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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!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Skincare Routine for Night

Skincare, so important. But why is it so complicated? You almost need to be a chemist to come up with the right cocktail. I didn't really get into skincare until a few years ago. For most of my teenage and early adult years I had pretty normal and clear skin. Don't shoot! I'm just trying to give you all the truth. And it's not all roses...

A few years ago my skin went banana pants and I got adult acne really badly all over my chin and under my cheeks. Then I started paying more attention to what was going on my face (previous skincare posts here and here and here).

Now about 2 years later my acne has cleared up, my skin is less oily and I have to thank my current routine for a lot of that. To see what my night-time routine consists of, keep reading. 
Please note that I am not an esthetician and although these product work for me, they may not work for you. 

I start with a full face of makeup and grab a washcloth.

1st Cleanse/ Makeup Removal

I take 1-2 pumps of the Body Shop Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil (1 on a light makeup day and 2 for full-on makeup) and massage it on my face for about 30 seconds.

I rinse the washcloth in hot water to get it wet and put the whole thing on my face. I keep it there for about 10 seconds. It helps loosen the eye makeup and it feels like a mini facial. I then wipe off all the oil and makeup.

2nd Cleanse

This gets off any residual makeup and the rest of the oil (I'll skip this step if it's super late). I take a pump of the Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Foaming Facial Cleanser and massage it over my face. Rinse with the washcloth.

Lotions and Potions

  1. I dab a small amount of Yes to Grapefruit Dark Circle Correcting Eye Cream under my eyes. I do have to say this isn't the best as it hasn't really helped with my dark circles... so any suggestions would be appreciated!
  2. I rub a bit of the Honey Bomb All-in-one Ampoule all over my face, neck and chest. I love this stuff! It adds some hydration, some toning, and feels great. If I have time I use this to give myself a facial massage as it takes slippery for a while.
  3. I pat the OZ Naturals Retinol Serum onto my face, neck and chest. I wrote a whole post on how awesome this stuff is here. I stand by it, I'm actually out now and am a little desperate for more!
  4. Finally I take 1/2-1 pump of the Badger Damascus Rose Face Oil and pat it into my face neck and chest for hydration and calming.


About 2 times a week I'll use an exfoliator to things fresh... and all the other good reasons you exfoliate. I use the MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub, it's a chemical and physical exfoliator so you get the best of both worlds. 

 Ahhh... a clean, moisturized face is always a good thing; redness, dark circles and all! Anyone else love the feeling of a clean face, it's so nice :)

Join the Conversation!

What's your favorite nighttime ritual?
Any eye cream recommendations?
What your skincare routine? Anything you're looking to change?