Goodbye January

I always love doing a monthly recap, especially on the last day of the month. It helps me put down in words either my progress, happy moments, stress, or down right want to cry times. Today, of course, is going to be a little of all of them.

In my personal world, January in words... (sorry to be all "woo is me")

  • My car was backed into. See damage here
  • We found out that the hubby's car is going to need a blower motor- meaning there is a possibility of it going out and then he won't have any heat. And we just don't have the extra money right now. 
  • My check is over three weeks late. I have contacted my employer on several occasions,  and it finally came down to the fact that my hours were submitted late. I am contracted through a local school system to work at the county's juvenile detention,  meaning that my boss at detention submits my hours. Apparently, this month they first changed the pay days, and then I never received my 2nd check of the month due to hours being late, both without even an email as to what was going on. When you have a job, you depend on money, and for the past 9 months, it had been in my account every two weeks. This month was not the case, and I'm downright dissatisfied and disappointed in my employer.  They should have communicated to me what was going on. I shouldn't have to hunt someone down via email. *I finally talked to someone, and the soonest I will be getting paid is Feb 5. 
  • Sinus issue are kicking in, because of the off weather we have been having in Northwest Indiana. 
  • I put in two job applications. Each were for a position in county government and I'm not sure if I'm hopeful. Yes, I love my current job, but the pay just isn't there. And after the pay fiasco, it's time to move on.
  • We brought Ellie home. I thought bringing home a puppy after what happened would bring some happiness into the house. All it had done in the beginning was create stress and sleep deprivation. But, after about a week, I think that we are finally into a routine- Ellie sleeps from about 10:30p- anywhere around 6-6:45a, and I am so thankful. Oh, and she sleeps in the crate. 
  • I've been doing a purge of my house. It occurred to me that I just have way to much stuff, and my goal for the month was to purge my house.
  • Lil Man was introduced to Snapchat (tl_tinywishes) and loves to send videos. 

Blog wise, I think that life was a bit better....

So that was January.... I am hoping that February treats me and my family a bit better. 

Always say yes to the wine.

book & a cuppa swap

Earlier this month, I signed up to be in a Chaotic Goddess swap- the Book and a Cuppa Swap. Basically, you get to know your partner for a few weeks, and then send them a package with a book from their Amazon wishlist (or wherever their list is located), a mug, and other coffee/tea/hot cocoa goodies.

I was partnered with Mistle from Sweet Tea and Hydrangeas, and she was so sweet! I loved getting to know her, and the package she sent was perfect for me! And I love the fact that Mistle shops at Target, hence the Tazo Tea, because it's my favorite store.

She sent me --->

  • An arrow card 
  • A mug with arrows and a pink handle
  • I am Malala (which I have been wanting to read)
  • two boxes of tea
  • three packages of hot coco
  • a little Mom plaque

A Chaotic Goddess Swaps post

Always say yes to the wine.

the do's and don'ts of color care

It's not typical for a girl to share this bit of information, but today I am sharing it for the greater good... I dye my hair. My natural color is strawberry blonde (almost golden blonde), and currently it's a reddish brown. I dye my hair, because my natural color tends to wash me out in the harsh, sunless winter months.

But this isn't the first time that I have dyed my hair... I used to use box dyes all the time. And they never stayed in. About six months ago, I decided to get my hair professionally dyed and learned a few things in the process...

Unless you are dying your hair an unnatural color like pink or blue, you DON'T have to use a specific color preserving shampoo. But, you DO need to use a sulfate free shampoo. I learned this one from my stylist, who had purple hair. A few of my favorites are Living Proof PhDPureology, and Amika.

On the subject of shampoo, DON'T use any type of clarifying shampoo. The ingredients are BAD for color.

DO use dry shampoo & conditioner and DON'T wash too often. Washing your hair will speed up the fade process. And when you do wash, DO shampoo and condition using cool or lukewarm water. Hot water will strip your color.

After washing and conditioning, DO use a leave in conditioner like Pureology Colour Fanatic or Living Proof PhD Night Cap Overnight Protector.

DO use a color-protecting mask a few times a week, especially if you have well water. I like Pureology Colour Fanatic Instant Deep Conditioning Mask and Beauty Protector Protect and Treat Hair Mask.

DON'T use too much heat- it will fade your color, but if you must heat style, DO use a heat protector.

DO shield your hair from UV rays, even in the winter. UV rays will aid in the fading process, so when choosing styling products, make sure that it's formulated with UV-Protection and designed for color-treated hair.

DO get regular trims. Getting regular trims helps with hair growth, and bonus, you get more time with a stylist and a blowout!

DO use a gloss between dye jobs. Getting a demi-permanent dye glossed over your hair, will help with the damage that regular permanent dying does. Plus, demi dyes are usually cheaper than the permanent ones.

DO take this color quiz from Madison Reed and find your perfect hair color.

For more DOs and DON'Ts, check out my post on 25 beauty tips & tricks.

Always say yes to the wine.

we survived & a giveaway

This past weekend was fun... and I am being totally sarcastic. And no, it wasn't because of the snow.

Last week, I introduced you to Ellie, our soon to be addition. Well. the "our soon to be" became a reality on Friday, and I am exhausted.

I am exhausted due to lack of sleep and because the novelty of Ellie has not worn off for Lil Man. He is constantly wanting to play with her, basically smothering her, and wearing her out. He doesn't really want to listen to my pleadings of leaving her alone (though I may be a little over protective of Ellie, and sometimes, the pleadings may not be justified), and sometimes he is a little too rough with her. But, I get it. It's his first time with a full time puppy. Our dog was a few years old when Lil Man was born, and he'd only ever been around him and my parent's dogs, which are full grown. I get that it's going to take some understanding and teaching to get us where we can function without Mommy feeling like she just wants to pull all of her hair out. I mean, that's why I had taken a half day Friday and the whole day Monday off; to get us all adjusted. I'm just hoping that this novelty wears off soon, cause she does act like she wants to play with him.

On the other hand, Ellie is doing rather well. She is letting us know when she needs to go outside; she's only had a few accidents, she loves her toys, she plays, she sleeps, she comes when I call, she follows me everywhere. The only thing that isn't going that well- crate training. She hates it! And how do I know? The fact that she sings me the song on her people for 45 minutes straight after going in. Saturday night, I finally gave in and let her sleep in the living room on the floor, while I slept on the couch. And finally, I was able to get some much needed sleep...
I'm just hoping the rest of the week goes better.

Other than stopping by to tell you about how I survived my first weekend home with Ellie, I have something fun for you!

Thanks to Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilettos, I teamed up with some awesome ladies, and we are giving you a chance to win $145 in Paypal cash!

PayPal Giveaway

Always say yes to the wine.

The Great Purge of 2016

I have a confession.

I have decided to start a purge. The Great Purge of 2016 to be exact. This is referring to a purge of all the non-useful items that are occupying space, well lack there of, in my house.

Wait, did you think that I was talking about killing peoples, like in that gawd awful movie with Ethan Hawk? Yeah, no. On a side note, why the hell was everything electronic, and why didn't they just install a lock on the gate and doors. No wonder why the stupid idiot died. And then they made a second one? Please excuse my mini-rant if you in fact did not have the privilege of watching the movie. For those of you who did, I apologize.

Back to my house purge... Currently, I am going room by room, large item by large item, cleaning out, and organizing. Fun. freakin. fun... 

I started right before New Years with my bathroom... and the never-ending supply of "surplus" makeup that I have accumulated. And that lead to the storage under the bathroom sink, the cabinet over the toilet, and of course, my three drawer cart next to the sink. I was thinking of stopping, but when I was throwing away garbage, the Annual Christmas Cookie purge, which lead to the pantry purge and refrigerator/freezer purge, and ended with two bags of outdated and 'this-will-probably-make-you-sick-so-don't-eat-it' food items and a box of recyclables, happened. Yes, we recycle... it's good for the environment and yada yada. 

I have since tackled my hanging clothes, the bottom of the front closet, and half of the hall closet. So, in true fashion of the Great Purge, I am going to tackle both closets (well, finish them), the laundry room, Lil Man's toys, the bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room in the next coming weeks.

This week, 

  • I'm going to tackle the desk, especially since I can feel the "I can't find anything in this house, especially if it's on the desk" comment coming from the hubby soon.
  • I'm going to finish the hall closet- basically we only have two closets in the house and the hall closet is for clothes, towels, storage, etc. It has shelves around the top, and they are full of crap. 

Now, anyone that has children, especially if they are between the ages of two and five, knows that cleaning with a child is like wiping your ass with dirty toilet paper... it. just. sucks. AND It usually takes me over two hours to just clean the house... so I am going to need alot of luck with this endeavor.

Wish me luck.

*I will pop in and give you guys random updates on my purge endeavor in the next coming weeks- my goal is to finish by them end of the month. 

Always say yes to the wine.

On getting another dog

I've been keeping a secret for a little over a month... we will be welcoming a new family member into our home at the end of the month!

For the past few months, I have been having some baby fever. Talking about how I wanted a girl and such. And well, the hubby hasn't been happy about it... he's not ready for another, even though our kid is five. But that's a post for another day.

Anyways, on my birthday, a friend's dog had puppies and of course I had to have one.  Ever since Duce passed a few months ago, our house had been empty. Granted with two adults, a child, cat, and tortoise the house really wasn't empty, but it felt lonely without a dog. And anyone that has lost a dog knows what im talking about. Duce had been with us for almost eight years.

The hubby and I had gone round and round on what to name our new lil friend... I think the names Spanx and Muffin Top were actually thrown in there by the hubby. But in the end, I settled on the name Ellie. And yes, she's a girl.

I am so grateful that Lil Man is in love with Ellie, and has been since he first laid eyes on her. Over the past weeks we have seen her grow and learn new things. New puppy things.

But there's still something that sits in the back of my mind... the fact that I won't love her as much as Duce. You see, Duce was my baby. Sure he was mine and the hubby's, but in all honesty, he was mine. He was the love of my life, in puppy form. Ellie is more for Lil Man. So that he will have a dog that he can grow up with a dog and understand the love that will come out of it. I don't have the connection with Ellie that I had with Duce. At least not yet. But Lil Man is starting to develop it. She already knows him. She goes to him.

And that's why I am so grateful. Duce was a few years old when Lil Man came into the picture, and he was never a fan of Lil Man. Duce was my baby. He tolerated Lil Man, but didn't play or cuddle. Ellie will be Lil Man's dog. He will be able to play with her, and cuddle with her, and they will have a bond that every child should have with a dog. 

Now I know that lil Ellie is just a puppy and kids are just more fun to play with, since they're lower to the ground and all... but I still feel the way I do. 

Don't get me wrong, I do love her. And I know our life is going to change, again. We lived with a dog for close to eight years and then after Duce passed, we adapted. We realized that we didn't have to be home to let an animal out, to keep a lint roller handy for dark clothes, and have to vacuum all the time. Now, we are going to have to adapt again. And not to a full grown, potty trained dog that can stay in a cage for more than 6 hours... but to a clumsy lil puppy who goes potty everywhere, chews on everything in sight, and is only able to stay in the cage for an hour or two (and that's pushing it).

So it's going to get crazy up in here. 

But stay tuned to my snapchat (@tl_tinywishes) and insta (@tl_tinywishes) for lil puppy antics cause we go see her a few times a week, and once she comes home, I will be properly announcing/documenting, just like bloggers do. ;)

*linking up with Ember Grey for Grateful Heart Monday

Always say yes to the wine.

a few things on my mind

Hello there Friday, you sexy day of the week! I'm so happy to see you, because this weekend is a three day weekend, and I actually have Monday off! I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to say that!

So this week, I wanted to do something different, and let you into my thoughts...

-RIP Davie Bowie and Alan Rickman, who both died of cancer this week. The world is now sad.

-I've been really digging stock photography lately, and I love it when designers give out freebies like Rekita Nicole and Ashley Ella Design (this and this). You should check them out! *Bonus Rekita Nicole also has a freebie section with lots of fun stuff!

-I really want a new blog design. I see other blog designs and I have the urge to get a different one. Last night I did some sprucing up, and I'm ok with it, but blog designs are like having tattoos- once you get one, you can't wait to get another. Hell, maybe I should just jump ship over to Wordpress?

-I'm not liking my rental car... if you follow me on Snapchat (username: tl_tinywishes) you would have seen the damage to my Trailblazer (my brother swears it was an accident- I believe him)... anyways, the rental is a Kia Soul and I'm just not digging it. Granted I'm not a huge fan of my Trailblazer- we plan on getting another car as soon as I get that awesome full time job- but it does it's job, and I'm comfortable with it. Now, sadly, it's broken.

-I've been thinking about my Etsy shop lately... I'm kinda at the point of wanting to close up shop, but I don't want to. I have invested alot in the shop- buying paints and glasses- and I love painting and coming up with new designs. But I'm not sure if Etsy is doing it for me anymore... Maybe Nebrowse might be the outlet I am looking for? btw have you seen Tay's cute AF shirts?

-I've been keeping a secret since my birthday and I will finally be talking about it next week! Spoiler alert: if you follow me on Snapchat, you already know the secret *wink, wink*

-I'm really NOT A FAN of the weather lately. It's been cold and dry, then wet and dry. Overall, it's been so dry and my hands just hurt! I can't wait for Spring!

-Remember how I said that I was going to cancel my Popsugar sub? Well, after seeing the spoilers, I had to get January's box! Ugh! I really need to stick with my goals.

-Shadowhunters premiered this week on ABC Family, or Freeform- I think that's what they want to start calling themselves. Anyways, it's based off of the movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which came out in 2013 staring Lily Collins, and I feel like a 16 year old girl right now. I love it! Have you seen it?

Yeah... so that's all for now.

**Cheers to the weekend and Diary of a Real Housewifethe high five for Friday gals, the oh, hey Friday galsMomfessionals & gang, Meet @ the Barrethe Friday blog hop, & the Five on Friday gals

Always say yes to the wine.

four things I wish someone would have told me about grad school

It isn't a secret that I have my Master's degree... but the secret is that I may have gotten it for all the wrong reasons. That the extra twenty grand that was added to my federal loans may have been for one selfish reason... that I didn't exactly want to start paying back my undergrad loans just yet.

When I started college in the Fall of '04, I was at a community college. I didn't think it was the place for me, but while I was in HS, my plans were to go to a college three hours away with my boyfriend, and we would live at his mother's house. Needless to say, the relationship ended and I was stuck at home, working, and going to community college. Fast forward eight years, two other colleges, and countless majors later, I finally graduated with my Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice. Yes, I said that it took me eight years to finish my undergrad. And you don't want to know how much I had financed through the federal government and private loan entities. After graduating, I didn't know what I wanted to do. All I knew is that I had six months to figure everything out. And before I graduated with my undergrad, I had also gotten married and had a baby. 

So there I was... trying to work part-time, trying to be a mom full time, and looking at a hellacious student loan payment... I had two options: either work full time and make payments, thus putting my child in day care that I couldn't afford, or go back to school for my master's. 

Guess which one I choose. (besides the awesome stock photo pictured by Ashley Ella Design)

But I can tell you that even thought getting my master's was a great accomplishment, I don't think I did it for the right reasons. And I really wish someone would have let me in on a few things before I did it.

things i wish someone would have told me about grad school

1. Know why you are doing it. 
Most people actually plan on going to grad school... for me, it was one of those why the hell not. No. I'm kidding. It was because I didn't want to pay my undergrad loans. And because I loved going to school. But grad school is expensive. And time consuming. And will break you in so many ways. So before committing to a program, you need to have an end game. Meaning are you considering grad school because:

  • It will advance your position at work?
  • It will expand your knowledge on a specific topic?
  • The degree will provide more upward mobility at your current employer?
  • It will close your achievement gap?

Basically, you need to have a plan, or rather at least an idea of what you want to do with a rather expensive piece of paper. 

2. You only get one deferment period.
I learned this one the hard way. You know how when you graduate from undergrad, you get a six month deferment period, so you can find some type of employment. Well, once you finish grad school, you get the same deferment, but it's only for your grad school loans. The undergrad will go into immediate repayment, and there is no more deferment. Unless you are working under 30 hours a week or underemployed. The federal government has some rather great programs to help you not default. All you have to do is ask. 

3. Research your program.
When I was looking at going to grad school, I had a few requirements: it had to be all online, didn't require the GRE, and had to have something to do with Criminal Justice. Unfortunately, I didn't really look into costs, length, or distance from where I was (for graduation purposes). Those are thing that really mattered. Sure, the fact that I didn't have to study or even take the GRE was a great thing (btw, the GRE is like the SAT to get into college. Some schools want it, some don't.), but in the end, researching the costs associated with the program would have been extremely helpful.

Basically, a few things that would be good to research:
  • Cost of program
  • Length of program
  • Pre-reqs of program: ie. GRE requirement
  • Distance of school from your house/living arrangement
  • Type of program: online, face to face classes, combination of both
  • If an internship is part of a graduation requirement

4. Prepare to commit. 
Grad school ain't for the weak. Or the procrastinators. Think of undergrad. Now think of doing crack. That's what grad school is. College on crack. It's fast paced, hard, full of paper writing and reading, and all nighters. And that's why people usually take one to two classes a semester and go part time.

Granted I am glad that I did go to grad school, I mean, I'm happy that I can say that I'm awesome cause I conquered grad school, but if someone would have told me those four things... I may have actually rethought my decision to go. But then again, maybe not.

Always say yes to the wine.

seven things that I hope to accomplish in 2016

As you read from my 2015 recap, last year really wasn't a bad year. Sure, I lost my best friend, and there was some surgeries, but besides that stuff, we did have alot of fun on family vacays, I accomplished alot on my 30 by 30 list (which is turning into a 35 before 35 list), and I turned the big three oh. But with all of that, I didn't accomplish everything that I had wanted to do. So instead of making a list of my resolutions and goals for the new year, because lets be honest, by Feb 1, they will all be broken, I am going to share seven things I hope to accomplish this year.

Personal Wise:

one // land that high paying job so I can afford my gigantic student loan payment
Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I mean, I seriously love my job, and if the money that I had borrowed for my education wasn't coming into repayment in the very very near future, I would be ok with staying for a bit longer. It gets me out of the house, it's not super demanding, it's flexible, I don't come home "mother fucking" everything about it, my co-workers are awesome, and my boss is pretty cool... but the money just isn't there. And when you are looking at a $300+ federal student loan payment, then you gatta do what you gatta do. Even if that means leaving the first job that I have absolutely loved behind. 

two // buy a house
Living in a one bedroom apartment that's attached to my Grandmother's house has it's perks... nice neighbors, free utilities, low rent... but that's the problem- it's only one bedroom and it's me, my hubby, and a five year old; plus a few animals. Saying that we are crowded is an understatement. 

three // to make a budget and stick to it
I have been talking about this for way too long... seriously way to fucking long. I just need to get off my ass and make it already. Then I need to stick to it. Especially if we are going to buy a house...

four // to focus on one thing at a time and live in the moment
This one is going to be a hard one. As a mom that works a day shift outside of the home, I am constantly having multiple on top of multiple things on my mind at any given moment. Especially being a blogger. My hope is that I can have fun with my son and not think about posting on the blog, or worrying about the laundry/dishes, or be able to go to dinner and have a positive attitude because my family is more important to me than anything else.

five // to remember to take my makeup off at night
This is a super simple goal, I need to do it. I need to remember to take my makeup off at night, because a) my face is horrible right now, and b) I claim to be somewhat of a beauty blogger. 

six // to get rid of things that I don't need and stop being a makeup, clothes, hair care, etc, hoarder
I am planning on doing a purge this month, and it's not going to stop there. I spend way too much money on makeup, hair and body care products, and clothes, and I will be going through everything. But unless I am absolutely in love, or out of my FAVORITE product, no more will be coming in. Let's see how long this one lasts... 

Blog Wise:

seven // to stop being a douche
I may have to explain a little... whenever anyone asks what is the best advice you can give to someone who is just starting out in the blogging world, I always say that "they need to be social, to comment, to encourage, and to produce good quality content". I have been doing none of those things. I will admit that I have been a hypocrite. Whenever I sponsor anyone, it's like pulling teeth for me to fill out my spotlight posts and forms, and let's face it, my content lately, just hasn't been there since I started working... in March. Yeah... so my goal is to take my own advice and if I wouldn't want to read something, then it won't be published. If it's a tutorial, and can't go viral on Pinterest, then it doesn't need to be out there. Along with this is to produce a blogging schedule. Because not being consistent is a douchey move to my faithful readers, and anyone I choose to sponsor. 

I wish I had more goals that I want to accomplish with the blog, but I think that one is enough and is the most important one.

Do you have any goals or anything that you want to accomplish in 2016?

Always say yes to the wine.

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