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Stuff & Things: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  

I've claimed this week as vacation, so regularly scheduled programming will resume next week!

Enjoy your holiday!


Friday Favorites: Some Snippets of Life!

I literally have Christmas music blaring so loudly at this exact moment because the fire alarm is blaring at the apartment complex behind us.  So thank you, Sarah Mclachlan for your powerful voice that isn't making me feel guilty about sad, abused dogs for once in your life.

Speaking of Christmas music...Pandora Sara Bareilles Holiday Radio station.  Do it.  Doooooo it!  I'll wait.

Okay, got it?  
Let's continue.

Let's all take a minute to sa-wooooooon over this Julep color, shall we?  

Now's a good time to subscribe.  You'll get this gorgeous box for just $2.99.  Perfect for the holidays!
(Julep is a monthly nail polish & beauty subscription service that you can skip or cancel at any time)

I went all basic white girl when I got it out into the sunlight for these photos.  The hubs was ever so kindly replacing the windshield wipers on my my mom's car when I literally shrieked OMG I CAN'T EVEN!  Okay, yes.  Guilty.  Whatever.

Speaking of basic white girl I kid, sort of.  I've spent a lot of time at Starbucks lately.  Remember last month when I told you I made a budget?  Well, I knew myself well enough to know I wasn't going to stop going.  So I gave myself a monthly Starbucks allowance and added it to my gift card.  Done and Done.  I've been working on a few projects (and maybe a few ebooks...get excited), so I've been setting up camp at least a couple times a week in my little corner at the 'bucks.  My newest favorite feature?  The express ordering feature on their app!  Nothing better than ordering my drink from my seat at one of the few coveted tables, without waiting in the line.  thankyouverymuch

Saturday has become our date night.  I hate to be so cliche, but it's important, y'all.  The hubs and I hardly see each other, working our butts off all week long and crashing out embarrassingly early every day.  But we're taking a new approach for tomorrow.  Date lunch.  We tried hard last week, y'all.  We were so pumped for our Red Lobster date that we actually woke up exclaiming it's cheddar biscuit day!  We even went to dinner pretty early (we're taking like...6).  We snatched a coffee on the way home with hopes of watching a movie and hanging out.  Yeah.  He crashed out five minutes after walking in the door.  Fail.  So we're going to attempt the whole date day thing.  I'll report in next week!  Gotta do whatcha gotta do.

Someone find some confetti to throw because it's Friday!  We made it, even if just barely.  

Want some good news?  Next week is Thanksgiving, so we're all likely looking at a shorter week. Get excited!

Weekly favorites with Amanda.
*Julep links are affiliate


Stuff & Things

Don't judge me.  It's 9:50.  I'm finally sitting down for the night.  It's pouring rain outside and I'm shamelessly watching some Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel.

I'll be completely honest.  We're usually are on it, and Kristin or I will make the link for these posts sometime around Monday or Tuesday.  I just got home from dinner with girlfriends, hopped out of the shower and it dawned on me that it was Wednesday.  I need a calendar glued to my glasses these days.  Seriously.  What day is it?

Speaking of dinner with friends, I had pho for the first time tonight and holy yumminess!  We went to some sketchy little Vietnamese place off of South Blvd (Vietnam Grille in case any of you local Charlotteans were wondering).  We went last week (I stuck with vermacille last week because I hadn't found it anywhere since my beloved Pho9n9 in Durham), and decided we just had to go back.  The restaurant isn't much to look at, but the food is good.  We ended with ice cream because we don't do dinner without following up with a second location for dessert.

Okay friends, That's about it for today! Not much in the way of an update, but what's there to update when I spend most every waking minute working?

Right...not much.

Now, it's your turn!

How to Master the No Makeup Makeup Look!

I've been watching some TV lately.  Nothing out of control (because really, when do I have the time), but a little OTH and Jane the Virgin here and there.  And I've noticed something.  The characters I find the prettiest aren't really all that made up.

Okay, yes.  I know they have some serious cosmetology magic happening in their trailers, making the no makeup makeup look seem so effortless.  But what it made me realize was that it really doesn't take much to go from dear god don't look at me to okay, this is acceptable.

I hate that I even feel like I need this disclaimer, but obviously makeup is in no way a requirement.  I hope we're all adult enough to accept the reality that most of us just prefer to wear a little to make us feel more put together and presentable.

And truth be told I love makeup.  But most days, it's not something I make time to fuss with.  I don't want to look like the walking dead, but also don't want to spend a ton of time every day.

every day makeup products

With that said, I started pulling back on my makeup.  I've been dealing with some skin issues lately I have some skin issues (hello, adult acne), and I wanted to see if I pulled back if it would actually help my skin.  Seemed sort of like a no-brainer, and it's definitely been helping.  

The trick to the no-makeup makeup look is to really pamper your skin!  

I'm still using the Clinique Acne Solutions, and it's still working for me (for the most part).  It doesn't leave my skin perfect, and I still get flare ups, but it's been consistently good for me.  I'm hoping to try out the Rodan & Fields UnBlemish soon (holler at Kristin if you need a consultant).  

I moisturize with just a standard moisturizer.  Sometimes I opt for coconut oil if I'm dealing with some pesky dry skin.  For eye cream, I've been using Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair, and it's some heavy duty stuff.  I let my moisturizers soak in for about 10 minutes before I move on to makeup.  That's a good time to work on your hair.

five minute face

The point of the no makeup makeup look for me is to highlight my strongest features without it being obvious.

First up, the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser.  This is new for me.  I hate the packaging, love the product.  I apply it in the typical triangle under my eyes, bringing what's left down my nose and hitting my eyelids.  I have two scars on my cheeks from cystic breakouts that this ends up covering, too.

Next, I dust the Rimmel Stay Matte powder all over my face.  I use translucent, but for some reason it ends up making everything look a little softer, and it seems to have some coverage which doesn't make any sense to me, but hey...I'm not complaining.

I hit my cheeks with just a bit of the Nyx blush.  Pinched is a great touch of color that also has a bit of a highlighting quality to it.  It adds a nice flush to the skin without looking like makeup.

The Naked Basics Palette has a few jobs.  I mix Naked 2 & Faint together and tackle my brows lightly.  I take a flat eyeliner brush and pick up some crave for my tight line.  This is a great way to add depth to your eyes without actually seeing the liner.  I take that same liner brush and dip it into Faint.  I very gently tap it under my bottom lashes.  Again, a great way to line the eyes without it seeming so obvious.

I forgot to photograph mascara, but you know you should always use mascara, right?  That's a probably a no-brainer. Just use what works for you.  I like the Covergirl Clump Crusher.  Two light coats on top lashes, one light coat on bottom lashes.

Finish up with a soft gloss.  You can also opt for a soft, matte lipstick.

Bada bing! Bada boom!
And you're out the door
in five minutes!


Battling The Inadequacy: Self-Esteem & Confidence

julep vanna

I've always dealt with some confidence and self-esteem issues.  Nothing catastrophic, but there's always been this nagging voice in the back of mind telling me that I'm inadequate. I can usually ignore it, squash it, but not always.  And then finally I got fed up, and I started to dig around, trying to find the source.

It took me some time to find the root of the issue, and when I finally did, my heart sank a little.

For many years, I had a person in my life who was an expert at subtly dragging me down.  They were disguised as a friend but their words and actions proved over the years that they were anything but.  Looking back on the friendship now, it all seems so obvious, but I was blinded by who I thought they were.  I can pinpoint moments that I literally ate the garbage they fed me, fueling this ever constant battle I faced with confidence and self-esteem.

combatting feelings of inadequacy

You see, I thought this person was perfect.  They had everything I didn't.  Where I was a mess, they were organized and together.  Where I was stupid, they were smart.  Where I was plain, they sparkled.  That alone will leave a person feeling inadequate.  You can never measure up to a person like that.  My opinion of them was evident in the way I treated them.  But the thing is, I treat all my friends the same.  Once I'm in, I'm all in.  But they saw this loyalty and insecurity, and they became a parasite.

A parasite is a living being who lives off other living beings,
sucking their energy
without any useful contribution in return,
hurting their host little by little.

Sound familiar?  I hope not.  The truth is, though, that many of us are in relationships like this without ever realizing it.   We suffer quietly through the effects, unsure of their source, thinking the problem is us.  I was stunted, never even aware that someone was holding me down.

This person would say things to me, about me, that I believed because they solidified worries and fears I already had about myself.  I gave them the power to control the way I saw myself.  

A word they used often was ridiculous.  If I had an idea: that's ridiculous.  If I started dancing to a song I loved: you're ridiculous.  If I expressed myself in any way: don't be ridiculous.  

Ridiculous: deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd. 

They mocked me always.  They would embarrass me in front of others, making me the butt of every joke.  They never ever built me up, only ever tearing me down.  They drained me.  Exhausting. Looking back on it now, it's clear to see.  I'm unsure how I never saw it before, but for whatever reason, I didn't.

The only way to escape is to stop feeding the parasite, strip it of its power.  It wasn't until I cut ties that I even realized they were holding me down.

There'd been a voice whispering in my ear for over a decade, solidifying all the worst thoughts I ever had about myself.

So here I am, nearly thirty years old learning to rebuild, finding my confidence.  We all fear being cocky and arrogant, which is why we hardly ever have a good perspective of ourselves.  It's important to surround yourself with the kind of people who remind you that you are good, that you are smart, that you are enough.

Zoom out and analyze the big picture.  Are you host to a parasite?  Stop feeding it.

*this post contains an affiliate link.