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Blogging 101
Blogging 101

True story | I fell inlove with the DJ

 
Yep, you just read that right... I fell inlove with the DJ. It happens. And yes... alcohol was involved. But the thing that doesn't usually happen? The fact that I also married that DJ almost 21 months later.
 
Did I loose you? Yeah, well I lost myself and my train of thought, so maybe I should start from the beginning?
 
It was a picture perfect moment... the music was loud, the smoke was thick, and I was out with my girls having fun. Then out of the blue I turned around, and there he was... a sexy dark haired man standing next to the dj, doing the "shopping cart". For those of you who have no idea what the shopping cart is... it's one of those awkward dances in which you act like you are pushing a shopping cart through a store, and looking at different goods. Yeah, you kinda need to see it to understand it.
 
Anyways... this sexy dark haired man, was actually known by one of my friends, so she called him over. He said hi, I said hi. I was drunk, he was drunk. He then proceeded to totally ignore me, and started to flirt with another of my friends. Yeah... Well, me being me, picked up his phone, put my name and number in, and went about my night. Subtle right? Um, I did say alcohol was involved...
 
Fast forward two weeks.
 
Being bored one night, I decided to txt the sexy dark haired man. After some small talk, like "um, yeah, who the hell are you?" He asked me to come over. I refused knowing that all he wanted was what all men want at 11pm at night from an almost complete stranger... the dirty. So, I made a date for a couple of days later.
 
The whole drive to his house the first time, I kept thinking about cancelling. I mean, what girl in their right mind goes over to a guys house that she barely knows? Apparently me. Oh, I forgot to mention that I was fresh out of a relationship, and maybe I was only looking for one thing? Maybe.
 
Long story, short: I got there, we watched tv, we talked, we hung out, we bonded.
 
We talked about past relationships, we talked about dreams, we talked about favorites, we talked about jobs. We got to know each other. We had out first kiss.
 
Blah blah blah. Yeah, you know where everything lead. Or at least you can imagine. But, this isn't about my relationship's early history, it's about how I fell for the dj.
 
The first time the sexy dark haired man and I went to the bar, he told me about his hobby. The hobby that had occupied the better part of his twenties and went on to become a side job. The fact that he was also known as DJ Lowtech and knew how to remix the shit out of most songs.
 
Yeah, I didn't believe him at first. I personally thought that he was crazy, and was just making up this other persona to impress the girl that he has just met a couple weeks ago. I mean, DJ's get ass. A lot of ass. There is no denying that fact. And then he went on to tell me that he had DJ'd at the strip club and over 100 weddings. Those details kinda sealed the deal for me. I seriously thought that I had bought a one way ticket on the train to crazy train, and I had no idea what the hell I had gotten myself into. I mean, too many details are a big factor of lying. I was working towards a minor in Psychology, so apparently I was awesome.
 
I was wrong. So wrong. And apparently not awesome.
 
He was telling me the truth...
 
my hubby's wedding set up circa 2008/2009 
He told me how he could count the beats and then taught me. Without going into too much detail, he taught me so much, that he damn near taught me how to DJ. In retrospect, I think I would have been badass at it! But he kinda did teach our dog...
 
 
Anyways... now I can walk up in to a bar, and know exactly what is going on. I can also tell if a DJ is actually mixing or using a laptop. FYI: the majority of local bar DJ's are using premade mixes and laptops. It happens.
 
It's crazy... but yes, I will admit it. I fell inlove with the DJ. And I'm glad I did.
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2

Some new stuff and a date night {a weekly recap}

{source}
I apologize for not posting regularly this week, as I have a very important paper due on Sunday.  And this paper is a make it or break it kinda deal. Basically if I fail the paper, I don't graduate... so yeah, that's been a little bit more important. And I have been trying to work on it as much as I can.
 
But I would like to take some time and tell you about my week! I mean, if you guys aren't too mad at me for the lack of posting...
 
One... I finally decided to buy myself a new flat iron... and it's definitely in the top five best things that I have ever done for my hair. I have debated on replacing my 7 year old one for awhile, and the one I really wanted is in the price range of $60+. So while at Walgreens, I found this one... and after one use, I fell completely inlove!

Two... I also finally broke down and bought Essie's 3-way glaze, which is a base coat, top coat, & strengthener in one. I am glad that I did, and it will definitely become a staple in my nail care routine.

Three... If you follow me on Instagram, then you would have seen my new statement necklace... 
 
Four... Lil Man and I had a "date night" Friday night which consisted of strawberry milkshakes and Frozen, and I must say that I actually understand the hype behind the whole Frozen thing.  My hubby has been hesitant about renting it,  because everyone he's talked to has told him that it's a musical for girls. Well, Lil Man liked it. Why? Because it had horses, snow, a snowman, and other things that sparks a three-year-old's interest.
 
Five... Granted this goes along with four, but I was really proud of myself.  I figured out the difference between a Disney movie that has singing and one that doesn't.... If it's backed by Pixar, it won't have singing. But if it's just Disney, it will. Think about it.
 
So that was my week, and I promise you that I will have my head back in the game next week!
 
And to make up for the way I've been lately... I give you this :)
 


 
btw... have you entered the ninety dollar Paypal cash giveaway yet? No? Well ya better get on that, and you can do it here!

Oh, linking up with: Lauren for H54F, Jennie for Friday Favorites, Whitney for #backthatazzup & Darci, April, Christina & Natasha for 5 on Friday.
4

My take on sponsorships {& a giveaway}

I have debated on how to introduce this giveaway, and it finally dawned on me that maybe I should give you some background on how I ended up giving you guys a chance to win ninety dollars in Paypal cash. I mean, it's kind of politically incorrect (at least in the bloggy world) to just have a post doing a giveaway. Sure the only reason someone new is even going to look at your post may be the fact that you are "bribing" them to, but you never know. And for that that simple chance of not knowing, some times it's good to actually add some substance.

So without further adieu... my take on sponsorships.

I have no idea where this picture came from, as it was just a random picture on my computer, and I thought it fit.
Since I've been around here for a little bit, I've been around the block on sponsorships. And I think I have finally sponsored enough blogs to actually have the experience to write a post on it... I think. Well, according to Passionfruit, I have sponsored twelve blogs. Yeah, I just said twelve, and that doesn't include the blogs in which I have done button swaps; Cause those are free. So I guess that means that I have paid a pretty penny to be around here, huh? And you know what, I just paid some more... And I'm ok with it.

Why? You have to look at your blog like a small business. You are starting from scratch, and you basically have the option to advertise in the newspaper or on the interstate billboard. It's really up to you. Like how much you want to pay, is ultimately up to you. So in order to treat my blog like a business, and ultimately get the exposure ready for my Etsy shop opening (April 1st), I have actually given myself a monthly "advertising budget".

Basically, choosing which blog to sponsor is really a matter of personal choice, but since I have sponsored a couple handfuls of blogs, I'm going to give you my personal opinion on what I look for.

one | Page views. The saying goes "the higher, the better". Yeah, so that means, if the blog that you choose to sponsor is getting like 1000 views a day, then you may get about 100 of those. Maybe. Ok, you may get like 50. The problem for me, is that for the past couple of months I have been sponsoring a blog that has increased my page views tremendously, and I'm not even sure if it has increased my readership; so page views are a great selling point and all, but they are definitely not the thing that seals the deal for me. It's the whole readers vs page views dilemma; and we are going to save that for another day.

two | Group Giveaway. Giveaways are the things that get you more followers, but maybe not more readers (because some of those people tend to drop off after the giveaway is done). It's kinda like bribing someone to be your friend. It happens, but it's good for business.
 
three | Social Media Shout Outs. I am talking about Twitter, because when the person of the blog that I'm sponsoring mentions me or my blog post on Twitter, my heart starts to flutter and I feel special. Yes, I will definitely pay for that feeling. And then they pin one of my posts... oh wow! That. just. feels. good.
 
On another note, some bloggers offer this service a-la-carte for anywhere between $2-5, and I'm not even sure if I'm ok with that (not like I have an opinion or anything). I mean if it comes with the package, it's one thing. But if I am going to pay you anywhere between $10-25 to advertise on your blog, and then you want to turn around and make me pay more for a 140 or less sentence about my blog to your 1000 and some followers, um, yeah, no thanks. I'm sorry, but why are we doing this? To make money? I thought that we were "all in this together?"
 
Then again if someone was actually going to pay me $5 to tweet some love about them... yeah, I would take it. Oh... the bloggy world. Wolves, I tell ya. Wolves.
 
And why in the hell did I actually by that damn package in the first place? Oh, I know... to write a post about sponsorships.
 
four | Spotlight Posts. A post written by the author of the blog spotlighting YOUR BLOG is one of the best forms of advertising that you can get. Basically they gush about you and your blog to all of their readers, which boosts your following, and yada yada yada. These are usually done with the other months sponsors, which can range from 5-10 other blogs, depending on how big the sponsorship is.

five | Price. Price is a given, when choosing which blogs I really want to sponsor, but you have to look at how much bang you are actually getting for your buck. I mean some blogs out there have the stats to justify charging over $25 for an individual post. I mean, damn, to be the center of the blogs world for one day, that just simply amazing. And costly.
 
Basically what I am trying to get at, is the fact that I look for all of these five things when I look for a blog to sponsor, but above anything else, I also ask myself a series of questions...
  • Do I like the blog?
  • Do I read the blog daily?
  • Does it seem like the readers are engaging on a daily basis?
  • Is there a loyal fan base?
  • How many times a week does the author post?
  • Will this blog help my blog?
Granted those questions are a given, but every time I look at a blog's sponsorship page, those are the first questions that I have to ask myself. 
 
Some bloggers also try to stick with blogs that are close in size and style, ie why would you advertise a lifestyle blog on a fashion blog or a makeup blog on a food blog. It's understandable, and makes sense. Lately though, I have been branching out. I am running a lifestyle blog, so I feature posts on my lifestyle. Duh. Yeah, so that means, I can post just about whatever I want, and I am not constricted into a little box. I have advertised on other lifestyle blogs, but I have also been advertising on some beauty and style blogs. I feature posts on makeup and my outfits, so I have hopes that I may appeal to their readers. Plus I just really like their blogs. And I really like seeing my beautiful face on their sidebar. Just hanging out. Like we're having coffee or something. Even if I've only seen them in pictures, and they are like a million miles away.
 
Yeah, so I'm back from a little daydream.

Anyways.

I have sponsored my fair share of blogs, and I have had good and super amazing experiences. Basically you get what you pay for and I have to say, some bloggers definitely go above and beyond to fulfill their duties.

The choice to sponsor is a personal one, but as I've said I have had really good experiences with it. But I have also made some bloggy friends from it, and I think that may be the one thing that I love.

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*Currently I am not offering paid sponsorships, since I don't have the stats to justify it yet, but you can take a look at my Sponsor page if you would like to button swap*
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Since you have listened to me blab about my take on sponsorships, here is one of the perks... a giveaway! And the fact that you have a chance to win ninety dollars in Paypal cash!! Yeah, your welcome!
 
Happy Joyful Day // My Life as a Long // A Sorta Fairytale
Marry Mint // Becoming Adorrable // A Hundred Tiny Wishes
Notes from a Newlywed // Sprinkles & Sundresses // Lavender & Light
20

Maybe I should buy my blog a cupcake or something...

{Source}
On March 18, I hit my six month blog anniversary, or blogaversary as we like to say in the bloggy world; and I must say that I am truly blessed. No, I am not going to go all Sunday preachy on you, but I never imagined the support or the following that I would accumulate in the six months that I have been doing this. I never imagined it, and I am speechless. Well, not really; but you know what I am talking about.

Granted, I know that I have bought bribed some of those readers and social media followers, but over ninety percent of them have stayed around because of the content that I produce on a near daily basis, and that makes me feel good. Sure, I would love more comments, but one step at a time; right?
 
Anyways, I seriously can't believe how much the blog has grown within the past six months. I have changed the design way too many times, evolved in my writing, and gained so many followers, most of whom are actually loyal and come back to leave me love, in the form of those comments. On a side note, I am actually getting better at returning the favor when someone comments... in the form of commenting back. I seriously read and follow way to many damn blogs.
 
Anyways, I figured that I would keep this short and sweet, because maybe one day I won't have to post 7 days a week to keep you guys around. Ha! Just kidding. Yeah, so I wanted to thank each and every one of you reading this for making me feel so welcome in this bloggy world, and thank you for reading each and every day!
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8

Spring's on its way: a weekly recap

I seriously can't believe how fast this month seems to be flying by... I mean, in the words of one of my middle school clients, "it's cray cray!" Ha! The nice thing is that the weather seems to be warming up, and Spring is finally on it's way; as made apparent by this past week's weather. I can't wait to trade my heavy sweaters for warmish cardigans, and snow boots for rain boots. Note to self: buy rain boots.
 
But before I run out to buy those rain boots, let's take a look back at the highs of my week, shall we?
 

one | Since I have been getting up early this week, I have been getting kitty cuddles while I've been writing my blog posts and doing homework. It's been really nice to be the only one awake, and to be able to work in peace and quiet (any mother knows what I'm talking about).  
 
two | I have a tendency to buy things that support charities. It happens, and as long as its for a good cause, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Anyways, Sevenly is an organization that produces cute shirts, and a variety of accessories. Each week they team up with a different charity and $7 from each product purchased that week, goes directly to the charity. They have teamed up with the Human Society, National Autism Association, Girl Up, and so many more.
 
This week's charity was International Down Syndrome Coalition. I bought this shirt, whose design was directly made for the IDSC campaign, and this shirt, whose design was made for the TWLOHA campaign. (To Write Love on Her Arms is dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.- Sevenly.org)
 
Anyways, Sevenly is a great organization, and I think everyone should go check them out.
 
three | Michael's was having a sale this week on their Ashland bouquets and I snatched some up to add Spring to my house.
 
four | Everyone's-Irish-for-a-day day was this week, and I celebrated by bringing you guys a chance to win $145 in cash... did you enter yet? Well you better... And here's the link to do that!!!
 
five | I have been a super busy bee this week, trying to come up with different designs for jewelry items for my Etsy shop, and the pearl necklace above is one of the designs that I came up with. I am actually in love with it, but since I only have a limited amount of the beads that I used, only one will be available at launch.
 
six | Since I posting so late, I decided to add a cute lil photo of Lil Man. The temp actually got up to around 55, and he was able to pull out his 4-wheeler (which thankfully held somewhat of a charge through the winter). He was so happy to go out and enjoy some sun! But alas, it's not going to last, because we are looking at highs in the high 30s and low 40s next week :( 3
 
Oh, yeah, so I have been hearing this song on the radio lately, and I just felt like sharing it with y'all.


 
Linking up with:  
Lauren for H54F, Jennie for Friday Favorites, Whitney for #backthatazzup, and Darci, April, Christina & Natasha for 5 on Friday.
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2

March Birchbox Review

After hearing about how people have been loving their Birchboxes the past six months, I finally decided to say "what they hey?" and sign up. Shipping was super fast, and after filling out my profile, I received my first Birchbox about a week later (I guess I ordered at the right time). FYI, it always doesn't happen that way. There is usually a wait list, and I had my monthly subscription sitting in my cart for the past two months (I will address this later).

For those of you who don't know what Birchbox is, in a nutshell, you receive 4-5 samples and 1 full size product every month according to the beauty profile that you fill out. You receive beauty products (which includes hair and makeup) and one lifestyle item for $10 a month. You also can cancel at any time. It's a pretty nice "try before you buy" service, as no box is ever the same.

Anyways...


In my first box, I received: COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face, Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle, Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion, Tea Forte Menteas- 3 Pack, Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom, and a square of Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cherry Tango.

The first thing that I tried was the chocolate, of course. Ghirardelli makes good chocolate, and the Dark Cherry Tango was no different, except the fact that I am not a fan of dark chocolate. I think I would have liked it a lot better if it came in milk, instead.


After eating the chocolate and thinking about how good it would actually taste in milk chocolate, I realized that I had received a hair product. After reading the back, and realizing that it was similar to It's a 10, I opened it up to smell it. I'm sorry, but my hair products, especially leave in's, need to smell good. I couldn't believe how good it actually smelled. It smelled like tropical chocolate goodness. Yeah. Simply Amazing. So I decided to use it... and I was glad I did. Not only did it make my hair smell wonderful, it detangled, made it feel silky, and made it look shiny. I feel in love!

I also really like the Coola Natural BB cream. Basically it's an SPF 30 sunscreen for the face mixed with a BB cream. Yes, it protects your face and blends your skin tone. Granted I would not use this product for everyday use, but it would be great for going to the beach, when all you need is this, some waterproof mascara, and a bit of eye shadow (makeup wise).


The Gilchrist & Soames lotion is fresh smelling and super hydrating for my dry hands, and I really liked it. I haven't tried the mints, because I am kind of skeptical that mints can give you energy, and the perfume smells really pretty, but is very potent. I like subtle smells, and Cherie Blossom is meant to be smelled.
Overall, I was very pleased with my first box from Birchbox, and I will be keeping my subscription. Oh, like I was saying, you know how when you first signed up for Pinterest and there were limited spots, so you went on a waiting list, and when a spot became available, you were sent an e-mail? Well, Birchbox is kinda like that. They have a waiting list, but I have the answer for you. If you sign up through my referral link, you don't have wait. Well, you still have to wait for the next box shipment, but you don't have to be on the waiting list.

Anyways, here's my referral link >> CLICK HERE << 

I personally think that you should try it. I mean it's only ten bucks. What else could you be spending ten bucks on?
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I guess I should tell you that I earn points if you sign up through my referral link, and those points eventually lead to "free" products, but I swear to you that this is not  a sponsored post, as Birchbox has no idea who I am... (but they do have my credit card info). And if you sign up, and then review the products that you receive in your box... YOU also receive points, which lead to free products. So, it's a win/win!
5

WIWW: Baby Blue & Grey

Since the weather finally broke, I decided to give my tripod a chance... and in doing so, I realized two things.... that I actually have a nice little picturesque front yard and turning the camera on myself made me realize that the relationship between a person and their camera can actually be a funny and beautiful thing...
 
When you set up the tripod to capture yourself, it's a process. A long and tedious process that can aggravate and irritate you to no end, if you are a beginner and have no idea what you are doing. But as you settle in to the picture taking, by the 15th-ish picture, the camera starts to capture that side of you that is rarely caught on camera and no selfie can, even if you think you have. That side of you that you rarely let out of its bottle. That side of you that holds all of your insecurities and flaws. That side of you that is most vulnerable, but that is most beautiful.


 
 
 

Necklace | Maurices
Tank | Maurices
Jeans | Maurices
Cardigan | Oakleigh Rose
Shoes | Skechers {similar}
 
I hate to confess this, but I actually took these pictures on Saturday and actually felt kinda silly doing it, even though it was just me and my tripod. Is this a common occurrence for bloggers who take outfit pictures? I'm talking about the silly part. Oh, and I had to take like 40 pictures to get these three. Is that also common? I know I'm rather picky, but yeah... 
 
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for WIWW, Shanna for Random Wednesday, and Bella & Kathy for confessions!!!
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5

March Favorites

one || two || three || four || five
I really haven't tried an abundance of beauty products this month, but the ones I have tried, I have fallen in love with (which has been an amazing thing).
I already had a love for Benefit's cosmetic products, and was planning on trying their skincare line, eventually. So after Niki from Glossy Blonde gushed about how excited she was to receive Benefits eye cream in her February Birchbox, I figured it maybe time to finally try it. While at Ulta, I decided to check out the line, and found the B.Right Radiant Skincare 6 pc intro kit (basically a sample pack with six different items) that included: foamingly clean facial wash, refined finish facial polish, moisture prep toning lotion, triple preforming facial emulsion SPF 15, total moisture facial cream, and it's potent! eye cream, all for $24! I bought it, and tried everything. Unfortunately, after trying all of the goodies, I only fell in love with three items, which is ok, since it was only meant to be a sample pack for me.

one || The foaming face was is amazing . It lives up to it's name, and you only need to use a less than a dime size amount for it to do it's job. I don't take my makeup off before I shower at night, and after using this, I don't come out looking like a raccoon or I haven't slept in like four days. I love it, and it is definitely worth the high price tag of $22.

two || Benefit does make some good eye cream, and I can attest to that. It is a little bit greasy, but since I put it on at night, it was easy to get over. There isn't a harsh smell, and it didn't irritate my eyes. After about a week, I did start to notice that my under eye area seemed more moisturized and fine lines started to disappear (could be from the moisture). Overall it was nice.

three || From the first use, I could tell that the face cream was packed with all the good stuff that you look for in face creams. I have a tendency to use a diy concoction of baking soda and water to microdermabrasion my face a couple times a week, and after my skin is really irritated and dry (it happens), but super smooth. The face cream toned down my redness and made my skin feel cool and moisturized. It was super nice, and it didn't have a harsh smell.

four || I have been dying for some warm weather lately and I love coconut, so while at Ulta, I decided to give Philosophy's Coconut Frosting Flavored Lip Shine a try. From first swipe, I was hooked. Not only did it taste like coconut, it hydrated and made my lips shiny. Definitely worth the money.

five || I recently signed up for Brichbox, and in my first box, I received a sample of the Birchbox exclusive Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle. Holy Moly! This stuff smells amazing and made my hair so silky! Basically it does everything that It's a 10 leave-in does, but smells so much better. Yeah, I think you guys should just head over to Birchbox and grab it right now. Trust me! And if you want to sign up for the monthly box, that would be awesome too! Cause it's only $10 a month, and it's definitely going to be one of my monthly favorites each month! Btw... do each here! 
Oh, have you entered the St. Patty's day giveaway? No? Um, well, you better get on that ASAP! And you can do that here! :)

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2

Happy St. Pat's {& a giveaway}

Happy Everyone's Irish Day!!! Instead of feeling the need to share a fun little Drop Kick Murphy's song (surprise surprise), I thought I would just say Happy St. Pat's and here's your chance to win $145 in cash to foot the tab for all of your green beer. Yeah, you can thank me later...
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a giveaway? ain't no thang. just a $145 cash giveaway from these fine September FARM sponsors this month. 

In the words of Karli Bell "i've already entered my farmer, my kaye, and my sister. our odds are good. real good.... kidding kidding. that's not legal."

need ideas on how to spend $145?
  • how about some new hunter rain boots just in time for spring showers?
  • how about some glorious easter decor from pottery barn? (a personal favorite.)
  • or maybe you need a ridiculously beautiful new easter dress to wear to brunch and sip champagne in? (oh easter brunch…i love thee.)
  • possibly you've been eyeballing a new swimming suit for all the hours you're going to log at the pool this summer? (dear god, please tell me this is in my future.)
  • or maybe even a shopping spree at sephora or ulta?

well then, we suggest you do the following two things:

1 | get entered. there are about a trillion entry options. do all of them. right. now.

2 | go ahead and visit all 15 of these sweet gals and show them some love. 
 

very very best of luck! 
2

Spring is in the air

Sunshine is good for the mind, body, and soul, but when Mother Nature decides to go through a mental break down and give the country over three months of snow and freezing temperatures, something is wrong. The nice thing is that since it is almost the middle of March, Spring should be on its way, but then again we can never be sure. So, if you are like me, you are longing for the sun, the smell of the flowers, the beautiful weather. In essence, we are longing for Spring.


one | Add flowers. I have a tendency to stop by Michaels or Hobby Lobby and grab some fake flowers, because I like the look (and because real flowers have that unwanted tendency to die all of the time). Adding flowers gives your home that look of Spring, but be sure to grab the light colored ones. On a side note, I have even put white daisies in my bathroom to Spring it up. 
 
two | Simplicity is best. Not long ago, I found a duvet cover on clearance at Target for rather cheap, so of course I bought it, and the white insert. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I took the cover off to wash both, and while the cover was still drying, I threw the white insert back on the bed. I discovered that I really liked the "clean" look of the white bedspread, and decided that I would keep it for awhile.
 
three | De-clutter & disguise. Spring is best known for Spring cleaning. After the holidays, I like to start cleaning out my pantry, throwing away any left over Christmas candy (ick, I know), and then in the kitchen, I like to get baskets, and throw all the needed clutter (like the candle lighters, expo markers, etc) in them. Not only do the baskets disguise my necessary clutter, it also frees up my counter space, and I can hide smell good candles in them.
 
four | Candles. Burning Spring scented candles is one of the best was to Spring-ify your home. Basically it's time to hide all of your baking scents and break out the flower scented ones. If old man winter is keeping the flowers at bay, why should you also?
 
five | Window clings. When all else fails, Springy window clings are a great way to Spring-ify your home, especially  if you have children (but please keep away from very small ones, as they are a choking hazard). They are colorful, non-messy, and non-expensive.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to Spring-ify your home? I would love to hear them :)
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2

New blog look, a hair cut, and some good cake: a weekly recap

Happy Friday friends! First, I must apologize for such a late Friday post. I meant to schedule this last night, but then I wanted to wait, because I was going to finish it this morning, because I needed to add some extra things. Yeah, I know, excuses excuse...

This week has actually been pretty nice, life-wise and weather-wise. Apparently mother nature can't make up her mine since we have had a 40 degree day followed up by a nasty little snow storm and then a 50 degree day. So I guess it's just Spring's way of saying, "Hey, I'm trying here!" Life-wise, I haven't had any low-low points, and I have been feeling really good lately (most likely due to a combination to the sunshine and my new migraine medication).

So on to the main points of my week!

one Have you noticed the new look? I am in the process of branding myself, because I am going to be opening an Etsy shop, and I want everything to blend together. So, I hope you enjoy :)

two I made a trip to the salon at Ulta and finally got my hair cut, and if you can't tell by the picture, I took about two inches off.
before / after
three The hubby, Lil Man, and I went to have a family dinner at Chilies this week, and apparently the boys really liked the new Peanut Butter Molten Lava cake.


four I received some happy mail this week... my FIRST Birchbox and a new cardi from Oakleigh Rose. I am seriously psyched to try out everything in the Birch and share my reviews with you. Oh, the cardi is amazing, as usual!
 
 

five I made some new necklaces (for myself) and some earrings for the Etsy shop, and I actually feel confidant that I will be opening by then end of next week (fingers crossed)!!!
 
six I have a very eclectic taste in music, and while listening to one of the alternative stations I have programmed in the car, I came across a song that I had never heard before... So instead of just sharing the song with you, I decided to share the video. 



seven Oh, I did have one low this week... I wanted to drop one of my classes, but when I talked to Financial Aid, they told me that I would owe around $900 out of pocket, and that would be due before I was able to receive the piece of paper saying that I am apparently educated in May... yeah, I guess I'm staying in it.

Overall, I had a pretty good week, and I am so looking forward to MORE sunshine! Aren't we all?
Also, I am linking up with...
Lauren for H54F, Jennie for Friday Favorites, Whitney for #backthatazzup & Darci, April, Christina & Natasha for 5 on Friday.
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Refresh your makeup bag {part 4}

Welcome to part four of the five part series on refreshing your makeup bag. To recap: for part one was about makeup expiration dates,  part two was about brush cleaning basics, and part three was about choosing the right makeup bag. Today we are talking about what to put in those makeup bags.


Five makeup tips:
1 // Choosing a makeup line is a matter of preference and skin sensitivity, but it ultimately depends on how much you want to pay for a bottle of foundation or mascara.
Basically, there are two types of makeup: drugstore & retail. Drugstore makeup brands include Cover Girl, Revlon, Neutrogena, ELF, etc. and retail makeup brands include Urban Decay, Benefit, MAC, Smashbox, etc. Basically anything that you can get at Target, Walmart, or Walgreens is a drugstore brand of makeup, and if you have to go to Sephora or Ulta to get it, it's retail brand. Please note, nail polishes are different. Apparently they are a cross-over product, because you can find Essie and OPI at Ulta and Target/Walmart.
2 // Most people don't stick to one line of makeup, they pick and choose, and combine retail and drugstore. This is a natural occurrence. I mean, if you are starting from scratch, I would choose a cheap (but verified by everyone and your mom) mascara like Cover Girl or L'Oreal and one of the Urban Decay Naked Pallets. Listen to peer reviews, and then form your own opinions.
3 // Primers can be your best friends, especially if you are using foundation.
4 // In my opinion, the makeup basics that you NEED in your bag are: mascara, eye shadow, foundation or BB cream, and powder.
5 // The optional makeup upgrades that are also good, are primer, concealer, highlighter, eyebrow brush, and eyeliner.
There you go, five makeup tips. There is so much information out there about makeup, and I know I am just scratching the surface, but I am not a makeup artist. BUT... for the fifth and final part, I am going to share with you my makeup "dupe" knowledge!!!
Oh, and I promised you...
My makeup bag- I chose a pink train case with a teal polka dot that I picked up for $7 at Ulta.
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WIWW: Peach Blossom

Occasionally on my hubby's days off, I just don't want to do anything. It happens. Well, the question always comes up about the toilet paper, and the fact that we are running low. So my response: the two rolls that we have will get us through until tomorrow, and then I will take Lil Man and go shopping. Problem solved. Well, until I wake up in the morning to the in your face, hell has frozen over, apparently we moved to the Artic over night, because I just saw a polar bear looking at me, Mother Nature's attempt at keeping Spring at bay, never ending winter. Yeah, it sucks. But at least I have an un-potty trained three year old, and a box of baby wipes.
 
Anyways, my point is that I finally bought myself a tripod, and I was going to try it out for you guys, but apparently Mother Nature got word of my idea and said, "Oh, hell no." So, hopefully this is the last week of phone/mirror photos. But, I gatta admit, this new phone does take pretty nice pictures.
 
  

 
 
cardigan | Target
tank | Maurices
necklace | made by me :)
 
I wore this ensemble on Monday. Monday was a nice day, and I was feeling the need for something Springy. I had made the necklace over the weekend, since I have been experimenting with jewelry making for the Etsy shop, I am planning on opening this month, and I think it turned out very nicely.
 
And of course, I am linking up with The Pleated Poppy for WIWW, Shanna for Random Wednesday, & Fitness Blondie for The Hump Day Blog Hop!!!
 

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Things I will never blog about

I guess I'm really hoping for Spring to grace us with it's presence...
Last week, the beautiful and talented Erin, who should be one of your bloggy crushes, if she's not already, penned an honest post about the five things that she would never blog about. Well, her post really got me thinking about my personal blogging boundaries.
 
Remember when I talked about why I write? Well, in essence I write for me, but also when I write I think of what my readers would want to read about, aka: a diy tutorial or makeup or what I wore or my week or food or something rather personal, basically something that would fall into the lifestyle category.  Something that I would want to read about, or something that could go viral on Pinterest.
 
So after thinking about it, I am putting my foot down and setting boundaries for this blog, and giving you the ten topic areas that you will never hear me talk about after today...
 
1 | The three main ones: Religion, politics, and abortion. Let's get this out of the way right here and now: I belive in God, but not organized religion, I don't keep up enough with what is going on in the world to hold my own, and I believe in a woman's right to choose.
 
2 | Gay marriage. Yes, I support it, but I am not going to write a whole blog post detailing my feelings about how I belive in equality.
 
3 | Money. Yeah, I got some of it, but I also haven't won the lotto, and I have student loan debt coming out of my ass. Sure, I may write a post about how I sold my soul to the devil in exchange for a piece of paper saying that I'm apparently educated, but as to how much is in my bank account, the post titled The PayPal Statement Came is the closest that you are going to get.
 
4 | Negative feelings towards family members. Sure, this personal piece of the dot com world is mine, but it is not a public space to humiliate my loved ones.
 
5 | Marriage issues. Marriage is hard, no matter who you are, and unless you are my husband, you are not entitled to know anything other than the positive. Please see #4.
 
6 | Sex. Plain and simple I don't feel like broadcasting my sex life and you shouldn't want to hear about it either. We have Cosmo for that :)
 
7 | Drugs. Ok, this should be a given, but you would be surprised. I know that I live in Northwest Indiana, and I joke that a drug run takes less than an hour, but trust me that when I say, I know NOTHING about drugs. Seriously!
 
8 | Woman issues. Plain and simple, I know for a fact that unless it's a major medical issue, you guys just don't want to hear about a bloody crime scene taking place, and I just don't want to write about it.
 
9 | Na-nana-bo-bo stick your head in do-do I am amazing because I am better than you. Basically I am not going to brag about stuff (within reason). I am just a regular girl, and I really need to stop watching Tosh.O. btw, I don't consider beauty reviews, monthly favorites, and sharing what I bought at Target or Sephora as bragging, because I consider you guys my friends.
 
10 | Um... Ok, I lied. I only have nine... but, at least I gave you nine, right?
 
Till next time.
 
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Cardis, sponsorships & little celebrations

 
Hey hey hey, it's Friday! This week has been one of the better ones, and that has definitely been a blessing! Let's recap, shall we?
 
one | My new cardi from Lulus came in and I'm seriously in love! The best part was the fact that I had to go buy a new shirt to match the blue in the cardi, because I don't like the white shirt underneath. So it was a win-win. Ha!
 
two | I made a trip to the doctor this week, and she started me on a new migraine medication. So far, so good! The only down fall: any time I drink pop, it tastes flat.. so, I guess my days of being a Dr. Pepper addict are over.
 
three | Me and the hubby upgraded our phones to the new Samsung Galaxy S4!!! I can't even begin to tell you how much I am in love with this phone. It has amazing battery life, a great camera, giant screen, and I have just began to scratch the surface in playing with it.
 
four | I ordered my graduation gown and I have less than two mos until graduation! I am seriously psyched about this, except the fact that we have to drive TWO hours away for me to walk... yeah, that kinda sucks... the joy of online classes.
 
five | I am officially sponsoring five blogs this month: Endlessly Beloved, Life Style Love, September Farm, Lauren Elizabeth, & Fizz and Frosting (Yes, the last two are a little outta my league, but they are my favorites, and I feel a bit special seeing my face on their sidebars).
 
six | Since the tax return came in, we have been talking about going on vacation this year... No, we are not talking about going and laying on a beach somewhere, we have a three year old, but actually going and doing something. So, I have brought up the idea of Gatlinburg, TN. Anyone ever been?
 
seven | I am not usually not one to brag, but this week, a hundred tiny wishes hit 149 on bloglovin, 255 on twitter & 183 on instagram. WOW! Thank you!!! And since it's all about celebrating the little things.. that is something I can definitely drink to all night :)

 
(maybe a giveaway will be in the works soon... )
 
Overall, I had a pretty awesome week, so I am 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.
 
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Refresh your makeup bag {part 3}

If you ask some girls, choosing the right makeup bag is like choosing the right diamond ring... yeah, for me, it's not that life or death. It's more like choosing the right fine wine. It's not a science. It's something that needs to be functional, yet pretty, and needs to get the job done, without needing to cost an arm and a leg. Ok, it's like falling in love with a cheap bottle of pink moscato off a Wal-Mart shelf... Anyways...



Welcome to part three of the "Refresh your Makeup bag" series. If you missed part one and part two, you can catch up, and then rejoin us, or just continue on, but don't worry, this isn't the type of series that each new part builds on the previous.

For part three of this series, we are talking about choosing the right make up bag... So here we go!
No that we have removed expired products and cleaned our brushes,  I think it may be time to possibly clean or replace our makeup bag, don't you? Well, I chose the latter, but if you choose to clean your current one, all you have to do is take an antibacterial wipe and clean that sucker out (or throw it in the wash- if it's washable).
But, like I said, I decided to just replace my makeup bag. Why? Well, I had it for a number of years (longer than I've had my husband), it had gotten really dirty, and I needed a change. So, as I was searching high and low (like every time I went to a store), I started asking myself why I couldn't settle on just one. I mean, makeup cases are extremely abundant, aka there are literally hundreds to choose from. By the way, all of the makeup bags in the above picture can be found at Target.
So, after asking myself, why after a couple of weeks, I couldn't settle on a ten dollar makeup bag, I finally realized that each makeup bag I came across, didn't meet my five main criteria...
What to look for when choosing a makeup bag:
1. Room -
A. is the bag big enough for all of your stuff? Sure, a pencil case (travel/purse case) is cute and all, but I can guarantee that it is not going to hold your foundation, powder, eye shadow, primer, mascara, etc, etc, etc. The same goes with a caboodle. Yes, they are enormous, but, do you really have enough makeup to fill it? Maybe if you are an aspiring makeup artist? But if you are a house wife and mother, please see part one, where I talk about make up expiration dates. :)
B. do you have enough room for the new bag? This is a really good question to ask your self, before buying a new makeup bag. No, I am not talking about needing to rearrange your bathroom to accommodate the new makeup bag, because that is just silly, but you just need to make sure that you do have enough space to be able to hide it when company comes over, or when your husband walks into the bathroom, after you return from a Sephora haul.
2. Cleanability- I'm not even sure that that is even a word, but it's definitely a concept. You want a makeup bag with a type of easily cleanable lining (kinda like a porch chair cushion), so if any makeup ever spills, its not the end of the world, and its an easy clean up.
3. Openness- The concept of openness may be hard to grasp, so think of  a caboodle, or a pro-makeup case, and the way that they both expand. No, I am not saying that you need something that expands like that, unless that floats your boat (in that case, see #1A), but the idea is being able to see exactly what you have. I like train cases for this reason.
4. Personality- Personally for me, my makeup bag, has to match my personality. It can't be delicate and satin and foofy. It also can't be hard and dark, as I like bright colors (but neon is just going too far). Basically, I like my bags to represent me. And you should too.
5. Functionality- Above all else, any makeup bag must be functional. If you don't take my advice on any of the other criteria, take my advice here, because in a couple of weeks, you will be thanking me. If you are a mom, wife, working gal, or heck, woman in general: you are a sucker for a multi-tasker, and if you have a functional makeup bag, I can guarantee you that you will be singing my praises. 
There you have it: the five criteria I use when choosing a makeup bag :)
(And yes, I finally did find a nice train case that I am inlove with, and I will reveal it in part four)
Now remember, I am neither a professional makeup artist, nor a buyer with Benefit Cosmetics, I am just a mom and housewife standing on my soapbox, spreading my knowledge with you beautiful individuals. So, either take it, or leave it. It's not gospel :)
Oh, next week (well, for part four anyways), we will be talking about what to put in those clean or new bags.
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WIWW: Mixin Green & Brown

My hubby finally bought me a  mirror for my bathroom, so my 'bathroom outfit selfies' have more light, but he hasn't actually attached it to the wall... so I really don't feel comfortable sharing them with you just yet...

But, don't worry, I have something cute for you... :)

 
 
 
 
 
 
sweater //Maurices
shirt //Maurices
necklace // Maurices
jeans // Silver Jeans
boots // Target
 
Since this week has had its cold and very cold days, I really loved this outfit for work on Sunday. And of course, I am linking up with The Pleated Poppy for WIWW, Shanna for Random Wednesday, & Fitness Blondie for The Hump Day Blog Hop!!!
 
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