Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask Review

*I was given product in exchange for a review, but opinions are all mine*

Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask Review

Confession alert: I have a "thing" for facial masks. I am borderline addicted to the way they make my face feel. A few weeks ago, Valentia (via Brandbacker) offered me the chance to try out another great product their skin care line- the Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask. I was so excited when I saw that they wanted to work with me, since I have had the chance to try quite a few of Valentia's products (all via Brandbacker) and I love the line for a few reasons: their products are alcohol free, paraben free, cruelty free & vegan friendly, their products are and made with 98% natural & organic ingredients, & the ingredients are specially selected to work together to achieve optimum results.

my top five summer essentials & a giveaway

*some products have been provided by Brandbacker and evian, but opinions are all mine*

It ain't no joke that Summer is on its way, and all confessions aside, I'm really not a fan of the season. Sure I love the swimming, walking on the beach, bbqs, sports, longer days, and other things, but I HATE the heat. I mean, I hate it with a passion. I live in Northwest Indiana, and combination of humidity and heat seriously suck for a bigger gal like me. And then sometimes my allergies perk up in the summer months (yeah, I'm that person that gets a cold in the summer) and I can't breathe in the humidity, or I get burned because the sun is way too close to the earth and the atmosphere is way too thin... yeah, I'm just not a fan of the heat. Period. To be honest, fall is my jam. But we are not here to talk about all the reasons that a light skin person burns in direct sunlight, we are here to talk about my top five beauty essentials that help summer be a little bit more bearable for me; including a new holy grail beauty product that has become my go-to.

cha- cha- changes

Please do not attempt to change your screens, you are indeed at the NEW a hundred tiny wishes. Yes, if you have been a longtime follower, by now, I am pretty sure that you have realized that there have been some changes going on around here. If you are a newbie, then welcome! 

I haven't decided to jump ship to Wordpress yet (though it may happen by the end of the year), but I have made some modifications lately. Basically, I have talked a lot about freelance writing and wanting to be taken seriously as a blogger, and the first step, in my eyes, is a more professional looking blog. Other than the fact that I would like to eventually monetize my blog, my main focus at this point is creating a more aesthetically pleasing experience for my readers. I want to build my readership, increase my stats, and create more engaging posts. 

Along with refining old posts, summarizing labels, assuring font continuity, and working on my pictures, I have made five essential changes. 

Influenster | Bloom VoxBox review

*I received the products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes, but opinions are all mine*

I have been a member of Influenster since October 2012, and in that time I have received a handful of VoxBoxes. 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 VoxBox. And the VoxBoxes 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 Voxbox on FB and insta, etc.), and take a survey at the end of the campaign. Easy Peasy!

Usually I don't do reviews on the blog when Influenster sends me VoxBoxes, but once I opened the Bloom VoxBox and saw what was in it, I knew I just had to share everything with you!

Writing for Huffington Post | My experience

Since April, I had been throwing around the idea of Freelance writing. I loved writing here on the blog, but I felt as if I could do a whole lot more with my skills. I almost minored in English in college after all. 

After applying for sites like The Mix, and not hearing anything back, I felt discouraged. Regaining my composure, I took to Google. A lot of bloggers and writers talked about Huffington Post being a starting point, so that's where I set my sights. After researching "how to get published on HuffPo" & "writing for Huffington Post", I began an whirlwind experience that ended with my first published Huff Post article: Four things I wish someone would have told me about Grad School.

360 Chicago | An unforgettable experience

Among the largest cities in the US, Chicago is renowned for its bold architecture, beautiful skyline, and museums full of history & art. Among a plethora of attractions, a number one contender in all top ten lists is 360 Chicago. Formerly known as the John Hancock Observatory, on a clear day, 360 Chicago's Observation Deck can give you the world; well at least up to 55 miles and four states of it. 

Last month, in celebration of 360 Chicago's new Sunset Series, Windy City Blogger Collective, along with Wisecarver Public Relations, gave me a chance to check out the newly remodeled Observation Deck, and their recent addition: Tilt.

10 lessons I've learned from horror movies

I wouldn't say that I am a huge horror flick buff, but I have definitely seen my fair share of them. My first was A Nightmare on Elm Street at the tender age of eight, and at such a young age, I liked the idea of watching something that would scare the shit out of me and then give me nightmares. As the years went on, I thickened my skin and grew to love those horror movies. Today, when given the choice between seeing a romantic movie or horror movie, I will always choose the horror film. That's just the gal I am. And in all those years of choosing the horror movie over anything else, I have learned quite a few lessons. 

things I've learned from horror movies

DIY | Carpet powder

For the better part of seven years, my family and I were the owners of a dog that had allergies. We had to buy a no-grain food, couldn't give him normal treats, and he had to have a shot every month. Since he was practically allergic to everything, I was also hesitant to use any type of carpet powder on the carpet due to all of the harsh chemicals. Almost giving up, I took to Pinterest for a natural alternative.

Unfortunately, all the recipes I came across wanted me to use an essential oil, borax, or even both. I looked in my cabinet and decided that I would deviate from the norm, and make my own. Using three ingredients. 

diy carpet powder

Friday, my FAVORITE day of the week

Oh man, I love Friday. Sure today is Friday the 13th and a full moon, but whatevs. It's all good in my book. Anyways... my week:

how sex ed is failing today's youth

Back in February, Brooke, a new blogger that I've been following penned a post that got to me. In a good way. She talked about how sex ed failed her. And in every line of her post I was nodding to myself that she was right.

10 hobbies I will NEVER give up

Bloggers just love to talk in lists, and on Tuesday, the lists are in lists of tens. Today, I am sharing the ten hobbies I will never give up. Sure, some could be considered childish, but hey, YOLO.

on having depression AND being a mom

Even though I am really open on here, I barely talk about one thing that I deal with on an almost daily basis... depression. Back in 2014, I published a post about my battle, but after that, I had stayed quiet. I felt as if I actually opened myself up and talked about it, then the wrong person was going to see it, and Indiana DCS was going to show up at my door and deem me an unfit parent. In the back of my mind, the fear still sits there to this day. But I really hope that will never happen, because I do have a rather good support system. I have my husband, who is understanding, loving, and wonderful, my parents, my Grandmother, and even my hubby's side of the family. I have people to lean on, and when I am going through an "episode," I do get support in taking care of my son.

In the light of May being Mental Health Awareness month, I want to let you guys in. I want to tell you guys how having depression while being a mom feels. And I am hoping that someone, like me, will read it, and know that they are NOT alone. 

hey there Friday!

And we are back at Friday again! I'm doing a little happy dance over here cause other than the massive back pain that I have been having, something really AWESOME happened!

So things going on in my life... 

I am planning on posting about this next week, but in a nutshell: I emailed Ariana Huffington directly, received a response within three hours, received login information two days later, and then published that day! Seriously within three days, I was published. Its been a whirlwind, and I feel awesome! 

2. The Indiana Primary was on Tuesday.
I worked the polls in a local precinct, and my day was LONG! But it was worth it- I felt like I was doing my civic duty. Sure, I'm not happy that Trump won Indiana by such a large margin, but hey hey, go Bernie! 

3. My wedding rings have been replaced. 
My actual wedding rings were getting too tight on my finger, so instead of spending upwards of $60 or more to add a size, I went the fake route and grabbed a cz/sterling silver set. I really like it, and I'm actually considering upgrading to a set like it. 

4. Mother's day is just around the corner.
And I may have found the PERFECT card for my mom. Sure, I am just kidding, and I would never seriously give it to her, but just the thought cracks me up. 

5. Little girl turned 5 months this month.
Ellie is now officially five months, and still as cute as a button!

How was your week?

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

Always say yes to the wine.

Valentia Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum Review

*I was given product in exchange for a review, but opinions are all mine*

Today I am back with one of my personal favorite skin care lines, Valentia. I recently had the chance to review their new facial serum and again fell inlove. I have had the chance to try quite a few of Valentia's products (all via Brandbacker) and I love the line for a few reasons: 
  • their products are alcohol free, paraben free, cruelty free
  • their products are and made with 98% natural & organic ingredients
  • the ingredients are specially selected to work together to achieve optimum results
A potent and luxurious lactic acid serum that supports natural circulation for an all over youthful and refreshed complexion.

This Serum:
  • Renews texture & tone
  • Deeply moisturizes
  • Minimizes fine lines
  • Increase elasticity
  • Brightens & Plumps Fine Lines
  • Evens hyperpigmentation

Key Ingredients:
  • Wakame Bioferment (Seaweed): Increases skin oxygen consumption to detoxify and boost antioxidant defense.
  • Gotu Kola: Lessens the appearance of scars and increases skin firmness.
  • Lactic Acid: A natural Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that increases skin cell turnover, for healthier renewed skin.
  • Licorice: Lightens unwanted pigmentation and corrects skin discoloration.
  • Argan Oil: Naturally rich in Vitamin E, this oil reduced water loss and protects skin's resiliency and elasticity.

My thoughts:

At first I really wasn't a fan of the product because of the citrus smell. It was a bit strong, but once it faded, I was enthralled with the way my face felt: tight, hydrated, soft, and most of all, not irritated. Sometimes when I use face products, the fragrance is so strong for my sensitive skin, and I have to pop a Benedryl. But with this serum, I didn't have to. 

The serum itself was on the thinner side, and quickly absorbed into my skin. However, I would recommend that if you do use the serum, you follow with a moisturizer. Like most serums, they aren't meant to be used alone, but as an added step. 

After about a week of use, I have seen some minor changes. My face feels really soft in the mornings and my redness seems to be under control. I have NOT had any breakouts from the serum, which is such a good thing. Unfortunately, I don't have any fine lines (yet), so I can't really weight in on that aspect.   

Overall, I believe that the Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum is a really good night serum. 

Check out these other great Valentia skin care product reviews:
Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum (which I still use nightly)

And be sure to go visit Valentia on Instagram & Facebook!

*Information provided by Valentia

Always say yes to the wine.

five last minute Mother's Day gifts

It's no secret that Mother's day is just a few days away, and some of us procrastinators are freaking out right about now. But don't worry, I got you covered with these five last minute gifts!

one | a spa package
Show mom your appreciation with a nice little massage and nail package at a local spa.

two | perfume
If mom doesn't have a specific fragrance or if her favorite is a little out of your price range, Sephora has some perfume gift sets options that she would love.

Comes with 9 deluxe samples AND a certificate to redeem for a full size version of her favorite.

A little different than the deluxe, this one has more variety. It come with 13 samples (good for travel), AND a certificate to redeem for a full size version of her favorite.

Perfume Sampler (rollerball) | $25
Comes with 6 samples AND a certificate to redeem for a full size rollerball of her favorite.

Good if you change out perfume often, this set comes with five small bottles of perfume (no certificate for a free one).

Perfect if mom likes trying new things every month, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that sends you a box with 4-5 deluxe samples month according to the beauty profile that you fill out. You basically receive beauty products (which includes hair and makeup) and one lifestyle item for $10 a month. They have gift subscription options (3 months for $30), and if Mom likes it, she can sign up for the monthly service.
*You can cancel at any time, and it's a pretty nice "try before you buy" service, as no box is ever the same. They also offer free shipping deals all the time, and for every item you review from your box, on the Birchbox site, you receive 10 points; every 100 points equal $10 to use on a future order.
*They also have two limited edition boxes: Beauty in Bloom and New Naturals that look amazing. 

four | DIY Spa basket
I actually gave my mom one of these for Christmas! It's super easy and thoughtful. Just buy a basket and fill with lotion, nail polish, manicure/pedicure set, candle, towel, body wash... whatever you think smells pretty. Pack everything in your basket, get some plastic wrap, and give.

five | Flowers & a card
Easiest thing ever!

What are you getting your mom for Mother's Day?

*Photo Credit: SC Stockshop Newsletter

Always say yes to the wine.

10 jobs that require little or no education

The truth is: I spent eight years in college to get a four year degree in Criminal Justice. I attended three colleges, and switched my major four to five times before settling. Why did I do that? Because it was hammered in my head all throughout high school that I HAD to go to college in order to be successful. But that was a lie. Sure college helps, but if you are not out there to make it rich, here are ten jobs that require little or no education. 

1. Blogger
Yes, you can actually turn a hobby into a money maker. There are alot of bloggers out there that make a decent income, and they love what they do.

2. Small Business Owner
Whatever your passion is, your creativity can make you a pretty good paycheck. Yes, it will take work, and will quite possibly be a full-time job, but it will be worth it.

3. Vlogger / Youtuber
So you want to be the next Casey Neistat or Louis Cole? Well go do it! You don't have to have an interesting life to be a vlogger- just a camera and something to say.

4. Truck Driver
They are always hiring for truck drivers, and the pay is good. The education is minimal- an 8 week class to get your CDL, I believe- but after that, you can pretty much work for any company you want. The hours will be long, and you will be driving 100% of the time, but I've heard of people making upwards of $100 grand a year.

5. Photographer
All you need is a camera (usually a rather good one), some photography classes, and people that want you to take their pictures.

6. Pharmacy Tech
If you are good at math and chemistry, and really only want to go to school for a small amount of time, pharmacy tech is great for you.

7. Paralegal
A paralegal usually requires a two year degree, and you will be certified to work in a law office.

8. Phlebotomist
Drawing blogg and labs, phlebotomy school is only a short while.

9. Direct Sales Consultant
Avon, Mary Kay, Advocare, etc, are all examples of direct sales companies. If you are outgoing and have the drive to make money, then direct sales is for you. 

10. Zoo keeper
Sure, you may have to get a degree in biology eventually, but to interact with animals in a zoo environment? Well, just go to your local zoo and ask if they are hiring!

What job would you love to do that requires little or no education?

*Linking up with: September Farm

Always say yes to the wine.

on being discouraged with monthly goals

Last month I really didn't want to do the whole monthly goal thing... or a recap of the previous month for that matter. Actually, I don't think that I have done a monthly goals post since February... oops. I'm not really sorry, because you see, since I posted about the seven things that I hope to accomplish in 2016, things have, for lack of a better term/phrase, gone downhill. Besides meeting all but one of my February Goals, I don't see that my life is any closer to being that different from 2015. Sure, I stopped being a douche in the blog world- now it only takes me like two to three days to respond to comments, instead of a week... yay, go me, but nothing else has actually changed. I have yet to sit down and make a budget or get that high paying job (believe me, it's not for lack of trying), and I don't really see us getting into a house anytime this century... I mean, we are expecting some money here really soon, so I see some bills getting paid off, so there's that. 

But the whole thing is that I feel really discouraged with my goal making lately. It seems like I make and break them all of the time. I write down a list of things that I want to accomplish, and half of the things never get done. For example, I have a white board next to my monthly calendar, and "get brakes done one my car" has been on there since last year. The hubby says that we are fine, but I just can't help wondering if they are going to go out and I am going to be going into a ditch somewhere. I can only hope not, or that Lil Man just isn't in the car with me. Thank goodness that we have two cars, and I primarily drive the hubby's, not mine. But it still worries me. 

But that's what I am talking about. I see alot of my procrastination in my goal making. I see that I am always pushing something off somewhere else, and thinking that I will get to it. I am always writing stuff down, and always looking at it, but I seem to say whatever. I don't know man... 

But the reason that I am actually here, is to make some goals for this month (kinda hypocritical of the post, huh?). And I am going to keep it short and simple. 

Personal Wise

-Dedicate time to teach Lil Man the basics of kindergarten. 
There is so much that Lil Man needs to learn before August, and my goal is to spend at least an hour a day with him, teaching him. 

-Date night
I miss my hubby, and he misses me. I have decided that we need to have date nights, and in order to put this in place, I need to get my parents on board 

Blog Wise

-Design changes
I read somewhere that to be taken professionally, you need to look professionally. To me, my blog is not screaming professional by any means. So I am going to fix it:

  • I am looking at new overall designs, and will be buying a new template by the end of the month. A new header font is in the works also. 
  • I am also looking at either getting head shots taken or just doing them myself. my current picture is cute, but not "pay me to review your shit" cute. I need something.... um... professional.
  • By the end of the month, I will be dropping the meaning that I will be grabbing a domain finally. 
  • I currently use Canva for alot of my "words on pictures" and my header font- clicker script- just isn't coming through the way that I want it to. I like the whole consistency, so the font has to change. So I need your help... which one looks better?


Always say yes to the wine.

links & loves

Happy Sunday friends! Can anyone believe that it's May already? Yeah, me neither! Well, instead of hashing out May's goals and what not, today I want to share some things that I have been loving lately!

*I have a thing for t-shirts and since I'm a bigger gal, I decided to give Lane Bryant a chance. I fell in love with the softness of their shirts, the fact that they come in a variety of necklines, and many of the colors have ruched sides (which hide my tummy). My favorites are this one  (which is on sale right nowand this one. Lane Bryant also has some other cute t's, so check them out here

*I rarely use perfume (even though I have a ton), but I love to smell good. So what do I wear? Body sprays from Bath and Body works are my go to. In the early Spring, they released some new scents, and they certainly do smell amazing. Think peaches, flowers, lavender, pineapple, and more!

*A few weeks ago, I was on the hunt for a more moisturizing face moisturizer that I could primarily use for night time. Alot of gals on a beauty group on Facebook were singing the praises of Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation. I found out that my local Sephora had the travel version and picked it up... LOVE! 

*For awhile now, I've been on this cruelty free brand kick with my cosmetics and skincare. I finally found this list- and it lists ALL the brands at ULTA that are cruelty free, meaning no animal testing. Because, well, animal testing is bad. With a capital B.

*Speaking of Ulta, have you entered to win a $170 giftcard to Ulta? No? Well, go do it!

Oh, and btw, I finally got some really good Wifi signal in my house (thank you Netgear Wifi signal extender!), so I should be blogging alot more.

Always say yes to the wine.

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