beauty + lifestyle + parenting

A need to apologize


I had a post ready for you today, but instead I have decided to push it back a few days.

Why?

Because I feel the need to apologize.  Apologize for being MIA this week.  You seen, I really pride myself on the ability to bang out a post on the fly - for those occasions when the idea just comes to me- or to have my post scheduled ahead of time. However it gets written and published- I love the fact that I generally post 4-5 times a week. It encourages reader engagement,  keeps the blogs I sponsor happy -I mean,  I am paying them to promote me and it's kinda my job to give them things to promote- and keeps my views/stats up. But this week has been a huge let down in blog world for me.

Sure, I have published a few posts, but they were just eh, and definitely were not a part of my favorite weekly link ups. Which reminds me that I desperately need to branch out & read more blogs.

And the reason I haven't created the content I usually do? Life. Plain and simple.  

It started this weekend with a huge fight between a family member and I over a stupid dress. Then after I thought I had fixed the problem, I was made out to be the a - hole. And all of that had lead to stress and crying...

Then I got a call from a company had interviewed for, telling me that even though they appreciated me coming in, they had filled the position. I mean, at least they called me, right?

And now my son's sick with a cold that warrants steroids,  but not antibiotics. And being the overprotective mom that I am,  I'm super worried about his breathing and don't want to take him anywhere outside of mine or his Grandparent's house. If he's not better by the weekend,  I will be calling the doctor again on Monday for some damn antibiotics...

And then the hubby tells me that his disability pay runs out a week and a half before he is supposed to go back to work, so he has to go back a week earlier.  So its not a MAJOR issue, except the fact that the check we are waiting for is going to have to stretch the whole month of February, in addition to the part time pay that I bring home twice a month... um, if there was any better time to get on the budget train, I'd hope I'd win the lotto. But then again, you kinda have to have the money to play with...

And the final piece of the crap cake of my week? Emails from my job. Of course they were "harmless" and just reminding everyone that they need to be working together and doing their job, but after my horrible week, I took it as a personal attack on MY job performance. I'm just happy my hubby was there to keep my head on straight and encourage me to just let it go. If not, I would probably be jobless right now.

I want to drown myself in a bottle of wine right now, but I can't. And honestly if you're still reading, please don't think that I actually would. It's not healthy. Like its not healthy to want to say F it all and bury your head under the covers until Monday morning... especially if you have to work the weekend. Not to mention if you have a child. And if they see mommy staying in bed for hours on end, then there would be questions coming out of a little mouth. Questions that should not have to be answered, just because mommy is having an "off" week. It just not fair. 

I do want to stress that this post, in its entirety, is supposed to be an apology- not a total "woe is me, please feel sorry for me" post. I want people to realize that I too, am human and I do have crap weeks just like everyone else in this world.

Sure bloggers don't really talk about their life in a negative way- but I want to show the good with the bad; the positive with the negative. For one simple reason- life is not all happy happy gum drops and we ride around on unicorns that shit rainbows. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball and we just want to punch someone in the face. But that's not lady like. So of course, we turn to blogging. And that blogging provides some type of therapy (or so I am told). 

So until next time... you can find me in the kitchen, slaving over the mounting pile of dishes, enjoying my 2nd glass of wine, for one simple fact... drinking vodka before your child goes to bed is social unacceptable. Not to mention responsible. Oh wait, neither is finishing off the bottle of wine you just opened an hour ago (don't worry, the hubby is still home).

Welp, at least it wasn't the boxed kind.

ps. if you like my wine glass, you can get your own in the etsy shop

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Let's be friends Blog Hop

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!
A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.
Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 102nd week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week!
Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!
The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.
The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! :)
Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs, comment, and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news!
***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop.
Meet your hosts:
The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'
Meet this week's co-hosts:
PicMonkey Collage
Christine @ So Called Homemaker
***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:
running playlist-bright
Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!
Is there anything we can do differently or better? Please share in the comments!
... onto the winner!
Hello everyone! This is Tiffany this week. The post I picked this week hits close to home for me. A couple of years ago I ran my first half marathon. I trained for six months, and prior to training had never ran more than a couple of miles in my life. It was a difficult experience, but it changed my life forever to run a bit over 13 miles.
Faith just ran a half marathon and posted beautiful pictures to share with us her experience. The pics of her family rooting for her made my heart melt! It is so awesome for me to see other momma's doing adventurous things like this, and always something I want to applaud! It is not easy to run a half marathon! Her post is inspiring and beautiful, and highlights what she holds dear in her life.
She also shares a fantastic running playlist with us. Please go check her out and follow her blog. She is awesome!
Thank all of you for your amazing posts each week. I love reading all that you share!
Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit!
 

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facial serums | what are they & why do I need them

I was first introduced to the world of serums through Birchbox- my monthly sample box. And I was hooked at first try. Serums have become increasing popular over the last few years, but until recently no one actually knew what they were. And they were usually sold within the high end brands. 

If you don't know what I'm talking about, then today I am here to explain what facial serums are, how to use them, why you should add them to your beauty routine, where to get them, and which ones I have tried & loved. 


What are serums

Serums are more concentrated then the regular run of the mill daily moisturizer. They are meant to treat facial concerns such as redness, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, dehydration, dullness, and the like. Most are on the thicker side- but are a liquid formula- and their formulas include powerful antioxidants and vitamins. Serums also come in specific facial features- meaning they make one for all over the face and ones that are just for the under eye area. 

Serums also come in natural and cruelty free formulas, depending on the brand. 

How do you use serums

Serums are meant to be added to your daily skin routine- but some can also be used as a standalone product at night (ie. dr. brandt® glow by dr. brandt® overnight resurfacing serum). 

When adding to your daily skin routine, wash your face, use toner, smooth the serum all over your face, wait for your face to dry, and then layer your moisturizer over the serum. Once everything is dry, add your makeup and do what you usually do. Basically: wash -> tone -> serum -> moisturize

Of course if using a toner irritates your skin, then skip it. The main thing is to add the serum to your face before moisturizing. 

Why should I add a serum to my beauty routine

Serums are able to penetrate the deeper layers of skin that your regular moisturizer is unable to. 


Where can I buy serums

Honestly, you can buy serums almost anywhere nowadays. And they really aren't that expensive. Target has a nice array of eye and face serums to fit every budget, as do Birchbox, Sephora, and Ulta. And I'm relatively sure Walgreens, Amazon, and Walmart do too. 

How do I pick a serum

There are so many serums on the market today, and it's really hard to decide which one is for you, especially if you are wanting to pay a pretty penny for a good one. 

First, you need to figure out what serum you are looking for- face, eyes, all over, or both. If you don't know, it's ok- you are probably just wanting a general- all over- serum then. 

Second, you need to figure out what you are trying to correct. Do you suffer from redness, fine lines, dark spots, etc. and want to correct that? Since some serums are facial ailment specific, it helps to know. But don't worry- there is a good amount of serums out there that actually do everything. 

Third, I would recommend that you make a trip to Sephora and try some serum samples out. Most of the customer service ladies should know their serums/face products, so ask them questions- they can point you int he right direction. And you can try up to three samples on each visit- just tell them you are in the market for a serum and need to find the right one for you.


Which serums do you recommend

I have tried a few serums in the past six months: 

Face:

Skin&Co Roma SICILIAN LIGHT™ SERUM Vitamin C Brightening Face Serum | $47
I tried a sample, and didn't like it. I have rather sensitive skin, and the serum seemed to irritate it- my face was red and itchy for about thirty minutes. Plus, it smelled like orange, and I am not a fan of putting things that smell like citric fruit- orange, lemon, lime, etc- on my face.

I tried a sample, and seriously loved this serum... but I DID NOT love the price tag. If it was cheaper, I would have bought it because it made my face feel smooth, calmed my redness, and I could see the dark spots under my eyes start to disappear. 

This had been my favorite product from my July Birchbox. I had been looking for a serum/ face moisturizer that I could fall in love with, and well, Marcelle definitely fit my bill. It wasn't sticky, glided on my skin, made my face soft, and calmed down my redness. Since I loved it so much, I actually cashed in my points and bought the Marcelle New-Age Gift Set, which includes a serum, bottle of makeup remover, day cream, and cleanser. Truthfully, Marcelle had become my new favorite makeup/skin care line. (I loved their BB cream from my May Birchbox.)

I just finished my bottle, and have an order in for another. 

Jurlique Purely Bright Radiance Serum | $58
Another sample- this time from a limited edition Birchbox. I really loved the feel of the serum, and felt that it really did brighten my face. However, I did use it in conjunction with a charcoal cleanser. 

I had received the product free for a review, and hated it. It seemed to burn my face (most likely due to the retinol) and break it out. You can view my full review here

Eye:

I'm not going to lie, I really liked this serum. I received the product free for a review, and you can read my full review here


So I would highly recommend the Marcelle serum, but that is just my personal preference. If you are on a budget, would like to try out a serum, and just don't have the money, go to Sephora and try out their samples. I will be trying out more drugstore serums in the near future, so once I do, I will give you my full review. 

Do you use serums? 
If so, which do you recommend? If not, have you ever tried a serum? 
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ten ways to stay beautiful in cold weather

Let's face it, the winter months are harsh on our skin. The dryness, cold, and whipping wind can make your body, lips, and face cry out for mercy. Today I am giving you ten ways to beat the winter chill and help your body stay beautiful!



1 // Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Sure, this is a no brainer, but moisturizing after showering is one of the best things you can do for your skin (a quick tip: moisturizing should be done within 3 minutes of getting out of the shower to seal in the most moisture).

2 // Give skin a fresh go at it.
Once winter finally sets in, it may be after the holidays, but it's a possibility that stress causing hormones could still flourish and lead to complexion concerns. Why not try a gentle mask, like nügg Deep Cleansing Face Mask with Cucumber Extract & Jojoba Oil or Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Revival Mud to refresh and recharge your beautiful face.

3 // Use a gentle face cleanser and great facial moisturizer.
A gentle face cleanser is just what the doctor ordered to help remove dirt and makeup without stripping your face of it's natural oils. A moisturizer and serum is also excellent in combating winter dryness. I really like Philosophy Purity Made Simple and the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash.

4 // Add some argan oil to your moisturizer.
Argan oil has alot of proven benefits and hydration is one of the biggest ones. If you generally have oily skin, I recommend using a light version like Josie Maran Argan Light. You can add the Argan oil to your facial moisturizer and to your body moisturizer.

5 // Use a hair mask twice a week.
Static tends to be more prevalent in the winter, so does dry hair. So to keep your hair from drying out, use a good hair mask or even a dollop of coconut oil. *side note: adding small amount of oil protector, like Argan oil to wet hair also helps fight frizz.

6 // Invest in a new cold weather lippy.
Winter is the best time to switch to a high power chapstick/lip treatment. For a list of my five favorites, you can check them out here!  

7 // Use less heat tools.
Winter weather generally dries out your hair and if you use heat to style your hair everyday, you could damage it even more. Try out a braid or letting your hair air dry.

8 // Invest in a cool mist humidifier.
Sure they may look ugly, but it will be hidden away in your bedroom, and you will be amazed at the amount of humidity it puts back into the air, and your dry skin won't be as dry. As a bonus, if you sleep with the humidifier on, it will put moisture into the air AND your hair, thus eliminating static. Another tip: leave the bathroom door open when you take a shower. The humidity will be able to escape to the rest of the house.

9 // Avoid hot baths.
Another no brainer. Hot baths draw the moisture out of the skin, and with all of the things you are going to be doing to prevent dry skin, it's just best to avoid hot baths, and long showers at that.

10 // Drink lots of water.
It's all about retaining moisture in the winter, and drinking was definitely helps retain and replenish that moisture. Plus it's good for your system.


*Linking up with The Grits Blog and Treasure Tromp

What ways do you implement to help you stay beautiful in the cold weather?

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How is 2015 treating you so far? Today is giveaway day! I look forward to giveaways like this one where I can help giveaway something amazing. The Tarte Tartelette palette is simply amazing. If you love matte shadows, or makeup in general then you will absolutely love this palette. To start off the year on a good note myself and all the ladies above are giving away 2 of these palettes! Amazing right?! Make sure you enter below and check out all the amazing bloggers above.  Good luck! 


Images of Happy vol.1

The Images of Happy link up was born out of a love for photography... I love the idea behind photography, and I love that so much emotion can be captured in one Instagram photo. I wanted to give people a place to share their happy photos with others and show that there are happy things in life. A reminder to just breathe and take in life's little moments.

My images of happy include....

... a haircut always makes this girl happy :)


... my first "all by my little self" blog design.


...the most beautiful picture I have ever seen... mine and the hubby's sand ceremony from our wedding... the combining of two souls into one...


... the first time I met Lil Man... best day of my life.

 

... my first set of handpainted wine glasses... I've come so far with my craft...


...winter makes me long for the relaxation of Summer. The warmth, the happiness, the numerous activities that are available.


Those are my images of happy. And today is the first edition/volume of the Images of Happy link up. So I would love for everyone to join!

The rules are simple enough that everyone can join me in celebrating the images that make you happy...

The Images of Happy link up rules:
1 // Post as many photos as you want that make you happy. You can post one or post ten- it doesn't matter. As long as it makes you happy, then it's good :) (and you can also post a collage of photos)
2 // Add a small description as to why the photo/photos make you happy.
3 // Either grab the button and add it to your post, or link back so everyone can visit the other linker-uppers.
4 // Visit other participants and leave some genuine heartfelt comments. Not mandatory, but would be much appreciated.
5 // Come back every third Tuesday (Tentatively the dates for the linky with be March 17 [I know it's St. Patty's Day], April 21, and May 19) and share your Images of Happy.

Tweet or Insta using #imagesofhappy and I will be sure to retweet/comment! Also, don't forget to tag me... @tl_tinywishes

a hundred tiny wishes






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sunday randos


I love Sundays....
I usually don't have to be at work until almost 10a (I work the weekends), and when I wake up, I have time to go through my Bloglovin feed (which I really need an app on my phone for), and see what my favorite people are writing about. And then I get to interact and leave happy comments (even if the post was written two to three days ago). All of that combined with a crème brulee steamer (or whatever is the flavor of the month) from Starbucks (which I get on my way to work) is my amazing Sunday mornings. And it makes me happy.
And since I am so happy, I have decided to share some randos of my life:
1 // I love the fact that I decided to add Disqus as my commenter. It makes life so much easier. I don't have a bagillion emails coming to me everyday, and I can reply directly on the post, instead of trying to figure out who I actually did email and reply too and who I did not. And then people get an email telling them I replied. Best thing ever.
Also- if you had left a comment in the past, and hadn't received a reply, I am deeply sorry. The email was either opened and then forgot about or I thought I had actually emailed and replied back, when in fact, I did not.

2 // I have been thinking of drafting a 101 in 1001 list. I really love Meagan's, Kerri's, and Anne's lists, and I feel as if I want to be one of the cool kids. I also have a lot of goals I want to complete... aka read some books, finish Lil Man's yearly photo albums (I only have the 1st year completed), clean out my closet, and the like.

3 // I took advantage of the awesome sale that Maurices is having right now. I got 6 shirts for like forty bucks. I would say that is a score!!!

4 // I am super excited about my link up coming up on Tuesday! I wanted to do it on the third Monday of the month, but that would mean that my first link up day would be MLK Day (aka tomorrow), and I can't have that. So.... the Images of Happy link up is on the third Tuesday of the month, aka THIS COMING Tuesday, and you can post what ever pictures make you happy. I am basing the link up off of my original Images of Happy post, which you can view here. :)
5 // Along with hosting my very own link up, which I hope everyone can join, I will be adding sponsorships by the end of the month! I know I said this last month, but this month is for sure!

6 // I have added more glassware designs in the Etsy Shop! Woo hoo! Yep, go check them out!

7 // I broke my tooth before Christmas and I am visiting the dentist on Tuesday to get it fixed. Sure it's definitely rando, but hey, it's a good thing.

8 // I have some blog changes in the works also! I just have to sit down and implement them.

9 // I have been researching cruelty-free beauty products and I hope to get the post up this week. How do you fell about products that don't animal test and are cruelty-free?

10 // I really like the scarf in the picture at the top of the post. It's my first blanket scarf, and you can get your own from Pink Slate Boutique. ps. they also have one in chocolate and it will soon be mine!
----
In case you missed it this week....
I went above and beyond and chose not one, but five words for 2015.
I talked about my biggest regrets.
I gave you a look into my favorite beauty cheapies.
How's your weekend?
Share a favorite post... cause I wanna read it!

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five words for 2015 { & some blogger love}

Last year, I started the tradition of picking a few words for the year. The words were meant to shine the light on and make a path for a goal, a concept to strive for, and something to describe how I was feeling about the year. I wanted to carry on the tradition to this year. Last year, I chose three words: courage, patience, & carpe diem. You can see the post on why I chose the words here. This year, I am choosing five.



Happy
Everyone deserves some happiness in their lives. And so do I. I bust my ass for my family, trying to make sure that they are happy, and most of the time, I am the one who looses out. I want to take an hour a day for myself and do for me. I know that I can't be happy a hundred percent of the time, but happiness is definitely something that can be a daily thing.  

Rockstar
Basically I want to give my all into every thing I do. If I am going to do the laundry, then I need to follow through with washing, drying, folding, AND putting away. If I am going to write a blog post, then it needs to have everything I want it to have: a picture, substance, a question, and replies to comments. 2015 is not the year that is going to be half-assed. 

Patience
Yes, I know I picked this last year, but I needed to give it another shot. I need to learn patience. I need believe in my belief that everything happens for a reason, and good things come to those who wait. I don't need to have everything right now, I can wait. I can wait out the sale, so I am not tempted to buy that amazing scarf that's 50% off. I can be patient. 

Believe
Occasionally I don't fully believe in myself. I believe in others, but not myself.  I need to. 

Consistent
Consistency is a big one for me. It is something that I seem to lack in my personal life and in blog life (yes, I am consistent in my work life, most likely due to the face that I have to be, and I am getting paid for it). This time, it's just not going to be a word for me- it's going to be a way of life. If I set out to do something, I am going to do it. Meaning it's time to carve out that blog time out of my day, and schedule posts so they are consistently being published at the same time every day. 

I see changes ahead and those words are going to sum up this year!

And now some Blogger Love.... (my favorite posts from the week)

What happens when you go off the pill | Notes from a Newlywed
I really love how Amanda opened up about this taboo subject. She talks about what changes she went through when she stopped the pill, and announced that she and her hubby are really trying, but not protecting either, for a baby. I commend her. Not alot of women like to talk about the nitty gritty. 

5 Things I Want To Learn at 31 | Chits & Giggles
Learning photoshop and becomeing comfortable with public speaking as goals? Ok, Kristyn is after my own heart. What else does she want to learn? Well go find out! 

28 Things I'm absolutely sure of at 28 | Helene in Between
Needless to say, but Helene just gave me a great idea for a post. I was nodding my head the whole way through the post... oh man... and my 30th is like less than 11 mos away.

All of my friends are having babies | The Daily Tay
I would feel exactly like Tay if I was in the situation, hell I already feel like it.... I have one child, and all my friends/acquaintances are on their second/third/fourth by now. And it almost feel like a race to populate the human world. Anyways... cute dog photo alert!


Did you pick any words for 2015? Did you read any fun blog post this week?

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my favorites a to z

A while ago, I saw a couple of posts on Marry Mint and Rebecca Chapman that I fell in love with. As bloggers we usually tell our readers about our lives, but don'e really talk about our likes and dislikes. Or favorites for that matter. Sure every now and then when someone gets nominated for a Liebster or some random blog award, you get to know them, but it's just some random facts... 

So I decided to borrow the idea from Amanda & Rebecca, and give you guys a list of my favorites, from Alpha to Zeta. ps. after you're finished with reading my list, go take a look at theirs...! 




A | animal // moose. I have no idea where the obsession actually came from, but you can read all about it here

b | beauty product // mascara hands down. I never leave the house with out it, and it's the last thing to come off at night. My current favorites are Benefit's Bad Gal Lash, and Tarte's Lights, Camera, Splashes.  

c | color // I have been loving the color mint lately, but my ultimate favorite will always be blue. Any shade.

d | drink // vanilla coke or pink moscato.

e | exercise // Um... yeah... no. I haven't been to the gym in like three years.

f | flower // lilies and peonies. 

g | game // anything bejeweled-like.

h | human // as much as I love my hubby, this one goes to my Lil Man.


i | instrument // I love the way a guitar sounds. 

j | job // being a mom. It's the best job in the world, and rather hard to get fired from :)

k | karaoke song // believe it or not, but once I turned 21, I was a regular on the karaoke circuit... my two go-to songs were Tell it to my heart by Taylor Dane and Genie in a bottle by Christina. 

l | lunch // soup and sandwich. Who doesn't love something like that?

m | movie // Anything with Emma Stone, or Shawshank Redemption.

n | number // three. I was born on the third & there are three people in my family. 

o | object // at the risk of sounding cliche.. my phone. I really love my Samsung Galaxy S4, most likely because of the picture quality.  

p | picture // how about a couple?




q | quote // This one....


r | restaurant // Chilies

s | season // fall, hands down.

t | trend // boots.

u | underwear // Gilligan & O'Malley from Target. Cheap and functional.

v | vacation // New Orleans 2012 with the hubby.


w | writer // I'm a huge fan of Chelsea Handler. She makes me laugh :)

x | x-tra favorite :) // blogger tool // Photoshop, hands down. I love to make infographics and be a professional like. Plus my blog design was done in Photoshop :)

y | year // 2010. The year my son was born.

z | zodiac sign // mine... Sagittarius.

*Linking up with The Grits Blog & Treasure Tromp

What are your favorites A to Z?
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my biggest regrets {and a linkup announcement}

I'm usually a happy-go-lucky person who considers herself an optimist- I believe that everything happens for a reason. And I've tried hard to not have any regrets, but I do. It's hard not to have them, you know. Sure there is no way that you can go back in time and change what happened at a particular moment, but sometimes dwelling over the past is better than worrying about the future. Plus mistakes are a great learning opportunity.

And talking about them may help someone else avoid the same mistake. Or at the very least lend some guidance. 


I don't exactly have a thousand regrets... but I do have five major ones. Ones that if life had gone the either way, would mean that I most likely wouldn't be where I am now. 

1 // Getting addicted to credit cards and how much crap I could buy with them. 
When used wrong, credit cards are the freakin' devil. Sure, they are great to build up credit, but you need to use them the right way. I, on the other hand, did not. As soon as I turned 18, I had two Visa's, a Master Card, a JCP card, a Target card, and a Victoria's Secret card that fit perfectly into my wallet. I thank the lord every day that I was illiterate in the world of Coach, or I would have been in bigger trouble. I did wind up playing off my cards TWICE... student loans, remember... and my credit was getting better. Until I graduated and my student loans came into repayment... 

Anyways, the moral of the story is that I am getting better with my spending and charging things- if I don't have the money in the bank- I generally don't buy it. I wish someone would have taught me financial independence at a younger age.

2 // Taking out so much money in student loans. 
I was young, I was naive, and I thought I was getting "free" money. I truly thought that I would graduate college, get that amazing job, and be making more money than I had an idea what to do with. I was wrong. I wish I would have taken out as much as I actually needed, and nothing more. And I wish someone had educated me on that fact.  

Btw, does anyone know how much a kidney or ovary is going for on the black market? My loan payment's due next week. 

3 // Not going away to college. 
During my senior year of high school, I was dative a guy who had family that lived in Indy. He talked me into applying at IUPUI, but when it came time for me to actually apply, he told me that he didn't want to move to Indy, and talked me into staying at home to go to a community college. I agreed. Needless to say, the relationship didn't work out, and it took me eight years to finish my undergrad (You don't even want to ask me how much that little relationship actually cost me).

4 // Putting others before school. 
During my undergrad, I put a new relationship before my schooling and ultimately paid the price... I failed out. And I was in nursing school. Like I said- I spent eight years in school, changed my major three times, and enrolled at three different schools. It shouldn't have taken me that long. I should have bunkered down, and actually did my stuff. Instead I skipped classes to spend time with a boy, went out drinking the night before big tests, and so on. I seriously regret how much time and money was actually lost on my stupidity. 

5 // I don't want to say that my son is a regret, but I wish I would have waited to have a baby until I was actually finished with school. 
My husband and I were married in September 2009, and I found out I was pregnant in Jan 2010. We talked about having a baby, but not until I was finished with school. Sure, I had made the decision to go off of birth control the week after we married, but I really didn't think that I would have become pregnant less than four months after that decision. I finally graduated with my bachelors in May 2012. My son was a year and three months. Yes, I had an excellent support system, but it was hard working, trying to go to school, and mothering a tiny human at the same time. 


I know I just made it seem like I regret going to college... I don't. Sure, if I had just gotten a good paying job with my HS Diploma, ten years later I probably would be more financially stable and not avoiding student loan shark phone calls, but I definitely wouldn't be in the job I am now (you have to have a bachelors to work there). Then again, everything happens for a reason, right? Maybe I will land that awesome job that requires use of my master's degree. Heck, maybe I will go back to school and get my journalism degree- I'm a pretty good writer. Or maybe I will go to law school one day. The possibilities are endless in this life. 

My wish for you is that you follow your heart and your gut. It's ok to not go to college. I've known several people that have gone into trades and they are super happy. Heck, I know people that have gone to work in a bank, and now they are one of the higher ups. If you think that college is just not for you or worth applying your self to, then don't do it. Do have the regret of something that you actually didn't have the heart for linger over you for the next fifty years. Because that would really suck.

*Linking up with Anne.

Do you have any major regrets?

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As promised, I wanted to share my brand new linkup announcement with you....

I've been talking about hosting my very own link up for awhile... but I didn't know what exactly I wanted people to link up with me. So after some searching.... the Images of Happy link up was born. I love the idea behind photography, and I love that so much emotion can be captured in one Instagram photo. I want to give people a place to share their happy photos with others and show that there are happy things in life. A reminder to just breathe and take in life's little moments.
The Images of Happy link up will go live at 7am central time, every Third Tuesday of the month. And the first one will be Tuesday January 20. Tentatively the dates for the linky with be Febuary 17, March 17 (I know it's St. Patty's Day), April 21, and May 19.

The Images of Happy link up rules:
1 // Post as many photos as you want that make you happy. You can post one or post ten- it doesn't matter. As long as it makes you happy, then it's good :)

2 // Add a small description as to why the photo/photos make you happy.

3 // Either grab the button (I will be making it before and it will be included ont he post) and add it to your post, or link back so everyone can visit the other linker-uppers.

4 // Visit other participants and leave some genuine heartfelt comments. Not mandatory, but would be much appreciated.

5 // Come back every third Tuesday and share your Images of Happy.


An example of an Images of Happy post, and the one that started it all, can be viewed here :)

Whoo hoo! Sounds fun, right? Will you be joining?

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favorite beauty product cheapies | round one

In early December, I shared this post with a blog that I sponsored's readers, and today I wanted to share them with you. I plan on doing a follow up, with more of my favorite cheapies later this month. Enjoy.





Being a mom on a part time salary and a hubby's check that is used primarily to pay the bills with a bit left over, I have to be picky with what I buy- beauty wise. Now that my son is potty trained, my beauty budget has opened up, but I still have my certain products that will always be my go to.

Going left to right, my favorites are:

E.L.F. Mineral Face Primer
If I'm using foundation, then there is a 99.9% chance that I am using primer. It's a beautiful thing, but there are so many primers out on the market, so it's hard to choose the best one. Honestly, Smashbox Primers are as good as it gets, as they are simply amazing. BUT they are expensive, and being a mom with a kid that was in diapers and student with student loan sharks swarming, ain't nobody got time to deal with that. Enter E.L.F... I picked up a bottle at an affordable price and fell in love! It is basically the same... aka a dupe, but doesn't come with the high price tag. Oh, I've even heard this stuff comes in green and purple...

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara in Black
Honestly, I didn't think I would like this when I picked it up. I am super picky with mascara, and I have always had a "thing" for higher end- my current favorite is Benefit's Badgal Lash. I don't know why, but I just do. I grabbed it, along with eyeliner, on a buy one, get one free coupon. Once I did try it, I realized it was a contender for my beloved Benefit, at a fraction of the cost. It's goes on rather smoothly, stays on all day, and is easy to get off at night.

I love me a face mask every now and then, but honestly, the most I will ever and have ever paid for a single use was eight bucks. And that was on a Dr. Jart+ hydrogel mask (I would only recommend it after a day at the beach). Other than that, I love the single use masks from Target or Walmart, and of course, the Biore single use one minute charcoal masks. The box contains four masks, and basically all you do is wash you face, and then rub it on for 60 seconds. It's that easy! And after using it, I could tell a difference in my skin texture and pores immediately. Oh, and the clean feeling... yep, definitely worth the price.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette
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. Yes, its not really considered a cheapie, but when you use it daily, you really get your money's worth out of it. You can customize so many looks out of the six shades, and is literally half the price of the 12 shade ones. I have also picked up the new Naked 2 Basics pallet.

eos Lip Balm
To me, eos is the high society of lip balms. They are hydrative, taste amazing, contain natural conditioning oils, shea butter, and all those amazing ingredients that make for softer lips. Oh, and the sphere is different, and kinda cool. They are also cheap and since I go through a lot of lip balms- cheap is right up my alley.

To be honest, sometimes my morning schedule just doesn't leave time for actually washing my face... so I rely on facial cleansing wipes like the ones pictured above from Simple. They get the job done, and also double as makeup remover wipes. Simple Skincare's wipes are fragrance free, and free of dyes and harsh ingredients, so they don't irritate my sensitive skin. They are super convenient, and don't leave my face feeling greasy after I use them.


*Linking up with Southern Beauty Guide 

Feeling and looking beautiful doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. :)

Have you ever used any of my favorite beauty product cheapies? What did you think?

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splurge vs. save | part three: hair

Today is time for the third and final edition of my Splurge vs. Save series. Part one addressed overall beauty, part two was makeup, and today is my favorite category... hair. I tend to spend alot of time AND money on my hair. Unfortunately, my hair is damaged from years of heat tools and not knowing what I was doing. So after about a year, my hair is where I want it, and I finally know what works for me, and what I am happy paying for. 




Splurge

Haircuts
I have been known to pay upwards of $50 on a haircut. Yes, just a trim. I generally use the salon at Ulta, because they know what they are doing. I have tried Super Cuts and miscellaneous little salons around me, but you get what you pay for. And I am happy paying what I do for the quality I get.

Shampoo & Conditioner
I am the type of gal that will pay high price for amazing shampoo and conditioner. This is mostly because my hair is damaged, but whenever I used my Fekkai, my hair feels beautiful.

Hairspray
I currently use Fekkai's hairspray. I have also used Big Sexy Hair, Living Proof, Redken, etc. I don't like a lot of residue, and when my hair feels super stiff. I've realized that the cheaper hairsprays leave the residue.

Leave in Conditioner
I love a good leave in as much as the next gal. I currently use Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle, which I had gotten from Birchbox. I also love It's a 10.

Heat protection
I have yet to find a heat protector that I absolutely love, because a lot of protectors have alcohol in them. Putting alcohol on dry hair and then using heat, fries your hair. It's not pretty. So I tend to go for the higher priced ones- Nexxus, Redken, brands like that.

Save
Hair dryer
Honestly I use a conair, and it works just fine for me. I really don't see the sense in spending over $40 for a hair dryer.

Bobbie pins
I use them so often and loose so many, it just makes sense to grab and use a 100 pk for under $3.

Hair brushes
I'm not big on spending alot of money on hair brushes. I do wash and replace my brushes every 4-6 mos, but I have yet to spend over $10 on one. I do love the Ecotools brushes.

Hair Ties
Same as the bobbie pins...


Middle of the road
Dry Shampoo
I have yet to decide where I am on dry shampoo... I have used Herbal Essences and I have used Fekkai. Each brand has their own good and bad qualities... simply, if I try out a sample, and love it. I will buy it. But I won't spend over $20 on a rather large bottle.


What hair products do you save and splurge on?
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