Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November's Ipsy Glam Bag




November is the month of 'thanks'...so I want to thank Ipsy for the *awesome* glam bag picks! ;)

I was very pleased by all of the products in this month's bag ( along with the adorable constellation bag itself! ) Here is what I thought of each product:

pur-lisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer 
This is a nice, lightweight formula that I use under my make up. A little goes a long way, too. Worked well on my sensitive skin with no reactions or break outs ( which is muy importante to me! )

Formula X Nail Polish in Huntress
Initially, I thought this polish was a metallic brownish color, but it's actually a gorgeous emerald green! I put about 3 coats on with no top coat and it lasted about 2.5 days before it started chipping. I wear gloves at my job so that also causes my polish to chip early. Loved it!


tarte cosmetics Deluxe Maracuja Oil
I had no effin clue what this was, how it was to be used and *if* I wanted to risk putting oil on my face. But...I like it. I'm not a fan of the smell, but once you get passed it, the product is nice. It's not disgusting, but it's not pleasant. I use 5 drops, rub it into my hands and cuticles and THEN apply it to my face. Works great.

theBalm Cosmetics Mad Lash Mascara
Another great mascara to add to my mini-collection of mini-mascaras! Haha. The formula is great, I like the bristles and the curved brush. This is definitely a mascara I would purchase.

Doucce Freematic Blush in #49 Zen Orange
Surprisingly, I really like this color. I didn't think I would, but it's very pretty on. Not too pink, it works well with my fare complexion. 

I still have a few more months left of my Ipsy subscription to decide if I want to sign up for another year or not. But if I receive more spot-on bags like this one, I may just have to enlist again :)




Friday, November 18, 2016

'Tis The Season To Be Stressed-Out, *FaLaLaLaLa-La-FUCKFUCKFUCK*



In a little over a month, we will be hearing jingle bells...and most of us are NOT prepared. We know it's coming every. year. but with daily costs and bills and, you know, real life...it's not always easy to set back for Christmas. And in some cases, we just simply cannot afford it. Although currently I'm doing *OK* in life, it was never that way before. When you lack funds and the holiday season approaches, it's more depressing than anything. This is especially big in situations that involve children. So here are a few of my ideas to ( somewhat ) de-stress you and your situation, and to help battle the "holiday blues"

Limit your holiday gift list
Do you really need to get a gift for Aunt Molly-through-marriage-twice-removed? NO!!! Yes, it IS the season of giving but if you don't have the funds, you cannot make yourself go broke over giving to everyone. True friends and family will respect that you're not in a good spot and will love you anyways. Make a short list; choose the most important people to you. I always tend to put the children first ( isn't it more a holiday for them, anyways? ) and then spouses, close friends and maybe a family member or two. When you eliminate the need to give a gift to everyone, it helps a bunch. This holiday is supposed to be about being around loved ones...not about material objects.

Set a spending limit
Okay, so you have 8 people on your limited gift list. Now it's time to decide--how much do you want to spend? If you need to budget for the holidays like most of us do, you need to set a limit and stick to it. $25 on each person will equal $200 total to gift to all parties. I think that's a pretty good goal, don't you?

Make gifts
Low on cash and artistically inclined?...handmade gifts are awesome for the holidays! What's more full of love than a gift someone made specifically for me with their own two hands?? There are plenty of budget-friendly DIY gift ideas on websites like Pinterest. Do some investigating!...you may be surprised by what you find.

Set pride aside
For some, Christmas is tough because they simply don't have money for gifts. But when you have young children who believe in Santa Claus and an empty bank account, you end up with adults that feel helpless and depressed. Use your resources! You can't let your personal pride get in the way of making the best Christmas you can for your kids. I never had extra when we were growing up, but I'll be damned if my parents didn't load up under that tree on Christmas. When people donate to Toys For Tots, others have the ability to reap the benefits of that. If you're having a hard time this year, you can fill out a toy request by following this link. The Salvation Army does a "Christmas Assistance" program; if you don't have the funds for the holidays, you can go to your local SA and register for this program. You can find additional information on this program here. You can even visit your local church and speak to them about some possible help. There really are kind people in this world that want to help those down on their luck--it's just sometimes, the ones who aren't abuse that good nature.

Check yard sale sites and Craigslist
You may find discounted items that are brand-new or barely used on sites like Craigslist, OfferUp, LetGo or your local Facebook Yard Sale Page.

These are only a few of many suggestions for trying to tame the beast that is Saint Nick--and all the financial stress that his holiday can bring on us. Just do what you can, be thankful, be kind and be gracious.

This holiday is to celebrate the birth of Christ, not the release of the new iPad. Humble yourself and remember that some children go without food or shelter on a regular basis. Christmas is a luxury than not all get to experience. We are blessed.





Wednesday, November 16, 2016

noun: "a belief, especially a vague or irrational one"

"No, I don't have feelings 'cuz feelings are gay"--Jon Lajoie

...oh silly man!

Having too many feelings is a downfall these days. Yet, not having feelings is just as bad. We are stuck in an era where you're either seen as desperate or a fuckboi and both are not good attributes to have. So what is the middle ground? IS there a middle ground?

I feel like if you show too much emotion, people look at you like you are asking for too much. Like you expect everyone to change their demeanor and walk on eggshells as to not offend you. But on the other spectrum, if you hide your feelings and try to act strong to avoid being hurt, you're a bitch or an asshole. We, as humans, are not as stable as we'd like to be ( unfortunately )

We all have our baggage. And there is always the nature vs nuture debate on if how we are as a person is determined more by our DNA or our environment. In retrospect, I believe my personality has a lot to do with both

I'm an empath by nature. I used to be far worse; crying over everything, verbally jumping the gun whenever I felt necessary, etc. I don't cry anymore, though. I simply shut down ( which also isn't really healthy... ) I don't trust people with my feelings because they've been used against me before, and very well can be again. But I feel everything. I read people; changes in behavior, reactions to certain things, non-verbal cues. I dig deeper into those reactions more than those that are doing them are probably even thinking about. 

We live in a society where feelings are viewed as weak, and where elders believe that the current generation is just a bunch of sissy-ass whiners. Yet the recent generation feels they need NOT have feelings to prevent pain and sadness. It's a double-edged sword. Do we feel too much, or feel too little...?

And we also still have this macho mindset that men should not share their feelings or they are 'weak'...uh, WHAT?! If you cannot talk about your feelings, how do you expect to have a worthwhile relationship with ANYONE? The key to any healthy relationship is communication...DUH!

I do, however, feel I must keep a lot of my feelings bottled up because of the intro paragraph from this entry: you're either too fragile, or too bitchy. I'm trying to learn how to be somewhat in between. Therapy helps a bit, but not as much as I'd hoped. But even looking at the news lately and how ridiculously distraught young people are by the results of the election; THIS!...THIS is why it makes it so hard to communicate with other people in a healthy manner. Everyone IS so fragile. EVERYONE automatically gets offended. Is it presentation? Is it simply because one doesn't "get their way"? We aren't forming healthy relationships like this people!!! 

All I want is to be respected and feel like I'm valued as a human being. I work hard at everything I do in my life; perfectionist to a fault. But everyone's ideal of "the right way" is different, and that's where communication and understanding need to come into play.

We are all fighting battles that no one knows about ( truly ) and we need to remember...as a people...to be kind...


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Making Your House a Home ( on a budget )

Decor is muy importante when trying to make your house feel like it's "yours". After years of living in apartments with chipped paint and ugly carpeting, I've learned that even little accents can do a lot to make a place more your own. But you don't have to break the bank to style your home!

Nathan bought his home brand-new about 6 years ago...since then, only one wall has been painted. One. There were no pictures on the walls; no real decorations. He and his ex lived in that house for almost 4 years and it barely looks like it. 

I moved into his place a year ago in September...and much really hasn't been done since then. But over the weekend, I decided I was finally going to purchase some curtains/rods. We haven't painted yet ( ........I picked out the colors months ago, though ) but I used the paint samples that I saved on my phone to pick out curtains ( you have to start somewhere, amiright? ) Also, even though "my room" [ which is one of the spare rooms that I made my craft/exercise room ] is not painted, either, I ended up hanging pictures in there month's ago just to give it some life

While shopping, I remembered having to try to decorate around the fact that I couldn't paint or remodel my apartments due to landlords and rules...and I forgot about some really great finds you can get while doing so. 

Living room set up with the new large rod and 4-panels!

First off, try stores like Ross and Ollie's ( if you live on the East Coast, of course ) So far, I've found a set of 2 panels for $8.49 on clearance, a decorative curtain rod for $9.99, a 4-panel set for the living room window for $24.99, and a 120" decorative rod for $16.99. I just got curtains and rods for 3 windows for about $60! Sometimes, just one set of curtains would cost you that much! 

Clearance curtains in my craft room

Also, try second-hand! You can find a lot of nice stuff that someone else used to own and just doesn't need anymore. I used OfferUp to find a new entertainment stand for my living room and have gotten NUMEROUS compliments on it ( I mentioned this buy in a previous blog with picture =D ) 

I've decorated with dollar store stuff, even. I used to have my kitchen in an apple theme which included a large canvas picture that I got for $9.99 at Gabriel Brothers years ago, a $5 apple-shaped clock from Walmart, a painting I did myself, and some red and green washcloths/dishtowels and apple-themed oven pads from the local Dollar Tree to accent.

Picture frames can be purchased at places like TJMaxx and Ross for *awesome* prices. All my pictures frames are from those stores, really.

You do not need to shop at places like Pottery Barn and Bed, Bath & Beyond to make your home stylish and comfortable. Even try consignment shops! I found a set of 3 square shelves that didn't even look used for $3.99! Even at Ross, they were $11.99! I saved $8 by just shopping smart. 

My suggestions about shopping for the home on a budget:

1. Make a list of all the things that you need, be it curtains, cookware, bedding, etc.

2. Take that list and prioritize. If you're low on cash, maybe put the bigger-ticket items more towards the bottom--that way you can save for those purchases.

3. Never judge a store before checking it out. You may think "Psh, the dollar store?!" but take a look around...you may easily find half of the things on that list for a LOT less than what you may have planned to pay elsewhere.

4. Try websites like OfferUp, Craigslist or LetGo. You can come across some awesome finds on sites like this...and even sell some of your own things for extra cash!

You want your home to be your haven; somewhere you can express yourself and be proud of. Decorating brings life to wherever you live and you don't have to drain your bank account to do so.