October 2017

October 2017 - my to-do list!

” O hushed October morning mild, / Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; / Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild, / Should waste them all.” – Robert Frost

It’s October!  For so long, I didn’t really like this month…it’s cold…it’s in the way of Thanksgiving and Christmas…it’s full of scary decorations in all the stores.  But for some reason, this October I’m totally getting into the spirit of fall!  Maybe it’s because I’m in the south and so September didn’t really feel like the fall.  Or maybe it’s because my baby will be here soon, that October 2017 is full of good feelings and anticipation.  Whatever the reason is, I’m just happy to be excited for this month!  And excited for getting my to-do list done:

  1. House clean my blog  – I have some irrelevant content that I want to sweep up and trash.
  2. Write my guest blog post – I still need to do this.  It’s been on my list for a while.
  3. Finish my baby tutu – I’m working on the top ruffle, and then need to do the bottom one and the waistband!
  4. Read “The Beautiful and the Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald – For my book club.  And for me.
  5. Complete my baby diary – You guys, I’ve made so much progress.  I just need a FINAL push to get this done!
  6. Buy some clearance fall decor – I never really stocked up, and don’t feel like doing it at full price!
  7. Sign up for a class or study phone photography tips – Mostly for blogging, but also just for us.
  8. Spend Halloween with my family –  I don’t even like Halloween, but we’ve been married for 4 and never spent one together!

Is it bad my to-do list is shorter than normal?  It’s just that last month I made an ambitious list and got like none of it done.  So I’m trying to be a bit more realistic.  And I also don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, as I really want to enjoy this fall and special time!  For some reason, I haven’t been as “productive” lately when it comes to checking off my lists, but I’ve been having really happy and productive days.  So it kinda balances itself out in the end I guess!  Anyway, what’s on your October 2017 t0-do list?  I would love to know, so leave a comment below!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll be back soon for my next post.  (Spoiler: It’s a revelation of the baby mobile I’ve been working on!) See you soon!

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Round-Up: September 2017

September 2017 round-up!

“Bronze bells’ breeze of September showers, / Freezing fluttering fragile flowers, / Tearing the time’s tide tactile sense / May leave long love’s lighting lance in tense.” – Marieta Maglas

I love posting round-ups of the month because I get to revisit the past 30ish days and contemplate what we did!  This month, pretty much everything we did was NOT on my to-do list.  Which I was totally okay with!  It was a wonderful month.  I always love September and this was a particularly good one.  But sometimes good = fun which can also mean too much fun, or in my case, just not getting a lot of my “projected” items done.  Here’s my attempts on the to-do list I made at the beginning of the month:

  1. Celebrate my toddler’s birthday!  It was a really, really fun day.  We did a 2-day celebration for turning 2!
  2. Finish my bunny mobile and decorate the nursery.  Finished both!
  3. Get back into writing my novel.  
  4. Invest some time in photography tips.
  5. Enroll in an online class.
  6. Journal more.
  7. Write a guest post.
  8. Do a daily art project with my toddler.  
  9. Finish watching the Gilmore Girls.
  10. Put together my photo album. 

Hmmm… 3/10.  Not my best record.  In fact, I think it’s my worst!  But like I said, we did a lot that wasn’t on the list, and they were (almost) all important things.  We created a (paper) list of things that we hadn’t gotten done around the house that were long overdue, and we did every single one of them!  I can’t tell you how relieving that felt. haha  Plus I need to take a moment to mention that the Starbucks in our area began carrying the PSL and Salted Carmel Mochas, among other things.  It’s too important of a September thing to not make note of.  Besides the aforementioned coffee, this month was full of swimming, walks, and playdates (toddler mom life), and those are the unplanned things that filled up the month with a lot of fun and special memories.

Anyways, enough about me.  What did you do this month?  I hope that you will come back soon to see my hopes and dreams for October.  And thanks so much for stopping by!

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16th Anniversary of September 11

Today, on the anniversary of September 11, I would like to offer my prayers and thoughts for the victims of those tragically affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Last year, on the 15th anniversary, I wrote a post about my visit to the World Trade Center site in 2013.  This year, I would like to share my favorite poem commemorating this difficult event in US history.

Eagle shed a tear today
As he flew over his domain,
He heard and watched his children die
And his heart cried out in pain.

But from the crash, mid smoke and ash,
Grew a power both great and rare;
It touched the souls of young and old
And gathered them in prayer.

Oh hatred you may cast your blows,
And death inflict your stings,
But we have faith in God above,
And the Eagle spread his wings.

He flew on high up in the sky
And called to all who’d hear;
Unite with me in firm resolve,
We will not live in fear.

We will not rest, we will not cease,
And terror will not reign;
We vow to you now gone beyond
You did not die in vain.

The sun will rise, the sun will set,
And time will not abide;
But rest assured we will not forget
The day the Eagle cried.

— Shirley Hall

Dedicating this post to those who were lost, and those who survived the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  You will never be forgotten!  Not today, not ever.

 

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September 2017

September 2017

 

“for all I can really do is /stand here /in September’s rain /savoring…/ soaking it all in/ slipping…” – Sanober Khan

It’s a few days in and I’m already loving September 2017!  Maybe because amazon is having a 20% off baby sale all month.  I just made my registry!  Maybe because I have a bunch of craft projects keeping me busy.  Or maybe because September has a bunch of romantic memories for me.  Probably a combination of all three!  Anyway, I have a list of projected “to-do’s” that I’m hoping will help me usher in fall.

  1. Celebrate my toddler’s birthday!  I love celebrating her everyday, so her birthday means a lot to us!
  2. Finish my bunny mobile and decorate the nursery.  It’s one big project…mobile goes in the nursery. lol
  3. Get back into writing my novel.  It’s been too long. 🙁
  4. Invest some time in photography tips. I’m particularly looking for some phone photo ideas/information.
  5. Enroll in an online class.  It can be about blogging, massage, or aromatherapy…etc. I just want to learn!
  6. Journal more.  Its therapeutic.  So, I need to do it more.
  7. Write a guest post.  This is making a reappearance on my to-do list.  Because I REALLY need to do it!
  8. Do a daily art project with my toddler. She’s so artistic, and I forget til I see her with a pack of stickers! haha
  9. Finish watching the Gilmore Girls.  I started the series soooooo long ago and I’m ready to end it.
  10. Put together my photo album.  Luckily, I have all the photos printed.  So now I just need to organize them!

I tried really hard not to make this a baby-nesting list.  Obviously I have 5 million things running through my head of things I want to do before my little girl arrives.  But, I think I should just make an entire post about that!  So for now, that’s what I’m hoping I can get done in September 2017.  Will it happen?  Probably not all of it.  Ha!  But a girl can dream.

What are your September 2017 goals?  Thanks for stopping by.  And come back soon!

                         

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Round-Up: August 2017

Round-Up: August 2017

“That August time it was delight / To watch the red moons wane to white.”  — Algernon Charles Swinburne

I loved August 2017!  This month was such a bright, beautiful, breath of fresh air.  I finally reached my third trimester, and hit a “turning point” in my pregnancy.  I mean, it has been a good pregnancy.  But there is something about being 30 weeks today and realizing that within 10 weeks I could have my baby in my arms!  My husband also graduated from his Army school and that was a big accomplishment, as well as a great move for our family.  It’s bringing our future assignment closer into view and we’re excited about that.  Plus, we had some unseasonably “cold” weather (meaning not 100* F) and for a moment or two I felt that “windy blow” of fall approaching.  It was a magical few moments, and is getting me incredibly excited about the cozy fall!!!!

But oh my goodness, I’m totally getting ahead of myself.  Here’s my list of to-do’s from my original August 2017 post:

  1. Enjoy two visits from my relatives.  So much FUN with my sisters and dad.
  2. Celebrate my husband’s graduation.  I’m beaming with pride and joy!  It was such a great day.
  3. Make an exercise routine.  I’ve been doing afternoon pilates and evening walks.  And loving it!
  4. Get my toddler back into a consistent nap and night routine.  She sleeps a good 12 hours a day now.
  5. Update my wardrobe/jewelry collection.  Did this a bit, but will finish it once I’m not pregnant. lol
  6. Catch up on my baby diary.  I made a lot of progress this month!
  7. Expand/develop one blog category.  My Mama category is my current target.  Read my latest post.
  8. Write a guest post.  
  9. Scrapbook.  I love scrapbooking and have almost completed our book!
  10. Make a crib mobile for my baby.  I’m needle felting little bunnies for it, and thinking of adding hearts.
  11. Get an editing program for images.
  12. Find a skin-clearing secret formula.  This toner right here.  Miracle worker for smoothing the face.
  13. Clear the basement boxes out.  I’m counting this as something I did because we are doing it this weekend!

I’m actually surprised that I got most of these done.  It was kinda a long list for me, and I didn’t think I’d be able to get quite so many done.  But I guess that’s what the elusive “burst of pregnancy energy” is all about!  lol

I already “recapped” my month at the beginning of this post, but I can’t sign out of August without bringing up a very heavy topic.  LWYMMD.  Words?  There are none.  I actually really like it.  I thought I would love it.  Then I heard it and was pleased.  I listened to it two more times and began to dislike it.  Then the VMAs happened and I have a whole new appreciation for it.  Now I’m a total fan of the song.  Probably because I am a tried-and-true Swiftie.  Anyone else?

Okay, I’m done. haha  Thanks for sticking around and reading about my August 2017 (and letting me ramble).  I hope you’ll come back soon.  My next post will be my goals for September…see you then!

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August 2017

August 2017

“eighth month commences / august as in grandiose- / resigned to the heat.” – Laurie Kaz

I am SO happy August is here.  It is one of my favorite months, and I really think that this year it will reign as a favorite.  I’ve got my usual list of “to-do’s” compiled–which feels but exciting but longer than usual.  I’m just really looking forward to August 2017, and have high hopes for it.  Hopes that include:

  1. Enjoy two visits from my relatives.  My dad is visiting, as are three of my sisters!  YAY.
  2. Celebrate my husband’s graduation.  I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to celebrate with him!
  3. Make an exercise routine.  Walking and pilates are my two favorite, but I need a consistent mix of them.
  4. Get my toddler back into a consistent nap and night routine.  We’ve made progress and regressed. lol
  5. Update my wardrobe/jewelry collection.  Not necessarily shopping, more like weeding thru what I own!
  6. Catch up on my baby diary.  I wasn’t going to add this, but now that I’m making progress I want to finish!
  7. Expand/develop one blog category.  Even if that just means contributing a few posts to it.
  8. Write a guest post.  I’ve done this before, and would like to do it again!
  9. Scrapbook.  I love scrapbooking and want to do some this month!
  10. Make a crib mobile for my baby.  I’m needle felting little bunnies for it right now.
  11. Get an editing program for images.  Just something small, to get me started!
  12. Find a skin-clearing secret formula.  Maybe no such thing exists?  I have hope…
  13. Clear the basement boxes out.  Something that should have been done a few bats ago…

I could add some more but I should probably start there before I get carried away!  I guess my love for August has just created some pretty high expectations.  But maybe there is nothing wrong with that?  I can tell that I’m not really seeing this month as the beginning of autumn, the way I usually do.  Maybe it’s just the South and all this heat?  Or maybe it’s because my baby is due in the LATE fall?  But I can’t help but feel this August is going to just feel like an extension of summer.  I guess that’s not a bad thing though…is there such a thing as too much summer?!

Oh, but before I forget (AGAIN), I need to make one last goal.  Back in January, I established a plan to choose a virtue/skill/strength and try to embrace it during the month at hand.  In a few of these monthly check-ins, I forgot to do it formally.  But I almost always have some kind of emotional/mental goal running through my mind and making an appearance in my month.  For August 2017, I want to focus on being present.  I have a LOT coming up in the future: more Army school, my second baby being born, and a second move within a 12 month period, just to name a few.  I don’t want to live in anxiety or in the future, because I have everything I need right here, right now, in front of me.  I’m so blest and I want to savor that grace and be grateful for it!

And now I feel like I can sign off.  I have a long August in front of me! lol  And I’m so happy about that.  If you are a list-maker, please share some of your own August 2017 to-do’s in the comment section.  I would love to hear your plans!  Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll come back soon.

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Round-Up: July 2017

Round-up: July '17

“Fine Fourth of July /Another one has passed by / Thanks to our soldiers.”  – James Horn

Goodbye, July!  I’m looking forward to August in a lot of ways.  July has never been my favorite month, and this one definitely wasn’t.  Is it okay for me to start out that gloomy?

I mean, it definitely had some highlights–for instance, celebrating our 3-year wedding anniversary over the long Independence Day weekend was SO incredibly special.  And we did some really fun retail therapy this month, as well as countless mommy-and-me dates.  Those are priceless to me.  We also discovered a new Mexican restaurant, drank a ton of coffee and swam pretty much every day.  But there were some stressful patches that come with being pregnant and also being in the Army lifestyle, and especially being both at the same time.  I’m lucky to have such a wonderful husband and daughter(s), and they definitely make everything better.  Before I get side-tracked, here is a list of what I was supposed to do, reflecting what I *actually* did this month, haha:

  1. Begin a walk routine.  But my morning walk routine was replaced by 3 weeks of swim!  Same benefits!
  2. Catch up on my baby diary ONCE AND FOR ALL.  No, but I did some SERIOUS catch-up, so yay!!
  3. Publish a blog post once a week.  Finally!  I’d like to do it more than once, but once a week was manageable.
  4. Drive “downtown” on my own.  I did it!
  5. Knit a tutu for my new baby.  Almost started it, but changed my mind about the yarn I had.  Time to shop!
  6. Add buttons and a pom-pom to my previous knitting project. I should post a pic of it!
  7. Put together a memory chest for my baby.  I made a temporary one, but would like to buy a prettier box.
  8. Take a Mommy-and-Me Tumbling class with my toddler.  OMGEE we love this.
  9. Take a Mommy-and-Me Swim class with my toddler.  We love this too!
  10. Create/Expand a category of my blog.  I can see this happening soon.
  11. Read to my toddler every day.  If we add this to our routine we will have more success!

While I can’t say this was my most productive month, I definitely feel good about what I got done!  I started a few new projects that weren’t on this list.  More than that though, I created quite a few mental lists of goals and intentions that I think will carry through August.  I already noticed them making a difference in my July!  While I didn’t get everything on my list done, I felt like I made some personal progress in a few areas…blogging and socially especially.  Any kind of progress in those areas feels extra big to me, since they aren’t always my natural strengths.  For me, making steps in the right direction feels like a goal in itself.  haha

I’m very hopeful about August and think it will bring a great many joys and accomplishments!  I’ll be posting about my August plans soon, and hope you’ll be back to share yours in the common section!  And if you have any thoughts to share about your July ’17, please be sure to leave those in the comment section below.  Comments are some of my most favorite things to read, ever.  And I’m a Lit major, so I really mean it. 🙂  Thanks for stopping by!

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July 2017

July 2017 to-do list

“The fireworks are bursting in the sky, / (like breadcrumbs kids are throwing in the bay, / to fly in fun and freedom of July) / like fish we rush to see surprises blast away.” –  Richard J. Heby

July 2017 is looking like it’s going to be a quick month.  Is that possible in the summer?  I feel like summers used to have this aura of being long, relaxing, days of laze.  And then something happened and they became the time for trips, programs, moves, etc.  Maybe that’s because I’m not a student anymore? (At least for now).

I just feel like July is going to fly by.  Maybe because I’ll be 5 1/2 months pregnant by the end of it, and so my pregnancy is making time go by quickly.  Or maybe it’s because our current Army training situation will be coming to a close next month and so this “final haul” will fly by.  I’m not sure, but I can already feel like it’s going to be a quickie.  I’m okay with that.  Hopefully it won’t be so quick that I can’t get a few things done.  Things like:

  1. Begin a walk routine.  I think some sun vitamins and fresh air will help with my pregnancy anemia.
  2. Catch up on my baby diary ONCE AND FOR ALL.  I think it’s totally possible.  I hope.  See above issue.
  3. Publish a blog post once a week.  A bit steep, based on my previous posting schedule.  But I need to do this.
  4. Drive “downtown” on my own.  I need the practice, and more than that, I need the confidence.
  5. Knit a tutu for my new baby.  I’m thinking a pink fur one.
  6. Add buttons and a pom-pom to my previous knitting project.  It’s that baby cozy and a hat to match.
  7. Put together a memory chest for my baby.  I have some little sentimentals I’ve been collecting for her.
  8. Take a Mommy-and-Me Tumbling class with my toddler.  I think she’ll love it!  Almost as much as me. 🙂
  9. Take a Mommy-and-Me Swim class with my toddler. Never to early to learn to swim!
  10. Create/Expand a category of my blog.  More on this later….
  11. Read to my toddler every day.  Last month, 2 books was apparently too daunting. haha So we will try 1!

Wish me luck.  haha  What are your plans for July 2017?  Leave a comment below! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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Round -Up: June 2017

“O come sweet June, my lovely June / The month when first the roses bloom – / A wondrous, colorful display /By sunlight kissed throughout the day” –  Valerie Dohren

One of my all-time favorite months is coming to a close. (Or if you’re reading this on the day I *actually* published it, June 2017 is long gone.)  But there are so many reasons why that is surprisingly okay with me.  I feel like I have a new season of motherhood quickly approaching, as I hit the “half-way” mark this month in my second pregnancy.  The fall is going to hold so many new and exciting things for us, that for some reason (many reasons!) I am totally fine with enjoying this summer as it passes by.  But I don’t want to get ahead of myself–here is my completed/revised “check-list” for the month:

  1. Read my baby two books a day.  Did this some days, failed at other days.  Better luck next month!
  2. Write for 1 hour every day.  Ha ha ha.  I wish this wasn’t so funny.  🙁  One word: anemia.
  3. Drive to 1 new location.  Did it, and I’m ready for more!
  4. Catch up on my baby diary.  Well, I DID do some catching up, but unfortunately I’m not totally finished.
  5. Enjoy a visit with my sister.  SO much fun!  I’m missing her, and all my sisters now.
  6. Take a few important photos for my blog.  At this point, I like a mix of stock photos and personal ones.
  7. Finish reading my current book.  But I’m close…I’m reading the final short story.
  8. Begin daytime weaning.  This is making me really sad, but it’s really good for us!  And baby #2 coming soon.
  9. Set up bird feeders.  I didn’t do this, but I’d still like to.
  10. Celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary.  <3  <3  <3  The best 4-day weekend ever.
  11. Find out my baby’s gender!! Oh my goodness….we did find out.

My motherly intuition proved true… It’s a GIRL!

June 2017 -- It's a GIRL

I was 19 weeks and 1 day pregnant when I got the morning ultrasound.  We didn’t have the technician tell us the gender, because we wanted to find out later that night.  But she did show us many pictures of the baby, and I can honestly say I could watch our little girl all day!  That afternoon, we filled a balloon of surprise confetti at the store, and baked a cake.  It was kind of hard to wait–but I knew it would be worth it.  Plus, we had already waited 19 weeks, so what was a few more hours?  (answer: the longest few hours of my life)  In the evening, we popped it and pink confetti fluttered all around us.

I just KNEW it would be a girl!  I have had so much fun being a girl mom, I just love it.  And getting the chance to do this all over again with our second baby is such a blessing.  I can’t wait til she is born!   Finding our we are having another daughter was my favorite day of June, besides of course our wedding anniversary celebration!

I might say this every month, but June really is one of my favorite months.  And this June 2017 was a great one.  It did have a few downers, like the fact that my husband was in the field training during our anniversary.  But it had way more uppers, like the fact that we went on a 4-day weekend away trip to celebrate our anniversary.  Traveling is just so fun, and “getting away” for our anniversary really makes a difference.  It wasn’t really a babymoon, but I guess it is probably our last trip before our second baby comes.  It was an anniversary trip, and subconsciously a babymoon. haha It was so much fun, and very romantic!

Hopefully, your June 2017  was spectacular.  I would love to know what you were up to– leave a comment below!  Comments are pretty much my favorite thing to read.  And please come back soon…I always appreciate your readership!

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Glam Bag Unboxing: June 2017

June 2017 ipsy glam bag unboxing

The theme for the June 2017 ipsy glam bag had a punk-centric vibe focused on speaking your mind through your looks. The glam bag’s official catchphrase was “Volume Up” but alas, I didn’t get a volumizing mascara.  If you’ve read any of my ipsy glam bag reviews, you might guess that this theme isn’t really to my taste.  🙂  However, I love that ipsy tailors the bag to each individual subscriber’s preferences, no matter the theme, which always guarantees at least a few gems in the glam bag.  Sometimes that means the results aren’t super theme-y, but I don’t mind.  I’d rather get what I want than get a perfectly-themed glam bag! Onto the unboxing:

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua XL Eye Pencil – Matte Black M-10

I didn’t get a mascara, but I did get an eyeliner, which is almost as good. (If not better, since we all know how attached I am to my go-to mascara). The eye pencil is “my kind of formula” in the fact that it’s a creamy-based pencil.  However, the whole “sharpening requirement” is not my cup of tea.  Despite the fact that I can’t get mine into a point now that I’ve used it, this is honestly one of the best pencil liners I have ever used.   EVER.  I like how this is waterproof (for the  waterline), and smudges easily (for under the eye).   Versatile is always good, and so I count this as a glam bag score!

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Luna by Luna Cosmetics Eye ShadowJace

This is an interesting shade. I actually really like it, though I have nothing like it. The red undertones are too strong to consider this a pink, but the peach undertones are too strong to consider it an orange. Like I said, interesting. I am thrilled to have a matte in a “fun” color because I feel like all my mattes are so….basic.  The texture is soft and not at all crumbly or dry.  It has good pigmentation and doesn’t come on as sheer.  Overall, I really like this product…though I don’t feel like it necessarily looks good on my skin. haha  And I also don’t feel like I have the necessary eye shadows to put together a well-rounded look with this shadow. Time to go to Sephora? hehe!

NYX Professional Makeup Whipped Lip & Cheek Souffle – Plush

I hope I don’t shock anyone when I say that I don’t really love liquid/cream blushes. If you read my Maskcara Beauty review, then that will most definitely come as a shock.  (Because theirs is amazing).  I’m also not a lipstick person, as I have established post after post.  So I have to be completely honest when I say this product didn’t do a lot for me.  The color itself, a nude pink, was nice.  But I’m not really a “dual-product” kind of person, and definitely a lip and cheek isn’t my favorite combination. But, to each their own!

Kokie Cosmetics Nail PolishGone Rio

I was first introduced to Kokie Cosmetics in my October 2016 glam bag.  I really like this polish brand, as it isn’t thin, sheer, or overly “chippy.”  It’s perfect for painting my toddler’s toenails because it’s a quick swipe on each little nail–no need for second or third coats. Two of my favorite nail polish colors are pink and red.  So I feel really, really silly for saying I didn’t love this color.  I feel like its a little too pink to be red and way to red to be pink.  Ugh, I sound ridiculous! Am I the only one who likes two colors but doesn’t like them combined??  Oh well, at least I know this nail polish is high quality–that in itself makes it a keeper!

Pure Brazilian Shine Ultra Light Nourishing Oil

So I thought it was a little ironic that the bag is themed “Volume Up” and yet I got a smoothing hair product. haha Volumizers aren’t as useful to me as smoothers, so it’s not a problem, really.  The fact that this is a nourishing oil makes it all the more valuable to me.  I love oiling my hair, though I don’t do it as often as I would like.  This oil has an amazing smell, and is a perfect concoction of exotic oils. I like the fact that it is light, as most oils aren’t!  And while heat protectant isn’t on the top of my list for oil qualities, the shine factor and split end prevention is key.  This one was another win.

I know I am totally being picky, but the bag design (and theme) just weren’t my favorite of the year.  However, all that aside, I felt like this month was a really good haul. I know I say this pretty often, but I can’t believe how inexpensive ipsy subscriptions are, for the amount of product you get each month.  If you are an ipsy subscriber, please comment below and tell me what you got!  And if you aren’t a subscriber, but would like to be, you can follow this link.  Doing so will not compensate me in any monetary way, but it will credit me with some bonus points to use on products in the future!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Come back soon!

 

Slight editorial note: I published this late, again.  Sorry guys!  But I back-dated it to fit into the June calendar because I’m OCD and it would bug me to have a June review published in July.  Silly me, I know. 🙂

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