It’s officially MID-December. Holiday parties and gatherings are underway! We are out shopping like there’s no tomorrow and we are scurrying like little elves to get everything done in time for Christmas. What most of us are NOT thinking about is kicking off the New Year! It doesn’t seem like it’s that time yet, but 2019 is creeping up on us quicker than we ever realize!
How many times have you set your expectations for the New Year only to let yourself down just a few days or a few weeks in? Most of us see the New Year as a clean slate to achieve all that we set out to do! This year the most important habit we can kick is the habit most of us have where we don’t keep our promises to ourselves. In the book Girl Wash Your Face Rachel Hollis really opened my eyes to the concept that breaking promises to ourselves even if they’re small, sets us up for failure. When we break promises to ourselves it’s setting up a pattern in our brain where we are unwittingly training ourselves to quit before we even start. Your brain has a tendency to default to trained habits so if you’ve gotten into the habit of quitting your brain will want to default to that. The good news is, you can break that habit.
There are so many ways you can start setting yourself up for success with your New Year’s Resolutions NOW! Another thing I learned from Girl Wash Your Face (click the image above to purchase) is that it’s easier to add a new habit than to take one away. When I read that, I realized that this concept is true and that the reason most of us are failing to achieve our goals is because we are taking on these huge changes all at once and it’s simply not sustainable for most people! Of course, some of you are very strong willed and can do this, but most people will quit and get overwhelmed. So I came up with a foolproof strategy to achieve all my goals this year and I’m going to share that with you! No matter what your goals are for 2019, it’s time to jump start them NOW start ADDING habits today that will assist you in achieving your goals and then on January 1st you can start taking the bad habits away! So for example, if your goal is to be healthier this year, start drinking more water this week, next week start exercising and then when you start the healthy eating when the New Year begins, you won’t be trying to tackle everything all at once. If your goal is to be more organized, start pinning your organization ideas and maybe begin purchasing the things you’ll need to achieve that goal. That way, when 2019 comes you’ll have a game plan and all the tools you need to get organized immediately. If your goal is to start a blog, start researching the things you need to do to be successful, purchase your domain, you get the idea! Winning comes with preparation so if you start setting yourself up for success now you will greatly increase your chances of achieving all that you set out to do.
One of the best ways to get into the right mindset to achieve your goals is to start reading motivational books. I personally don’t have the time to sit down and read but Audible has completely changed my life. It has given me the ability to read over 40 books this year will multi-tasking. I am so thankful for this super affordable alternative to traditional reading. Honestly, I spend less on my Audible subscription than I would pay for all the books I read. If you want to kick start your year, take advantage of the great deal above by clicking the banner to receive your first 2 books free!
They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year! With all the wonderful sales on the shopping scene, I tend to agree. Although I know I should be shopping for everyone else during the month of December, when I receive an Ulta or Sephora coupon ALL BETS ARE OFF! As a self proclaimed makeup addict, I can’t help but take advantage of a good coupon. When I read the fine print on the Ulta coupon that came in the mail and saw that there were almost no restrictions, I got in the car and headed off to Ulta immediately.
When I walked in without a game plan, I knew I was in trouble. After all, even a coupon is no excuse to spend all your money on things you don’t necessarily need so I did what any responsible adult would do and I went straight to the affordable section. When I say affordable, I’m referring to the non-luxury section of the store that I used avoid like the plague. With brands like NYX and Morphe stepping up their game I knew I could find some quality products over there! When it was all said and done with my coupon I spent UNDER $80 on all these goodies! If you want to see all my great finds, keep reading.
Ever since I realized that the Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette and Vault Collection were my eye shadow ride or die palettes, I’ve been dying to buy more Morphe shadows. I know they’re not the same formula, but with Jaclyn’s collections being so amazing I was really curious on what else the brand had to offer. I was looking through the palettes and this beauty definitely caught my eye! The Fall Into Frost Palette has a gorgeous variety of perfect fall and winter shades and it is a beautiful mix of mattes and shimmers. I used it for the first time today and I have to say, it lived up to all my expectations.
Like I said, I’ve been wanting to try more Morphe products! The 8S Stellar Impact Highlighter Palette caught my attention immediately! I swathed that first blue shade (ultraviolet) shade in the store, after seeing the blinding shine and pigmentation I immediately had to add this to the bag. All the shades are very wearable. At first I thought the bluish shades would be way too much, but it actually looks amazing on! I can’t wait to try every shade!
I’ve used so many beauty sponges! I thought I found my holy grail with the orange real techniques sponge. For the price and quality I believed it could not be beat. Although I must say, after trying the Morphe Beauty Sponge I’m fairly certain I’ve found my new favorite. What sets this particular sponge apart for me is the density! What I mean by that is it’s much heavier than any other beauty sponge and it packs on product like no other! I’ve only used it once for a regular foundation and concealer application today but I suspect the sharp edges are going to be great for highlighting and contouring… which is actually what the sponge was designed for.
I wrote an entire blog about how much I love this foundation and all the reasons why a while ago so if you want to read that, click here. If you’ve read that, you probably know why I needed to repurchase this when I had the chance.
NYX Liquid Suede lip sticks were my gateway into the affordable makeup world. They perform ALMOST as well as the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Liquid Lip Sticks. Although nothing can beat Jeffree, these are a close second. I love the consistency and the staying power of these lipsticks. They’re also not drying like some matte lipsticks can be. I grabbed the shade Brooklyn Thorn because although the photo does a poor job at capturing it, it’s a beautiful deep mauve with a subtle purple undertone. I’ve been looking for a shade like this for the colder months and this one was just what I was looking for at an unbeatable price.
The last item I purchased was Worth The Hype Mascara by NYX. Honestly this was a disappointment because it didn’t meet any of my expectations I would have in a mascara. Although, I’d rather try a flop when I have a coupon than pay full price! So no harm no foul.
Have you ever noticed that most of your friends have such similar holiday decor? Everyone seems to buy their decorations from all the same stores. I want my home to look chic and unique around the holidays! I think I finally cracked the code though! One of the best ways to make your home stand out at Christmas time is to buy some of your key pieces from Etsy! I found some great decor to help you get some great ideas. Some of them might even be able to be inspire you if you’re inclined in the DIY department. So without further ado, here are 7 amazing items that are sure to give your home the unique flair you are looking for this holiday season.
These Seashell Christmas trees are such a cute touch and are sure to give you tons of inspiration for an entire beach themed Christmas. The chances of other friends or family members adopting this unique holiday theme are slim to none! Your decor will definitely be a conversation starter. If you live somewhere cold, it’s also bound to make you feel a little bit warmer this Christmas.
This AMAZING and unique MAP garland! Can you imagine how special this would look on a Christmas tree?! It’s perfect for a travel obsessed person, couple or family. I know that if I walked in and saw this strung across someone’s home I would think it was such a cool idea and I’d definitely want to talk about it.
This adorable shadow box with Christmas music and decor! I’m imagining this gorgeous piece sitting on a piano! I think that would be such a beautiful touch for a music lover. I’m also picturing some beautiful paper garland with musical notes and snowflakes to go with the winter musical holiday scene!
Something that actually looks vintage to compliment your already vintage decor in the best possible way, like this Retro Wooden Santa! If you are trying to create a more 1950s vibe, this sign can go outside on the porch or be propped up against a wall to completely create that effect inside or outside of your home.
Have you ever seen a Christmas trees covered in gorgeous orange monarch butterflies? I haven’t and most of your friends probably haven’t either. This is another great way to tie summer into your Christmas decor. I love the uniqueness of this beautiful idea. I guarantee everyone who visits will agree.
A snarky sign mixed with holiday cheer! If you like a little bit of humor with your decor this sign is sure to give you the little laugh you’re looking for. People will probably be dying to know where one can make such a purchase. This is a very unique and interesting piece of decor.
Isn’t this copper wire fairy light garland SO interesting? I can think of so many interesting places to put this in a home! Above a fireplace I bet it would give such a modern twist to any traditional holiday decorations you already have!
I hope you enjoyed some of these Chic and Unique Etsy finds! If you look hard enough you may even be able to some more things to add to this list.
Dad’s, Grandpas and Uncles can be some of the hardest people to shop for. Here is a list of 5 gifts that most of the dad’s out there are sure to enjoy! Hopefully this gift guide will give you ideas that will confirm your spot in the family as the favorite! All the product photos below are amazon links so for specific names and more details that I haven’t included, just click the photos!
An Outdoor Surveillance Camera like a Nest Cam! I don’t know about your dad, but mine LOVES to know what’s going on outside. A camera like this will allow him to see what’s going on 24/7 from the convenience of his smart phone. Plus, if he’s a practical man, word on the street is these cameras can actually lower homeowners insurance in a lot of areas!
A Drone. My dad is a pretty much just an overgrown child. If your dad is retired like mine, and looking for a new hobby, learning to fly a drone will probably be perfect for him! The nice thing about these, is there’s a huge price range available so chances are you can find one in your budget.
A Smart Watch. My dad has ALWAYS worn a watch. If yours has too, it might be a good time to upgrade him to an awesome Smart Watch like the Samsung Galaxy watch shown above.
A Wireless Weather Station. This is another gift with the ability to sync to your dad’s smart devices! This is a great way for your dad to track the weather at home no matter where he is! Who wouldn’t want to nerd out over this sophisticated setup?
A Telescope! This one may seem odd, but this is a gift that no one else has probably thought of. What better way to pass the time than to look at the stars!
I hope this list was helpful and that it gave you some great ideas of things you can give your dad this holiday season! If you liked more than one idea save one for his birthday.
Many different groups choose to do some variation of White Elephant around the holidays. I’ve also heard this game called Dirty Santa or Yankee Swap. Chances are if you’re attending holiday gatherings this year, you’re bound to find yourself in a situation where you’re playing a version of this game.
If you’ve never played this game before, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about so I’ll quickly give you an overview of what this is all about. Usually each player or participant is asked to bring a wrapped gift to contribute to a pool of gifts that will be used to play the game. Usually all players will sit around a table or in a circle where the gift pool can easily be seen by all. Each player will draw a number which will determine the order that the players take their turns. The player who goes first will choose a gift and open it. Each player following will have the option to open a wrapped gift or steal a gift that has already been opened! In the event that a player has their gift stolen, they will then have the option to open a new gift or steal from another player. Some groups will have rules against stealing the same gift multiple times within a turn. As I mentioned earlier, there are many different variations of this game! The host of your particular gathering will definitely give you the official rules of their version of the game.
White Elephant gifts always come with a price you are asked to aim for. It’s usually between $10-$20 funny, weird and unique gifts are usually the biggest hit so below I’ve listed 5 great ideas at 3 different price points to help you get specific ideas, or draw inspiration. All the images are Amazon links so be sure to click them for more information on the brand, exact price, exact item name, and other details I may not have included.
(Around) $10 Ideas
Red Wine Stain Remover! This is a gift that will probably get a little chuckle especially since chances are someone will be drinking wine while this game is being played. I think this is a perfect White Elephant gift because it’s both functional and kind of funny.
A Funny Throw Pillow. First of all, this will probably throw people off when it’s wrapped because the size and weight and also, home items like throw pillows with a hilarious phrase on them are an interesting touch to a household. An item like this will definitely be a hit! Of course, depending on the crowd you’ll be with you could always just get a regular decorative throw pillow!
An Adult Coloring Book. Adult coloring books are still all the rage. They’re great for calming anxiety and killing time! Of course you could just pick up any old coloring book, but a funny one like The People Of Walmart Adult Coloring Book is sure to get the attention of the group and make everyone laugh.
A Nerf Gun. When it comes to White Elephant, I think the most random and unexpected gifts always end up being the most fought over! A Nerf Gun is such a weird unexpected gift and if there are men playing, they will be stealing this EVERY TURN.
Novelty Band-aids! There are a lot of great novelty band-aids like these bacon bandages above! One of the best things about a gift like this, is even though it’s funny it is still useful. Besides, the next time you see a friend or family member wearing a bacon band-aid you’re sure to get a good laugh.
(Around) $15 Ideas
A Novelty Clock. I think a novelty clock is a really funny White Elephant gift because people don’t really use wall clocks anymore but they can still be a really interesting conversation starter at the office or really anywhere it’s displayed. I love the Melting Clock pictured above. If there are any art lovers in the group they will definitely get a kick out of this nod to Salvador Dali.
Funny Socks! Socks are something functional that everyone needs. Most people wouldn’t purchase a pair of socks like the Bob Ross ones pictured above, but they’ll definitely wear them or re-gift them to someone else who will. This is a gift that’s sure to get a laugh.
A hilarious Welcome Mat that everyone can relate to. This is another gift that I love just because of how random it is. I know if I saw somebody open this at White Elephant I’d probably steal it and proudly display it in my home.
A 60 Pack of AA Batteries! First of all, no one could ever have too many batteries. You’re probably thinking this is the most boring gift on the list. Don’t worry! All you have to do to make this one funny is create a label that says “Gift Not Included” then you have a joke and the most functional White Elephant Gift of all time.
Desktop Corn Hole/ Bean Bags set! I actually can’t even explain how fun this game is. One of my cousins brought it to our family Thanksgiving last year and it actually lead to our entire family having a tournament across the dinning room table. Ever since then I thought it would make a genius White Elephant gift!
(Around) $20 Ideas
Big Fuzzy Slippers! Honestly, the more outrageous the better. These obnoxious pink bear paw slippers above are so perfect. Of course there is always the issue of people having different sizes but luckily people do have the ability to steal, trade or re-gift. I think part of the fun is the possibility of 6 foot tall grown man opening these.
A Game. The idea of having a game as a White Elephant gift is brilliant because it keeps the party going, especially if it’s a unique game most of the players have never played before. Relative Insanity pictured above is a perfect game if the majority of your group is family. It was created by Comedian Jeff Foxworthy and has been featured on several talk shows.
A Grilled Cheese Toaster. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a toaster specifically designed to make grilled cheese sandwiches. It has baskets to safely and easily cook 2 grilled cheese sandwiches at once. So this is another odd yet useful White Elephant Gift.
The Huggle Hoodie. This is pretty much a snuggie on steroids. Why would you not want to pretty much live in a blanket? I still don’t own one of these but I’ve wanted one since I spotted it on a friend over the summer. You better believe if I saw this at a White Elephant I would be ready to fight for it. If you don’t like this idea, really any of it’s “As Seen on TV” family members would be good choices.
This Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker. This is seriously my favorite thing on the list. It’s random enough to be a perfect White Elephant gift but there’s actually a good chance the recipient will actually enjoy it and use it.
I hope this list gave you a lot of good ideas! My goal when choosing a White Elephant gift is to pick out things that are fun, interesting and people will actually like, or that they will have potential to re-gift to someone else. I hate to get things that will just end up in the trash when spring cleaning rolls around. I also recommend wrapping the gift as beautifully as you possibly can. I like to try to make my gift the most aesthetically pleasing and I’m always hoping to have my gift picked first.
Today was going to be the day I started getting up earlier… spoiler alert! That, it was not. You see, I’ve been reading the “The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs” by Hal Elrod and Cameron Herold. Basically, they break down the morning routine of the most successful people in the world. Of course, this would mean waking up quite a bit earlier. I’m going to try again tomorrow. If you’re not an entrepreneur, there are actually several versions of this book so there’s definitely one out there for you. I think once I get on track with this, my life and business will improve dramatically! So, if you’d like to follow my journey with this book, read my full review of it and see how I apply these principles let me know and I’ll do another post about those topics specifically. But back to today! Today was one of those mornings where I decided that an extra 15 more minutes in bed was more valuable than the 15 minutes I could’ve spent in the shower, styling my hair, or applying my makeup to perfection. Tired me should NOT be given the power to make that choice.
Have you been in that situation before? I know it wasn’t the first time for me and it certainly won’t be the last. So luckily for both of us I’ve got this situation completely figured out! So, without further delay, here’s the list of my Top 5 Morning Rush Must Haves!
• Moisturizer with SPF SPF is SO important. We can’t afford to skip out on this EVER! We also shouldn’t skip moisturizer either so, if you don’t have time for much at least do this!
• Tarte Shape Tape Concealer Even if you don’t have time to do a full makeup look this is the quickest and easiest way to look alive as they say. What I mean by that is putting a little bit of this on your under-eyes will immediately erase dark circles and make you look a lot less tired.
• Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02 This is a loose powder dry shampoo that will allow you to refresh yesterday’s style and add volume at the root without giving your hair a gritty feeling. I love that this is a clean feeling option in the dry shampoo world. Check out my products highlight real on my IG to see this product in action HERE.
• A Steamer Nobody wants to have to go out in wrinkly clothes! If you do not own a steamer you need to click on the link above NOW and order one. Steaming is quicker than ironing and you will be so grateful to own one of these babies when you’re in a hurry! I love the Joy Mangano brand because first of all, did you see the movie about her when Jennifer Lawrence played her? Also why would you not want the option to get your favorite color? Shut up and take my money.
• A Keurig This may be a larger item but having the ability to make your own coffee in a small portion is going to be worth the time it saves you from either A. having to make a whole pot or B. having to stop somewhere. So, if you’re a coffee drinker you NEED one of these. Plus think about the adorable coffee nook you can create in your kitchen!
I hope you don’t find yourself running late but if you do, the items on this list should be there ready to assist you. There are two honorable mentions that didn’t make it on the list though, a little bit of eyeliner and lipstick will definitely help you appear more put together! That’s what I have on in the selfie I posted up at the top. What are your morning rush must haves? Let me know in the comments.
Many of us believe we would be happier if we had more money, more fame, more beauty and more adoration. Icon Marilyn Monroe had all of those things and more. Norma Jeane Baker come into the spotlight under the stage name Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s. During the height of her career, you would probably view her as the ultimate success story. Girl comes from nothing and conquers the world! So how did this seemingly perfect life turn into a tragedy in the blink of an eye? More importantly, what can we learn from this legendary star and apply to our own lives?
Marilyn Monroe didn’t have the easiest childhood. Her father wasn’t in the picture and her mother was not prepared for parenthood financially or emotionally. Monroe was put into foster care shortly after birth and although her mother remained a part of her life her foster parents were the ones raising her. Despite the foster parents wanting to adopt Marilyn, her mother took her back full time when she was about 7. Shortly after, Monroe’s mother suffered a mental breakdown, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent the remainder of her life in a revolving door of psychiatric hospitals and care. With her mother once again being in no position to provide care for her, Monroe became a ward of the state and returned to foster care. Unfortunately, this period of her life didn’t provide much positivity or stability. Marylin Monroe found herself hopping from family to family and even spending time in orphanages. During this time, she experienced many horrors such as multiple instances of sexual abuse, molestation and isolation. These unthinkable experiences affected Marilyn deeply and the trauma caused her to become very withdrawn and depressed. To escape this situation and find stability, she chose to get married at the age of 16. This marriage ended up being a loveless one and while it didn’t affect Marilyn negatively, it was short lived.
Marilyn Monroe was very driven to achieve her goals. She broke into the modeling world and then decided to set her sights on acting. Before she knew it, Marilyn was starring in the most popular films and becoming a household name. All of her dreams were coming true! She was considered the “it girl” of the era and in the publics eyes she could do no wrong. Her scandals were even making fame skyrocket to new heights. She was recognized as the top actress, she was certainly one of the highest paid people in Hollywood and she had unmeasurable love and admiration from her massive fan base. Marilyn Monroe was just adding award after award to her growing collection. Despite her growing success Marilyn was still struggling. Her lack of confidence and happiness were still evident in her behavior especially in a working environment. Marilyn was rumored to be very difficult to work with and her perfectionism was making it impossible for her to be satisfied with any project she was involved with. The amount of pressure she was putting on herself eventually lead Monroe to turn to substance abuse. These habits eventually made the problems she was experiencing even worse and lead to addiction issues. As we’ve all seen time and time again, eventually addiction catches up with everyone. Marilyn Monroe was no exception to this and her performances began to suffer as a result. This only added to her substance abuse and eventually she ended up losing her life to her addiction. There is no question that her lethal overdose was intentional because the toxicology report showed that the amount of drugs in her system were several times the fatal dose.
How you feel has nothing to do with your circumstances. The reason Marilyn Monroe committed suicide because she never learned to conquer her emotional state. Instead of learning to find happiness within herself, she chose to use drugs to try and change how she was feeling. She had every reason in the world to be happy by most people standards. The amount of money she had would be the equivalent to about $2 billion in this day and age. She was considered by many to be the most beautiful woman in the entire world. She had dedicated fans who viewed her as the perfect woman. She had reached an unmatched level of fame. She had numerous awards validating her success. She lives on as a legend even to this day even though she passed away over 50 years ago. She had to have seen the impact she made not only on her industry but on the world as a whole, yet this is a woman who felt hopeless enough to take her own life. Obviously now that you’ve read about her childhood, you know that that trauma was a factor. As many of us tend to believe, Marilyn probably thought all of these achievements and material items in her life were supposed to bring her joy. She probably believed the money, success and admiration had the ability to erase her broken past. No circumstance you create for yourself will ever have the ability to do that for you. Happiness is a choice. If you aren’t happy with your life as it is in this current moment, I’m not suggesting that you should just accept it and do nothing to change it. What I am suggesting is that you take action immediately to learn to be happy every step of the way and start training your brain to be happy regardless of the circumstances you are in at any given time in your life. Even the world’s most successful people will tell you that life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Until you reprogram your brain to be happy during the entire ride, it won’t know how to be happy in even the best of times and Marilyn Monroe is the proof of that.
**I should mention that I understand how mental illness could have played a role in this situation. With her mother’s diagnoses it is certainly a possibility that Marilyn Monroe was more prone to the same issues. However, dwelling on negative thoughts has been proven to worsen your brain chemistry when these illnesses are present. If you do suffer from mental illness, I encourage you to seek professional help and allow them to help you develop strategies to improve your ability to cope with whatever issues you may be experiencing. If you are predisposed to have negative thoughts, this concept is going to be even more important for you. Please, take care of yourself. The world just wouldn’t be the same without you.