ten things I wouldn't normally want to do... if I wasn't a blogger

Being a blogger is a pretty nice hobby... you get to "meet" people, make friends, feel a since of community, and even get some pretty awesome free stuff in the mix. But there is always those things that you wouldn't normally do if you weren't a blogger... 

things like...

1. Have a another baby just for the sake of bump dates and all that jazz.
Of course I really wouldn't do this, but c'mon.... well maybe if the baby was already potty trained, then I would think about it. 

2. Get divorced and then remarried, just so that I can use my Pinterest board of ideas and have a kick ass wedding planning series to post on the blog (renewing my vows and then having a pretty awesome after party would serve this want too). 

3. Get a DSLR camera. 
Sure, I've wanted a Cannon EOS Rebel for the longest time, mostly because of the awesome courses I could take to learn how to use it and then take amazing pictures, but since I am not an actual photographer, spending almost $600 bucks on a camera is a bit unreal. And the fact that my student loan sharks are finally coming at me for my Grad school loans... well, I don't see a DSLR in my future anytime soon.

4. Remodel every room in my house, and then take pictures of it. 
Readers love the whole DIY house remods... just look on Pinterest. 

5. Document my beauty routine, #ootd,  & #motd, everyday. 
Just look on Insta... that shit gets mad likes.

6. Think in lists. 
Bloggers tend to do these things. Every post is in lists of 5's. Why? Because who really wants to read a list of 4? or 8? And doesn't the title "10 things I hate about you" sound alot better than "7 things I hate about you"?

7. Take pictures of my beauty hauls. 
Insta is a place for bragging about things that you bought, and I'm no different.  

8. Subscribe to every subscription box on the market. 
Just for the sake of having a series named sub boxes. 

9. Do stuff for the sake of photographing it for the blog. 
Everything I do has a photo opportunity. Whether it be going to the beach, on a Target trip, Starbucks run,  or even taking a walk in my yard, there are opportunities for pics and my phone is attached to my hand (most of the time). 

10. Make lists about things that I wouldn't do if I wasn't a blogger. 
Plain and simple.

What wouldn't you want to do, if you weren't a blogger?

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five things June taught me

Oh wow... I haven't seen you guys in like a week! I apologize for that... 
Since today is practically the last Friday of June, I figured I would "participate" in the whole "high five for Friday" thing, and tell you guys about the major things I learned in the month of June...

one // When it rains, it pours... 
This is a no brainer, but it's so true. This month, my mom had knee surgery, and the same day she had the surgery (she is doing great btw), we found out that my grandmother has breast cancer. Talk about a double whammy. The lump is rather small, and the doctor says her odds are good, but we are still in shock and praying our hardest. 

And then... we found out that my dog has either cancer or end stage liver failure. I can't even begin to tell you what I am feeling... I have raised my baby since he was a  6 week old little puppy; and he just turned 7 in April. 

two // Indulgence is always a good treat.
I've been worrying about my weight lately... and since I have yet to actually have the "want" to take my lunch to work, I've been stopping by Subway about three times a week. And I've been cutting down on my pop/sugar intake. I feel somewhat healthier (it's all a start for me) and my headaches have been coming less frequently. BUT to reward myself, every payday, I treat myself to some Starbucks. It helps with the cravings and makes me feel that eating healthier is a good thing :)

three // Impromptu moments are better than big, thought out ones. 
Yesterday, I took off my shoes and played in the rain & mud with Lil Man. He absolutely loved it. Why am I telling you that I felt squishy germ filled substance between my toes? Because I think that Lil Man had more fun in the ten minutes of rain and mud play, than in an hour trip to the zoo. He was laughing the whole time. 

four // Always have an end goal in mind.
When I started my job, I told myself that it was just to pass the time, and once something better came along, I would jump on it. This month I decided that even though my position is a "stepping stone," I want to do my best and stay within the company once a better position comes along. And I'm glad I started when I did... during the summer, my boss likes to take off here and there (his family owns a private island somewhere, I think), and when he does, I have to fill in for him. Which means I get to step it up and show what I am made of. 

five // Sometimes being disconnected is the best thing ever. 
Have you ever been so caught up in social media drama that it just consumes your whole being and it's all you talk about with everyone you meet? Or is your phone constantly connected to your hand, to the point of self diagnosed carpal tunnel? I have the perfect solution... get a job where you are not allowed to have your phone or computer access. Since starting the job a little over three months ago, I have slowly been pulling back from everything social media/internet related. Yeah, I don't even know if I can call myself a blogger anymore... but the drama and all the anger and all the FOMO-ness has practically disappeared. And it feels great! Sure, I still am super active on Insta, but that's it. 

And let's share some some of my favorite posts from the week....

How to blog and work full time // Meet @ the Barre

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new beauty product loves

I always love trying out new products- I have a subscription to Birchbox because of this obsession- and I love telling everyone which ones that I've fallen in love with; and which ones just didn't hit the mark. The next six products have definitely hit the mark, and have been inducted into my daily routine.

one // First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser // $5.50-20
Formulated without parabens, sulfates & phthalates, this stuff is awesome. It leaves my face free of any traces of makeup, soft, hydrated, and clean. I haven't had any breakouts since using it, and my face feels less oily. 

I've never been a fan of leave in serums for my hair- it's rather thin, but damaged- and I had no interest in trying one. But a couple of weeks ago, I did a beauty product swap with a few ladies, and received the BB Repair Blow Dry. The first time I used it, I used way too much. My hair was super greasy and literally just stuck to the top of my head. So I took to the reviews... and everyone raved about how much they loved the product, but if over used, it would grease-up your hair. A couple of people recommended using a small bit (duh!) on semi-dried hair, and then you would achieve the desired results. Abiding by the recommendations, I used it a few days later. And loved the outcome. My hair was free of frizzies, soft, and my style lasted two days!

This was another item that I had received in the beauty swap, and I love the feeling that it gives my face. The product does run a bit high, but from what I've used out of my sample, it seems worth it.

four // Urban Decay Perversion Mascara // $12-22
I had grabbed the travel size from Sephora a few months ago, but at the time I was loving my Laura Geller mascara, and kinda just stashed the Perversion in my bag. Until last week, that is. I've been running low on funds, and instead of running out to Sephora (I'm a high-end mascara snob) to grab something, I pulled out my Perversion.... it was love at first swipe. I love how the brush is thicker and fans out my lashes. It does tend to clump when the lashes are over coated, but it's something that you just have to work with. 

five // Julep Oxygen Treatment // $18
I have rather short & stubby nails- a result of several years of nail biting- and don't like to wear nail polish on my finger nails. But, I can tolerate a sheer colors like nude and pink. The Oxygen Treatment comes in two different colors- pink and ivory- and it's a powerful, nutrient-rich treatment formulated with awesome stuff to help thin, weak nails. It's made without parbens, sulfates, and phthalates- meaning there is no formaldehyde. And the best thing... Julep polishes are cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly!

six // Real Chemistry Luminous 3 minute peel // Price runs $24-48
I had heard alot of buzz about this amazing peel, and when I received a sample in my June Birchbox, I was super excited. Once I tried it, I was blown away. While using, almost immediately I could see the results of the dead skin buffing off into my hands. I'm not sure if it was the product or not, but when I rinsed my face, I could tell a difference. 

Have you ever tried any of my new product loves?
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When being a blogger isn't fun anymore....

Sometimes I'm not exactly sure why I keep this space open and continue to write.

Before getting a Monday thru Friday job, blogging was definitely my passion. I made it my job to post at least 4-5 times a week, and I loved the fact that I would see my page views soar. It was intoxicating to see the number of followers I had after a giveaway, or after the first day of sponsoring another blog. Side note: I haven't sponsored anyone in over three months... (except for my swaps). I'd get a high when I would receive comment notifications and loved replying to the people who so found my post so engaging that they wanted to tell me what they thought. I loved pulling up my blog on my phone and just admiring my hand crafted blog design. I had fun designing and redesigning my design and launching that small change. It was more than a hobby to me. It was a non-paid, fun as hell, second job, that I loved to do. 

But then my priorities changed. The time I set aside for blogging slowly was pushed to the next day, every day. Laundry and dishes took more importance than sitting at the computer and taking pictures for the blog turned into taking pictures of my son playing in the yard. And now summer's here... and we all know what happens to page views and readers in the summer for bloggers... 

In all honesty,  I do still love Blogging and in September, I will be celebrating my 2 years of it. I love my dedicated readers and the people I have met and the friendships I have started and the redesigning like a fool and the rep-ins and the comments and the lists and the picture editing and the.... shit this list can go on for pages... Basically I still love it all.  

And the reason I am telling you all this?  In order to avoid the impending burn out, I'm not going to be around that much. Now, I am not going to go a month in between my posts, I've worked too hard to let everything go to hell. So, my goal is to post a minimum of twice a week. I still have things I want to share, so I can't tell you if I'm going to be posting my best stuff this summer, but I will promise to try. And I hope you will stay around :) 

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Influenster | Blossom Vox Box review

I have been a member of Influenster since October 2012, and in that time I have received a handful of Vox Boxes. For those of you who don't know what Influenster is, it's a product testing & reviewing site. Basically you sign up, review some things, and your social media presence impacts whether or not you will get into a campaign, aka get a Vox Box. And the Vox Boxes are filled with FREE product- all you have to do to be eligible for an upcoming campaign is finish the one you are in (there are different tasks, ie. post a pic of the vox box on FB and insta, etc.), and take a survey at the end of the campaign. Easy Peasy!

About a month ago I received one of Influenster's new Vox Boxes... the Blossom Vox Box. I have received a couple of boxes before and honestly the Blossom Vox Box was the one box that I could use almost everything.

In my box, I recieved:
Benitos (2 bags- one sea salt and one bbq)
Hair Food Root Cleansing Shampoo
Bear Naked Granola (2 bags)
Nasoya Pasta Zero Noodles
NYC New York Color City Proof 24HR Eye Shadow 
Austrlian Gold Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

Benitos (2 bags- one sea salt and one bbq)
The Benitos chips are made of beans and are supposed to be healthier than regular chips. They are also made with all-natural, gluten-free, and non-GMO ingredients. Honestly, I really liked the sea salt flavor (the bbq was a bit spicy for me). They tastes great, and due to the "beany taste", I took my time and didn't scarf them down. I would buy them in a larger size bag. 

Hair Food Root Cleansing Shampoo
I love this stuff! I use it twice a week, and it made my thin hair feel so clean and soft. It's meant to cleanse the roots and get rid of all the product build up- I can tell you from personal experience that it does. And the smell- strawberry and ginger- is rather nice. 

Bear Naked Granola (2 bags)
I'm a big fan of granola and I love that it's healthy for you. The two flavors that I tried- coconut almond curry and sea salt caramel apple- were really tasty. 

Nasoya Pasta Zero Noodles
I did not try these noodles. They came pre-cooked and packaged and honestly, they looked like worms. I threw out the package. 

NYC New York Color City Proof 24HR Eye Shadow 
The color I received- Tribeca Taupe- is a really pretty color. The shadow, which is housed in a stick- kinda like a lip crayon- glides on rather easy with no tugging, and it lasts a whole work day for me. 

Australian Gold Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
I'm not a fan of sunscreen that smells like you are wearing sunscreen... but this one smells tropical. It absorbed rather nicely and according to the bottle, it's waterproof for up to 80 minutes. I'm super pale, burn easily, and like to swim in my parents pool, so this will definitely come in handy this summer. 

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs
I don't really wear shorts in the summer, and I only wear long dress pants to work right now, so I sent this sample to my friend. So far she said that she really likes it. 

Overall, it was a good box. My favorite product was the hair food and my least favorite was the pasta (even though I didn't try it). 

Have you ever tried any of the products in the Blossom Vox Box?

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five things on my mind...

Honestly, this week has kinda sucked for me... My dog has fluid in his belly, and the vet doesn't know why, so we are running a bunch of tests (Cancer has been mentioned, fyi); I had a bad day at work on Wednesday (I'm not going to go into details... basically I wanted to cry), and I've been getting some nasty headaches. On the flip side, I got a new camera, so hopefully my photography skills are going to get better.

In light of my somewhat sucky week, instead of doing a Friday favorites, I wanted to share some things that have been...

-----one // Caitlyn Jenner
Monday was a hell of a day for the Kardashian/Jenner family. Kim had announced her second pregnancy (more on that in a minute), and then Caitlyn was introduced. And my lord, was she introduced! Have you seen the Vanity Fair teasers? WOW! She looks amazing, and I am so happy for her! 

But the one thing that I'm not a fan of... people being assholes about the fact that she's not all woman yet. Seriously people! She's happy and she's a role model for all of those transgender teens out there being bullied and feeling like they are alone. I support what she stands for and believe that she is brave to do all the transforming in front of the court of public opinion.

And the one thing that really irritates me... the fact that Caitlyn is being recognized for an ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her brave coming out, and the people who deserve it most aren't getting shit. I mean come on... she is beating out an Iraq war vet who lost half of his limbs defending our great county; a girl who battled cancer, raised money for it, and never quit playing the sport that she loved; and the football player who worked through his cancer diagnoses and showed people that it's ok to be scared, but to not give up. It's so irritating because the Arthur Ashe is supposed to be centered around sports and it's Caitlyn NOT Bruce that is being recognized. Caitlyn basically gave up the identity of Bruce and cannot claim Bruce's sports accomplishments. And they are going to award her for transforming into what she had wanted to be for some years. Ok, yeah, I get it. But figure out another way to honor Caitlyn. Don't spit on the legacy's and in the faces of REAL heros.

I've said my peace, and this is how I feel. You can read the article here. 

-----two // Kim's pregnancy #2
First, I'm excited for Kim. Horray! And we all know that baby is going to be one cutie! But who didn't see this coming? Many tabloids had already announced that Kim had been trying for another one, so when they finally announced, it really wasn't a surprise.

-----three // Josh Duggar- a 12 year old family secret gone wrong
Sure he may be last week's news, but the fact that two victims- his own sisters- have be identified just blew the whole issue wide open and I am saddened by this issue. Earlier this week, Josh's parents, Michelle and Jim Bob went on record and talked about what had happened. And now his own two sisters, his victims, are DEFENDING him. Seriously? That is what I call brainwashing.

Oh, it's ok because Josh was a naive boy and our parents never taught us about sex, so at the time I didn't know if it was ok or not...  

Michelle even stated in the interview that the girls weren't aware that what Josh had done was wrong. It could be because as Michelle stated, Josh went in and touched the girls when they were sleeping. Are they actually sure that that is the only time this sorta thing happened? Why didn't they educate their children about improper touching from others? And then the BS about putting up safeguards after Josh went to Michelle and Jim Bob, and even though they couldn't excuse his actions, they could forgive him. I'm sorry, I believe in God and all, but if I found out someone touched my son, I would be the one in jail. There is no forgiveness.

My surprise lies with TLC and the question is: why hasn't the show been outright cancelled yet? Look at the whole Honey Boo Boo situation... Mama June was seeing a cho mo, and TLC yanked the show faster than a cheetah chasing a gazelle. So what's the hold up?

Granted I do feel bad that Jessa and Jill's past victimization is out there, but nothing can be changed about that. In all honesty, they need to blame their parents for not dealing with the situation a bit better. 

-----four // Why oh why is there summer break for our favorite TV shows?
What am I supposed to watch this summer? Yeah, there are some favorite summer shows, but I really miss my Scandal, Grey's, and SVU...

-----five // I've gotten back to blog reading and I really loved:

Snapchat for Bloggers // Becoming Addorable
I never thought of using Snapchat as a blogging tool... but I bet it would be fun!

Speak up for Silence // Sage & Cassie

Combating Blogger's Block // The Fairy Princess Diaries

What would be my Ganster name? // Lot 48

Anything been on your mind lately? 
How would you weigh in on the issues? 
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may in pictures

Can anyone else believe that it's June already? It's crazy to think that this year is already halfway over! But the nice thing about June is that the weather starts getting nice, the sun able to come out to play more, and of course beach days are a natural occurrence in your weekends. Ah... summer :)

But before I go into how much I really love June and the fact that it's like opening month for summer, I want to concentrate on May.

1. Getting lunch at least once a week is like a way of rewarding myself, because positive reinforcement is always good when you are working with teenagers... and when they introduced their new smores tart, I knew my life would instantly be better :)

2. We took a family trip to the zoo on Memorial day. Of course it was crowded, but Lil Man had so much fun!

3. I celebrated my two months on the job in style! 

4. The one thing I wanted for Mother's Day was a picture of me, Lil Man, my mom, and my grandma. Of course, I got it, but we also sat down to take some with just me, my mom, and brother. 

5. Wine tasting is da bomb... just saying... 

6. I am a member of Influenster and I was super surprised to see a new vox box show up on my door step. I love everything in the box, and can wait to share my review with you all. 

7. Lil Man's hair tends to grow super fast, so since the warmer weather is on it's way, we decided that it was time to get his hair cut. 

8. While at the zoo, I found a new pet! He's so small and cute and fluffy and I want him. 

Honestly May wasn't that bad of a month for me. The good: I celebrated Mother's day with my family, made it two months at my job (and I'm still going strong), went wine tasting with my hubby, made a trip to the zoo and so much more. The bad: We lost a co-worker at work. That event brought some clarity to my life: cherish the life you have and the loved ones who share it with you. 

"Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important & you'll capture it perfectly." - Unknown

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