A Month in Review: January 2018

A Month in Review: January 2018

“Bare branches of each tree / on this chilly January morn / look so cold so forlorn.  / Gray skies dip ever so low / left from yesterday’s dusting of snow.”  – Nelda Hartmann

This is a new-type of post for me.  If you’ve been here before (thank you), you might have read one of my round-ups at the end of the month.  I like doing round-ups, because it’s my chance to review my to-do list and catch up with you.  And I really enjoyed making those lists.  Which is why at the beginning of every month I would post a to-do list and share my expectations of what the month would bring.  Just a way to keep myself accountable–and to share in general.

But, this year I’ve decided to make some changes to my blog.  I’m trying to streamline my content to reflect the direction I want my blog to take in the next year.  And posting twice a month about my to-do lists is a little too much. That’s 24 “off-topic” posts per year.  And I just don’t think my blog can afford that.  haha.  So for the sake of clarity, simplification, and staying on track, I’m cutting back my rants to one per month.

Hence, my new series.  Months in Review.  No particular theme, just a central purpose: summarizing my month and affording me the opportunity to announce/discuss things that might otherwise be considered “off-topic” for my corner of the internet.  Essentially, this is my series for automatic writing.  <-favorite style hehe

Without further adieu:  January 2018

This month was FULL of surprises.  There is no other way to put it.  Deadlines moved up significantly, training calendars changed…everything changed.  But for some reason, I was able to find peace in the chaos.  Thank you, to Jesus. Because I wasn’t ready for my head to fall off this early in the year!

Book of the month: “The Little Book of Letting Go” by Hugh Prather and let me tell you–it’s amazing.  I’m not above saying that I love a good self-help book. ha!  And this one is excellent.  It has a spiritual aspect to it, which I like.  But it’s not a purely theological book.  It’s definitely a book that teaches your mind to become stronger.  I like books like that because I do believe that the mind is a muscle of sorts.  It needs to be exercised in order for change to happen.  Sometimes reading a book that convinces you to be happy, or tells you that you should let go, is motivating but insubstantial.  I like this book because it goes beyond advising happiness or freedom.  It shows you how to obtain them.

Worst Movie of the Month: Christmas Belle.  I don’t think I can rant enough about this one.  HAVE you watched it?  I rarely call things cringe-worthy.  I think its a fairly disrespectful term for anything artistic.  Also, it sounds a little bit pompous to call something cringe-worthy.  And it doesn’t really describe or explain the issues with something.  You guys, Christmas Belle is cringe-worthy.  That’s what I get for watching a Christmas movie in late January.  But really, I think even if I had watched this Christmas Day I still wouldn’t have gotten the feels.  It is that bad.  I feel like if the plot arch doesn’t happen until the last 12 minutes of the movie, it should be gutted all-together.  If the movie survived that long without anything substantial happening in the plot, why ruin it at the end with a moving storyline?  Only kind of kidding.

Music of the Month: I’m happy for Bruno Mars that his 24K won like, everything.  He totally deserved it–as did his boys.  They are great artists and true entertainers.  But my music of the month is Taylor Swift’s Reputation album.  I’m not trying to pull a Kanye, but Taylor’ Swift has one of the best albums of all time.

Blog notes:  My blog has spiked recently.  I’m not sure as to why this is, except that January is an extremely busy training month.  I’m really grateful for the attention and don’t plan to squander it.  If you came here looking for Army lifestyle information, thank you!  Please leave a comment below letting me know what you were specifically looking for.  I like writing in general, but I really enjoy writing for others.  So I’m here to write for you!  Let me know what I can do!

Announcements: I’ve been working on catching up with 2 ipsy unboxings that I never published.  I’m planning to release those next month, under the “appropriate” date that they ought to have.  So if you get a flurry of ipsy-related notifications, I promise it’s not a new obsession of mine.  It’s just my way of making up for my winter slacking.  Sorry about all that.

Goals to take into next month:  This month, I developed a plan to get more done.  So original for January…haha.  But really, it’s a plan to help foster creativity and to eliminate time-draining apps (Instagram, I’m looking at you).  Hopefully, my blog will come across as more productive in February, as a result of this plan.  We shall see. 🙂

That’s all I’ve got for now.  If you’ve made it this far–wow.  You’re really nice.  I hope this post didn’t scare you away and that you’ll come back soon for some of the posts I’ve been planning.  And by the way, how was your January 2018? Thanks for stopping by!

Continue Reading

Glam Bag Unboxing: December 2017

 

ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing: December 2017

 

In case you missed my intro to my November 2017 ipsy glam bag post:  I’m back-posting these.  I didn’t publish my November or December ipsy glam bags when I normally do.  So I’m considering them overdue and am publishing them with the seasonally appropriate date on them.  Sorry if you received those back to back in your email inbox.  Maybe this bit of news will comfort you:

This is my last ipsy glam bag unboxing.

We had a good run and I really enjoyed doing them.  In fact, my blog used to have a lot of makeup content on it monthly.  But I have moved on since then to other things, and I feel like ipsy unboxings are no longer fitting with my current theme (in the future, maybe?).

So if this isn’t your first ipsy unboxing here, thanks for the many reads.  And if this is your first, thanks anyways because I really appreciate any kind of readership.  Like I said, maybe these will make a return, or at least, maybe makeup topics will.  (And maybe you can make a return too, pretty please?)  But in the meantime, I’m putting ipsy unboxings to rest with this final post…

My December 2017 ipsy glam bag unboxing:

The theme for the December 2017 ipsy glam bag was a pretty exciting one: snow globes.  Some favorite colors of the months were your usual Christmastime suspects: mints, whites, silver…basically the refined colors of Christmas.  (Refined or not, who doesn’t LOVE Christmas plaid??)  The glam bag clutch itself was pretty adorable in all it’s ice-blue and glittery trim.  The products insider were glam too:

 

Smashbox Cosmetics Always On Gel LinerFishnet

I had to stop myself from using this product. It was SO creamy and so easy to apply, that I was ready to throw all my other eyeliners out the window.  But that’s not fair to them, because they are amazing, just dull.  If I actually sharpened them (like this one arrived as) then I could use them too.  Anyway, needless to say this is a perfect gel liner.  It’s only great flaw, like so many pencils before it, is that it needs to be manually sharpened.  I. hate. sharpening. eye pencils.  I might as well be trying to line my eye with a splintered toothpick.  Not even kidding a little bit.  I have the worst luck with sharpening my pens.  So for now, this is the BEST liner.  In a few weeks, probably not.

 

Son & Park Beauty Water

This is a toner.  I happen to love toners.  So this product was a big hit for me.  It was a bit more gentle than  my beloved The Body Shop Teatree toner, but it still did a really great job cleaning my skin.  I was pleased with the soft fragrance this had, and it’s lack of “burn.”  I just wish it was a bigger bottle!

 

20180203_1643211548514515.jpg
20180203_164427918035813.jpg

Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Eyeshadow Stargazing

I legitimately felt bad when I received this product.  I know Lisa Frank is one of the most iconic girl fads of the 90’s.  I bet so many ipsy subscribers were DYING to receive this.  And I like it, but not enough to have gotten it when others didn’t.  I felt especially undeserving when my two-year-old shredded the special edition collector’s box.  (yes, that is her fingerprint in the pan).  I didn’t deserve this product.  Sorry I got it.  If it helps though, I love it!  So creamy and wears extremely beautifully.  The pigment is perfect and intense.  This was a really nice tribute to a fun fad.

 

Seraphine Botanicals Lip PolishOrange & Cream

 I really love the scent of this polish.  Lip scrubs (that’s basically what it is) are kind of a hit or miss from me.  I wouldn’t say that this works extremely well, but I would say it is pleasant to use.  At least, as pleasant as lip scrubs can manage to be (not my favorite part of a my beauty routine!)  Side note that kind of makes this product weird to me: it tastes good.  It’s made of edible ingredients like sugar and mango seed butter and so it kind of tastes like a gritty fruit paste.  I guess that’s basically what it is.  And I don’t know how I feel about that. haha  All in all, a cleaver product, but not an overly effective one.

 

20180203_164647-1742757263.jpg
20180203_1647371529866269.jpg

Luxie Beauty Precision Shader Onyx Brush 239

I always save the brushes for last.  Save the best for last, right?  This one is a fluffy-duffy-docious Luxie beauty brush. I have so many Luxies now, and I absolutely use at LEAST one every single time I sit down at my makeup table.  I love these brushes!  I never got an Onyx collection one before, so this is an exciting addition to my Luxie brush fam!  So glad ipsy sent me yet another one.

And that’s the end of my unboxing, both for December 2017 and possibly forever?  Thanks for stopping by to read this.  If you’re an ipsy subscriber, what did you get in your December 2017 glam bag?  And if you’re not, but would like to be one, you can sign up here.  (Doing so will not pay me, though it will give me bonus points to use on fun products!)

Once again, thanks for the fun ipsy unboxing times together.  It’s been nice. 🙂

Continue Reading

December 2017

December 2017

 

“On cold December fragrant chaplets blow, / And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.”  — Alexander Pope

Hello, December!

I’m so glad it is December.

This is absolutely one of my very favorite months ever.  And the fact that this is my baby’s first Christmas…well, this month is more than welcome around here!  As I said in my last post, I like writing to-do lists.  But I like writing realistic ones.  Or at least ones that give me a breather some months.  Last month, my to-do list was pretty soft.  But I knew I had a baby on the way and didn’t want to overcommit.  (<–Or let’s be real…I wouldn’t have gotten anything done anyway, but I would have had guilt along with it!)  Anyway, I’m looking at another soft month ahead, and I’m totally excited about that!  Here we go, December 2017:

  1. Celebrate my baby’s baptism.  I’m about halfway done with her gown.  I can’t wait for her special day!!
  2. Make 4 new recipes.  Currently thinking:  rigatoni, crab pot pie, and sloppy joe’s…I still need one more.
  3. Continue to toddler-proof the house.  It’s part of my grand plan for a cleaner house with less cleaning. ha!
  4. Play some Christmas music on the piano.  “Sleigh Ride” is a real favorite of mine.
  5. Read “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens.  Because it’s Christmastime.
  6. Bake Christmas cookies.  See above.
  7. Finish my two knitting projects.  I’m making a turban and a stocking for my baby!  Shhh…it’s a surprise!
  8. Mail out Christmas cards! Because stationary and photos are so much fun.  And I kind of need to.
  9. Wrap presents.  And there are a lot of them.  Good thing I love wrapping paper parties!
  10. Spend my very favorite holiday with my very favorite people.  I LOVE Christmas!

And that’s pretty much it!  So, not a lot of hardcore “t0-doing.”  But that’s because I know myself too well. haha  Because when it comes down to it, all I really want to be doing in December is spending time at home: cooking, knitting, crafting, drinking coffee (and shopping online).  So here’s to a restful December 2017!  What are your plans?

Continue Reading

Round-Up: November 2017

Round-Up: November 2017

 

I was going to say that this November 2017 was my most eventful month of the year.  But then I thought through the  rest of the year and realized a lot happened in 2017: Army OCS graduation in February, moving in April, finding out in July we are moving again, another graduation in August, my daughter turning two in September, and then of course this month.  Those were all big and fairly life-effecting events.  But November 2017 still takes the cake.  Because my baby arrived healthy and safe and perfect.  And that’s a life-changing event!  And my favorite kind of event.

But, in keeping with the tradition of these round-ups, let me review my to-do list to see how much I actually got done from it:

  1. Develop a fixed blogging schedule.  hahhahahahhaha.  This month doesn’t count for having one. Next month.
  2. Knit a Christmas stocking for my baby. I’m at least halfway there!
  3. Write a bit in my novel.  This one kinda makes me sad. I wish I had gotten some done.  Even just a bit!!
  4. Nest. I full-throttled nested!  And still am.
  5. Get back into pilates. It’s still modified as I have to heal my diastasis recti, but it’s going great.
  6. Take a ton of photos. I’m not even done.  But yes I took lots of photos.
  7. Celebrate Thanksgiving. Baby’s First Thanksgiving!
  8. Black Friday. With “black friday deals week” I didn’t actually have to shop on ACTUAL black friday.

Quite a few of those were softball assignments, but I did that on purpose.  I like having a breathable to-do list when I have something big and life-changing and emotionally impactful coming up– in my case, having a baby.  And just as a warning for next post, I’m pretty sure my December to-do list will be even MORE softball.  But I don’t mind ending my year quietly–it only makes for an even bigger January!

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you’ll come back soon.  Not just for my December to-do list, but for a few posts I have in the works– specifically a gift-giving guide for your soldier, as well as my November ipsy unboxing, to name a few.  Thanks as always for your support; I really enjoy writing for you, and I really hope you enjoy reading!

Bye-bye, November 2017!!  You were good to me.  In fact, you were my favorite month this year.

Continue Reading

Glam Bag Unboxing: November 2017

 

ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing: November 2017

It’s been a while….

I’ve been meaning to do this unboxing for—-3 months!?

For the record, I’ll be back-posting it so that it fits in my blog’s calendar with a seasonally appropriate date.  Even if its realistically inappropriate.  Because I’m OCD like that.

The November  2017 glam bag was an excellent one!  It was just ill-timed (well, only for me) because it came less than a week after I had my baby.  I wasn’t really in a blogging spirit.  So I let it slip.  But then when December came, I was already one month behind.  So I never posted that unboxing…and so on and so forth.

But I digress.

The November 2017 glam bag theme was called “All You.”  It was basically a self-love, self-empowerment, self-worth type bag.  In my mind, that mean that the products didn’t have much of a cohesive theme (not in a bad way).  And just like all the other ipsy bags, it was tailored to my preferences.  That’s why I thought the theme was a little odd–because I feel like every ipsy bag is about “all you” and improves confidence and self-focus.  Anyway, regardless of if the theme was theme-ish enough– I thoroughly enjoyed the products I got:

 

Naked Cosmetics Eye Pigment – Mother Nature #06

I have a collection of these.  They are amazing.  They have minimum fallout (and ONLY during application, if you’re messy like me).  They stay on all. day. long.  The product itself is a velvety powder that goes on even without a primer.  I have to say one odd thing about this product: it doesn’t really require a brush.  In fact, application with this product isn’t even enhanced with one.  But unless you’re opposed to applying your makeup with your finger (*gasp!* in 2017), then I think you’d love this product as much as me!

 

MANNA KADAR COSMETICS Lip Stain All of Me

I’m not a lip makeup person.  Everybody knows that.  Or at least, I thought everyone did.  Apparently ipsy didn’t.  But that’s okay, because out of all the lip products I could receive, a stain is definitely one of the more intriguing ones.  I can’t say I will ever wear this–but the thought of a lipstick color that doesn’t smudge off is at least more appealing than most lipstick-type products.  And I like the fact that this is a primer, stain, and gloss in one.  Makes me almost wish I was bold enough to wear it.  Almost.

 

TARTE Deluxe Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush – Quirky

I love TARTE Cosmetics.  And I love blush.  So this product was a pretty great combo for me.  One of the most frustrating things about any powder product for me (or any product in general) is a short span of endurance.  Anything that says 12-hours on it is an automatic plus for me.  And when you start adding in facts like the one about it’s ingredients being harvested on the banks of the Amazon river…well, I’m in blush heaven!

 

MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Primer

I also happen to love MAC products.  I think it’s really great to get primer samples in the ipsy bags, because primer brands are something that I am always willing to experiment with.  However, primer prices are not always that agreeable with me.  And experimenting with something expensive is definitely something that I avoid.  SO…short story short: I heart the fact that ipsy sent this to me.  Especially considering that it is also a HIGHLIGHTER.  Enough said.

 

SKYN ICELAND Berry Lip Fix with Wintered Red Algae

This product was one of those ones that I had to read the label of a bunch of times.  I think I finally figured it out though.  It’s an overly descriptive, confusing yet beneficial, disconcertingly algaed lip moisturizer.  That’s it.  It’s a balm.  I wish they would have said that, and left the berries, winter, and algae in the ingredient list.  It would have scared me a lot less and definitely not have confused me as much.  But there it is: a winter-worthy lip balm.  And now that I know what it is, I can safely enjoy it’s benefits, because WOW does it have some great ones!

And that Icelandic algae wraps up my unboxing.  haha Did you get the November 2017 ipsy bag?  If so, what did you get?  Thanks for stopping by, and see you for my next inappropriately timed ipsy glam bag unboxing: December 2017.  See you then!

If you want to sign up for ipsy, you can follow this link.  Doing so will not pay me in any way, but it will give me bonus points to use on fun products!

 

Continue Reading
1 2 3 9