What I’m looking forward to in 2017!

Goals for 2017
2017 Goals
Greetings, Beauts! Welcome to 2017!  We’re two weeks into January and I feel a little late to the resolutions game-at least it feels that way. But I guess that’s life for ya! Anyway, 2017 may just be another year or it may not be, but I’d like to think each year holds some new and cool things even if they aren’t all super dramatic. And is it just me or do the years seem to be blending together more and more?! 

This year, as with any, questions may be answered and questions may arise. What will get sorted out? How much will things remain the same or change? Will I still be wearing this sweater next winter? Ahh. Guess we will have to wait and see!

I don’t typically use the word “resolutionfor my goals just because I’ll never stick with it once that label is thrown on there. Psychological or not, I tend to curse myself that way based on experience. But no matter what you call it, wanting to be a better you or revising aspects of your life is good thing and can be done at any time! January, for me, just seems to be that natural time to reset things on a more intentional level.

I like thinking of what is coming up or things I’d like to maybe try each upcoming year, but before I get into all of that I want to give a shout out to my blogger friend Jayher New Year’s post inspired me to get my own thoughts down on resolutions! Go give it a read! Anyway, here are some things I am looking forward to in 2017!
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34 Things I Learned at 34!

34 things I learned at 34
34 things I learned at 34

Greetings! If you didn’t know (which you more than likely didn’t), I just had a birthday. I turned 34 and can’t get over the fact that I’ve been on this earth that long already (and with God’s grace I’ll be here even longer), but I’m thankful! My birthday comes right between Christmas and New Years, so it’s a big time of reflection for me.

Coming up with 34 things I’ve learned throughout my life was way more of a challenge than I expected it to be. 34 is a lot when it comes to making a list, that’s one thing I learned! And it’s weird number to work with. It’s not a typical milestone year and not divisible by 5 so it doesn’t sound as cool, but I didn’t want to wait another year to make a list.

This is in no way me trying to be preachy, just a mishmash of things that came to my head and things I found to be true for myself over these 34 years. If you make it down to even half of them, you’ve made my day. Thanks, and Enjoy! ūüôā
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E.L.F. Matte Lip Color Review-“Festive” Reds Edition!

E.L.F. Matte Lip Color
E.L.F. Matte Lip Color
Greetings again, Beauts! Hope your December is treating you well. So far this month’s been a little bumpy in terms of some unexpected family circumstances (everyone’s doing ok), so between that and trying to prepare for the holidays it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster! Somehow I still have a bit of Christmas cheer in me and found a moment to do some blogging, even with the challenges.

I’ve done some E.L.F. hauling lately and part of my haul included a few of their matte lip colors. I’ve been in a very red-lips kinda mood (appropriate for this time of year I guess!) and wanted to expand my red lipstick stash a bit. I usually wear red for special occasions though I’m starting to wear it more often to work or out in general. I decided E.L.F. was an inexpensive way to go a little nuts! I got these through their website and was able to get them at half off during one of their big holidays sales, bringing them to $1.50 a piece! Not bad at all!

According to the package, it is “Smooth, pigment-rich color” that “glides on effortlessly and provides long lasting matte color.” It also states “enriched Vitamin A, C, & E formula helps moisturize and hydrate lips.

I bought three different red shades in this line: Wine, Cranberry, and Rich Red. Here are my thoughts on these shades in particular and the lip product overall!
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Keeping up with Christmas: Ways to get into the Holiday Spirit!

tips for getting into the Christmas spirit
Ways to get into the Christmas Spirit

Welcome back, Beauts! So now we’re in the Christmas season, so magical and so fun, yet so fleeting and hectic. I don’t know about you, but by the time I’m finally ready to bring out a tray of Christmas cookies and throw on a Santa hat, it’s over. And then I have to wait another year to attempt to get back into it. What gives?! ¬†And as you get older, more things happen in life and it only gets crazier and goes by faster!

I remember being a kid and it felt like forever before Christmas came. The anticipation was so fun!¬†Because back then, Christmas and maybe your birthday were pretty much the only times you could give someone a huge list of stuff you wanted without feeling weird (at least that’s how I’d feel now), and you were too little to buy yourself stuff so you had to wait. And you didn’t have all of the adult responsibilities keeping you preoccupied.

These days, Christmas and the holidays are still all about getting together with family and keeping traditions alive, and now I have a son so it’s important that I try to make it special for him too. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I will say that the motherhood aspect makes the season a lot more hectic and a lot more of a balancing act.

I’m not the type who can start doing Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. And these past two years, decorating right after Thanksgiving through the start of December hasn’t quite been working out for us either due to lack of time and energy. (I’m assuming that gets better? In 5 years maybe?).

The first week of December has come and gone, and yes, there are pumpkins and scarecrows still chillin on our front steps. But the decorations WILL go up (even if at a snail’s pace) and we will get our tree soon too, hopefully! I guess the point of all this is that no matter how hectic things get or how quickly it all goes, that we all get a moment to relish and actually enjoy the the holidays a little more!

I want to share some things I enjoy doing (or would like to do) this time of year in an effort to really get into the season. I know you can’t always force that Christmas mood- sometimes you’re either into it and other times not. But if you’re looking for that little something to get you there, I hope this gives you some inspiration!

  1. Festive mani-pedis.¬†Who wouldn’t feel just a tad more Christmas-y with red/green/sparkly nails?! And paint that ring finger a different color. Add some glitter nail polish. You know you want to.
Holiday nail colors
Christmas nail polish

2. When it comes to clothes and accessories- I try to¬†bust out the red, the green, the obnoxious Christmas stuff you can’t really rock any other time of the year! There are some ridiculously corny yet irresistible holiday shirts out there that I’m all of a sudden tempted to get. Maybe it’s the 30’s teacher thing in me, I don’t know. I just know I need them.

3.Christmas music! This is an obvious one but it works. Everyone has a favorite. I made a whole bunch of Christmas CDs over the years that I have in rotation for my car rides to get me in that festive mood. Some Mariah, Dean Martin- I could go on!

4.Holiday scents.¬†Maybe it’s a candle, body spray, car air freshener etc. but scent is one of those things that can really get me in that mood! Love peppermint and the smell of a Christmas tree or spiced apple. Just take a walk into Bath and Body Works and have your pick!

5. Walk the mall or some festive shopping place.¬†This is the time of year where I just love being around all the bustle. I get why people avoid it, but I love it. Everything is decorated and sales are being shoved down your throat like crazy…ahhh!

6. Holiday Drinks! Something about holding holiday cups in my hand and drinking a seasonal drink (I love peppermint, caramel, and gingerbread flavors) just make me feel so cozy and get me in that frame of mind- and that’s just the non-alcoholic stuff. I’ll leave you to search Pinterest for all the other drinks but yes, you can have lots of fun with those kinda drinks too. Not that you needed me to tell you that!

Festive cups from Starbucks
Festive cups from Starbucks

7. Decorate. It doesn’t have to be full blown Pottery-Barn price range status but some garland can be a game-changer! As I said earlier, I’ve been a little slow to decorate in recent years, but the plastic bin of decor finally made its way to my living room and we’ve sloooowly started putting small things out here and there. But once we get into the swing, it’ll be great! And when we eventually get our tree, we’ll be golden. Your surroundings really affect your mood!

8. Holiday cards!¬† There are so many cute layouts and pictures you can add to make it personal and they can be so fun to give and receive! I’ve tried Vistaprint and Shutterfly but there are tons of sites to choose from. I love hanging cards on my wall too.

9. Dressy lips! ¬†I take complete advantage of the holiday season as a time to bring out my darker lip colors. I don’t really do Oxblood/deep red¬†lips in the warmer months so I really try to play with them more while I can! So dressy and so fun!

Holiday Lipsticks
Christmas Lip Color

10. Read some Christmas blog posts!¬†There are plenty out there in case you haven’t noticed! Blogmas is going strong right now. Blogmas is when bloggers go all out posting every day until Christmas (which I did not commit to this year but kudos to those who did!), and it’s usually holiday-themed topics or ideas. Google it to check out the hype and find some to read!

11. Throw on a Christmas movie or some cheesy Christmas program. Elf. It’s a Wonderful Life. The Hallmark Channel if you can stomach it-I got into the Hallmark Channel last year- I’m late to the game but I’m into it. It’s corny but I’ve grown accustomed to checking in when I need something Christmasy to flip on.

12. Christmas crafts! Don’t get the wrong idea. I barely have time to do any type of craft these days unless I’m at ¬†work (I work with kids), but there are some really easy holiday crafts you can make if you wanted to. Maybe an ornament or Advent Calendar could be a fun thing to make, or a Christmas collage. Or if you have kids in your life, maybe try making something with them that won’t be super difficult. Pinterest has way more ideas than I do but making something can be really nice!

13. Bake something. It doesn’t have to be from scratch. If you’re a cut-the-dough and slap it in the oven type, go for it. They have ready-made reindeer in the dough now. Just sayin.

14. Gift-giving! From Pollyanna to white elephants or any other way of giving and receiving, you’ll find people who want to take part! They can be so fun and even hilarious! And the warm fuzzies you get when someone opens a gift you picked out? Priceless.

15. Go to a holiday party.¬†Doesn’t matter how or where, it’s just nice to dress up, hear some Christmas songs and catch up with everyone over some bubbly and a snowman-designed cheese display!

16. Check out the Christmas lights! Take a walk around thhe neighborhood or drive around at night- I love seeing what people do to their homes, no matter how grand or simple.

Hope you found some inspiration or motivation to get into holiday spirit! What are your favorite ways to celebrate or get into this time of year?

XX, Jen

My Thoughts on Project Pan

My Thoughts on Project Pan
Project Pan
Hello again, Beauts! So I took a mini break from blogging with the Thanksgiving holiday and I will say it was well needed! Sometimes you just know when it’s time to wind down and do nothing. OK let’s be serious- as close to nothing as motherhood will allow! I had a little more time to think about different beauty concepts that are continuously floating around in my brain and decided to zone in on project pan. This post isn’t about me actually doing project pan, but more of a sounding board on what it is and how I feel about it!
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Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Powder

Greetings all! Hope you are all doing well! I’ve been on a hunt for different makeup items lately like a new higher-end foundation and more recently a pretty neutral eyeshadow palette or two. 

I’ve tried what seems like way too many (underwhelming) foundations in a small amount of time, but always had this one in mind-I saw an ad in InStyle for this Maybelline powder called Superstay Better Skin that caught my eye. I decided now was a good time to check it out, plus I also found a coupon for it (more incentive)! 

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin powder foundation ad
Ad for Maybelline Superstay Better Skin powder

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Neutral Palette Decisions!

Neutral Palette Decisions
Neutral Palette Decisions

Welcome back, folks! So at the moment I’m trying to decide if I want to get a new neutral shadow palette and also wanted to share my thoughts on which ones I’ve been eyeing! I’m definitely going back and forth about getting one- I usually talk myself out of it because a lot of the shadows in them are similar to shades I own, and I guess I’m trying to use what I have and blah blah blah.

But let’s be real-I’m kinda bored and want to play around a bit! And with palettes, having a variety right in the palm of your hand is so, uh,¬†handy, and I find that they’re fun to look at and pick colors from when I don’t feel like going through all the singles. Even if I don’t end up getting a new one, my brain was on palette overload and I needed to sort it out and hear what you think! Anyway, here are some I’m considering:
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September + October 2016 Empties!

September/October Empties!
September and October Empties

Another month of empties down (or, in my case, 2 months)! Pretty much all of these empties are body/hair products (they tend to go much faster than my makeup), and one face product. Here they all are:
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When Working and Fall Collide: An OOTD Post!

Welcome back ladies (and hopefully some gents too)! Seems as though my posts are branching out a little from my usual beauty product write-ups, and this one is no exception! Talk about random, my last post was all about signs and symbols. But that is me- random, lol. Thank God for that “lifestyle” portion of my blog! Anywhoo,¬†I haven’t done any full outfit looks in a post- this is my first! But since it’s fall (which I 100% consider an excuse for anything) and I’m in that kinda mood, here we are!

Because I teach little kids,¬†I don’t have to dress up in suits or really formal work clothes. My work outfits have to have to be somewhat comfortable, and I can be as creative or as boring as I wanna be, all staying within the appropriate guidelines of, well, being a teacher!

I’ve built up quite the business-casual work wardrobe over the years, which usually consists of a lot of solid tops¬†in varying colors,¬†some patterns (I love my stripes…) and all the basics for mix-and-match heaven. I like wearing jewelry-necklaces of all types, big and small watches, earrings, etc. and balance them all out- smaller, daintier things with larger pieces, or wear one statement piece and keep everything else to a minimum.

I don’t want to throw myself into a category of style but I guess if I had to label, I’d be a mix of conservative, fun, sometimes edgy, sometimes trendy, sometimes classic. So basically I do a little bit of everything. Ha! And I dress based on my mood, and of course weather (doesn’t everyone though?!). I don’t usually plan outfits out beforehand, but sometimes in my mind I’ll play around with one thing I’ll want to wear and then center everything around that.

Now onto the outfit-I’ve had most of these pieces for a few years unless otherwise noted. I took these pictures after work right in my room. One day, who knows when- I’ll drag someone out to take pics of me romping around in the great outdoors but this is the best I have at the moment!

Fall work outfit
Fall Work Outfit

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Signs and Symbols- Do You Believe?

ladybug, railing
Ladybug outside my house last winter

Hi again, everyone! ¬†As always, I hope this post finds you well. This past week has been a mix of calm days, productive days, hectic ones, and days when news you receive isn’t exactly the news you really want to hear. Days where you’ll have to sit and do some processing.

I find it interesting that on some days, things happen that make you stop and smile or bring you a sense of comfort.¬†I don’t go around hunting for signs. Anything could be a sign if you want it to be. But I feel that if you’re open to them, it seems you don’t have to hunt so much- they kinda just fall into your lap!
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