Social Media Icons

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

30 Life Lessons - Finances

Today is part 4 of my series on 30 at 30 - Life Lessons. And we're going to chat about Finances, saving, getting and staying out of debt. I know not everyone's favorite topic, but there are some serious topics to be covered here. If you would like me to do a more detailed post on any of these, please comment!

This series has sections; Confidence and Beauty (see here), Living with Intention (see here), Self-Care (see here), Finances, and Adulting. Stay tuned for more great content and to join the conversation!


Picture from Pixabay
Here are the lessons I have learned that have helped me stay out of debt, raise my credit score, and all around keep a healthy financial balance in life!
  1. Budget! It doesn't matter what system you use, as long as you use one. I use a spreadsheet to calculate my monthly income versus expenses. The trick is to be honest with yourself; if you spend $50/month at Starbucks put it in. If you aren't honest you'll end up going over budget every month and will get discouraged. I include everything from savings, fun money, dog food, medicine, rent, car, cable, all of it! It really will help you see what's going on with your money and where you can save or spend.
  2. Save. It's easy to get caught up in paying bills, expenses, and buying the things you want/need. But, it's so important to have money saved in case of a medical issue, lost job, or other large expense. They say having 6 months salary is best (I know I don't have that), but just whatever you can. Have it automatically taken out so you don't think about it. And keep it somewhere you won't have easy access (like not in your checking account)
  3. Have a retirement setup and know about your options. I am lucky in that I've worked at institutions where Financial Wellbeing was focused on and I was able to take some workshops on my retirement. But you can research your retirement company, bloggers, or other websites (LifeHacker has some good articles) to learn about your options. Also, any matching by your company is free money and you should take it by having the required minimum taken out of your paycheck.
  4. Credit, Credit, Credit. Having good credit is so important nowadays. I am no expert and there are no definite rules but, I would say healthy credit = having cards but not carrying a balance month to month, paying down debt using the snowball method, paying bills on time, and credit history. I can talk more about this in a future post if anyone is interested. I've seen how important this can be and have done some research on keeping a good credit score.
  5.  Invest in Real Estate if you're able. I don't currently own, but when I did I looked at it like an investment. I went into the situation looking for an affordable mortgage that wouldn't make me house-broke, a location that was up-an-coming and would increase my property value. When I sold my home I was very fortunate to have thought of these things. And when I purchase again, these will still be at the top of my list. Real Estate (done smartly) is almost always a good idea :)

Join the Conversation!

          What is the best financial advice you ever received?
          What are your tips to save more?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

New In: Wet n Wild

With my 30 at 30 Life Lessons posts going up on Tuesdays for the next few weeks, I thought I'd mix things up and put a makeup post on Thursday.. WHAAT?!?! I know, I'm crazy like that.

Ok, enough of that, now to the beauty products! I was watching a video by GlamLifeGuru, Tati, as you do. And she talked me into buying the new Wet n Wild Setting Spray and one of their blushes. Now to be fair I had recently run out of my Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray and was looking for a more affordable option.

As you may know I have the oily skin and find it hard to get makeup to stay very long. I have used this method with powder to keep my makeup going strong. It works, but I feel really powdery sometimes and wanted a different option. Cue Tati and her great review/enabling.

So on the way home from work I stopped off at my local Walgreens and had a browse and luckily enough I found the spray (the last one I might add) and I saw a blush she had raved about too. So I busted out my card and ran home to try them out!

Photofocus Setting Spray

The thing I was really after! At only $4.99 I wanted this to be great but wasn't 100% sold. But I gave it a good go for the first time, a night when I went out dancing (and sweating), and it really impressed me.

First off the spray, although a tiny bit wetter than I'd like, is pretty fine and immediately takes down that powdery look. That alone is worth the money :) But I did find that the spray helped my makeup stand-up to my awesome dance moves in a crowded sauna/dance floor. I don't think my oil kicked in a quickly as usual.

I've been using it since and again  it does help things to stick on my face longer and keeps my oil at bay. I don't know that it's All-Nighter good, but it's really good, especially for the price!

Color Icon Blush - Rose Champagne

Honestly I didn't need another blush, but it was Buy One, Get One 50% Off, so I said what the hell and took the leap. I haven't really given the blush a thorough testing yet, only the 1 night.

But as you can see in the swatch below it's not really a pop of color, at least not on me. I used it more to add a hint of sparkle to my cheeks. It's pretty sheer and complemented my pink blush really nicely. I really like the texture too, super soft!

Overall, I want to continue trying to use it in some different ways and will report back.

Well that's what I tried in the new Wet n Wild collection! Is there anything you've seen, bought, or heard about that you're excited about?

Also, are you following me on Bloglovin' yet? No, well you should, it's a great way to get notified of all your favorite bloggers' new posts!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

30 Life Lessons - Self-Care

Today is part 3 of my series on 30 at 30 - Life Lessons. And we're going to chat about Self-Care and working on your mindset. This section is focused on how we talk to ourselves, frame our reactions, and care for ourselves.

This series has sections; Confidence and Beauty (see here), Living with Intention (see here), Self-Care, Finances, and Adulting. Stay tuned for more great content and to join the conversation!

Self-Care and Mindset

  1. Recognize that you can't do it all on your own, so find a great support system. Sometimes you need a shoulder to cry on, advice, someone to take your mind off things, or someone to help you out of a situation. Find those people you can rely on.
  2. Don't let negativity get you down. Hold onto positive thoughts, hope for the future, or pleasure in the little things. Life can be really shitty sometimes, but if you're positive it won't seem so bad and you'll be able to move on more quickly.
  3. Find what makes you happy! So easy right?!? No! After being married and now separated and going through a divorce, I have had to find myself again. Including those things that make me happy... not my SO, not my family, me. Difficult stuff. So far I've got my animals, watching Netflix on my couch with a blanket, beautiful sunny but not hot days when I can walk, my family, trying new places and food, museums and zoos, shopping, and writing.
  4. You can't control everyone else, you can only control yourself. This is one of the hardest for me as I'm a bit of a control freak. But I take solace in knowing that I can control my reactions in situations. This has been extremely tested this year, but I'm learning that other people are going to do what they want and I need to be okay with not knowing sometimes.
  5. Know your triggers. What is that thing that you know will set you off? Mine is when someone insinuates or makes me feel stupid. Once you know your trigger you can work on ways to calm yourself down or other ways to cope and not let it affect you so much. 
  6. Feel your emotions. For most of my life I've had trouble expressing emotions. I didn't like to feel sad, angry, or even overly happy. I just wanted to stay composed and move on to the next thing. But going through a separation, divorce and all the emotions that come with that, I have decided that moving on is not healing. And I want to heal. So now I allow myself to be sad and think about the sad thing and what hurts me about it. Then I accept that I'm sad and that helps me move on from it... really weird idea, but it works I swear! 

Join the Conversation!

               What do you do to stay positive?
               What are the things that trigger you? And how do you control your reactions?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

30 Life Lessons - Living with Intention

Today is part 2 of my series on 30 Life Lessons to Learn by Age 30. And we're going to chat about living with intention. This section is focused on those personal lessons we learn that help us enjoy the moment and better ourselves.

There will be 5 sections; Confidence and Beauty (see here), Living with Intention, Self-Care, Finances, and Adulting.

Picture from Pixabay

Living With Intention

  1. Always strive to better yourself. This may seem weird after all the "accept yourself" biz, but part of acceptance is acknowledging that we're not perfect and there are things we can do to improve. Go back to school, or just take a class. Join a gym, run a 5K, learn a new skill or language, try to be more social, or try to be more serious. Just be doing something for you!
  2. Know who you strive to be. I think by 30 most of us expect to have our lives together with a career, family, house, etc... But that may not be the case. So instead focus on who you want to be instead of what you want to have. I want to be someone who helps others, enjoys her career, is confident in herself, is a mentor, has a balanced life (work/family/fun), and who doesn't let the little things get her down.
  3. Find out what you want and go for it! Don't be afraid to try or to fail. It happens and you just have to pick yourself up and learn from it. I know it's hard to fail but that's when we learn our best lessons.
  4. Be flexible, but don't settle. This goes for the singles and non-singles out there! Know what you want in a mate, house, car, dog, career, whatever. But don't focus so much on perfection, know the things that are most important to you but remain open to different possibilities. I don't know about you but 1/2 the time I didn't know what I really wanted until it was in front of my face.
  5. Accept that things won't always go the way you planned. You can try your hardest but you can't control everything around you. So it's best to remain flexible and over all know that usually things will work out if you are open to new ways of doing them.
  6. Be your own advocate. No one will ever be able to do this better than you. You know your value and your worth. Be strong and confident when defending, supporting, or fighting for yourself.
  7. Remember to be grateful. Whether it's in a journal, your head, a discussion, or a planner (here), take time every day to remember the things you're grateful for. They can be little things (waking up with a cat sleeping on me) or larger things (my family). Just remember to count them often. You'll develop a more positive outlook if you do.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

30 Life Lessons - Confidence

Although I love sharing beauty looks and products with you all, I have wanted to incorporate more content into my blog lately. So I thought a series on 30 at 30 Life Lessons would be perfect!

Okay, you're 30. Well maybe not you, but me, I'm 30 and it's official I'm an adult.

Even though there are days I ask myself; Why I don't have all my shit together? Where am I going? How did I get here? I know that I am an adult, and I think a fairly put together one at that. So I feel like I might have some wisdom to drop for you all :)

I feel there are at least 30 (and probably hundreds more) lessons important to have learned or be learning but the time you're an adult. So I compiled my list of life lessons; also, I went to Facebook and friends and family helped to contribute as well.

This will be a series of 5 sections; Confidence and Beauty, Living with Intention, Self-Care, Finances, and Adulting. So stay tuned in the following weeks for more great info and to join the conversation!

This week we'll talk about the lessons I feel are important in;

Confidence and Beauty

  1. Know your skin type and how to handle your concerns. This may change on you, so don't worry. But pay attention to your skin, it's yours for life. After you take off your makeup at the end of the day take a close look in the mirror. Do you have bumps, spots, redness, bags, dark circles, wrinkles? Then tailor your routine to that issue. And if you don't know research! The thousands of bloggers, youtubers, and reviewers of the world can help you out. Or you can always make a dermatologist appointment.
  2. Be able to see your beauty and the beauty in others. As a youngin' I wanted to cover up or hide my "flaws". I shaved my widows peak (weird, yes), straightened my hair every day, never went without make-up, the usual. But now as I've aged I realize that my "flaws" are what make me me. Even though my nose isn't my favorite feature it's mine and I own the schnoz. I'll go without makeup on the weekends, I will let my hair go natural, I try more and more to accept myself so then I can focus on highlighting my features instead of hiding.
  3. Fake it till you make it. When I'm scared, nervous, sad, stressed, etc.... I pretend to be the positive, confidence person I wish I was in that instance. And the funny thing... it usually makes me into that person! Score! 
  4. Know who you are and own it! It's okay if you're not ready to show 100% of yourself all the time (where my introverts at?) but accepting that is a part of knowing you. I know who I am, and I also know that I don't open up until I know people for a while. I'm okay with this and I own, it's what makes me me!
  5. Take time to focus on you. You can’t do for others if you’re not cared for (at least not well). This can be anything; getting a massage or your nails done, watching some TV, zoning out to music, meditating, exercising, hanging out with friends, or being alone. It’s ok to spend some time on yourself before others, in fact it’s healthy!

Picture from Pixabay
Join the Conversation!

           What makes you feel the most confident?
           How do you care for yourself, or do you at all? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Disappointing Products #1 - Not Up to Snuff

It's not until I have sat down the last few months to write favorites posts (I swear one will come soon, see old posts here and here) that I realized I have have more non-favorites than favorites. Sad days, let me tell you.

But what a good opportunity for us to chat about those disappointing products that haven't worked for me. I love reading these kinds of posts from other bloggers because I learn just as much from the disappointments than the favorites.

Just a bit of a disclaimer first; all these opinions are for me and my skin type and preferences. Some of these products may work great for others, they just don't work for me. Now that that's out of the way, sit back relax and take a breath as we go through these products that simply don't wow.

Lights, Camera, Flashes

I love (I mean love) the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara from Tarte so I saw a recommendation for this version and thought, "Yeah, this has to be great!" And to be fair, I did think this was a waterproof formula, but it's not so there's that. The real issue is the brush, it's plastic with long spikes. And I'm not a fan of plastic brushes anyway, but this one is downright dangerous. I can't tell you how many times those spikes have stabbed me in the eye, not fun. Also, although you can get some great volume out of  this formula, it takes a bit of working with it to make that happen. I just don't have time to clean up the mess after being eye-stabbed and then working to get volume in the morning. I'll stick with the purple tubed version.

Wet n Wild

Plump= big fat black lashes, at least in my mind. Unfortunately this mascara just doesn't live up to that. It really acts more like a lash tint (anyone remember those?) where it adds a tiny bit of color and definition but it's just so natural looking. And I am not a girl who wants natural lashes. Also, I didn't find that this was all that waterproof.

Proof It Mascara Top Coat

A great idea! As I've mentioned before I've had severe dry eyes for a year now and it makes me squint, blink, and put eye drops in a lot... so mascara must be waterproof for me. If not, I end up looking like a raccoon by noon and by the end of the day it's a great smudgy mess. Anyway I thought this product might help and it didn't really. Now I may be asking to much of it, but I want something that'll stay on my lashes and not my face :(

Smudge Pot Cream Eyeshadows - Brownie Points and Cruisn Chic (not in pic)

My issue with these isn't the formula. They're actually pretty nice. You can make the color pretty sheer or opaque really easily. And they blend out well and set without creasing. My only disappointment is the colors. The 2 I got look like a beautiful metallic bronze and metallic taupe color from the outside of the packaging. But once in the color itself they're pretty flat and not really shimmery/metallic and they don't have much dimension to them. I'll keep using them but I've just had to adjust my expectations.

Physician's Formula
Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls - Translucent Pearl

The color of this highlighter is beautiful in the pan and I wanted to like it so much. Really, I've had this for about 6 months hoping I'll finally figure it out. I've tried it with brushes (big and little), sponges, and my fingers. I just can't get any payoff from it it just wants to stay in it's little pan home and doesn't want to get on my face! Frustration. Okay so... As I was linking this I realized it's a face powder and not a highlight. #ImAnIdiot I'm going to have to give this another try and get back to you all... jeez embarrassing.

Wet n Wild
Max Volume Plus Waterproof Mascara

Okay so this mascara was under $5 so what should I really expect? But you know, I see volume on the name and I want volume damn it! And although this had more volume and color payoff than the other WnW mascara, it just didn't have the drama I want in a mascara. And again, the waterproofing wasn't great (there may be a theme here, and it could be only me). Just a let down.

Well that's a bit of a downer of a post, but like I said I think it's important to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me know if you've had better luck with any of these products or if you have tales of products that disappointed you.