Round-Up: May 2017

Round-Up: May 2017

“If you never try, you’ll never know.”

I usually try to find a poetic excerpt that fits with the month at hand, but this quote really struck me as perfectly fitting for this particular month.  The word “may” is so important, because it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to effort.  Everyone “can.”  If you try, you can, but if you don’t try, you definitely can’t.  That’s where “may” comes in.  I want to put an emphasis on “may” in my daily life, giving myself permission (or motivation) to DO things that I have or have not tried.  Instead of focusing on “can I?” and “will I fail?” instead I want to focus on “may I?”  Because I know, I CAN.  Even if not the first time, eventually I can.  I just have to try, and allow myself to try.

I also felt that this quote was fitting to the month that bears Memorial Day.  If those countless heroes hadn’t ever “tried,” then none of us would ever have experienced the freedom we are experiencing here and now in the USA.  It was their effort, their strength, and their ability that have paved the way for and preserved the country we so love.  I am incredibly grateful and honored to be living in a place that heroes built and secured, and continue to operate today.  Thank you for you service.  You will never be forgotten!

And thank you to my readers for caring enough to read a monthly round-up of my less-than-shocking life.  It’s really nice that you care, and please make sure to let me know you came because I like to follow back.  Whether it’s social media or your own blog, leave me a note in the comment section so I can check out your work!

Onto the main meat of this post…my to-do lis for May 2017.  At the beginning of the month, I said I wanted this list to be more enjoyable.  And I actually think it was–which is why I did 9/10 items!  Hmm..maybe I should remember this for next time– I get more done when it’s something I want to do…oops!  Anyone else?

  1. Order and print our family photos. The prints are ordered, and I can’t wait to hang them!
  2. Update a few corners of my blog.  1st update of the year. New pics, no ads, and an evaluation of my content.
  3. Finish our garden.  I will took a “before” pic, when all the plants were small, and plan to take an “after” later!
  4. Get at least 3 seeds to grow. I have alyssum flowers (like 8) & 1 mini pumpkin.  Planning to grow a gourd too.
  5. Go on a creature-seeking adventure.  We went to the Aquarium and on a Safari adventure (my fav).
  6. Cast off my baby cozy. Ran out of yarn, but decided to create a trim to bring the second color into the design.
  7. Find time to write in my novel.
  8. Plan one picnic.  We went on a non-traditional “machine gun picnic” to watch Daddy train.  Loud but fun!
  9. Experience Maskcara IIID foundation.  IT FINALLY CAME.  IN REAL LIFE.  A post will ensue.
  10. Celebrate our birthdays!  We celebrated our birthdays on the same day, and it was so much fun.

I got the same 9/10 score as last month, so hopefully I’m starting a trend of to-do list success for myself.   I feel more motivated to have success in my future June to-do list now that I have been able to make progress for two lists in a row.  (My March to-do list was a bit of a doozy and my success was less than successful). One thing I forgot to do at the beginning of May was pick a special keyword that was supposed to animate my month.  Since this to-list was intended to be “fun,” I will count my focus word on having more “fun” in my daily life (and I won’t forget to make a focus word for June).

I can definitely attest that this was a super, super fun month.  My husband planned so many activities for us that our weekends were just brimming with happiness (aka coffee and retail therapy).   And while the most fun moment of the month might have been having a buffalo stick its head inside our truck

–or no actually, when a zebra opened the truck door–

there were plenty of “quiet” moments that really filled my May 2017 with a peaceful joy.  Knitting my first piece for the baby (it’s a bundting wrap) really felt special, and helped connect me with my growing baby in a very real way.  Gardening and grilling outside became entertaining as well as therapeutic for our whole family.  Celebrating our birthdays together is something I look forward to all year, so that definitely helped brighten the month.  But my very favorite moment of all of May 2017 was when I saw my baby for the first time on the ultrasound screen, and heard it’s tiny heartbeat thump across the monitor.  The miracle of life is truly breathtaking.  And knowing that the tiny person I am seeing and hearing is our own one–its an inexpressible joy.  I’m only 16.5 weeks pregnant, but I feel like in no time I will be holding my new little baby.  I can’t wait!

I hope your May was spectacular.  As always, leave a comment below letting me know what you have been up to!  My next post will be my June to-do list, and will be coming out in a  day or two.  I hope you’ll come back to read it!

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Glam Bag Unboxing: May 2017

My May 2017 glam bag unboxing!  Month #13 for me.

I’ve been reviewing glam bags for a year now!  For a little throw-back, check out my first-ever unboxing from last May.  In case you missed my last unboxing, I explained there that I thought I was done with ipsy.  And I was sad about it!  But my subscription was up for renewal and I thought that meant my year was over.  Turns out, ipsy runs on auto-renew. 🙂  So I’m gladly taking another year of ipsy as a reward for my mistake.  haha

This month’s theme was Summer Friday fun.  Not super original, but I like it when the glam bags match up with the season.  It’s nice when the theme is creative, but sometimes the creative themes come at a bad time (ex: my November 2016 glam bag–which I hoped would be holiday and autumnal–but which ended up being rockstarlet-themed).  The ipsy bag was seasonably cute as well: a clear, waterproof, plastic pouch decorated with ice cones and popsicles.  And unlike last unboxing, I thought all the products this month fit well with the theme.  Taking a look at them now…


Urban Decay Afterglow Sin

Nothing says summer like a beautiful, shimmery highlight.  This powder highlight claims to last 8-hours, and I have to say, it does! It is lightweight, and doesn’t take a grey hue on the skin, like many of the highlights I have tried.  As I personally put Urban Decay makeup in the high-end category of my collection, I was thrilled to get a full-sized pan (the size of an eyeshadow tin) for a small subscription cost of $10.  It’s a beautiful highlight, and has become a go-to in my highlight arsenal.


Jelly Pong Pong Supercharged Super Intense Eyeshadow Duo Electric

The colors here, rose gold and bronze gold, couldn’t be more “in” for this summer.  I tried a Jelly Pong Pong bronzer/blush duo (in my first-ever glam bag unboxing) and found it fairly pigmented.  I don’t feel like these eyeshadows fall in those pigmented footsteps of their predecessors.  The “velvet texture” (meant to eliminate creasing) could be to blame.  However, it could be my method of application as well.  I tried using an eyeshadow brush, and that didn’t pick up a lot of color.  But I think if I used my finger, the way I apply eyeshadow pot pigments (like the amazing L’Oreal Paris Infallible Eyeshadow), that might help a lot.  I have found many of my shimmery, high maintenance shadows and glitters look better when applied with a finger rather than a brush.  So there is hope for this duo yet!  And I’m excited about that, because the colors in the pan truly are gorgeous.


Starlooks Artist Edition Luxe Longwear Star Stamp and Liner Pen

When I first used this, I thought it was a typical pen-style liquid eyeliner.  Nothing special.  The tip was great, but of course the pen ran dry towards the end of one eye.  I shook it and tried to give it a bit of time to soak up more ink.  Then I realized–this was NO ordinary pen.  IT HAS A STAR STAMP ON THE OTHER END.  I died.  It is a stamp of amazing quality, great pigmentation, and long-lasting stay.  It doesn’t run or smudge, and is a perfectly detailed design.  I couldn’t be happier with the star end!  The normal end leaves a little bit to be desired–but who buys it as a regular liner anyways?? I feel like it’s quite common for a boho/fantasyeque product to look amazing on the model but terrible in real life.  This is NOT the case with the star stamp.  It elevates every look into a moody, whimsical boho-chic style.5 stars. <- pun intended.  Sorry!


Besame Mucho Lip Balm – Hey Honey

A lip balm that doubles as a lip mask–and it’s a very summery balm at that!  The balm is pumped with shea butter and a honey-type product called propolis (a kind of extract from beehives).  The point of the propolis is to hydrate (of course!)  and to provide antibacterial qualities to the lip balm.  I think this is my first “antibacterial lip balm.” haha  It is quite effective and is my favorite design for dispensing the product.  I love a slanted plastic wand that evenly distributes the lip balm–so much better than a twist-style peg or a lip balm pot–in my opinion!  Bonus:  this product smells and tastes extremely of honey.



Royal and Langnickel MODA Precision Angled

This is one of the nicest quality brushes I have ever gotten from ipsy, even though the size/shape isn’t my go-to style.  It has the shape of a nice eyeliner brush, but is a little too big for creasing or detailed colors.  It has the size requirements for a blush brush, but is too dense to deliver the product lightly.  I know I’m not making a great case for the brush, but really, it’s high quality!  I can’t get over how dense it is.  The bristles are perfectly packed to make blending a breeze.  It also works great as an eraser brush, evening out over-pigmented areas and distributing the product onto sparser ones.  I really, really like using this as a clean-up brush.  And as I always say, a brush is my favorite product to get in an ipsy bag!  And while this is not at all what I expected or would normally look for in a brush, it has definitely earned its place in my collection!

That’s a wrap for my May 2017 glam bag unboxing.  Are you an ipsy subscriber?  If so, leave a comment letting me know what you got (and if you tried any of the products that I did!)  And if you aren’t a subscriber, but would like to be, you can sign up for ipsy here.  The glam bags cost $10 a month, for 12 consecutive months, and contains 1 pouch and 5 products tailored to your preferences.  I highly reccomend it if you are always on the hunt for new products, or if you have been wanting to dip your toes in the “beauty subscription world” but don’t want to spend a fortune.  An important note: Using my link will not in any way give me monetary compensation, just some glam points to use towards a fun beauty product.

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the writing groove after my long absence.  So thanks for sticking around for this post, and hopefully you’ll join me for my next ones!  Take care.

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May 2017

May 2017

My May 2017 to-do list is going to be a lot more fun than my April one!  This is partially due to the fact that May is my birthday month, my husband’s birthday month, and the month of Mother’s Day–the month can’t help itself but be fun. Also though, I’m trying to make up for lost time, since April contained some things that weren’t exactly fun.   Anyways, now that we are settling into our new home quite cozily, I’m ready to make a pretentious list of hopefuls that may or may not get done:

  1. Order and print our family photos.  They were taken a month ago and I still haven’t hung any!
  2. Update a few corners of my blog.  Maybe my “About” section, ads, and categories?
  3. Finish our garden.  We made our first family garden and have had way too much fun doing it!
  4. Get at least 3 seeds to grow.  I have 2 trays and a bunch of mini-pots going.  Still, nothing has sprouted.  🙁
  5. Go on a creature-seeking adventure.  Maybe the Aquarium?  Or a bird observatory…
  6. Cast off my baby cozy.  I’m knitting a little bundling for my baby, and am a few inches away from finishing!
  7. Find time to write in my novel.  Getting back to my blog was step one.  But now I need to work on both.
  8. Plan one picnic.  Because one usually ends up turning into one after another 🙂
  9. Experience Maskcara IIID foundation.  AT LONG LAST, I’m ordering some for my birthday.
  10. Celebrate our birthdays!  I love that our birthdays are back-t0-back…double the fun for my husband and I!

So far, May 2017 has been very, very good to us!  And looking at this list is making me hopeful that’s its really going to be a good month.  Of course, this list doesn’t include the house cleaning, morning sickness, laundry, and baby spills– but that’s because it’s not hard to make sure those get done (well, maybe the house cleaning!) 🙂  And I really don’t mind those kinds of things in the end, since they go with the territory of domestic diva.  We all have to do it at some point or another!  That’s what social media is for–to remind us that everybody else is doing it too! haha

What’s on your mind to accomplish in May?  Let me know in the comment section below!  Thanks for stopping by.

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Unboxing: First Ever Ipsy Glam Bag


I received my very first-ever subscription bag a few days back!  I have watched and read so many unboxings, and so to actually be doing my own was a big moment for me.  And now you know how much I have going on in my life right now.  Which is a lot.

It didn’t take me very long to decide what box I wanted to subscribe to.  I wanted a box brand that came monthly, and I wasn’t particular about whether I received full-sized or sample-sized products.  Even though I was excited to try a brand that features high-end products, I was also perfectly fine with getting drugstore ones too.  Trying out any new beauty product sounds good to me!

Onto the unboxing of my May Ipsy Glam Bag:

As with all Ipsy monthlies, my package contained the following: a glam bag (travel-size makeup pouch) and 5 beauty products.  The products were based off the profile quiz that I took when setting up my account.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure how closely they would follow my profile, or how well the glam bag contents would fit with my current makeup collection, but I was very happy with the results!



Gel Effect AuroraOld School Pink

The first product was a gel nail polish.  Let me tell you–this is THE nail polish of the year.  Maybe of my life.  Too dramatic?  Of my life.  First of all, it is a gel nail polish that doesn’t require a light bath.  It doesn’t even require a special gel top coat.  It is purely a gel polish ON IT’S OWN.  And it’s amazing.  It paints on a little thinner than typical polishes, but it hardens like a gel.  It wears like a gel.  It IS a gel.  It’s not completely immune to the possibility of chipping, but I still think its fabulous.  And I won’t stop there.  It is a neon pink.  And while I’m normally not a fan of neon, this is a gorgeous Barbie pink with a flair of neon that just sings ‘summer’ and makes your skin glow.  <–not even an exaggeration.  I didn’t think it was possible, but this color compliments skin tones.  The picture above doesn’t do it justice.  But take my word for it–this polish was worth the entire $10 glam bag.


It Cosmetics No Tug Waterproof Gel EyelinerBlack

Being an eyeliner addict, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed to get a sample size of an It Cosmetics black eyeliner.   What I love about this product is that it’s one of those soft crayon eyeliner.  You know, the twistable crayon that gently applies like a lip liner…not the evil always-needs-t0-be-sharpened-then-promptly-gouges-your-eye-out kind of pencil liners I hate.  Really.  Sometimes those pencils take the word PENCIL very literally.  But this is the “good” kind of eyeliner and I’m glad it’s waterproof, since I need one for the beach this summer!


Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics Caribbean SunAruba

Maybe a close rival to eyeliners in my obsession with makeup is my affection for bronzers.  I’m not a big fan of blush, but I like to use bronzers (sometimes even as a blush).  This is a bronzer-blush duo, which is both good and bad.  On a positive note, duos usually contain colors that compliment each other and so my non-blush self might actually be okay with the look of both on.  But the bad news– the pan is pretty small and I tend to use large brushes for bronzers and blushes.  Needless to say, the brush picks up both.  And even though these colors compliment each other, I don’t want to wear them mixed into each other.  I was extremely impressed with the pigmentation, which was again a good thing and a bad thing.  It was good, because I barely had to use any product (and had to wipe some of it off my face either) since the powders are so pigmented.  But it was bad because I happened to be contouring my face with a swirly version of blush and bronzer.  Not so stylish.  Overall though, I like this duo for being a fragrance free, 95.5% natural, and cruelty-free product.


Vera Mona Eyeshadow Brush

I was pleased to receive an eyeshade brush in my glam bag.  I had been needing a new one anyway.  It was like Ipsy had read my mind!  Or maybe my beauty profile quiz results…  Anyway, this brush has medium density and low flexibility.  I find this pretty similar in quality t0 (but a step up from) my Ulta eyeshadow brush of the same shape.  My favorite eyeshadow brush is a thick and fluffy Bamboo brush, but an alternative type can always be helpful.


Eva Nye Hungry Hair Oil Treatment

And then of course Ipsy had to make my life complete by including a hair product.  Because imho there is no point in good makeup if you haven’t taken care of your hair along the way.  This is a verrrry sample-sized oil leave-in treatment for either wet or dry hair.  It is not just a smoothing serum, but also a hydrator and source of nourishment for your tresses.  In short, it’s a bundle package, which is my favorite kind of hair product.  Since hair gets easily weighted down by products, I like mine to pack a punch so I have less to put on but a multitude of results.  That might be the reason I am obsessed with It’s a 10.

And that’s all for my unboxing!  I feel like I should call it an unbagging, since it was a glam bag.  Which came in an envelope.  An unenveloping?  Unboxing.

All in all, I felt like this glam bag was a success.  And getting a subscription service was a total win!  My preconceived concerns about subscription boxes delivering overpriced samples of products you don’t even like were totally erased with this glam bag.  I’m so glad I signed up for it–or actually, since it was a birthday present subscription–thanks, mom!

If this seems like a subscription box you would like too, feel free to sign up here.  You might want to do it this month, because they’ve been leaking hints about the June bag and it seems like they’ll be sending out a color-changing Urban Decay eyeshadow (think duochrome).  We’ll see if I get it!  Thanks for reading and unboxing with me!

*Signing up with Ipsy using my link does not provide me with money, but it does give me bonus points that are redeemable for beauty products through Ipsy*  🙂

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Round-up: May 2016

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“March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers” — English Proverb

This has been an amazing month!  It totally lived up to it’s expectations.  Maybe that’s because it’s my birthday month and so I always have a lot of fun during it.  Or maybe I’m just feeling good about it because since May is almost over, my no-makeup-purchasing challenge is almost over too!! *let’s be honest*  Can’t wait for that.

At the beginning of the month, I always compile a list of what I’m looking forward to.  It helps motivate me and also just gets me excited for the future.  This is what I had going for May:

  1. Learn how to make salsa and guacamole from my friend.  She taught me and wow she has some good recipes!  I already made guacamole twice after the teaching session.
  2. Teach my baby how to sit up on her own.  She can do it now…As well as crawl and sit on her side and laugh and babble and basically just be an amazing little doll!
  3. Begin editing my book.  Hehe…oops.  Next month.
  4. Celebrate our birthdays! It was an amazing weekend: hiking, Starbucks, presents, red velvet cake, and just spending time together.
  5. Drive.  No fun at all.  I actually drove three whole times– once to practice, once to Mass, and once to pick my husband up from the field.  I made it, but I wasn’t a happy camper.
  6. Celebrate All-American week! It was a fun “festival” week and my baby and I enjoyed watching my husband play soccer in the tournament.
  7. Make a big, exciting, *scary,* important, wonderful change to my blog!  That would be this right here–look at the URL above and you’ll see I finally own my domain–whoohoo!!
  8. Focus on getting smooth, radiant skin and healthy, shiny hair.  I focused more on my skin then my hair (though I did try a few smootheners and I recently switched shampoo/conditioner brands).  My skin has been reacting well to my new regime, but I had to tweak it a bit…more to come on that later!

That was everything that was on my list, and I got 7/8 done!  That’s better than last month’s roundup, but I’m shooting for a perfect score next month.  We shall see.  You know me…

Some other things I enjoyed this month were: introducing my baby to the pool, planning our anniversary trip, watching the Twilight Saga movies, learning how to make homemade barbecue sauce…but best of all was hearing my baby say her first word: Mama. *heart melting*  It’s going to be hard for June to top May, but it just might!  Stay tuned for my June to-do list!!

What did you do this month?

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