Snapshot Sunday: A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.

I had an amazing dream last night. Parts of it are fuzzy, but it was so, so amazing. In this dream I finally met the person that I think I’m meant to be with. I know, it may have been just a dream but Cinderella told us best, “a dream is a wish you heart makes.” And this is what my wants. I want to find someone who I (we) can spend my (our) life with. This dream completely restored my faith in the fact that there is in fact someone out there for me. I just have to be patient.

So, about this dream… I didn’t get to clearly make out his face, but he was incredibly handsome. I didn’t know his name, but I could feel an incredibly strong attraction. He was tall-ish, a little taller than average height, he smelled amazing, and he had the perfect body build, somewhat athletic. He was the best of both worlds for me, Country Boy-esque but still cleans up nice, into tattoos and piercings, and had a great variety of musical interests. I don’t remember incredibly much about the dream aside from him.

It started out as me being with a group of girls who were at a convention or something maybe? I don’t remember much about that part, lot of skipping around, a giant sleepover seems to be pretty clear. My best friend was there. I suppose the following day we go out venturing the city and somehow this guy walks up and I instantly give him a side hug, grinning from ear to ear at my best friend. I lean over and smell his shirt, and remember thinking, “he smells amazing.” Apparently while I was having that thought, he and my best friend were talking and he makes a comment about smelling good, and I joke that I already took a sniff while he wasn’t paying attention. Lots of laughter. The bond we had is so hard to describe. It’s like this person was meant for me and I knew it. I know it now.

We hung out for a bit with my best friend. I remember an ice cream shop and a dress shop, though I don’t know why were there. I remember hugging him and saying that I didn’t want to be there, I just wanted to know all about him and hang out. Another “scene change” and we were walking through this super cute farm-esque area. I remember him saying it was his Grandparent’s place, and I just ogled over the baby animals. He introduced me to his Grandpa and little brother and we went along our business.

I remember a lot of smiles. His smile radiates..I can see it vividly. I remember a lot of talking and heart warming gestures. I remember him smiling at me, looking at me like I was the greatest thing in the world. It’s like I miss him since waking up but I don’t know him physically.

I don’t what it is about this dream, my faith in finding someone has been completely restored. I think I can finally say, without a doubt, that there is someone out there for me. I have a Prince somewhere who is looking for me just as I am looking for them. This dream has me on cloud 9. I don’t think I have ever had a dream make me feel this great. I don’t think I have ever had a dream that I could remember this vividly. Like, I can’t stop smiling right now. It’s like I’ve had some type of revolution or something. I could go scream it outside, “THERE’S SOMEONE OUT THERE FOR ME!!!!”

This post may seem ridiculous to some people or whatever, but I don’t think you realize how hyped I am right now. It’s like the older I have gotten, the more I have strayed away from feeling like someone is out there for me. I have just about given up…well, up until this dream. My faith has been restored and I feel like nothing can bring me down.

I’m going to find my prince♥

 

Fashion Friday: Back-to-School Lookbook (BTS Series #1)

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Hello Everyone♥

Today I wanted to share with you a quick Back-to-School Lookbook! This is the first post in my Back-to-School series! I can’t wait to share with you my other school-related posts as well as the few outfits I have put together.

Outfit #1

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As soon as I bought my blue jeggings I knew I had this outfit picked out. I’m not sure why this combination stood out so much in my mind, but here it is.Everything pictured, aside from the pearl earrings, is from Wal-Mart. I love how every color is one of those things that “shouldn’t” go with the others. I feel like it works, but I could be wrong. With all the crazy trends these days, who’s to say this combination is wrong?

Pictured is a simple, black tank paired with a pair of royal blue jeggings and brown flats. I chose a pair of pearl stud earrings as they are one of the few accessories a Southern girl just can’t go without.As for a necklace and bracelet, I think it would be best to keep those rather delicate for this outfit. I actually have a bracelet with a Georgia charm on it that would be a perfect touch.

This would be a great outfit for teachers as it’s a very comfortable option.

Outfit #2

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This second outfit is just a little more dressier while still providing wonderful comfort. Again, everything pictured above, aside from the necklace, is from Wal-Mart! I am so in love with these kimono type tops, they are perfect for any season. They are so light but also give a little coverage when there’s a light breeze. I paired it with a pair of white jeggings, a white tank top, and my wedges. If you aren’t very good in higher shoes, you can always substitute them for a cute pair of sandals or flats. The necklace I paired with this outfit is one I purchased off of eBay. I love how well it looks!

I actually wore this last year for our Mother’s Day lunch and it was so comfy! It’s one of my favorite outfits!

Outfit #3

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This last outfit is for when you want to be a bit dressy. I bought the dress and shoes (which are Jessica Simpson) off of eBay and the cardigan was a clearance find at Wal-Mart. I couldn’t find my cream-colored cardigan which would pair better here as the lace detail on the dress is more cream than white. Now, because I am rather “blessed” up top, I would wear a tank under this just so that I wasn’t completely popping out everywhere. (LOL)

As for accessories, I’d keep them light for this outfit as well. Simple, delicate, and classy.

 

I hope you liked this quick and easy look-book for back to school! I wanted to share some ideas aside from the usual ideas. I can’t wait to share with you some more outfits in the coming months for the upcoming seasons and holidays! I plan to do more for  school appropriate outfits when fall comes around.

Until then, happy learning. ♥ 

Christmas in July #4: Gift Ideas/DIY

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Hello Everyone♥

So today I wanted to show you a few of my favorite gifts ideas since we discussed budgets last week. Later on this year, and well into the holiday season, I’ll be sharing other ideas for those of you who don’t have a terribly strict budget.

I believe I mentioned in one of my previous posts how I decide on gifts. I like to try to get an idea early on. Pinterest really helps with so many different ideas for various budgets. This first gift is one of my favorite ideas:

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Photo Credit: here.

I absolutely love to do gift baskets. This one in particular is one of my favorites and one that I have actually done before! Not this past Christmas but the year before, I actually made similar movie baskets for my siblings and cousins. Instead of doing the date idea that is mentioned in that post, I just did customized baskets for each person. Overall this gift cost me around $10 per person, so they are pretty affordable if you are trying to keep to a budget. I got my popcorn baskets from Dollar Tree. Included was a glass bottled beverage, a box of candy (or king size candy bar), pack of popcorn, and a movie. I purchased the movies from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart, but during the black Friday sales you can sometimes get them from as little as $2 each! I also wanted to include a packet of hot chocolate and while browsing Wal-Mart I came across mugs that were 88 cents each so I picked those up as well. Wit the $5 movie and roughly $1 for everything else, it comes to right at $10 per person. (The glass bottle drinks were right at $4 for a 4-pack so they came out to about $1 each if not less. The hot chocolate and popcorn comes out to cents each being it’s only a buck or two for a box of each.) Baskets like this are totally versatile and are great for people who are hard to shop for. I love using movie baskets for Secret Santa gifts when I don’t know what the person really likes.

Other gifts that I find great for parents/grandparents are photos! I have found so many nice frames at places like Dollar Tree and Roses and they make great gifts from your little ones. Just simply print off some pictures, slap them in a frame, and you’ve got a great gift for around $2 depending on how much you spend on the frame! Gifts like that are especially nice around holidays like Mother’s and Father’s day when you can frames to say Mom/Dad, Grandma/Grandpa, and other titles similar. You could also totally dress up a cheap frame to say any of those things or adorn with a phrase or year.

Gift cards are always fun, too! You can load most of them with whatever amount you want, which is great if you can only afford $15-20 a person versus the $25 or $50 that most start out. For the more girly ladies, I love to give gift certificates to nail salons or local boutiques. Certificates to local restaurants are great for couples to give them a night out!

Something that I never really take into consideration for gifts are home-baked goods! How special would it be to give cookies baked from scratch or even these little guys:

Just looking at these two pictures makes me so pumped for the holidays! You can find the recipe for the first caramel sauce here. If you wanted to just do red or just green, that would be great, too. I think the apples and caramel sauce would be amazing for teacher gifts. They would also be a hit at fall festivals and events like that as well.

I also love the idea of these little hot chocolate flavor spoons. I think they would be wonderful as stocking stuffers or for slipping into gifts like the movie baskets. They would also be great for hot chocolate stations at parties and such.

And speaking of hot chocolate, I love ideas like this:

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Credit: here.

Jar gifts are a wonderful idea for people who are hard to shop for. It doesn’t hurt to make a few for yourself either. 😉 There are so many ideas on Pinterest for various hot chocolates, soups, brownie mixes, and cookie mixes. You could also make smaller versions with dip mixes and use the small mason jars. The size jars I’m thinking about for something like that are the ones below:

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These would be great for putting dip mix in and then stacking a few on top of each other, similar to the way the apples were stacked with the caramel sauce. There are tons of dip mix ideas on Pinterest. Another things these small jars would be great for is homemade candles or beauty items. The possibilities for mason jar gifts are endless.

I hope this somewhat list of gift ideas helps guide you in the right direction if you’re stumped. Some of the things in this list have actually helped me come up with a few new ideas myself.

Essentially, the easiest way for me to figure out gifts for others is to first start with a budget, then take into consideration what each person is interested in, and then shop for them within my budget. If you come up with nothing then there are always other options, gift baskets, gift cards, food, etc… Personally, I tend to stray from clothing just because I find it harder to shop for someone when it comes to clothing so I stick to other things. If you get stumped, try Pinterest! Seriously! You can find anything and everything on there.

Happy Planning♥

Wish/Home App Haul #1!

Hey Guys!

If you haven’t heard about Wish let me fill you in. It’s an Asian based site that you can get some really cool items for really cheap. There are several other apps that are under different names but are operated by the same company. (i.e. Home, Cute, etc…) They have EVERYTHING! Clothing, gadgets, makeup, you name it, they may carry it. For this first haul I just wanted to try it out so I got a few different items. (I also have 2 more orders on the way so stay tuned for more Wish hauls in the future!

Now, I haven’t tried everything out yet I was waiting for everything to arrive. But as I try them out I will come back and leave little updates. So, without anything further, here is my first haul!

*BEAUTY RELATED*

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Here are my beauty related items! I haven’t purchased actual make up from the site, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try out a few brushes! The first set I bought was actually the set of 5 brushes. They are a set of eye brushes and only cost me $1 for the set! (Everything pictured was $1 plus $1 shipping each.) Also purchased with that set were the eyelashes. Now, I haven’t tried them out yet because frankly, I don’t know what the hell to do with fake lashes and I’m a bit intimidated. I’m thinking I’m going to use a pair for practice, and if I don’t like them or they don’t look too great for wearing out, I’ll use them for a Halloween look or something.

I also purchased 2 brushes to help with brows. (Another make up area where I am not that great.) The white one is just a simple, small angled brush and the wooden looking one has the spoolie end as well as the angled end. Those two brushes, as I mentioned, were just $1 each! The wooden-like brush is actually a Tarte brush! Definitely a steal.

The last two brushes were one of my last purchases. The black barreled one is a foundation brush and the larger brush is like a fan brush, perfect for highlight. The foundation brush is a tad small and the middle of it has a small indented center which is perfect for liquid foundation. (If you remember my post about Younique, this is the type of brush they recommend for their liquid foundation.) Again, I haven’t tried anything yet as I have been waiting on everything to get here so I could do a haul on it. ☺

Lastly was my most recent purchase which are the small packs of the black face mask. I paid $1 for them and got about 10 packets. I haven’t used them yet but I am so excited to give them a try to see how well they work for removing blackheads and such.

*FASHION RELATED*

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These two items were more fashion related. As soon as I saw the necklace I knew I had to have it. I have quite a few tops/outfits that this necklace is going to look great with. I’m thinking that the brass color of the necklace will look great with an army green dress I have. But, I’ll save that for a lookbook. 😉 Anywho…the shirt was probably the most expensive item I have purchased. It was $9 plus $2 shipping, so not terribly bad. I actually have worn the shirt and this is what I thought: I bought an XL (I normally wear a Medium in actual tees and a large in fitted tees because I’m “blessed” up top.) and while it fits nicely, it’s just a tad short for my liking. It hits me right at the top of my pants/hips. I like my shirts to be just a little bit longer that way when I lift my arms my belly doesn’t show. Other than that, I really love this shirt. Plus, when you pull down the pocket, the kitty is shooting a bird. (LMAO) That’s what really pushed me to buy it, I knew the people I worked with would get a kick out of it.

*OTHER*

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Last but not least, I purchased these little flamingo drink floats for our pool! They were $1 each plus $1 shipping. On the side there it actually has the website for Oriental Trading, which says a lot, because that site is quite amazing for party supplies. (And speaking of Oriental Trading, I need to make note to look on there for birthday and holiday items.) Anywho, I am so excited about these little guys I bought 4!

I still have some items on the way to me so there will be a second haul coming soon! I love the Wish app for purchases like this and plan on using it for buying Christmas gifts this year as well! I don’t want to say too much on that part just in case someone reads this. 😉  Anywho, these items came relatively fast. They generally give you a longer ship time (sometimes upwards of a month!) but these came in as little as 2 weeks! Actually, I don’t think anything took longer than 3 weeks, if that really. I highly recommend purchasing from this app but there are a few things that I must mention. There are different sellers on the app, so if you see an item you want, try looking around at the price (it may be cheaper from someone else on the site) and also it will note how many other people bought that item. When I’m looking at something on there I try to find it for the lowest price with the most buyers. When it comes to purchasing clothing I only like to look for items that include customer photos so I can see what it looks like from other people. It gives me an idea on how the item may fit as well as how it truly looks. Just a few things to take into account if you plan on purchasing off the site. ☺ I hope you enjoyed this small haul, I can’t wait to share the next items!

Happy Shopping! ♥

Book Haul! (Thriftbooks and Goodwill!)

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Hey Lovelies!♥

Today I wanted to share with you my pretty amazing collective book haul! I visited quite a few Goodwills in Tallahassee this past weekend and just received the last order from my second Thriftbooks purchase! I’m so excited to share my amazing finds with you!

ThriftBooks:

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Here is my second order from Thriftbooks! I really wanted to get the whole “Regarding” series as it was one I loved reading when I was in school. The one’s pictured are the last 4, I already had the first one. I also got the first Game of Thrones book, I bought them in a boxed set about a year or so ago, but I let someone borrow the first one and they never gave it back. Thankfully I was able to get a copy that looked the exact same.

I love the Orange is the New Black series so naturally I just *had* to get the book that coordinated with it. I got a sample on my Kindle and it wasn’t too bad at all. And last but not least, I got The Lovely Bones. They recently put the movie on Netflix which reminded me that I really wanted the book. I can’t wait to add these books to my TBR (to be read) list this year!

Once again I am so very pleased with Thriftbooks. This batch didn’t ship quite as fast, but they came from a little farther out. Still, everything was ordered, processed, and shipped within a matter of hours, and it all arrived within about a week and a half. The books are in excellent condition. I plan on placing yet another order this week! (Stay tuned for more book hauls!)

Goodwill:

Here is my Goodwill haul! I found quite the lot after traveling to 5 different Goodwill stores, 2 of which were strictly bookstores! The only two things not pictured are the two books I got for my little boy! Naturally I had to include the three seasons of Friends that I found because I am literally *OBSESSED* with the series. I got a little too excited when I found each of them. On to the books….Here is a list of what I got:

Cress (book 3 in the Lunar Chronicles)

The Reptile Room (book 2 in the Series of Unfortunate Events)

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Water for Elephants

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Hunger Games series (Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (book 2, I already have a paperback, just wanted a hardcover)

The first 5 books in the Charlie Bone series (Midnight for Charlie Bone, The Time Twister, The Blue Boa, The Castle of Mirrors, and Charlie Bone and the Hidden King)

The first 4 books of the Percy Jackson series (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, and The Battle of the Labyrinth)

The Help

The Book Thief

The two I got for my little boy were an Old McDonald board book and a Disney classics storybook (which was a steal in itself). Overall I’m pretty pleased with everything I found at the Goodwill stores. A lot of the titles I found were on my wish list for Thriftbooks which I was able to remove 25 titles from. Not to worry though, I quickly remembered some other books/series that I wanted to add to my collection and promptly added those. If you have a Goodwill store in your town or relatively close to you, don’t hesitate to check it out! You can find some pretty good things there! The guy I was with found the audio book for the first Harry Potter for just $1.99!! It was completely sealed, the only thing is that it is on cassette tape, but still. A completely sealed audio book for two bucks. Super great find. I’m hoping to go back soon to grab a few more titles off my wish list.

 

Like I mentioned, overall I am very pleased with my haul. Everything is in pretty great shape and it was all so so affordable. I spent more than I had intended to at the Goodwill stores (nearly $80 for everything) but looking back at what all I got, it really wasn’t too bad. I think next time I just need to take a list and only look for those titles that way I keep myself on a better budget! Well, either that or make sure I take more money! I could have easily spent so much more than that. I found nearly everything that I had been wanting for a while. I was really hoping to find some Goosebumps books or the entire Series of Unfortunate events, but neither of those happened, so I just decided to get whatever I found.

I really hope you enjoyed this book haul. I’ll be sharing more in the future (of course!) so be on the lookout as time goes on. I have a huge wish list on Thriftbooks and I plan on making it a reality in the next few months. But anywho…

Happy Reading♥

Christmas in July #3: Budget Breakdown

Hey Y’all. ♥

For the third installment of this series I wanted to give you a small  budget breakdown for my Christmas Planning. I’m not going to go into how I save the money or whatever, I just want to share the ways I split my budget.

First things first I like to make my list by “importance.” And I don’t say that with the meaning that some people don’t matter as much as others, I don’t mean that by no means! It’s just simply that if there are certain people on my list that I don’t get to then there are no hard feelings from anyone. I start out first with my child and if I were dating someone or married, they would be the first on the list as well. I then move on to my parents and siblings. After them I list the beginning of my extended family in the order of Grandparents, Aunts, and then finally cousins. After I have all the family out-of-the-way I list my close friends and then I always leave a space for a secret Santa and gifts for my bosses.

This is my game plan — In the post about my holiday binder you may have seen the following sheet:

This is what I use to jot down ideas for each person. Each box has a name and they are all listed in the exact order that I mentioned above. Beside each name (before I start brainstorming ideas) I’ll put an amount that I want to stick to. This is how I keep myself in a budget. I pick a set amount and then brainstorm ideas based on that amount. (I’ll speak more on this when I give you gift ideas in the next post as DIY gifts are what I aim for on a small budget.)

Moving on… I don’t make that much so I really try to keep my spending within a decent range. I can’t afford to spend $100 a person, not when my child has a birthday the month before Christmas. It just isn’t feasible and besides, it isn’t about the amount that you spend. The one thing I try to do is buy everyone on my list a little something, even if it’s a gadget that cost a dollar. I still got them a little something and I feel good about it.

Something that helps me stay within my estimated budget is taking advantage of the stores in my area that have a layaway option. This way I can put up some things for my child and even some gifts for other people while still keeping my spending to a minimum each paycheck. I can also start my shopping earlier this way which lessens the stress when it’s the holiday season. I also like to take advantage of sales, especially the super early Black Friday deals. Last year I started Christmas shopping around the beginning of November simply because I had started getting emails from Wal-Mart about their early BF deals. It helped me knock out a few people while still buying things that were affordable and on my list.

The main thing that helps me during the holidays is simply picking a number and sticking to it. If I only want to spend $500 on everyone, including my child, then I’ll go over to my little spreadsheet and give everyone a certain amount. I may choose to do $100 on my child, $50 for each parent and sibling, $20 for grandparents, and $10 for everyone else including my secret Santa. You would be amazed at what you can buy people for that little amount. (I’ll save that for next week’s post.) If you can afford more, do so. If you want to spend the same amount on everyone, do so. It is your budget, pick something that you can manage. I’m all about easing stress around the holidays, there’s enough of it as there is, I don’t want to be stressed over a budget, too.

Now the page below is one that I didn’t show you in the binder post:

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This page is based on what I mentioned earlier. Again, I just typed it up in word and jotted everyone’s name down along with an allocated budget for their gifts. I also noted some things about the budget’s flexibility and how I plan to utilize the amounts. I also mentioned my savings plan and how much I need to save per paycheck and what-not. (Also coming from this budget with be my son’s birthday party and gifts, hence why I’m trying to save a little extra than what’s noted in the chart. I’ll have posts on that within the coming months.)

Anywho, these charts are really going to help me in my planning process and by sticking to my budget. By planning ahead of time and narrowing down what  I want to get everyone I can set a reasonable budget.

Until next week, Happy Planning♥

Monday Motivation: Self Love & Happiness.

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Love Yourself.

It sounds easy enough, right? But why is it so hard to do? How can I get up every morning saying that I’m going to love myself more and then turn around and nit-pick everything? It doesn’t make a bit of sense. It’s amazing how contradicting we can be of ourselves. The mind works in some pretty crazy ways.

I always like to think of myself as a genuinely happy person, but it’s a lie. Well, a little bit. I’m more so happy towards other things, but hardly ever when it comes to myself. It’s little things mostly. Regardless, I think I’ve come to the realization that I can’t fully love anyone else until I can love myself.

It may be hard, it may take some time, but I will do whatever it takes for however long it takes. I want to be fully happy, I want to be able to share my happiness with someone else. Eventually.

My first small step was going to school for something that I actually feel okay with. I have been in school for 3 years and have yet to find anything that really interested me until now. I went from CNA, to Radiology, to LPN, and now I’m at Medical Assisting. I feel content right now in school.I can always go back for something better, and as soon as I get done with the diploma program I plan to go back for the degree. And then once Link starts school I may decide to go back for Nursing. I have a plan, and that plan makes me happy. I am so glad I have found something that I want to do. I’m already feeling happy with myself for choosing this path, I really think it’s going to be a great career for myself.

Making little changes is making me an overall happy person and when I feel happy I love myself a little more. ♥

Younique: Why It Didn’t Work for Me

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Hey Y’all. ♥

So you may have heard about the direct sales cosmetic company called Younique. They’re known for their 3D Fiber Lash Mascara as well as their Liquid Touch Foundation. Tried them both, hated them. But I’ll save that for the end, here’s why the company wasn’t for me.

A while back I was looking for a company that could help me earn just a little more money. I didn’t want a full-time job, or anything that was going to take up a huge amount of time, just something small. Just something small to give me a little extra cash to spoil myself a bit. My ex’s sister started selling Younique and was telling me such great things about it so I decided to check it out.

The company itself is wonderful. They stand for a great cause, their story is amazing, but the business aspect just wasn’t for me. I live in a small town, most people don’t wear higher end makeup, they just buy whatever is offered at the drugstore. I sold to two people the entire 3 months I was apart of this company and one of them was myself. I put my business out there, I shared the monthly kudos, I hosted several parties, I shared all that I could. No one was interested.

Direct sales companies are amazing for those who can make something from them, but around here where I live, people just don’t want to spend the extra money when they can get something so much similar for a much cheaper price. I don’t blame them, I’m the same way.

As for the actual products, they’re hit or miss. I tried their famous 3D Fiber Lash stuff and I just couldn’t figure it out. It comes in two steps, a mascara type base (step 1) and a tube of fibers (step 2). I hated them, the fibers got everywhere, and my lashes just started to look clumpy when I would try to go back with another coat of the mascara.

As for the foundation, I hated it. It was too runny for my taste, and the coverage was wayyyyyy too light. There are videos all over Facebook where they show it covering Sharpie and terrible acne, and I couldn’t get mine to cover anything at all. I’ve shaken it to make sure it was all nice and mixed, I’ve used different brushes for it, I’ve even used way more than I thought was necessary and it still. didn’t. look. good. I don’t know if there is some super special technique or if maybe I got a bad bottle but I *hate* this foundation.

The few things I tried and actually did like were the eye shadow palettes and concealer. The concealer was quite amazing, it gave wonderful coverage, I especially love it for undereye use. As for the shadows, they were SO pigmented! I would barely tap my brush on the shadow and it would be so opaque! My favorite shadow is in the 2nd palette and it’s a beautiful shimmery silver. Definitely a gorgeous color for the holidays! I also have one of the cream shadows and it, too, is quite pigmented and beautiful. In one of my kits I also received some eyeliner and a lipstick and they were also phenomenal. The lipstick color was so beautiful, I picked the pink nude shade. However, most of these products I can’t say I would purchase again, just because of the price. I don’t wear lipstick or eyeshadow that often to spend that much on it. During the week I usually keep it to a minimum being it will most likely come off when I sweat anyway.

I also have some brow products but I’m not too experienced with filling in my brows, so I can’t really give a super clear opinion. Some of the other products they have, I can’t speak for either such as the face care products, makeup removers, brushes, bronzers/self tanner, and lip stains. Those all came out after I bought my starter kit and, like I mentioned, I just can’t see spending that much for something I won’t really use that much. I can buy other products that are similar and work just as well for a fraction of the cost.

Overall the company isn’t terrible, some of their products worked and other not so much. I have seen people rave about them and others, like myself, share the negative. Honestly, the only way to really get an idea is to give it a shot yourself. Find someone who sells it in your area and see if you may be able to get some sample products. Buy some for yourself if you are able to spend it and not care so much if it doesn’t work. The best opinion for you is your own.

I’m not trying to put this company down because like I said, what they stand for is amazing, some of the products are amazing, it just wasn’t 100% for me. I personally don’t want to spend that much and it wasn’t great of a business plan for me, however, kudos to those of you making something out of it and getting great results! I’m glad you had a positive experience!

Have a wonderful weekend! ♥

Christmas in July #2: How I’m Pre-Planning

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As I mentioned in my previous Christmas in July post, I wanted to do a separate post on how exactly I pre-plan for bigger holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. The first step is simple, I made a binder. (I dedicated an entire post to it.) Having a specific binder for the holidays helps me keep everything in one spot. Another item that helps keep me organized is having different worksheets. Sheets like the ones shown in my previous post are great for breaking everything down. The sheets are great for planning, however, I like to plan beforehand as well.

I like to think of those sheets as final drafts, and because of that, I first need to devise a few rough drafts before hand. This is where my pre-planning comes into play. I love to make lists. In fact, lists are what led me to making a binder in the first place, I needed somewhere to keep them all together. I always keep some sort of little notepad in my purse, as well as several pens. If I don’t have planner on me, I use those little pads to jot down notes about gift ideas or recipes. Anytime something of that nature comes to mind, I try to take note of it that way I don’t forget about it.

As for gift ideas and pre-planning for those, I like to make notes all through the year. First and foremost its nice to know what each of your recipients are into. For instance, my mother is heavy into her faith so religious gifts are popular with her..one my brothers is into hunting, the other into gaming, my grandfather loves westerns, some of my cousins are into makeup…the list about things like that just goes on. I also take into mind cost and easiness of gifts. I want to give gifts that are thoughtful yet easy to come by and most importantly, easy on the budget. For me, I am almost constantly thinking about what to give people as a gift. Every time I’m in town shopping or whatever, the smallest item could spark a thought process about potential gifts. Pinterest is a great source for gift ideas as well as several online blogs, so again, I can easily search for ideas.

As you may have seen in my last planning post, one of my most recent sheets in my binder was for brain storming gift ideas. I give each person their box and some space to jot down ideas. It’s in this stage that I take into account what each person is into so that each gift caters to that person’s interests.

I also love to think about how to make meal preparation go by easier. This starts by simply grabbing my most popular recipes. I tend to lean more towards sides and desserts. I like to pick things I’ve made several times before, this helps with time constraints. For example, one of my dishes that is always one of the first to go is my brown rice. I know how much it takes to make a dish, as well as how long to bake it. This helps when trying to somewhat make a schedule to try to stick to the days of your gathering.

In a nut shell, my pre-planning is much like my worksheets just minus the actual worksheet. Before I put ink to paper I like to just jot down some notes and see how easy it is to figure it all out. (Again, I make sure to take note of things, gifts, according to price and ease of purchase.) As I begin my actual planning process, I’ll share with you all of the steps I begin to take.

Happy Planning.♥

Thriftbooks Haul! (& Mini Review)

Hey Y’all♥

As you may have seen in one of my latest posts, I’ve really been wanting to get back into reading. I’ve always loved reading for as long as I can remember. Things just got busy for a good while there and I slipped out of it; life happens. During that reading “dry-spell” I did attempt to read a few times with a few attempts and even fewer successes. But, the time has come again for me to get back on the reading bandwagon and I’m so excited to share my latest book haul!

**First off, let me just mention that is by no means a sponsored post, this is based strictly off my personal experience. Everything shown was purchased with my own money.**

A few months ago, well, probably a year ago actually, I came across a post on Facebook that was talking about a site called Thriftbooks. I shared it a few times over the span of a few months before I actually took the liberty to check it out. I was not disappointed.

In a nutshell, Thriftbooks is an online bookstore where you can buy books (used or new) for lower prices. (Just a warning, nothing is below $3.59 so don’t go thinking that you can score a whole series for $1 each. This isn’t eBay or a yard sale.) A majority of the books are used (hence the name THRIFTbooks) but are in really good condition. When you find the book you want to purchase you can choose how you want it (paperback, hardback, some are even offered as Audiobooks) and then from there you choose the condition. You can choose either new (if offered) or used and from there you determine if you want it acceptable, good, or like new. Just know that the better the condition the higher the price. The lowest price books ($3.59) are the used-acceptable condition books, but don’t let that stop you, sometimes they are in just as good condition.

Anywho, the books are cheap and you can grab quite a few for the price of one or two books full price. You get free shipping when you spend $10 (which is 3 of the cheaper books) and for every $50 you spend you get a coupon code for $5 off your next $15 purchase. On your first order you can also use a referral code (I’ll insert mine at the end) for 15% off your first order! They also offer deals on the books that aren’t in the super greatest condition: 2 for $7, 3 for $10, 4 for $12, and every book after that is $3 each. It’s really better to shop that way if you aren’t too concerned for the condition. The site is super easy to navigate so you shouldn’t have any problems figuring it out, but if you do, they have amazing customer service!

Not only do they offer books, they also carry textbooks! This part I can’t attest for because I haven’t needed textbooks right now. But, I am going to shop around after I register for fall semester this week and see if I can’t find a good deal on the books I need. But, without further adieu, here is my first Thriftbooks haul and mini-review!

What I Bought:

For my first every Thriftbooks purchase I decided to go with an entire series. And for that series and I picked something that I wanted to read, something that I knew of well, so for my first purchase I chose the Harry Potter series. Here’s how they look:

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Harry Potter series: 1-7

As you can tell, the first 4 are paperback and the last 3 are hardback. With this purchase I wasn’t too worried about how they looked, I just wanted the series to go on my bookshelf. Later on I worry about finishing up both the paperback and hardback collections.

The paperbacks are a little more worn than I was expecting but I don’t care. I bought them to read, not for show. However, my hardback copies were in nearly pristine condition! The sleeves were slightly wrinkled and one of them had a slight rip, but they were crammed in my mailbox, so it could have been from that. Like I mentioned before, the condition of your books goes hand in hand with the price. If you pay more, you get one that looks better, if you don’t want to pay a lot, it may not look as nice. Either way, mine still look fine, the paperback copies mostly just have a little wear on the spine from being used. No big deal for me.

Price-wise I was very impressed with the condition of my books. Here is a list of what I paid and the conditions they come in:

Books 1-3: $3.33 each / 3 for $10 (These qualified as one of the deals!) – Acceptable

Book 4: $3.59 – Acceptable

Book 5 : $3.84 – Acceptable

Book 6: $4.50 – Very Good

Book 7: $4.46 – Very Good

I can’t believe how well my hardbacks are for how little was spent on them! Let me mention, however, that when purchasing them, I just bought what was suggested by the site. For some of the books it was cheaper to get the hardback vs the paperback. For instance, when I bought the 4th book, there were no used hardback copies, only new, so I went with the paperback.

Also in this order was the following Mary Higgins Clark book:

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Two Little Girls in Blue was one of my favorites in high school. I love a good MHC book! This one I knew I wanted in hardback just because it’s one of my favorites. This one cost me $3.99 and for the condition it’s in (Very Good), so well worth it. This is an older-ish book, but to me it is in wonderful condition, almost looks like it may have come from a library.

My Thoughts:

Overall I am so very pleased. Before I made a purchase I watched several YouTube videos and asked for firsthand experience from a Facebook group I am in. After receiving a ton of positive feedback I decided to take the plunge and was no disappointed!

Here is what my order looked like:

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I ordered on 6/30, not even 20 minutes later I was notified that my order had been fully processed. By the end of the day most of my order has shipped. I received all of my items in 4 shipments, 2 of which came the following Wednesday (7/6). The last 2 shipments arrived on Thursday (7/7) and Friday (7/9). On my above order you can see which items were part of the deal, prices, condition, as well as where the books are shipping from. The paperbacks and Mary Higgins Clark book were shipped together and the three hardback HP books were all shipped separately. I was very impressed with how fast things went, I think it also helps that some of the books purchased were in the same state as me. Nonetheless, within a week I had everything I ordered. Before everything ever arrived I had already placed order number 2! (So look forward to another haul soon!)

I highly suggest ordering from this site if you are wanting to build-up your collection or are just browsing for some new things. I’ve heard people say such great things about their customer service and the ordering process itself is pretty amazing as well. When completing your order you are given the chance to pay through Thriftbooks by entering your information or by using PayPal. I always choose PayPal when shopping online, it just helps secure your information and I really appreciate that.

If you have anymore questions about the site or my order, or anything really, just let me know! I’ll be happy to answer any questions or concerns!

Happy Reading♥

P.S.

Here’s my referral link to help you save 15% on your order!

http://www.thriftbooks.com/share/?code=RMrOXfF7mQa0kZZFoBU4Cw%253d%253d

I personally haven’t shopped with someone’s referral code, so I’m not 100% sure how it works, but I think they’ll send you an email with the code in it. Otherwise I can email it to you! ♥