Social Media Icons

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Year's Eve Makeup - Metallic Lips & Sparkly Eyes

Do you need a fun and festive look for this New Year's Eve? I know I did!

As I was perusing Walgreens last week looking for anything new and interesting; a display of Milani lipstick caught my eye. I know, lipstick! Who'da thunk it? If you don't know about my lipstick woes, read more here.

I've seen these metallic lipsticks online and had wondered about them, so when they were staring me down in the store I knew I had to try one. So I grabbed the Milani Amore Matte Metallic Lip Creme in the color 04 Cinematic Kiss. A really pretty magenta pink color, that has warm undertones.

To compliment the sheen in the lipstick, I wanted very glowy but natural skin. I used a luminous tinted moisturizer that I've been testing from Laura Mercier with a glowy finishing powder from my NYX Contour palette. I finished with my shimmery Milani blush and Physician's Formula highlighter.

And now the lipstick, I have to say, it's beautiful! I never would've thought a metallic would grab my attention, but here we are and I'm in love. I can't believe what depth and extra punch it adds to this makeup.

To go with such a bold lipstick I wanted to do a more simple eye. Plus a little sparkle, because it's New Year's Eve and why the hell not?! I stuck with a taupe eyeshadow in the crease, some sparkle on the lid, and a bold winged liner to bring out my eyes.

I think this look would look great with your party attire and would wear well throughout a night of dancing & drinks or board games & family... whatever you're doing this New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year to you all - I hope 2017 brings wonderful things!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Christmas Tag

I have been scouring the internet for a great Christmas tag for this week. Thanks Little Miss Mel for publishing this one! So Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday to you all!

1. What is your favourite thing about Christmas? 

Oh so much - I love Christmas music and movies, shopping for everyone, decorating, all the festive stores, and just the feeling that it brings. So sappy, but so true :)

2. What is your favourite makeup look for the festive season?

For most of winter, it's the same, I don't do anything different for Christmas. I like a light foundation, sparkly gold/bronze eyes, a natural lip, lots of blush (usually a peach or berry shade), and lots of mascara.

3. Real tree or artificial tree? 

I love the smell of real trees, but I feel artificial ones are more sustainable. Also it's so much easier to know you already have one stored away and ready to go.

4. Do you open your presents on Christmas morning or evening? 

Morning/Afternoon. It usually depends on who drew my name for Christmas and when we'll both be at my Grandma's at the same time.

5. What is your favourite Christmas film? 

White Christmas, hands down. It's so amazing and the ending when all the soliders salute the general... it gets me every time. One of the few movies I'll cry at, but it's a happy cry so don't let that scare you. 

Also, for you fashion-minded people, the costumes in White Christmas are so cool and classy and just really fun!

6. What is your favourite festive food? 

Christmas cookies... yum! 

7. What tops your tree? 

Right now a maroon and gold bow. But I've been looking for a metal and glass (looking) topper with lots of glitz but no glitter. 

8. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Yes, we have lasagna and antipasti (very italian) and hang out at my Grandma's house. When we were kids we would get to open a present... usually pajamas!

9. Giving or receiving presents?

I love to give, it's so much fun to go out and try to find the perfect gift(s) for my family and friends. I enjoy watching them open the presents and seeing their faces when they really like something - heartwarming!

10. What is your favourite Christmas song? 

A really obscure one, Where Are You Christmas? by Faith Hill, from The Grinch movie. I love it and sing it (badly) at the top of my lungs whenever it comes on. 

Well Sage and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope your holiday is wonderful! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cruelty-free at the Drugstore - Target

Sorry guys this post was written in September and I failed publishing it. So here is the last post in my Cruelty-Free at the Drugstore series!

Over the last few months I have had a blast scouring drugstores for the best cruelty-free product (see my previous posts here and here). But I think I saved the best for last - Target. In the last few years, Target has seriously upped it's beauty game! Seriously check it out if you get a chance. There are all kinds of new brands and displays.

They great part is they offer so many cruelty-free brands, it's almost overwhelming (almost)! 

Physician's Formula
Wet n Wild
Burt's Bees
Sonia Kashuk
W3ll People (online only)
Whew, that's a lot right?!? I had to seriously hold back when I went shopping so I didn't blow my entire paycheck. But I'm so glad Target is stepping up with all these amazing brands, it's just a treat. 

Sonia Kashuk is one of the brands I was excited to try as I just found out they're cruelty-free. So I went for the foundation stick. It is a really nice medium coverage that blends in with the skin really well. Note - after using this for a while I found that it clogs my pores a bit and doesn't have a great lasting power :(

I also brought out one of my top (maybe the top) drugstore cruelty-free brands, NYX. Their concealers are amazing for covering dark circles and highlighting. And this contour palette has been one of my best buys of the last few years. I get so much use out of it. It's got colors that are great for highlighting, contouring, bronzing, and a finishing powder - hello multi-tasker!

I really wanted a simple eye shadow look with dramatic eyeliner. I think this is my favorite part of this look... dark smoldering eyes! Sounds sexy right?!?

Overall, I've been thrilled these last few months to try out so many new brands and products. I've found some new faves - hello sparkly highlights and great brows! I hope I've been able to show that cruelty-free products can be affordable and are definitely accessible. There are some gems out there just waiting for you to try!

Photos by Zanib Flynn || Facebook Instagram

Below are the products I used:

*products not from Target

NYX HD Concealer Wand - Fair & Yellow
Wet n Wild Color Icon Ombre Blush - The Princess Daiquiris (color not available online) 

Essence Make Me Brow - Browny Brows

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil - Cottage Cheese 
*Pixi Eyeshadow Duo - Apricot Glow (Sample)
ELF Mineral Eyeliner - Black (old)
*Too Faced Better Than Sex - Waterproof

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

5 Christmas Movies and Festive Drinks to Enjoy this Month

I love Christmas time! The smells, the lights, the feeling of giving, chartity and kindness, the movies, and the food. I really try to enjoy this time of year to it's fullest. And to comemorate my love of the holidy I wanted to do a favorites list for you all. But because I also love a warm, comforting drink to sip while wrapped in a cozy blanket engrossed in my favorites films, I thought I'd pick the drinks I'd pair with each movie. 

So let's do this countdown style! (Although these are really in no particular order, except #1).

#5 - The Santa Clause - Hot Cocoa

Tim Allen at his best! This is such a cute story of a man discovering that he's the new Santa, whether he wants it or not. And along the way he also learns to be a better dad, adorable! I love this movie for the comedy, and the amazing transformation of Tim Allen from a svelt busimen man to a chubby, jolly Santa.

In a scene at the North Pole, Judy the elf makes Santa her famous hot chocolate... so I thought that would be the perfect drink to pair with The Santa Clause.

#4 - The Holiday - Apple Cider

Two strangers who are not happy in their own lives switch houses over the holidays. One house is in LA and the other in the English countryside. Humor, depression, relationships, and soul-defining hijinks ensue. This is probably the least Christmas-y movie on my list, but it still takes place during this time so it totally counts! I love the characters and the separate-but-not-really plots... just a good watch.
And for this movie that warms your heart but has a little spiciness (sassiness) to it, I choose Hot Apple Cider as the drink pairing. And if you add a dash of bourbon, I wouldn't be mad at you :)

#3 - Miracle on 34th St. - Eggnog

Both the classic and the updated 90's version are wonderful, though I do prefer the 90's one. Starting with the Thanksgiving Day Parade and ending with all of New York believing in Santa... you just can't go wrong. 

For this classic and timeless movie, I wanted a drink that has stood the test of time and is a wonderful treat every year. Hello Eggnog, a rich and delicious drink perfect for this film.

#2 - Love, Actually - Mulled Wine

One of the best ensemble cast movies ever, Christmas or not! I love this devilishly romantic and unapolegetically Christmas film. Multiple characters face various relationship woes around the holidays. There is great humor, an orgy, the Prime Minister, a paper mache octopus, and a tacky Christmas song... what's not to love?

For this English film, I thought the classic English traditional drink of Mulled Wine would be perfect. Make it red or make it white, but make it to watch Love, Actually this year!

#1 - White Christmas - Champagne

And finally, my #1 favortie Christmas movie of all time, the one I must absolutely watch every year or it just isn't Christmas, White Christmas. There is a reason this is a classic! The women are gorgeous and classic, the dance and song numbers - mesmorizing, and the men are funny and kind. There's a little bit of war, cross-dressing, amazing dance scenes, and a bang-finish ending that makes me cry (of joy) every time.

The only drink I could think to match with this movie would be champagne. So raise a glass and we'll all toast the General and have a Merry Christmas together!

Hope your all having a great week and staying warm and cozy - Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Cozy Winter Hat and a Haul

Oh man Target, you get me every time! I walk in for batteries and leave with a shirt, lamp, hat, foundation, dog toy... and whatever else caught my fancy. Shit, I am officially on a Target ban until December... then it's time for Christmas shopping and well I can't be stopped!

But since I did a little damage and bought a few things I'm excited about, I thought I'd share them with you here. Also there is 1 thing I purchased elsewhere but I'm going to share it with you all here :)

Let's start with this hat, I love it! I have such a problem with hats, they are always too big for my abnormally small head (it's an issue people!). I bought this one in Target's kids section and it fits like a dream, yay! I'm all for the beanie look with my hair poking out, so cute.

Now, before we get to the beauty stuff I have to tell you all about my amazing lamp. I know, a lamp Amber? But yes, a lamp! It's got mercury glass balls (hmmmm) and is lovely. I don't have a picture yet, but if you're in the market for a pretty floor lamp you should check it out HERE.

Okay, onto the good stuff. I am currently using the ELF loose powder to set my makeup and thought I'd try the not-so-messy pressed version. TBH I'm not blown away by either, but they do set makeup and they're cheap, so here we are. Let me know if you know of a great setting powder, especially for under the eyes. 

Finally, I had to buy some jeans and Target's High-Rise Mossimo Jeans are my absolute faves! These are the black jegging version (here) and they are so soft and comfy, perfect for winter. They're more of a faded black/gray which I like. I own a lot of black and these go without turning me into a goth girl, which is just not my thing.

These jeans were a little too long though, so I snipped off the bottoms (I'm a rebel like that) and created my own frayed hem jeans #stylin!

For a long time (years?) I've been searching for the perfect concealer and foundation... and have yet to find it. But on my search I heard about this Bare Minerals concealer (mine is in fair) and I thought maybe it would help with my massive dark circle problem. I look like a gorilla kicked my ass every morning. Rough.

Ok so there's good news and bad news with this concealer. Bad news first... it is no good under the eyes. It settles into lines, moves around and creases even after powder and a setting spray. Onto the good news - this is awesome as a quazi-foundation. I put it on my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin and blend. It has about a medium coverage and blends into the skin so beautifully and I feel it last really well too (after some powder and setting spray of course). 

Overall I'm really happy with my purchases and feel a little more prepared for Winter and the cozy months.

Join the Conversation

What's on your shopping list for Winter?
Do you have a favorite concealer or foundation?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My 5 Favorite Fall Trends!

Fall Wish List

This fall I've been inspired by embellishment... which, if you know me, is crazy talk. I'm usually pretty neutral with my style. I still love a classic look - I type this in a blue blazer and black loafers, BUT sometimes you have to branch out.

And this season there are so many beautiful textures, hardware, and shapes. I'm just like a kid in a candy store; I love them all and can't pick just one. But for you, I've nailed down my top 5 favorite fall trends and pieces that I would love to own! So let's get to it:

1. Shearling

First, I already bought this coat, that's how absolutely fabulous it is. I'm praying for colder weather so I can wear it! Damn Colorado is still in the 60s/70s. 

This moto jacket is oversized so you can where it over your sweaters with no trouble. On my 5'3" frame it hits right at my butt (flattering) and is large without looking sloppy. The faux shearling runs all the way through the inside, even down the sleeves. I think this is going to be so cozy, if it ever gets cold :)

2. Loafers

I'm a woman obsessed. Loafers of all kinds, colors, shapes, and textures! I do have a few black pairs, but I'm lacking loafer personality in my wardrobe. These 2 would add a bit of pizazz to my feet. 

The leopard print caught my eye as all things leopard do (problem?). They are that classic shape and very close to the Gucci loafers that have been everywhere. The nude I like because just like nude heels they would elongate your leg a bit, and it's just a relief from black (but I can still wear with black!). 

3. Embroidered Jeans

Okay, okay these are crazy, I know it, you know it. But I don't care because they thrill me! I saw these at Nordstrom and they completely drew me in. They're just beautiful and would add so much fun and color to my otherwise neutral wardrobe. And why not have some bright flowers and birds in the dreary months? If you like this trend but want a little less everything, these are a great option too.

4. Flared Sleeve Sweater

I'm really into all things cozy and sweater right now. Because even though it's been warm here, the mornings are cold, and my office is chilly. I've been loving all the embellished sweaters lately that offer a little style to an otherwise plain winter staple. 

This sweater is just classic enough that I wouldn't feel silly in it, but the sleeves just add a little something special. 

5. Velvet Boots

I don't know where I'd wear these, or what with. But I love them! They seem so luxe and gorgeous. They also make me think of Christmas shoes from the 90's... you know those flat black velvet things with Christmas embroidery on the tops (now that I think about it let's bring those back!). I remember my mom had a pair and they were festive and fun and so grown up. 

These boots may be the even-more-grown-up version of those shoes of my childhood. And that midnight blue color seems mysterious and sexy. Yes, I need these in my life.

These are the trends and pieces I'm loving for this Fall and Winter. What trends have you most excited?

Don't forget to follow on Bloglovin' to keep up with all the new posts!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My Current Everyday Makeup

This post contains products that have been sent to me for review and products I've purchased myself. All opinions are my own.

Ahhh Monday mornings! Or any morning for that matter - Always a mad dash to get ready for the day. And to be honest, although I always wear makeup to work, I want to spend as little time as possible on it. I've edited my routine down to the essential products that take little-to-no effort, are fool proof, and I know will look good.

See below for my everday makeup look that's quick and painless!

As you can tell it's pretty simple. I try to even out my skin tone, add some color, define my brows and eyes, and go. And don't mind the blank stare... it clears up after my morning coffee. 

Also, I like to keep everything in the same color family, it takes all the guesswork out. Below are the products I used for this look:


I can't seem to find a foundation I really love, so I've just been using a concealer; under the eyes, around the nose, on my forehead and chin. I then spray the setting spray and blend. This helps it stay longer and blend easier. I top off te under-eye concealer with a peach-toned one to cancel out my nasty blue cirlces.

I powder (not shown, see it here) mostly under my eyes and on the t-zone. Then for bronzer and blush - I've been doing both with this Physician's Formula palette as it's fan-freakin-tastic! Especially with my new brush (see below).


I love this palette from It Cosmetics for an easy eye look. Everythings neutral and blends so well. For this look I used the pink tones all over the lid and a light purple to define the outer corner.

Next, brown liquid eyeliner just on the outer third of the top lashes. I think this adds definition but isn't as difficult as lining the whole line... or god forbid a flick! I also take brown shadow from the palette and pack it onto the liner to blend it out and make it less harsh. Add mascara... lots of mascara.

Eyebrows - oh have I learned the importance of brows! I use this Hourglass pencil to shape and fill-in the brows (this thing has lasted forever, definitely worth the $$$). I go over that with the Essence brow mascara - which is brillant!


If you follow me on this blog you may know that I am not a lipstick fan. Don't get me wrong, I'll keep trying them but they're not my favorites. 

This lipstick was sent to me by Bdellium Tools in the color Helen of Troy to try. So I gave it a shot. It's a great neutral pink and goes with this look great. Also it's not too matte or too shiny and not drying at all. The wear on this was impressive too, it lasted about 3-4 hours on me (a win for sure!). So even though I may not reach for this all the time, I do think it's a really great product and worth a look at for you lipstick ladies. 


Bdellium Tools (pronounced dell-ee-um, if you want to know!) sent me 2 brushes and a lipstick to try for review. I already own a Bdellium fluffy eyeshadow brush that is well loved and well used. It's amazing quality so I jumped at the chance to work with them and try out some of their other brushes. Their Bambu lines are cruelty-free and in multiple fun colors. I am partial to the green - but they have yellow, pink and purple as well.

They brushes they sent me are:

Both brushes are great quality, haven't shed, and are sturdy.

The 990 is definitely the star of this show. It's absolutely amazing! I used it for my bronzer/contour in this look. It just blends the product in so easily, it's like a dream. I couldn't believe it at first - but the soft pliable bristles don't grab too much product and help effortlessly sweep it on your face. Needless to say, I'm in love <3

The 760 is much more confusing to me. It's very very tiny. I think this brush would be really suited for someone who either uses a gel liner or draws individual hairs when filling in their brows (I do neither). For me, the best option was to use it to pack shadow over my liquid liner. It did this really well and was really precise, so it definitely did it's job. But I wouldn't recommend going out and buying it only for that.

I love this look as it a quick 5 minute makeup that makes me look done, awake, and ready to tackle the day... a perfect cover to the half-asleep zombie person I really am at 5:00 a.m!

Join the Conversation!

What are your goto products for a quick face?
Do you have any favorite brushes?

Are you following me on Bloglovin' yet?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Makeup: Spider Lady

It's that time again, Halloween! I love this time of year, I get so excited for the start of the holidays (yes I include Halloween in this). But the real fun of Halloween is picking your costume. You get to decide who you want to be for the night; something sexy, something scary, creative, store-bought, homemade, makeup, etc... Choices!

After Halloween last year (see last year's makeup here) I found an amazing spider necklace and decided I would be some sort of spider queen. Unfortunately, my crown became more of a hat, so I call this the Spider Lady or Lady of the Spiders...whichever you prefer. You def need flexibility in costume creation!

This is a great look for a last minute costume as you can really do it with just makeup- and maybe the hat. It's an easy costume that's super dramatic and fun. So sit tight and see the magic unfold:


I used a light foundation as a base with light concealer under my eyes and around my nose. I then powdered with a white highligher to bring the color even lighter. I contoured using some grey-brown and grey eyeshadow. This took a while with a lot of blending but I think it adds a gothic feel to the look. Then I added a bit more of the highligher on the high points of my face.


A gray smokey eye look that's great for hooded eyes! I used the sticky note technique to get a sharp line like I did here. I went in with a fluffy brush and the same gray-brown eyeshadow from contouring, then darkened it with a medium gray eyeshadow and a smaller fluffy brush. 

I then took a small brush, mine is a lip brush and I love it for detail eye work. I took a dark gray and drew a cut crease right above my crease. Then I made sure that everything was blended up. To make the cut crease stand out and brighten up my eyes, I packed a white shade with a flat brush on my lid. I was careful to bring it right to the cut crease line to clean up that area. 

I finished off the eyes with a black winged eyeliner, and black liner in the water line and tight line. I smoked out the bottom with gray eyeshadow and cleaned everything up. 


Wow, these are some lips for a lady who never wears lipstick, but I absolutely love how it turned out. First, I lined and filled in my lips with liner. Then I used the liquid lipstick to darken the color. I had to do a few coats though - to be honest, I wasn't thrilled with the quality of this lipstick, it never went quite opaque. Then to  add depth to the lips I used a black eyeliner to liner to line and fill in the corners of my mouth. I think it turned out so cool.


I used black liquid eyeliner to draw in the web and spider. I definitely suggest practicing this first. Spider tip: 3 pairs of legs come out of their middle and then 2 come out of the front. I could have done more, but the makeup took so long I didn't want to chance making a mistake!

Finishing Touches

When I was going to be a Spider Queen I knew I would need a crown. Unfortunately, when I looked for one all I could find was a black fascinator (hat with headband attached). So I thought,"What the hell, I'll get creative!" 

I bought some fake spiders and went to town with the glue gun. I also trimmed the lace on the hat. I didn't want to cover the awesome makeup.

Then voila! I was a Spider Lady!

Makeup I Used

Below is the makeup I used for this look:

What's your favorite part of Halloween?
What are you going to be this year?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

All the Reasons You Need a Facial

Ahh... a facial to me is what a massage is to most people... pure relaxation. I love the calm music, pampering creams, lotions, and serums, the clean feeling of exfoliation, and of course the mini head and arm/shoulder massages aren't bad either. It amazes me how many people I know who haven't had a facial before. Crazy! I promise you need a facial, in your life, now!

I was lucky enough to win a free facial from a fairly new local business, I Heart Skin. Jenny is the owner and esthetician. She is great at the facial and relaxtion aspects, but she is also a fountain of information. As a self-proclaimed "skincare nerd" she can help you figure out your skin type, issues, solutions, and recommendations.

Below is my experience and why you need a facial too!

Learn About Your Skin

Ever since my skin went a little haywire about 2 years ago I really started focusing on my skin. And apparently I was confused, as I was so focused on getting rid of the acne that I didn't really see my skin. I thought for years I had oily skin... until an oil made all the difference and I started to question that.

Jenny informed me that my skin isn't oily, it's combination/dry. Also, where I used to think I had large pores, she told me mine are actually small. Mind Blown!

Treating Your Skin

After speaking with me and examining my skin Jenny made a plan to start the facial and treatment. She says the first time you visit her, she likes to start with gentle products to get to know your skin and see how it reacts. She starts with steam, which is nice an warm, to open your pores and prep your skin for the products. Then she did a cleanse, toner, serum... and of course the mask! The mask did some exfoliation with fruit enzymes and provided some moisture. 

Then there comes the extractions, no one's favorite portion, but necessary none-the-less. If you don't know, this is when the esthetician cleans out your pores, by squeezing out the gunk. In my past experience this can be really painful (like they should use it as torture, painful!), but Jenny had a gentle touch and it wasn't near so bad... which is high praise!

She finishes off with some sunscreen and moisturizer to make your skin feel silky smooth. Afterwards I feel so clean and nice.


With calming new age music playing quietly in the background and a darkened room you feel relaxed before you're even laying down on the table. Then you get cozy and are almost transported to another world once the steam machine starts going.

All the products being applied on your skin feel soothing. Plus mini facial massages! Finally, as the mask does it's business you get a lovely shoulder, neck, and head massage that are just glorious. I came out of the facial feeling relaxed but also rejuvinated and oddly invigorated :)

Product and Treatment Recommendations

Finally, throughout the whole facial I was asking a million and one questions to Jenny and she was so helpful with answers on products and treatments I could try to treat my skin concerns. One of my major concerns has been the texture and tone of my skin. I've had recently some bumps and overall uneveness throughout my face as well as some blotchiness. Jenny recommended exfoliation a few times a week and microdermobrasion (maybe our next session).

My Skin After the Facial

Here is my skin right after the facial; it's a little red but it really glowed and felt oh-so-clean. And the redness went down by the next day, so it doesn't last long at all. Also don't mind the black around my eyes... I made the mistake of wearing eye makeup before I went in :(

Final Thoughts

As I'm sure you can tell by now, I love me a facial! And I believe Jenny at I Heart Skin does the best one I've had yet. She is knowledgable, skilled, and so sweet. I'll definitely be going back for more and I recommend her and facials to everyone... man or woman. It's time people!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall Layers and Self Acceptance

Fall is finally popping up in Denver and I thought it'd be time for a fashion post.

I'd like to talk about a few things today... first the fashion or style post - it's been a long time, I know. And second, we need to chat about having confidence and accepting yourself.

First, I feel like we're half in fall and half still in summer which makes dressing challenging to say the least. Here in Colorado it's all about the layers - jackets, sweaters, button downs, you get the idea.

This jacket has been my go to layer piece of late. It's flowy and neutral but adds some pizzaz to an otherwise boring outfit. It's nice and light and great for some extra warmth during these days of cold mornings and warm afternoons. I also love how it cinches in at the waste so you aren't getting lost in the material.

Now, let's talk about body confidence.

One of the reasons I haven't posted a fashion post, or really any full-body shots is that I don't like the way I look on camera... and often off camera too.

About a year and half ago I gained back all the weight I'd lost previously plus some and I was the heaviest I'd ever been. I was feeling really down on myself. Then I went through the separation, divorce, moves, etc... and started doing yoga. I have since lost 20 lbs. and am feeling much better physically.

But I can't seem to shake this insecurity, these constant thoughts about my stomach being too flabby and out there, or my double chin, or my huge thighs. I know this is not productive thinking or helpful to my self image at all, but I can't seem to move beyond it. I'm at least some of you know this feeling.

Lately I've been following some great ladies (see below) on social media that perpetuate body love and acceptance, no matter your size. These women are amazingly empowering as they have accepted and love themselves; curves, thighs, stomachs, asses (you know the drill), and all!  I figured then, if these woman are out there showing the world it's okay to be confident with your body type - of any size and shape - so then can I.

Now don't get me wrong, I am still having confidence trouble and just posting these pictures is really hard for me as I see all the flaws. But, I want to be postive and help any of you out there who may be struggling with self-image. I want to focus on the things I like about my body; how far I've come with my body, the fact that I have lost weight, that I'm stronger and have muscles, and, that I really like how curvy I am.

So ladies, let's all take a moment together to think of something you love about your body. We can support each other and empower each other to be our most awesome selves - inside and out.

Remember: Girls Rule!

Need some more inspiration follow these amazing ladies:

Thank you all for listening and I hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying a House

If you follow me on social media you probably know that I just purchased a condo. I have been doing some work on it and am moving in this weekend! It's very exciting but it is (and was) so very nerve-racking. This is the 2nd home I've purchased and I think I now have a few tips on buying a home and/or things I wish I'd done.

The 3 Things I Wish I Knew 

Get a Few Mortgage Quotes

When I decided to buy again, I went straight for the mortgage broker I'd used for my last purchase. Now, I don't think I got a back deal or anything, but I do wish I'd got another quote or 2 to compare rates. I'm usually a planner/researcher on my decisions and just picking someone never quite sat right with me.

More Thoroughly Walk the Condo

After I already put in an offer on this place I was looking at Home Buying Tips or Things to Know Before Purchasing a Home (a little late I know). I read that many people, myself included, don't look deeply into a home they are viewing. We don't want to be rude and open other people's lives up. And in my case, I thought I was coming off as too picky and wasting the realtor's time. But I now know that I would have been more prepared for some issues I did find if I dug deeper.

What I mean by deeper is:

  • Open cabinets and look at the tops, bottoms and sides
  • Open closets and look at walls, ceilings, the doors themselves
  • Look closely at windows and sliding glass doors; are they newer, are there screens?
  • Take a look at the space as a whole and think about where your furniture would go, will it fit?
  • Look at vents, do they lead somewhere, are they plugged in and wired?

Ask a Million Questions

Don't be afraid to ask. I am always and I don't know why, it's some weird issue I have with appearing stupid. But it's stupid not to ask. I did ask some questions, don't get me wrong! But I always seem to look back and wish I'd asked more.

Things I Did Right 

Know the Buyers Market in your Area

I knew that Denver is a seller's market right now and that rent and home purchase prices are going up. So I knew it would be competitive and challenging to find a place within my budget, location, and timeline.

Pick a Reputable Realtor

I talked to family, friends, and colleagues to see if anyone had advice on a realtor. I ended taking the recommendation of a colleague for the sale of my 1st home and this purchase. I really enjoyed working with them and the company. My realtor was very knowledgable about the area and homes, she answered my questions and was able to help me narrow done my search.

Knew What You Want vs. What You Need

If you've ever watch a home buying show you'll know this is a constant struggle between buyers expectations and the reality. I've seen enough of these shows and been through the process before so I had more clear expectations. But I did make a list of the things I wanted, than I really focused on what I needed, and what was my priority in the wants. For example:

Needs: 2 bedrooms, 1st or 2nd Floor, and Air Conditioning
Wants: Garage (Top priority), 2 bathrooms, close to my current apartment, newer appliances

With this list I was able to make an appropriate decision. I did compromise on the garage... but I have 2 close parking spaces, so I'll deal!

And Now

Overall I am very happy in my purchase! I got a place in the area I wanted, I have close parking, great places to walk the dog, 2 bathrooms. The place was well maintained and although it needs some updating, nothing is urgent. I can take some time to get settled in then decide what I want tackle first. I hope you enjoyed these home buying tips.

Thank you all for reading and please watch for future posts on decorating my new place!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sparkling Green Eye Makeup Tutorial

You may remember when I reviewed the Too Faced Love Palette (here), which spoiler alert, I loved! In that post I talked about trying to make the green section (Forbidden Love) work for me. As you may or may not know, I wear mostly neutrals on my face (especially the eyes) and don't venture into color territory often. But the two greens in this palette are beautiful! And I had to try.

And I have to say, I'm crazy about the finished product! I never thought green could bring out the blue in my eyes... but alas it did and it was magnificient. Okay, oaky, I'll stop my slightly narcisstic rambling and show you how I achieved my version of a green eye makeup that's sexy and sultry!

I started with a light ivory base eyeshadow color all over the lid, and a light brown lightly dusted through the crease with a fluffy brush

I took the light green sparkly color on a flat brush to pack it onto the lid, then followed up with some on my finger to intensify the color

I darkened the crease a little with a darker brown, focusing on the outer half, with a slightly less fluffy brush

Then with a angled brush I took the dark forest green color and patted it into the outer corner of my eyes creating a bit of definition

I cleaned up the edges and blended with a fluffy blush

On the lower lid I used the dark brown on the outer third and bronze in the middle

I dabbed a light highlight shade into the inner corners and on the eyebrow bone

Then I tightlined the upper and lower lash lines with a black liner

Add lots of mascara!

I kept the rest of the face pretty simple and used a peachy-pink blush and gloss to compliment the green

So this is my version of a wearable green eye look. What do you think?

Also, I was totally feeling my hair this day, let me know if you'd like to see a tutorial, it was super simple!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

50 Questions that will Free your Mind

Read this list of questions over on The Rose Quartz and I thought what great way to get to know someone without the normal questions (i.e favorite movie, personal motto, etc...)
Grab a cup of joe or whatever your vice is and let's get into these mind-opening questions:

50 Questions that will Free your Mind

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I have no clue! If I go by looks probably 23/24... they say I look young for my age. As for the way I feel... that would be difficult. Some days I feel 60 with the weight of the world on my shoulders. Other days, I feel mischievous and fun and could be a teenage. Though I would NOT want to be a teenager again, thank God those days are behind me.
2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
It's funny because at first I think failing is the scariest thing, but then if I never tried something I regret it so much more than if I had failed at it. I guess I need to remember that the next time my fear of failure gets in the way.
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
It's easy to get stuck on what has to get done. You have to pay bills and go to work and and and and... but if we are really present in our lives we can change our attitudes to say I do all the have-tos to support my want-tos. Otherwise what's the point of it all? *dramatic much!
4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
Probably, I'm a talker and a writer, and a perpetual over-analyzer of everything I've done. So yes, definitely yes.
5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
Oh.My.Gosh... so many things. I think overall I'd want us, humans, to stop hating on each other. Let's accept and respect other races, religions, abilities, beliefs, thoughts, sexual orientation, gender, etc... etc... etc... This life is hard enough to get through, why do we have to add to it with constant hate that fuels so many bad things?
6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
Helping others to grow and realize their potential. This is the reason I work in Higher Education after all. I just love helping someone gain the skills to go out into the world and become a productive member of society. Oooo maybe a lift coach!
7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
I'm settling for sure, unfortunately my chosen career (see above) has a lot of required education and stigmas. It can be hard to break out of the administrative side of things for the Student Affairs side... and make a living. But I'll keep at it!
8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
Um.... I'd hopefully have a family of my own as I'd only have 9 more years to enjoy it! And I wouldn't have spent so much time miserable because it was easier to stay where I was or put someone else's needs before my own! 
9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
I think life has definitely nudged me in certain directions or towards certain people. However, it's been all me to make the decision on how to react to a situation or decide on my course going forward! So I'd say maybe 85% me and 10% life and 5% F*ck It and go!
10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Both, I really only want to do the right things right... Didn't really pick one there did I? If I had to choose, doing the right things. Who wants to do the wrong things right>
11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
That's what'll get to me more than anything and I would definitely stand up for my friend! I'd try to be nice, but it would be hard...
12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Yes. Nuff said!
14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
Probably though I can't seem to think of an example right now. It just seems like that'd be a thing though. 
15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I think differently, my brain just does it's own thing. I like the way I think and I think it works for me most of the time :)
16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
We're all our own people and if we all liked the same things life would be boring.
17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
Travel! Money.... ah that cruel mistress.
18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Some anger and pain, but I'm working on it! And I'm doing better than I ever have before.
19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
Ireland? It's green and pretty, great accents?!? I don't really know, I love Colorado and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
If I'm impatient yes. And no it doesn't go faster, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something about my situation.
21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
I'm not a genius, but I'm a worrier now. So I think I'd like to give the life of a joyful simpleton a shot. Seems nice.
22. Why are you, you?
Because! All my experiences leading up to this point have made me me, and I'm pretty cool.
23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
I think so, I'm honest, loyal, fun, and trustworthy... am I a friend or a job applicant?
24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
When a good friend moves away, I'm terrible at keeping in touch. :(
25. What are you most grateful for?
My family! There's no family in the world like mine.
26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
I would rather lose all my old memories. I know that seems terrible, but I wouldn't want to solely live in the past. And it could be interesting to only ever have your future in front of you!
27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
Wow, now that's a deep question. I think you question things more and more as you grow, so though I accepted as a child that the sky is blue, as an older child/teenager you question whether that's true. It can be blue, red, yellow, and let's not even start on the whole why it's blue business.

So I guess the answer depends on your stage in life. My stage in life now, definitely no!
28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
No. And we don't talk about it... it's a fear!
29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
No, not really. And it definitely doesn't matter, I'm moving on (moved on?)
30. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
I have a lot of great childhood memories! I think one great one is at a science museum we used to go to in San Francisco. I remember there was a giant whale and DNA that you could climb on and all sorts of interactive exhibits... it was so fun!
31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
??? It's been a rough recent past... I don't have an answer for this one, sad.
32. If not now, then when?
Tomorrow, always tomorrow lol!
33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
Dignity, money, pride, time, I don't even know what it is and I've talked myself out of it!
34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
Nope. Awkward! 
35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
Oh don't even get me started on this rant. It's just crazy! 
36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
Absolutely not.
37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
Hell yea! I'd go back to school and get a job I really enjoyed!
38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
More work I enjoy! I like to stay busy, but it sucks if you don't like what's keeping you busy. 
39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
No not really, I try not to think like that. It'd be really hard to keep going if I felt like every day was exactly the same and nothing changed.
40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
Almost never, if ever! I am extremely methodical and a super-planner, that sounds terrifying to me.
41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
We'd all get together at my Grandma's house and talk and bullshit and cry! This question sucks BTW, how rude!
42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
Nope, I'm good.
43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive is just surviving the day to day, you know? Going through the motions. Truly living is being grateful and present in one's life; even if it's a mundane day. If your actively trying to enjoy your life than you are truly living!
44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
That's so hard because my brain kind of automatically starts calculating, it's ingrained in me. But I guess there have been a few times where I've tuned it out and just lept. And you know what that's never worked out for me... I'll keep calculating I think.
45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Mistakes are hard as they feel like you're admitting you're wrong or not good at something and that takes a lot of courage. But I guess we should get used to it because everyone makes mistakes all the time.
46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Hmmmm... that's a thinker. I honestly don't know, I don't feel that other people's judgments have changed my path too much, I just do what I like and am good at. I might have avoiding getting married, that was a kind of pressured situation. 
47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
Whenever I do yoga, so 2 times a week. It's so relaxing to focus on your own breath for a while. It's kind of empowering too. I know breathing, empowering weird! But true!
48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
My family, I hope so... I'm not the most lovey-dovey person in the world but I try to do things to show them I care. I hope they know it!
49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
No, no and no. It's been a kind of boring few days. But I'm okay with that because they've also been really good.
50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
I make my own decisions, dammit! I ask for advice sometimes (mostly from my mom) but I really just do what I think is best for me.

Join the Conversation!

Wasn't this fun?
If you thought so than I challenge you to answer these questions, they're so thought provoking, you won't regret it!