to share my bedroom mirror taken outfit posts, because it gets me out of wearing yoga pants and a sweater for at least a couple of minutes hours, but not to worry, because I swear I will only share on Wednesdays. :)
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ps. I wanted to thank you all for your support on Tuesday's post. You guys have no idea how much it really means to me! xoxo
5

The light at the end of a tunnel

Have you ever not wanted to get out of bed in the morning? Or had to set a thousand alarms to actually force yourself to get up? And then once you finally peel yourself out of that soft piece of heaven, walked around your house in a sleepy daze, praying quietly to yourself that nap time comes quick?

What about feeling like you have dug yourself so far into a dark, unforgiving hole, with no way to get out? Have you ever locked yourself in the bathroom, sat on the floor, and cried?

That is what depression feels like…
And quite frankly, it blows.

Yes, I am going to open myself up and show you how vulnerable I am, but it’s time to lift a brick that has been on my chest since I started blogging. I have thought about this post many times, and even have had it drafted for some time, but for some reason I have never felt the NEED to open old wounds.

Until this month. Until this week. Until today.

Today is the day that I am gathering up all of my courage, and bearing my heart and soul to whoever wants to listen. To complete strangers. Today is the day that I am opening up about an ongoing problem. Today is the day that I am going to share my secret… I have depression, and quite frankly, it blows.

{source}

I was a teenager when I was diagnosed, and put on the ever so lovely, Prozac. Well, the generic form anyways. I hated it right off the bat, and for several years, my Mom and my doctor tried to find a medication that didn't make me feel suicidal. I finally got tired of being a guinea pig, and decided to try the medicine-free way.

Truthfully, I felt better… until my son was born. Sure, I went through some rough patches here and there for about ten years, and once I turned 21, I turned to self medicating with alcohol, but in general, I was ok. But, once my son was born, it was a different story. I felt alone. I felt tired. I felt no joy in seeing my tiny human smile. I felt hopeless.

So, I made an appointment with my family doctor (who by then was different than the one in my teenage years, and was my son’s pediatrician), and the first question she asked me blew me out of the water… “Do you want to hurt your child?” Wait, what? Um, no. I gave her my answer. The second question… “Do you want to hurt yourself?” My answer… “Who would take care of my son, the way I want him taken care of?” She laughed, and understood.

After a few more questions, and a quick history, we decided that since I wasn’t going to kill myself, and I didn’t want to be medicated, we would wait. But, if I did start having suicidal thoughts, I needed to go back asap. She did however, tell me that I needed to delegate chores and stuff, and that I needed time to myself. Allow me to elaborate on that… When Lil Man was born, my hubby only had a week off of work, and then he went back to work… working midnights. Yes, that meant that I was the one who was getting up several times a night, and was only getting a max of four-five hours of sleep a night. It sucked. And then I was also going to school, and take care of the house.

Long story short, it finally got better. For almost two and a half years, I felt ok. Yeah, I had my highs and lows, but overall, I was ok. I graduated with my BS. I started and quit a full-time job. I saw my son turn one, and two, and three. I started grad school. I began a new job. We went on vacation.

And then life got in the way…

About six months ago, I started feeling overwhelmed again. I wanted to lock myself in the bathroom and cry, and did on several occasions. I wanted to just lie in bed. I didn't want to go to work. I didn’t want to work on grad school stuff. In a nutshell, I didn’t want to do anything. I didn't even want to be a mom. AND IT HURT.

I knew I had to do something to get my life back in order, so I followed my doctor’s recommendations, and started to delegate chores. I asked my Mom to watch my son here and there. I met a friend, and scheduled weekly play dates, so both Lil Man and me could get out of the house. I started a blog. I started finding little things that would bring me a shred of joy. And I cried. And pretty soon, I stopped crying.

Every day is a struggle to see the sun, instead of the storm. Every day is a struggle to try to find the joy in things. Every day is a struggle to get up in the morning. But, even though it’s a struggle, I am up for the challenge. I know that I am not going anywhere, and I have a tiny (well not so tiny anymore) human that depends on me. He also can make me smile. He can make me laugh. He can make me cry in happiness. He can make me mad as hell, but he can also warm my heart with his cuddle. He gives me hugs when I cry.

And I guess you can say that he is saving me one day at a time.
9

I want to send you a V-Day Card!

Happy Saturday lovelies :)

When deciding what I wanted to post today, I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to give you. I had thoughts about putting together a makeup post or maybe a (gasp!) hair post, but then decided that that would just be way too much work. I mean, I know blogging is work and all, but trying to put together a post that involves polyvore or picmonkey, and then linking this and that, and finally after  previewing it like six times, and then finally publishing it.... yeah, well sorry (#notsorry) I don't have time for that.

So, I promise you a fluffy socks post maybe Monday... I mean, damn, I have given you guys something to read every day for like the past week. Yes, even though I have taken a day off here and there, I am giving you guys TWO giveaways this week. So, I guess it's fair to let you guys in on a little secret... well a confession... I love all of you :)

I swear to you that I mean that. You guys have no idea what you guys mean to me.


AND for so many reasons, I want to send each and every one of you a Valentine's Day card! Why? Cause I have nothing better to do. Ha! Because I want to personally thank y'all for sharing this bloggy journey with me :)
 
So, if you want a super awesome personalized Valentine's Day card... please fill out your information in this google doc. Oh, I forgot to mention... in order for you to receive your cards by Friday (V-Day), I won't be accepting anymore addresses after Tuesday. Otay?
 
And please know that I will keep all of your information private and not share with anyone :) That's a promise.
 
5

H54F: Pit & Peak Edition

Happy Friday Lovebugs! Did you know that it's only a week until Valentine's Day!
Usually Friday is the day that I rattle off all of the GREAT things that happened during my week... But today's post is going to be different. You see, I pride myself in keeping it real, and to tell you that this week was super awesome, would be a lie, so I'm going to join Allie and remix this shiz.
This week's High five for Friday is going to be a combo post, sorta. Basically I am still going to give you my five highs of the week, but I am also going to give you some lows (aka pits) also, because life is not always full of sunshine, rainbows, glitter, and unicorns. It's also full of cold, hate, snow, and stress.
Let's start with the pits...
because personally I always pick the bad news first, and then follow up with the good, so it can be a win win (sorta).
one //  I have been feeling depressed, stress, and keyword: OVERWHELMED this week, and it really sucks. I am basically in my "senior semester" of Grad school (I graduate in May), and for some reason, I just can't concentrate on anything... it literally took me five hours to complete a four page essay the other night. Yeah, I pulled an all nighter. And then I have a final paper and a capstone (basically the culmination of my grad degree) paper due in like three weeks, and I can't even concentrate to sit down and summarize the information from my sources.
two // As most of you already know, the polar vortex came back... well, so did my sinus issues and headaches. I seriously was not built for winter.
three // The hubby's car wouldn't start the other day, and after finally getting it started, he took it down to the shop. The verdict: it needs the starter replaced. Awesome! And during a "no spend month"? Super Awesome.
Alright enough with the Debbie downer crap... Let's see the fun stuff. Yeah?
Peaks:
one // This may be big news to some of you, I really haven't talked about it yet, but I am thinking about opening an Etsy shop selling painted glass and handmade jewelry. I am shooting for the grand opening to be in March, so I am a bit excited. To practice my awesome skills, I have been giving people my painted wine glasses as presents. Basically a way to get myself out there. So, if you are ever paired with me for a swap box and you are a wino, you will definitely be getting one of these custom babies. :)


two // I rarely cook, so this had to be documented. On Tuesday, I decided that I was going to make crock-pot lasagna, and bought all of the ingrediants last week. Well, me and Lil Man decided to take an extra long nap, and since it takes 3-4 hours to cook, I didn't have enough time to make it. So, instead I jumped on Pinterest, and found an easy recipe for regular-bake-it-in-the-oven lasagna. I made it, it tasted great, and here's my documentation.


three // As I already stated above, the polar vortex came back, but it also made it onto my list of peaks, because Lil Man was so cute and wanted to shovel like daddy. :)

(Picture was removed due to privacy issues)

four // I was nominated for the Liebster award by not one, but two different bloggers. This was my first time being nominated, and truthfully, I was happy that I was finally awesome enough to get a nomination. You can see my questions and answers HERE :)


five // Despicable Me 2 has come to be my favorite movie lately. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Lil Man wants to watch it 145,874 times a day, or something else. Truthfully, I really do like the movie. Anywho, I was in the car, driving to work on Monday, and guess what song comes on the radio? "Happy" by Pharrell Williams... the song is featured in the movie, and every time it comes on, me and Lil Man break out into a impromptu dance party. Needless to say, but I broke out into one in the car..

Yeah, so those were my pits and peaks of the week. I really hope next week goes so much better!

I am linking up with: Lauren for H54F, Jennie for Friday Favorites, Whitney for #backthatazzup, Darci, April, Christina & Natasha for 5 on Friday, and Allie & Jen for Pit & Peak.
 
Oh, I forgot to tell you guys... this is my 100th post! (takes a bow)
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