High Five For Friday

Good morning guys! It’s finally Friday-yay! I thought I would share with you guys the 5 highlights of my week, so here we go!

1) Tonight is date night with Greg!

Greg and I have started a tradition of going out to dinner together every Friday night. We usually try someplace new around our apartment in Lexington. I absolutely love it because we get to try yummy new food and enjoy some quality time together. The week can get pretty hectic sometimes and I think it is so important to just go out and spend a few uninterrupted hours with the one you love. Last week we tried a place called the Main Street Cafe which had delicious Mediterranean food. This week…who knows? That ‘s part of the fun! What do you guys like to do on date night? We are always looking for fun new ideas! There is an outdoor movie theater not too far from here I would love to check out. We need to make that happen!

2) Spending the morning with my fat man

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Mornings off from work mean I get to spend a little time outside on the porch with this cutie pie. He is absolutely in love with the trees behind our apartment and all the sounds he hears coming from back there. I am slightly obsessed with his adorable face and I think he knows it😉

3) New comforter!

So my search for a comforter has finally come to an end. If any of y’all have ever been comforter shopping, it can be frustrating. I feel like it’s really hard to find one that is good quality but not insanely overpriced. Adding to that difficulty is the fact I wanted something Greg and I would both like. So I found this gem on overstock. com and I am so pleased with it!

ImageI’m just showing y’all a close up of the pattern because our bedroom is far from being complete! I just love this comforter because I feel like there is so much you can do with it. I’m thinking jewel tones and animal accents for the winter. I will keep you guys posted as my ongoing project known as the master bedroom slowly creeps along🙂

4) Oh TJMaxx how I love you, let me count the ways

I went to TJMaxx recently with my friend Liz and while I found some adorable owl statues for the apartment, I also found this shirt, which I love.

ImageI don’t know if you can tell, but it has faux leather strips down the sides. It fits so well and is super soft. And under $15! Perfection. I am eyeing some statement necklaces from Baublebar to possibly pair with it. Greg and I are planning a day trip sometime soon and I think this will be absolutely perfect.

5) My mom is coming today!

My momma is coming down for the day today and I am super excited! I haven’t seen her in over a month and that is far too long for me! I’m excited for her to get here so she can help me pretty up the apartment, go to lunch, and do all those fun girly things that are so awesome to do with your mom.

ImageThis picture is suuuuuuper old (I’m thinking 2009) but you get the idea. She is beautiful and I love her. The end.

I hope you guys have a great weekend! Talk to you soon!

Crafts and blessings…

Hi guys! I hope y’all are having a great day so far. I don’t know where you guys live but the weather around here has been gorgeous lately. I’m talking just a hint of cool in the air-just enough to where you can feel Fall coming. Love it!

Since today is one of my off days, I started it out by going to volunteer with PAALS from 9-12 this morning. In my post last week, I told you guys I was excited to start my volunteer journey, and so I was excited this morning to head over and see what was in store! The entire operation is run out of Jen’s (the owner’s) house. She has about 17 dogs there that they are currently training to be full time, live-in, service dogs for those who have applied for the dogs. Those who apply are usually veterans or people with disabilities. Sadly, I wasn’t able to take any pictures because I was told it was probably best to just leave my purse in the car. There is a lot going on inside and they didn’t want it to get trampled by any doggie paws. So from 9-10:30 I just helped take all the dogs outside so they could stretch their legs and “do their business”🙂 At 10:30, I was able to tag along on an “outing” where Jen and 2 senior staff took 3 of the dogs to a local middle school. They took the dogs to a class with about 5 autistic students and it was such a blessing to see the children interact with the dogs. Animals really have such a calming influence and the kids lit up when they saw the dogs come in! They showed the kids how the dogs can do certain function like pick up their own leash and retrieve dropped objects. The kids absolutely loved it and didn’t want us to leave. I felt so blessed to be a part of something so special and I truly admire Jen for building the organization that she has. 

Aside from my volunteer stuff this morning, I just ran some errands and I have been hanging out at the apartment. It is so nice to just be able to sit down for an hour or two and watch some good old fashioned reality tv🙂 My current favorite on E! (which is 100% education programming ;)) is Total Divas.

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Judge me all you want. I eat it up. I love it. I don’t know why, but I do. 

Aside from that, I have been cleaning, which always inspired me to get organized…which inevitably makes me want to get crafty. My current craft goal is to make one of those magnetic makeup boards you can hang on the wall. I currently do my makeup in our second bathroom, which has limited counter space. I would love to make a magnetic board that also has holders for makeup brushes. Something like this: 

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Or this: 

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Have any of y’all ever made one before? It seems fairly straightforward, but I don’t know if there may be certain tricks to making one look extra good. I want to make it pretty since guests will likely use that bathroom at some point. Now if I can only make it to Hobby Lobby and make this baby happen!

One more thing I wanted to mention really quickly is a story I was fortunate enough to do this past Sunday that really touched my heart. There is a little boy here in Columbia named Richard who is 8 years old and was diagnosed last year with an inoperable brain tumor. Up until around May of this year, he was slowly declining in his health but then suddenly, he began to get better and now he is on his way to an almost full recovery. I think it is just such a fantastic example on what the power of the Lord, and prayer, can truly accomplish. I normally don’t like to put my work stuff on here but if you have a few minutes, please check on the story I did so you can see some more details for yourself: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4qntuBcsMg

And here is a picture of me with Richard: 

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Even though he has a long way to go, he is such a miracle and it’s hard to believe that up until a few months ago, he was in an almost vegetative state. The moral of the story here I guess is to just never give up hope, no matter how difficult your situation. God can do amazing things, even if they seem impossible at the time. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and have a wonderful night. I’ll talk to y’all tomorrow!!

High Five For Friday!

Good morning guys! It’s Friday! I hope y’all have some fun stuff planned for the weekend-maybe a little football/tailgating? At the very least I hope you get to relax with a good cup of coffee🙂 On Fridays I love to participate in the High Five For Friday posts, so here are my top 5 favorites from this week!

1) Fall is everywhere!

So you guys know I am going completely nuts over anything Fall right now. If our South Carolina temperatures could just hurry up and dip about 20 degrees, that would be amazing. When I went through the checkout line at Publix yesterday, I saw this little beauty and had to pick it up.

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I usually don’t buy magazines but this one seemed so enticing with its pumpkin decorating and hearty recipe awesomeness. And I always love me some Rachel Ray! That girl knows how to make some awesome food and I just find her so entertaining. I have already flipped through it and spotted some recipes I must make for me and Greg. There is a mashed potato topped meatloaf recipe that I have a feeling may show up in the next week or so in our house. I will keep you guys posted and put up the recipe if it is a success!

2) Coffee galore!

Greg let me in on the little secret (or not so secret) fact that if you register your Keurig on the Keurig website, you can get 2 free boxes of k-cups if you order 2 other boxes. We were getting low on coffee and obviously  had to jump on that deal, so we picked out some yummy sounding selections.

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In case y’all can’t read all the labels, we got: Pumpkin Spice, Mocha Nut Fudge, Southern Pecan, and Chai Latte. All of them are delicious and smell so good! I really like having a cup of coffee in the morning when I am doing my makeup and getting ready then take a Chai Latte for the road. It is so spicy and good and makes me happy when sitting in traffic!

3) Finding a cause to volunteer for

I decided since I am officially no longer a student, I need to start creating a well-rounded “adult” life. To me, this means having a job you enjoy, people in life that you love, and a cause that you can get involved in that means something to you. Even if you can’t really give a lot of money (like myself), you can always give some of your time. I was fortunate enough to do a story last weekend on a PAALS fundraiser and was really struck by the organization.

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They basically raise dogs from the time they are puppies to become service dogs. They teach them how to follow commands, retrieve things off the floor, turn on light switches, etc. These dogs then go to special needs children, veterans, or someone who is disabled. The dogs also go to schools, camps, army bases, or anywhere where a program can be put in place for the dogs to interact with people who can benefit from the dogs. I went to the initial volunteer meeting Wednesday night and I can’t wait to get involved in any way I can. 

4) Finding a good book!

I bought one of the first books since we graduated in May that is purely for my own enjoyment. It’s Sarah’s Key and I have heard so many amazing things about it. It’s set in Paris in 1942 and flashes ahead to Paris in 2002.

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The two stories are connected somehow but since I have only read a little bit, I’m not sure how just yet. But so far it is really good and I’m looking forward to reading through the rest. It is so hard to find a book that is well written and truly sucks you in, but this book is fitting the bill so far!

5) Nashville

Um….has anyone else heard that Nashville’s second season is coming back on very soon? September 25 get here faster! I love this show and absolutely can not wait to see what the new season has in store!

ImageI hope you guys have a great rest of the day and an even better weekend! Talk to y’all later!🙂

 

Natural Face Care and um….an awesome Ulta deal

Hey guys! I hope your week has been going great so far. Almost to Friday! Today is kind of like my Friday since I have Thursdays and Fridays off. I spent the day at a lunch meeting, going to the Muffler Shop to get my muffler fixed (isn’t that how every girl wants to spend her day off?) and then doing a little bit of shopping (grocery and fun stuff). There is a deal at Ulta that I absolutely had to tell y’all about! They are having their 21 days of beauty event going on right now and there is a different deal going on each day. Today they are having a deal where you can buy one Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner, get one FREE! Not half off, but free! That is almost unheard of with higher end makeup lines like Stila, and I know from experience those eyeliners are fantastic. So I swung by and picked up these two beauties: 

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Here are the swatches:

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The top swatch is called Lionfish and the bottom one is called Purple Tang. Lionfish is totally in my comfort zone. I love anything dark brown or a dark copper shade. Purple Tang was a little bit of a wilder choice for me but I think the deep purple will look so pretty for fall. If you have an Ulta near you, you should definitely swing by and pick some of these bad boys up. They are super easy to use, the pigmentation is great, and they seriously do not budge all day!

Another beauty tip I wanted to share with you guys is one my friend Katie told me about. She had been having a little trouble with her skin lately. She said she had been having some breakouts and her skin looked a little dull. So she read somewhere about how when you use aloe and tea tree oil on your face, it keeps it hydrated and also fights acne. The aloe helps keep your skin from getting dry and the tea tree oil acts as a natural antibacterial to fight acne. 

I have been having a few blemishes pop up since it has seriously been about a billion degrees outside and I have to wear a good bit of makeup for my job. So I decided to give this little skin concoction a whirl and I’m sure glad I did! These are the exact products I have been using: 

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You are supposed to just use clear, pure aloe gel that you can get at the drugstore or Wal-Mart. Then you can buy the tea tree oil at most health food stores. I’m going to warn you guys, this stuff is a little pricey. I got the less expensive brand and that little bottle was about $14. Not terrible, but I just wanted to warn you. 

You then take about a dime sized amount of the aloe and mix it in your hand with a drop or two of the oil. Then rub all over your face in place of your moisturizer at night. I have been doing this for about a week now and I love it! My skin does look a bit brighter and the tea tree oil helped take away my two blemishes without making them a dry, scaly mess. Just be careful because the oil can smell a little strong, and using more than a drop or two is not good for your skin. You can use an additional dab on any spots you are having particular trouble with, though. 

I just wanted to share this tip with you guys in case y’all are having some skin issues like me. This hot weather can be brutal! I hope you guys have a great night and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!🙂

High Five For Friday!

Hey y’all! I absolutely love these High Five For Friday posts because I think it is so nice to think of the 5 “highlights” of the past week. So without further ado, here are my five!

1)   WACH Fox Fall Launch Party

Last night WACH Fox had our Fall Launch Party and it was so much fun! Our sales team did a fantastic job with everything. It was catered by Seawell’s (a restaurant here in Columbia) and the food was awesome! They had yummy southern favorites like chicken tenders and mini bbq sandwiches, along with tables of other yummy goodies like chocolate dipped strawberries (be still, my heart!). They did an amazing job making sure the food never ran low, which is good because I think Greg and I had about 30 chicken tenders between the two of us! There was also an open bar but Jagermeister and Conquest liquor reps were there as well to do tastings of some delicious drink concoctions they came up with for our event. My favorite was the drink by Jagermeister called the Headless Horseman. It had some kind of pumpkin liquor in there and it was so delicious! Thankfully they just put the drinks in sample cups or I easily could have gotten in trouble with that one. Another hit of the night was the photo booth. So much fun! Greg and I totally had to jump in there and get our picture taken.

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Overall it was such a fun night and I feel so blessed to work for such a fun company. 

2)   Owls

Lately, I have been loving owls. Not sure if it is Fall-related or not, but I am slowly growing a mini collection. We have this guy (we named him Oliver) on the deck on our patio.

ImageAnd then I just picked up this guy today at Wal-Mart. Can you believe it was only $2.97? I knew he absolutely had to come home with me. 

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3)   Starbucks pumpkin spice

I know I already talked about this in yesterday’s post, but this totally deserves another shout out. I am seriously having to restrain myself from going every day and getting a Pumpkin Spice Frap. It is just so, so, so good and totally makes me feel like Fall is in the air. 

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(That is my excited face, I guess. Starbucks has yet to hire me to be in their ads. Shocking!)

4)   Time with Simba

Since I had yesterday and today off work, I have had a little time to just chill with my fat cat. He loves it when we can be here to snuggle with him and how could you not want to hang out with such a cute thing?? By the way, he takes his sleep very seriously. 

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5)   Birthday dinner with Greg

Technically, this last thing happened last Friday, so wasn’t really “this week”, but I’m going to mention it anyways. Greg’s birthday is September 1st, but since I had to work on his actual birthday, I took him out last Friday night for an early birthday dinner. We started off the night by grabbing drinks at the Rooftop bar at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Columbia. It was so nice to relax up there with such an amazing view of Columbia! The bar is on the 17th floor (or the “roof”) of the hotel and you can see for miles.

ImageThen we scooted on over to Cowboy, which is an all you can eat Brazilian steakhouse. Greg absolutely loved it because the man loves him some meat, so an endless stream of steak, pork, etc. is his version of paradise.

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We capped off the night at a local frozen yogurt place called Yumilicious because even though we can totally appreciate a nicer restaurant like Cowboy, you can never beat frozen yogurt for desert.

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All in all, it was the perfect night! 

Wow…Hey Guys!

Oh goodness, where do I begin? I can’t believe it has been THREE MONTHS since I last put up a blog post. I let this little blog that I love flatline and I am so sorry about that. Life has been a bit crazy, so I hope y’all don’t mind if I just use this post to catch you guys up and let you know my plans for this blog from now on!

When I last left off with you guys (in *June*! gasp!), I had just graduated law school and was on the hunt for a job. Well, since then, I have officially gotten a job and I am officially employed! (now is the time when I bow my head and whisper “Thank you, Jesus”) I didn’t end up taking the Bar in July or getting a job that is legal in any sense. I guess I’m just a rebel like that🙂 I actually accepted a reporting job here in Columbia at our local Fox station. I studied Broadcast Journalism at USC and I am so happy to be back doing what I truly enjoy! I won’t lie though, it was scary to go against the grain and not pursue a job in the legal world. But this quote truly hit home for me and provided me with the inspiration to follow my own path: 

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I have been at Fox since the middle of June and I have already gotten the opportunity to do so many wonderful things. My professional life is fulfilling in a way I truly don’t think it would have been if I had pursued a legal career. I believe lawyers are truly wonderful people and are truly inspiring. It just wasn’t for me. If y’all want to hear more about my job or any of that, please let me know. 

Aside from work, Greg and I also made the big decision to get our first apartment together!

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It wasn’t a decision we made lightly, but we both agree we want to be together for the long haul. We moved into our new place in August and I can’t wait to share pictures and all that with you guys. I need a little decorating inspiration and hopefully you guys can give me some wonderful ideas :) 

I’m so excited to move forward with this blog in tow and keep posting about all things life and beauty! Fall is absolutely one of my favorite times of the year and I can’t wait to put up posts with some beautiful fall inspired makeup, clothes, nail polish, etc. that I want to try. For instance, loving some of the darker shades in the new OPI San Francisco collection like this gorgeous dark blue: 

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OPI Incognito in Sausalito

And of course I will be obsessed with anything pumpkin!

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Speaking of pumpkin….guess what is back at Starbucks???!!!!! Pumpkin spice lattes! So. Stinking. Excited. I already got a Pumpkin Spice Frap on Monday and oh my goodness, the level of deliciousness was off the charts!

To wrap up this post, I wanted to let y’all know my plans for the blog going forward. I am currently working the Saturday through Wednesday shift at the station. (Ew, I know-no weekends, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do) So that means I am off work Thursdays and Fridays. My plan is to definitely put up posts on those two days. I would love to do more, but we will have to take baby steps and see how things go🙂 Again, sorry for leaving you guys hanging for three months, but my life has finally settled down and I can’t wait to move forward together. Y’all are the best and I will chat with you guys tomorrow!

 

 

A “Magical” Mascara?

Hey guys! I hope your week is going really well. There has been a lot of buzz about a Revlon mascara recently and I wanted to give it a try. It is the Revlon Lash Potion mascara, which is supposed to give your lashes “spell-binding volume and length”.

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So what are my thoughts? Did it make me gasp and wonder how in the world a mascara could make my eyelashes look like Beyonce’s? Not quite. Is it simply a really good mascara? Yes. The brush and consistency of this mascara reminds me a lot of Revlon’s Grow Luscious mascara, which y’all may have tried.

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Both brushes are pretty large and the consistency is on the drier side. Both mascaras give nice volume and length without any clumps, which is nice. The finish is pretty natural and not as dramatic as L’Oreal’s Voluminous mascara, in my opinion. For me personally, I prefer the darker and more “wet” consistency of the Voluminous mascara. I feel like it grips my lashes a little more than this Lash Potion mascara. However, I will happily use up this Revlon mascara because it is really good, just not quite a perfect 10 in my opinion. If you are looking for a great mascara which is perfect for a natural, everyday look with some “oomph”, then definitely give this a go. If you are looking for a true magic trick, I may look elsewhere.  ;) Talk to you guys soon!

A Healthy Gyro?? It Exists!

Hey guys ! So I stumbled across a recipe for a healthy veggie gyro and I wanted to share it with y’all. Greg and I are currently cleaning up our eating routine, and we are constantly trying to find healthy alternatives to our not-so-healthy favorites. Pita pizzas have become a weekly staple, along with more fruits and veggies. So when I saw a recipe titled “My Big Fat Greek Pita” in Hungry Girl, I was more than intrigued. 

Image(This book is awesome and has so many healthy alternative to traditional comfort foods and desserts!)

Here is the official recipe from the book: 

My Big Fat Greek Pita

Ingredients (For one serving. You can easily just double this to make two gyros.)

  • 1 Whole Wheat (or high-fiber) Pita
  • 2 Ounces Fat-Free Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Small Onion, Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Red and Green Bell Peppers
  • 2 Cups Fresh Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • Salt, Black Pepper, Oregano, and Garlic Powder, To Taste
  • Optional: Red Pepper Flakes

Directions (Again-this only makes one serving)

  • Cut pita in half and toast, if desired
  • In a small dish, combine yogurt with salt, black pepper, oregano, and garlic powder (season to taste). Add red pepper flakes if you want your pita super-spicy. 
  • In a pan sprayed with non-stick spray, cook onion and peppers over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. 
  • Add spinach and tomatoes, and cook until spinach wilts. 
  • Remove all veggies from heat and combine with the yogurt sauce. Stuff pita halves with veggie mix. 

Nutritional Info:

  • 219 Calories
  • 1.5g Fat 
  • 365mg Sodium 
  • 43 Carbs’
  • 9.5 Fiber
  • 10 Sugars
  • 14g Protein

Here is our end result: 

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ImageSo yummy! I’ll be honest with you guys, nothing quite tastes like a real gyro with the meat and everything, but this is a really good healthy alternative. I hope this inspires you guys to discover your own healthy alternatives to foods you thought may have been totally off limits. Definitely give the Hungry Girl book a shot if you want some great ideas. I hope you guys have a great night and I will talk to you soon!

 

 

Maybelline Review!

Hey y’all! I hope you guys are having a great Memorial Day weekend. Greg and I just got back from spending some time outside. We wanted some sunshine and also some exercise, so we went to the RiverWalk here in Columbia and did a little running. Okay, so it was a run/walk combo…but that still counts, right? It worked up a sweat and that is what counts! After our run/walk, we headed on over to Salty Nut Cafe to have a late lunch out on their awesome patio area. All in all, it was a super afternoon!

On to the beauty stuff – have y’all tried the Maybelline Color Tattoo eye shadows? If not, you should definitely consider it. I picked up two at Ulta and I am really loving them! Ulta was having a buy one, get one half off on Maybelline products, so I got these two colors: 

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The top color is called Barely Branded and the bottom color is called Inked In Pink (kind of hard to read the label on that one, I know). I am really loving these eyeshadows because they have amazing staying power. I actually use Barely Branded as more of an eye shadow primer to brighten my eyes and keep my other eye shadows in place. I will put that on and then do my normal shadows on top of it, and it all stays super glued in place throughout the day. These babies do not move! My eyelids are somewhat oily, so I am used to seeing my eye shadow slide around after a long day. Not with these! I was amazed to see my eye shadow looking exactly the same after wearing these for an entire day. The colors are all gorgeous too because they look different from different angles. Here are the swatches so you can get a better idea of what I mean: 

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The top swatch is Barely Branded and the bottom swatch is Inked In Pink. The Inked In Pink is an especially good example of how these shadows are kind of a hybrid of a couple different colors and are very “reflective”. The Inked In Pink is a gorgeous pink/brown/mauve combo that looks different from different angles. And you can also see how Barely Branded is a beautiful neutral that can serve to light up your entire eye area, similar to Stila’s “Kitten” shadow. 

All in all, I give these shadows two thumbs up! They are around $7 each and are worth every penny. I hope you guys enjoyed this post and I will talk to y’all soon!!

 

Delicious Lip Gloss (for less than a Venti at Starbucks!)

Well hello there! I hope you guys are having a good day so far. This afternoon has been super nasty with a thunderstorm and all. I love thunderstorms though because I can crack the windows and listen to the rain, all while burning an awesome candle. So cozy! This candle is currently a favorite of mine and smells absolutely amazing: Image

As much as I was digging this candle and the thunderstorm, poor Simba was not having any part of it:Image

Whenever little man hears thunder, he basically army crawls along the floor until he gets under my bed. I probably shouldn’t laugh at his expense, but he looks too funny!

 The thunderstorm served as the perfect backdrop for me to do a little work at my desk. I am in the running for a reporting position here in Columbia and the station sent me a writing test to complete. I only had an hour, so the pressure was on. Cross your fingers for me that they like it and hire me! I would be beyond excited to get back into broadcast and the station where I applied seems like a perfect fit. 

 Okay, okay, enough about me- on to the lip gloss! I wanted to tell you guys about these glosses just in case you haven’t heard about them before. They are by NYX (apparently it is pronounced like “Knicks”, the basketball team) and they are absolutely wonderful.

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They go on like butter (ahem…that’s why they are called butter glosses, Steph…duh) and they smell so good! Like icing! 

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I chose Vanilla Cream Pie because it is a very light, neutral pink that is perfect for everyday. I can apply it without a mirror and have no worries. I also picked up Cherry Pie because Ulta was having a buy one, get one 50% sale and I thought this gloss would go perfectly with a red shirt I would be wearing the next day. 

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I love these glosses because they are moisturizing and don’t feel goopy. Another bonus? They are only $4.99! Okay, that was the price at Ulta, but I doubt it is much more anywhere else. You can’t beat that for a gloss of this quality. I haven’t had luck finding these babies in any drugstore so far, but Ulta definitely carries them. So there is your excuse to go to Ulta😉 (As if many of us need an excuse. Or is that just me?)

I hope you guys have a great night and I will talk to you later! Bye!

 

 

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