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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Glam Bag Unboxing: July 2017

The July 2017 glam bag hit mailboxes this week!  And the theme surprised me just a little bit, but I like it!  It’s all about lazy summer makeup and “doing less” so that a you can ultimately “do more.”  Apparently, the ipsy creators thought this theme is epitomized by the new ipsy mascot, a cartoon over-easy egg named Gudetama.  Some of you may already recognize him for his iconically lazy attitude and sluggish little depiction.  I didn’t.  And I still don’t know the backstory behind why ipsy chose him as their new mascot, but I can see why he fit the July 2016 glam bag theme!  Does anyone know why he happens to be an over-easy egg? haha  Moving on, the glam bag itself is pretty cute!  The brands that partnered with ipsy were fun because all but one were repeats.  It kinda felt like a mini-reunion of my glam bags over the past year.  And I really like the products that came in the July 2017 glam bag, so it was an overall, over-easy hit!

Seraphine Botanicals blush – Lychee and Gold

I think that this blush is so gorgeous.  It reminds me a bit of the Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Illuminating Baked Highlighter in Bellisima I got in my June 2o16 glam bag.  While that product is technically an illuminator, it wears perfectly as a glowy, shimmery blush.  This blush differs from that product in the fact that it is glowy, shimmery, and SUPPOSED to be a blush. 🙂  It is infused with lychee and chamomile extracts, which are apparently responsible for the glow.  I’ve never seen or tried this brand before, but I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.  While it has no bearing on the product itself, can we just take a moment to admire the packaging?  It’s totally gorge!

BellaPierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder

I first tried this brand in the form of a mineral blush from my September 2016 glam bag, and wasn’t impressed.  Then once more I tried it as a mascara from my February 2017 glam bag and was not particularly stunned.  I don’t think BellaPierre Cosmetics are a bad brand, but they aren’t my favorite.  However, this product came along and changed all of that.  This powder has been with ipsy for a while.  It’s my first time receiving it in my subscription, but my sister got it in her ipsy bag quite a while ago and gave it to me (not because she didn’t like it, but because she is just super generous).  My daily setting powder is the Stay Matte 011 Creamy Natural pressed powder by Rimmel Londno, and my specialty setting powder is the HD Finishing Powder 01 Translucent by Nyx.  But despite the effectiveness of those products, having a good banana setting powder on hand is always nice.  And I really, REALLY like this one.  It’s banana-y enough to complement my olive skin tone, and it actually smells really good!  (I have a thing against pungent powders).  Probably the reason I was most excited to receive this was because my baby dumped my last one out on her bouncy tray and smeared it around.  Such an epic way to see a makeup product die.


OFRA Cosmetics eyeshadow – Gold Rush

Another long-standing partner with ipsy is OFRA Cosmetics, as I received a nice OFRA highlighter back in my December 2016 glam bag.  Something that confuses me about this particular eyeshadow is that it claims to pull double-duty as both a matte and shimmer eyeshadow.  Umm… I’m pretty sure it’s just shimmer.  Which I d0n’t mind!  It also works wet and dry, which I think most eyeshadows do.  I love the shade and I REALLY love the improved packaging.  The little foam black disc holds the product in perfectly and makes all the difference.  Urban Decay–you have some work to do!

Ciate London Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner – Black

My favorite of all Ciate London products is the Geology topcoat (for mani-pedis) I got in my January 2017 glam bag.  Even more than the felt-tipped eyeliner pen I received in my October 2016 glam bag.  That is, until I tried the Gel-Kohl hybrid liner.  I have to say, it is still the kind that requires sharpening, which you know I HATE.  But it is ridiculously pigmented, detail-oriented, smooth, and high quality.  And so I kind of can’t help but love it.  Ipsy considers it to be one of their most versatile liners, and even created a video showing 11 ways to wear it.  I don’t think I would wear it many of the ways that the video featured.  To be honest I think some of the looks would be very difficult to pull of with just this pencil.  But the fact that it is so detailed and yet has the potential to be so smudgy is not to be taken for granted!  And as if the formula (and star-studded packaging!!) weren’t enough, one end of this liner is a beautiful little angled brush.  It’s perfect for smudging and blending, but can even be used as an eyebrow brush.  They literally thought of everything!

Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongongo Lip Conditioner – Mandarin Green Orange and Ginger 

I received a Mongongo Lip Conditioner back in my August 2016 glam bag, and it was their Vanilla Coconut Cream version.  I really liked it, and still use it from time to time.  While I often reach for my more liquid-y type lip balms, this brand of lip conditioner holds a special place in my makeup drawer because of its buttery texture and gentle moisturizing.  It never gives the lips a super goopy feel, the way many balms do.  And while I have noticed the coconut bead a little bit, it’s not enough to keep me from using this lip conditioner.  An unglamorous, but mighty little product!

And that’s my little glam bag brand reunion!  Thanks for reading my July 2017 glam bag unboxing.  If you are an ipsy subscriber, please leave a comment below letting me know what you got!  And if you aren’t a subscriber but would like to be, you can sign up here.  (Doing so will not give me any monetary compensation but will give me bonus points to use on fun products!)   Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll come back soon!

              The “back” of the ipsy glam bag…and apparently Gudemata the mascot.  I just had to include this!  Haha.  You’re welcome.

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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: July 2016



Farewell, July!  Maybe I say this every round-up, but July was a pretty good month.  It was not my favorite month, but some favorite things definitely happened.  Before I get into those though, here is my monthly to-do list in review:

  1. Edit my book.  I know.  Finally.
  2. Read a book.  I read a romance, “Homecoming at Hickory Ridge” by Dana Corbit (my aunt!).
  3. Have a family picnic.
  4. Finish my crochet project.  (A winter headband).  Time to make a matching one for baby!
  5. Teach my baby to sleep through the night.  Haha.  Oh, cute little naive me.  #teethhappen
  6. Use Google Analytics.  Did it, but….can I say this?….not totally impressed. EEK, I said it!
  7. Start a new phone plan. Finally, the Samsung Galaxy s7 is mine!!
  8. Watch Season Three of Liv and Maddie.  Dropped onto Netflix July 19.
  9. Bake a Funfetti cake.  I really loved the cake–but I’ll make a sprinkle icing to match next time!
  10. Try three new recipes.  My new protein recipe: a poached egg.  Definitely didn’t nail it, but after two attempts, I got something that resembled a poached egg and it tasted fine.  I’ll remake it WITH vinegar in the water, as that should help a bunch.  My new vegetable recipe:  Oven-roasted sweet potato bites…they turned out good by I prefer baked sweet potatoes.  My new grain recipe: homemade gnocchi.  It was AMAZING, which was a relief to me because usually I hate gnocchi (and I had my doubts while making it).

July was good for the most part.  And it was long.  But it had some pretty great moments.  I focused some attention on expanding my baby’s palette, and after much trial and error, I am happy to say she now likes cinnamon (kinda), carrots (a little), cantaloupe (a lot) and wheat cereal too.  I started watching One Tree Hill, which has been fun.  And I watched both Camp Rocks, but some things are better left undiscussed.  The best and biggest news of all: we will be moving south this fall!!

Hopefully a few of my “surprises” that I hinted about are making difference on this blog (and will continue to)!  My new phone is a top change, even though it’s not a surprise.  The s7 means a major improvement of photo quality.  Also, I joined Instagram, which was a huge step for my socially-awkward self.  Please stop by and look at my pictures of the fur babies.  The biggest change of all was an “Aha” moment of clarity that I had during an important 1:30am late-night-phone-conversation-with-my-sister-while-I-wait-for-my-husband-to-get-back-from-an-airborne-operation.  We talked about my blog and the direction I’m taking it and my hopes and dreams for it.  You know, the kind of things that need to be discussed at 1:30am.  After our lengthy discussion, I finally felt new wind in my sails and a wonderful future for my blog, founded on my original inspirations it was created for.  I hope you enjoy what is coming!  August will probably look a little different around here, so I hope you come visit.

Thank you for stopping by and reviewing the month with me.  While July was nice, I’m hopeful that August will be even better.  August means fall.  And that’s my favorite season because, duh, it leads to Christmas!  Tune in next post to see my plans for August (hint: they involve the blog!).

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Glam Bag Unboxing: July 2016


It’s time to unbox my July Glam Bag!  Ipsy sends out their bags mid-month, which is perfect.  When I was planning our wedding, I remember receiving winter bridal magazines in the middle of autumn and just feeling so out-of-season.   I know magazines have to do that to give us brides a chance to plan ahead, but I have to say I love it when my subscription items arrive in the exact season they are made for.  (just me?)  Ipsy sends their glam bags in the middle of the month so you are totally caught up in the month its intended for.

The July Glam Bag has a fever bright yet sultry, smoldering theme of “Hot Summer Nights.”  My version of the glam bag didn’t overly embrace the theme, similar to last month’s punk theme, though two of the items fit pretty well with it.  I like that though, because when a theme doesn’t suit my particular style (read: BRIGHT and PUNK), I still get a glam bag full of things that I like.  Another reason I love Ipsy–their style-matching quiz is fairly detailed and the company does a great job sticking to it when composing your individual glam bag.

On to the unboxing!



Mellow Baked Eyeshadow – Plum

This baked eyeshadow is probably the most “summer sultry” item in my July Glam Bag.  I haven’t tried this brand before, but my last run-in with a baked product from my June Glam Bag (DLS Baked Highlighter in Bellissima, I’m looking at you!) was phenomenal.  I have high hopes for this product.  While the color is technically Plum, it is definitely a copper-brown plum (though the picture makes it look far more coppery than it really is).  It’s my kind of purple!  And while I normally wouldn’t associate the color plum with sultry summer nights, this shade gives off that vibe.



Make Up For Ever Mascara – Excessive Lash

Mascara definitely can lend itself to a sultry look, especially one that gives excessive lashes!  I feel like mascara is a beauty product for all seasons, so getting this in my July Glam Bag is a great match for the month!  I haven’t tried this particular mascara before, but anything that promises excessive lashes (and is made in France) is my style.  I can’t wait to try it out!  I’m not sure how it will compare to my beloved go-to mascara, but I have high hopes.



Befine Food Skin Care Night Cream

At this point in my unboxing, the products get less sultry-summer, but still get me excited.  My July Glam Bag included this moisturizer, made specifically for the face and neck.  While it is a night cream and is extremely moisturizing, it’s not heavy at all.  This cream’s uniqueness stems from its’ food-based roots and the company’s focus on natural ingredients.  It is paraben-free and composed of vegetarian proteins, including cocoa, millet, and rice bran.  The label says it has an allergen-free fragrance, but I don’t detect much of a fragrance at all.  In my opinion, it smells like unscented lotion.  You know, the lotion that is “fragrance-free” but totally has a fragrance of it’s own.  It smells like that.  And it’s not completely unpleasant.


Eau Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water

This is definitely the most unique product of my July Glam Bag.  It is specifically made for sensitive wearers (yay!) and is intended to soothe irritated patches of skin.  Apparently it can be used for a variety of irritations, ranging from sunburns to diaper rashes.  It is a soothing and softening water that is made to be sprayed and then patted off after a few minutes (if it hasn’t already dried).  The product is packaged in a pressurized bottle like hairspray (a little surprising) in order to create a very fine mist.  I’m definitely intrigued my this product and am looking forward to trying it.  Yay!  Another product from France!



Luxie Beauty Brush – 215 Small Angle

No glam bag is complete without a beauty tool!  This particular brush is nice because its gorgeous, cruelty-free, and has an antibacterial coating.  The brush handle is the prettiest blush pink, and has the words LUXIE printed on it in gold foiling.  So beautiful.  The hairs are synthetic fibers (go vegan!) that are compact though not overly long.  I think they will be good for cut-crease work and detailed coloring.  Though angled brushes are definitely not my go-to shape for eye makeup, I really think this brush will come in handy.  And I also just like having another brush to add to my collection!

That is the end of my July Glam Bag unboxing.  If you’re an Ipsy subscriber, leave a comment below telling me what you got.  I would love to know!  And if you’re not an Ipsy subscriber, you can sign up here.   Thanks so much for reading!

*Using my Ipsy subscribe link will not compensate me, however it will provide me with Ipsy Glam points to be used towards products!*

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Happy Independence Day!


Happy 4th of July!  I have always liked this holiday.  Well, to be honest, it might be the worst holiday when it comes to food…but when it comes to weather, it WINS.  If you love warm weather.  Like me.  While the day is filled with outdoor fun and romantic firework displays, it is also teeming with American passion.  Even though I think there is a basic understanding of freedom that we all celebrate today, everyone has their own feelings of independence and what that means in their life.  Today has a special meaning to me because we are an Army family, and because the US is my one true home.  I loved my travels abroad, but no other place will ever be the United States.  I wanted to share some of my favorite July 4 quote inspirations:

“The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.”

“This Nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

“Better to fight for something than to live for nothing.” – Gen. George S. Patton

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” – Gen. George Washington

“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.” – Ronald Reagan

“Freedom is never granted, it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight, / O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming.” – Francis Scott Key

“Freedom isn’t free.”

 Today I like to remember those who have fallen in defense of our homeland.  Memorial Day might be dedicated to them, but we wouldn’t have Independence Day without them either.  I also want to remember those leaders who dedicated their life to shaping our country into the great nation it is today.  Even though its hard to gush on July 4th without sounding cheesy, I really don’t think there is anything silly about being patriotic and recognizing how amazing America really is.  I can’t imagine being anything but American, and I can’t picture the world without our country in it.

I hope you are enjoying your Independence Day!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Happy 4th of July!

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July 2016


“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” – Wallace Stevens

Happy July!  I am looking forward to this month for a number of reasons.  As you might know, I like to write up a list of what I’m looking forward to.  Some of them are surprises, but here are a few main ones:

  1. Edit my book.  I’m putting this one first because, you guys, IT IS HAPPENING.  THIS MONTH.
  2. Read a book.  Speaking of books, nothing helps writing/editing like reading does.
  3. Have a family picnic.  We love these, and what better month for one than July?
  4. Finish my crochet project.  It’s a winter headband-but I’ll be glad to have it in a few months.
  5. Teach my baby to sleep through the night.  She is a good sleeper, so I know we can do it!
  6. Use Google Analytics.  I installed the plug-in, but I need to get my account going.
  7. Start a new phone plan.  Cringeworthy: my phone is two years older than my car.  CRINGE.
  8. Watch Season Three of Liv and Maddie.  Disney doesn’t have age limits.  Neither do I.
  9. Bake a Funfetti cake.  See above.
  10. Try three new recipes.  Speaking of food, I want to try a new protein recipe, vegetable recipe, and a new grain recipe. <–funfetti cake doesn’t count as the grain recipe.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my hopes and dreams for this month.  It always helps me get excited for the month to see a list of what I’m looking forward to (or what I need to make sure I do).  I’m pretty sure there’s a saying about how the first step to doing something is telling someone you’re going to do it.  I certainly think that telling someone can be a motivator or at least a form of accountability (unless you’re trying to edit a book, haha).  Here’s to accomplishing all 10 things (plus some surprises)!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  What are your plans for July?


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