Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Five | No. 26

Hello friends. I'm back with a Friday Five post for you. It's been a hot minute since I've posted one. Sorry about that.

With Fall right around the corner (official first day is September 22 yay!), 4 out of my 5 are Fall related.

ONE | Tiffany Bonilla Fall home decor

To say I am obsessed with this girls IG account (@tiffboni) would be a huge understatement. She is a creative genius when it comes to decorating and entertaining. Her account is definitely where I get a lot of inspiration for my own decorating. Her decorations are not only affordable but also DIYs that were inspired by more expensive pieces.

She recently posted pictures and stories on Instagram of her Fall decor and I'm in love. It motivated me to start decorating my place but I still need to get some additional pieces to get to her level, for sure. If you are in need of some inspiration go check out her IG. But I must warn you, you will go down a rabbit hole looking at all her pics and you may start to hate her a bit. Perhaps hate is a strong word because she seems like cool people, more jealous of her amazing skills!

TWO | Fall Tees

While perusing Pinterest for Fall decor inspo, I came across a pin of a Fall t-shirt from The Pink Lilly Boutique. On the weekends, my wardrobe is extremely casual. Typically a t-shirt of some sort with either shorts, jeans or yoga pants. It's easy and comfortable which is what I strive for on the weekends. I loved the Fall themed shirts on this site and decided to purchase the two pictured above. Can't wait for them to arrive!

THREE | Panera Autumn Squash Soup

Guys. Do yourself a favor and get the Autumn Squash soup the next time you are at Panera. It is DELICIOUS! This will be a staple Pick Two item for the season for me.

FOUR | Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Last weekend, the Mr. baked Pumpkin Whoopie Pies per my request and I have been enjoying them this week. The actual recipe that he followed is in a Fall Baking magazine we purchased last year however I found a similar online recipe for reference. Our recipe calls for toffee bits vs chopped pecans and WHOA, talk about game changer.

FIVE | Carrie Underwood "Love Wins"

Okay for a non-Fall related topic, Carrie Underwood released a music video this week for the song Love Wins and I love the message. It's no secret that I am a big fan of hers and I just appreciate how a lot of her songs have a positive message which we could really use nowadays. I can't tell y'all how many times a week I contemplate deactivating my FB account because of the negativity that floods my newsfeed. If we could all learn to love, be quick to listen, slow to respond and slow to anger, we would be in a much better world.

Also, has anyone purchased her new album yet? What do you think?


Friday, September 7, 2018

VB Celebrates 10

Confession. I was and still am a huge Spice Girls fan. Posh spice was my girl! I saw this video the other day and it made me smile. I loved all the Spice Girls references and being able to see Victoria's silly side.

After watching this video, it led me down a rabbit hole of Spice Girls videos. Who remembers when they reunited to perform at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony? I was on cloud nine reliving my high school days.

Seriously, if ever they were to go on tour and come to the US, I will be buying tickets!


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2018 Goals Reboot

So, I was taking a look back at earlier posts from this year and read through my goals I set out at the beginning of this year. We are already passed half way through this year anddddd I've pretty much failed all of them.

But real talk, has anyone maintained them?

Instead of taking the stance of "Well, failed this year, better luck next year", I thought that I would try re-starting now. Who says you have to start over at the beginning of the year? I can do it whenever I want. And that is just what I am going to do.

Quick recap of my goals:

  1. Eat lunch away from my desk at least once a week.
  2. Eat cleaner and do some form of physical activity 3-4x a week.
  3. Make time to create and nurture more meaningful relationships both personally and professionally. 
  4. Take at least 30 minutes a day to have quiet time, reading the Bible and journaling.

My goals aren't anything extreme or unachievable. They are really about creating better habits to live a balanced life. My body in my 30's won't be as forgiving as my body was in my 20's.

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor your God with your bodies."

This verse can probably be interpreted or applied in several ways, but the way I am viewing it now is that I need to be mindful of how I treat my body both physically and spiritually. God gave me this body and I need to respect it and do it well.

So here's to second chances and redo's. If you are like me and didn't stick to your 2018 goals that you set out in the beginning of the year, I encourage you to join me in a re-do. Feel free to share with me any of your goals in the comments, that I may serve as your cheerleader and accountability partner.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Just do it.

Hello friends. I have returned. I am not sure what happened. Well, I do know what happened. Work happened. Around March, I was approaching a go-live date for a big project I had been working on for several months and a lot of my focus went on that (cause it's what pays the bills) and the ol' blog had to take a back seat for a minute. That minute, of course, turned into a four month hiatus. Oops!

Blogging, while a creative outlet for me, requires a lot of effort to be consistent and plan out content. Especially when you have a full time job that at times can be very demanding. The last thing I want to do during my evenings or on the weekends is sit in front of a computer and type. #realtalk

While I always had the blog on my mind, I couldn't get myself to sit down and type. Either I wasn't inspired or I would set the bar to high, comparing myself to other full time bloggers, and talk myself out of it. (This happens more often than I care to admit.) But the more I thought about it and talked about it with the Mr., the more it was like "Vicky, you need to sit down and just do it". Don't wait until you have the perfect post with the perfect picture. If I wait for that to happen in order to start, the four month hiatus will turn into a twelve month hiatus.

So here I am. Taking that first step of writing a post. Getting the creative juices flowing. There is no better time than the present.


P.S. If you read this and want to give a sista a lil' words of encouragement, please leave me a comment :) K. Thx.

Monday, March 19, 2018

My Luck of the Irish weekend!

Well, Monday came in with a whirlwind of craziness. My workday was a bit chaotic and I barely found time eat! I had several back to back meetings and then a tour to end off the day that by the time 4:30 came around, I was physically and mentally pooped! Now I am enjoying some din din at Panera while writing this post before heading to church for GFC Beautiful. Will be making a pit stop by some coffee place to pick up some caffeine boost!

Luck of the Irish 
So about this weekend.... I HIT the jackpot! I posted on Facebook that the luck of the Irish was on my side. I was doing a little impromptu shopping with the Mr while my car was being serviced and decided to do a little walk thru in Best Buy. I am looking to get a new laptop and thought I would stop by to do a little research. While there, I decided to just do a quick perusal of the video game section. I have been wanting some of the classic minis that they have recently come out with but have had no luck in getting because they fly off the shelves so quickly! That is until Saturday where there happen to be one Super NES box on the shelf all by it's lonesome self. I can't tell you how excited I was to find it. Even posted a pic on IG with my lucky find!

Needless to say, the majority of my weekend was consumed by playing Super Mario. There was a lot of screaming and laughter going on. That ish is INTENSE! How I finished some of those levels when I was a kid is beyond me.

Aside from that lovely find, I did pick up some other randoms throughout the weekend including:

  • Top from Banana Republic (OOTD coming to IG this week)
  • Notebook/watercup from Vera Bradley (to go with the thousand others that I have)
  • Eye shadow kit from the Makeup store at the Outlet Mall (they had 50% off all makeup!)
  • Another lippie product from Ulta 
My extent of celebrating St. Patty's Day was wearing green and the scarf that I scored for $3 in the Target Dollar Spot section. We essentially lived the hermit life and stayed home, caught up on shows on our DVR and played the Super NES. A relaxing weekend!

Jord Watch Winner!
Some exciting news! My good friend, Ashley, was the lucky winner of the $100 gift code to Jord watches. She texted me earlier today with the exciting news! To those who signed up, I hope you enjoy the discount and getchu a watch.

Alright friends. That's a wrap over here. Time to roll out and get me some coffee! Chat later!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Five | No. 25

Y'all I am ready for Friday! Let's get the work day over with and the weekend started!

ONE | The Arrangement

Season 2 of The Arrangement kicked off. So, I have to be honest. I started watching this show because it sounded very Scientology to me. I didn't think I would get hooked on it but here I am, still going strong with Season 2. It's my guilty pleasure.

TWO | The Royal Fab Four on Commonwealth Day


Some Royal chit chat for you all. Will, Kate, Harry and Meghan aka the The Royal Fab Four attended the Commonwealth Service. This was Meghan's first official appearance with the Queen and she was absolute perfection. By the looks of it, she must be getting some fashion tips from Kate and I am not upset by that!

THREE | Farewell Toys "R" Us

I was saddened when I learned that Toys "R" Us was closing their stores. I think most us remember the feeling of excitement you got as a kid when you stepped foot into this store. I can recall going in the store and first checking out all the supplies and books because that was the first section in the store and I am a nerd. Then I would make a b line to the Barbie section. I was obsessed with Barbies. It's so sad when I learn that stores that I remember going to growing up no longer exist. I understand that it's kind of "the way of life" but I guess I didn't think Toys "R" Us would be one of them.

FOUR | World's Most Beautiful Bar Bobbi Brown & Health Warrior

Bobbi Brown and Health Warrior collaborated on a limited-release bar, World's Most Beautiful Bar, in which 100% of the profits will go towards Girls, Inc - an organization aimed at empowering girls to be strong, smart and bold. I just thought that was a great idea

FIVE | The Pet Resource Center of Tampa

Yesterday, my team at work volunteered at The Pet Resource Center and it was so bittersweet. It broke my heart to see all the animals in these kennels. Some clearly scared to be there, others stressed and rambunctious. What are team was helping with was basically socializing with the animals. Playing with them and giving them some loving. PERFECT JOB FOR ME. If I could, I would have taken them all. But now that I know of this place, I want to see how I can volunteer more and bring donations. If you're in the Brandon/Tampa area, they are in need of Medium size milk bones and soft chew treats!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Le Hair Donut

Oh heyyyy friend. Let's talk hair, shall we?

Confession. I don't wash my hair daily. Or every other day. More like twice a week. I know that probably sounds gross, but I don't really get oily hair until about Day 4/5. That is when I have start getting creative with my hair.

My typical hair schedule goes as follows:
  • Day 1: Hair down
  • Day 2: Hair down
  • Day 3: Hair half up, half down
  • Day 4: Bun
  • Day 5: Depending on what my evening was like the night before, I either have clean hair and can wear down or dirty hair and need to do another bun/up do.
I've been on this endeavor to spruce up the ol' bun. As much I attempt to do the 'messy bun' that looks effortlessly perfect on those chicks on Instagram *side eye*, I always end up looking like an old lady librarian. Not cute.

When I need hair inspiration, I always look to Allison (aka PinkLouLou) because her Instagram feed is pretty much #hairgoals, #makeupgoals, and #fashiongoals. Here are just a few pics that I snagged from her feed but you can go look for yourself.

She used to be a big blogger back in the hay day and she shared a lot of her hair & beauty tricks including sharing her secret that she wears hair extensions to give her hair some fullness. That is what I feel my up do's are missing, particularly the bun. I'm not adventurous enough to try extensions but I know there are other hair tool options that can help me obtain the fullness I'm in search of.

In comes the hair donut. Essentially a donut shaped hair tool that helps add volume to a bun.

A few week ago, I purchased two (small and large) from Forever 21 and began searching for tutorials on YouTube. After trying a couple ways, I think that I've figured out how to achieve the look that I've been wanting. I use the small size donut because the larger size was obnoxious.

**Please excuse the exhausted look on my face. This was taken after a 10 hour work day. 

Okay, so not at Pinkloulou level, but not bad for a beginner! I've even got a little baby poof action going on. I discovered the wonders of dry shampoo when you need a little umph. This picture doesn't really do it justice. I feel like it looks a little better in person, but you get the idea.

Y'all this is just the beginning! Let's see what other looks I can make happen...


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Interviewing 101: Day of Interview

Last week, I started this series Interviewing 101 after conducting several interviews and making some observations that I thought I would share with you. This post will be about the big day, Day of Interview.

Day of Interview can be a very stressful day. Your nerves and anxiety are probably at a 1000%. That's normal. This feeling can be minimized if you prepare properly for the interview. The key to have a successful interview is displaying professionalism and confidence. Here are a couple things to consider and prepare for the big day.

Dress to Impress
First impressions hold more weight in your interview than you think. Dressing in your best interview outfit not only shows the person conducting the interview that you are taking things seriously, but I believe that it makes you, as the interviewee, more confident. I am of the opinion that when interviewing, one should wear some type of business outfit with a blazer. This can be a full suit, pants or dress with blazer. This can vary depending on the field that you are in, of course.

If you need some outfit inspiration, Jean from Extra Petite has the cutest outfit ideas for work. Seriously, want her wardrobe!

Bring a copy of resume
Okay, so I feel like this one is a given, but have realized as of late, that it's not. Bring a copy of your resume to provide to each person you are interviewing with. We do panel interviews at my work, so we can have up to three people in the panel. Do not assume that the person(s) have a copy of your resume. Again, your resume outlines your skills and work experience. You want that information right in front of the interviewers eyes while they meet you. Also, bring any other copies of examples of work experience that you have in your portfolio that you want to provide to the hiring manager.

Be prepared to walk through your resume! You don't have to walk through each piece of it, but be comfortable to highlights any skills or experience that demostrate why you are the most qualified candidate for the job you are interviewing for.

Preset Questions
Have some questions in your back pocket to ask the hiring manager at the end of the interview. In most cases, the person conducting the interview will allow a few minutes at the end for you to ask questions. With a simple google search I found some examples of good questions. How will you measure the success of the person in this position? What are some of the challenges you expect the person in this position to face? Thinking back to people you’ve seen do this work previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great at it? These questions demonstrate that you are taking this role seriously and are looking to fully understand the role and expectations of the hiring manager. Oh, and one more question to ask is: What is the anticipated timeline for the hiring process? When should you expect to hear an update on the job? I can't tell you how many times I forget to ask and then I am twiddling my thumbs waiting. Knowing what the tentative timeline is can help set expectations and hopefully, prevent the nerves of waiting for the call.

Next week, I will wrap this series and share some thoughts on After the Interview.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How To: At Home Mani

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen my #manioftheweek posts.

I like to paint my nails. It's in a way, therapeutic for me. A typical Sunday evening for me includes my nail supplies, a glass of wine and shows on my DVR. Best way to relax for the week ahead. I would probably do the toesies as well, if it weren't for the fact that I can't bend enough to reach them due to hip issues. I instead treat myself to pedicures at the salon for that. 😉

Thanks to Marshall's and TJ Maxx, I've accumulated quite the collection of nail polish so there is never a shortage of color options in my collection. They carry brands like OPI, Essie and Butter London for less that $4! I refuse to pay full price for them anymore. But I've recently put myself on a ban because quite frankly, the amount of polishes I have is quite shameful. Also, I need to find a better way to organize/store them because my huge tupperware ain't cutting it anymore!

I get a lot of questions about how I do my nails myself and how they always last so long. I really don't think that they last that long, about a week, but I guess longer than most who use regular polish like I do. I thought I would walk you through my step by step process in painting my nails and point out some of my must have tools.

  1. Remove previous nail polish. I remove the previous nail polish I had by using a Target brand nail polisher remover. Nothing special. 
  2. File down and shape my nails. I do this using a nail file. Rarely do I use nail clippers. This is probably because I do my nails once a week. While there is definite growth, it's manageable with just nail file. Since I essentially work on a laptop all day for work, I like to keep my nails short - straight and slightly rounded on the edge. 
  3. Buff nails. I will use the buffer to buff the top of the nails. I really to step 1 and 2 of the block and skip step 3 and 4. 
  4. Wash hands. After doing all the filing I will go and wash hands to get rid of all the powdery residue on my nails. 
  5. Apply base coat. I am currently using this Hard As Nails by Sally Hansen. Nothing fancy. I am actually using this because my previous OPI Base Coat ran out and I just grabbed this from my stash. It's been working fine. 
  6. Apply two coats of polish color of choice. The key to this part is allow enough time between each coat for the polish to dry. If you don't allow enough time, that is when the smudging begins to happen. 
  7. Clean edges after each coat. Using the wooden pick, I will wipe off any excess nail polish on the edges of the nails. Do this while it's still went to prevent tearing nail polish once it's dry. 
  8. Apply top coat. If there is anything you MUST have from everything I am talking about here, it's this top coat. I swear by it. Since using this my nails last much longer. Seriously, game changer!
Hopefully, you found this helpful and can put some of the tips/tricks into practice in your nail routine. If you do, let me know how it goes!


Monday, March 12, 2018

The Color Purple

Yesterday, we saw the musical The Color Purple at the Straz Center. It was a great show! The stage set was very stripped down - wooden stage and background with chairs. The focus was on the story and character, African Americans in the South during the 1930's and the hardships that they dealt with during this time period. Of course, a serious storyline but there were some funny moments. Loved Sofia's 'I don't take ish' attitude!

After watching the show, I did a little reading up on the musical and learned that it's an adaptation of the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Thinking I need to add this book to my reading list!


Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Five | No.24

Happy Friday friends! This week was rough y'all. I had all day back to back meetings the first half of this week which makes getting your work done nearly impossible. At least not during normal working hours meaning I had a couple late nights. Never fun.

Before I get started on my Friday Five, I wanted to remind you about the fun contest I am hosting here on the blog with Jord watch. If you haven't read it and signed up, stop reading this post and go to this post now. Come back here when you're done!

Okay, now back to the post.

ONE | 1920's Disney Princess

I saw this post on Facebook earlier this week and it made me so happy. It's no surprise that I have "old soul" and should have been born decades before my time. Fashion between the 20s and 40s are my favorite. Disney + 20s Fashion. Yes, please! That Belle, tho. Hello, can we say halloween costume inspiration?? Now, I just need to actually get invited to a halloween party. Haha.

TWO | Pacifica Face Wash

I recently purchased this face wash. First time I try a product from Pacifica. Guys, this stuff smells SO GOOD. It smells like sun tan lotion and makes me think of the beach and summer! I've only been using if for a few days, but have been impressed so far. I want to try out some more of their products. Both Target and Ulta carry this line.

THREE | Hunter for Target

When I heard this collab, I got really excited! Again, very much like other things like the Sigma Brushes, I have had Hunter rain boots on my wish list for years. But them suckas ain't cheap! Hoping they come out with some cute stuff and that I can get my hands on a pair of sweet rain boots! The line will be available April 14, 2018. #HunterxTarget

FOUR | Disney Movie Trailers

Disney has been on fire with these recent movie trailer releases of my childhood favorites. I love Emily Blunt. When they announced that she would be playing the role of Mary Poppins, I squealed! Not gonna lie, I was surprised with the Christopher Robin trailer, particularly because I recently saw Goodbye Christopher Robin on Demand and that came out in 2017. I thought it was odd that they would make another movie about Christopher Robin but after seeing the new trailer, I realize they are different storylines/time periods. Honestly, hearing Winnie the Pooh talk had me sold and excited to see this movie!

Oh and if you haven't see Goodbye Christopher Robin, you should! Make sure to have a couple tissues in hand. You can see the trailer below.

FIVE | Por Amar Sin Ley

Okay, so I must confess that I am fan of novelas (spanish soap operas). Watched my first one when I was in fourth grade, maybe? So all the old school classics, Dos Mujeres Un Camino, Marimar, Maria la del Barrio, and so forth, I watched. They are probably the reason I learned to speak Spanish if I'm to be honest. For years, I watched novelas religiously until I got into college. At that point I felt like they started to become more satirical than serious which I didn't care for. Now I only watch them every once in while when I know one of my favorite actors/actresses are in one.

Well, Por Amar Sin Ley started this week and Ana Brenda Contreras, the leading protagonist, is one of my fave actresses. This is the first week and it has not disappointed with the drama!

Hope you all have a great weekend. After work, I will be hitting up Target to see if I can get some outfits for my weekend plans! They have their BOGO deal going on that I hope to take advantage of.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy International Women's Day #PressForProgress

Happy International Women's Day friends! This day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year's theme is #PressForProgress. Learn more about the campaign and resources available to you here.

Over the weekend, I watched the movie The Suffragette. This movie came out a couple years ago and it's been on my list to watch. I had Friday evening to myself so I found it on Demand and watched it. 

It's based on the suffrage movement in the United Kingdom in the early 1900's. The movie follows the story of Maud Watts (fictional character) who is a laundry worker and endures a hard life as a female in the early 1900's and joins the movement. It gave you a look into what women went through to fight for women rights - beatings, imprisonment, hunger strikes, force-feeding, to name a few. Admirable to say the least. 

Below are some real images of this suffrage movement in the UK. 

The image above is that of Emmeline Pankhurst who was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement. The OG #GirlBoss in my opinion. 

The image above was the funeral procession for Emily Davidson, a suffragette and member of the Women's Social and Political Union, who died after walking onto a horse track and getting hit by King George V's horse. The movie depicts this story that she did this in order to gain international exposure to their movement, however this is not really confirmed true.

As the #PressforProgess campaign states, these ladies began the efforts for equality, but there is still much more progress to be made. Honestly, not just equality in the workplace, but justice for rape. domestic violence and sex trafficking victims. Here are just a few organizations that I have seen that I thought I would share for you all, to educate yourselves and provide support where you can.

So many ways for us to make a difference and do something. Let's not wait for the other person to do it. Take the step.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Interviewing 101: Before the Interview

Last week, I was conducting interviews for a role that is open in my team. It's always interesting to be on the other side of an interview, where I am not the one answering all the questions and doing my best to impress. Trust me, I have been in that seat more than one in my career and I know it's not easy! But over the years and now having the opportunity to be on the other side of the table, I have picked up a few tricks here and there that I thought I would compose into several blog posts: Before the Interview, Day of Interview, After the Interview.

Before the interview it is important that you consider what are you trying to obtain applying for this role? Does this role align with your career goals and passions? I think that is so important to figure out first, before you pursue a role and apply for it.

For some of you, it may be an entry role to get into the company you've been wanting to work at or in the field that you went to college for. For others, it might be a promotion that you've been wanting. Now while the idea of getting the promotion for the increase pay sounds appealing, if the role doesn't align with your "why" in life, at some point the pay increase is not going to outweigh the stress or unhappiness you might experience. Sometimes a lateral move, although same pay, may prove to be a better career move in the long run. Sheryl Sandberg said it best in her book, Lean In, when she said that "Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder." Those are some wise words.

Do your homework. 
If you are looking into getting into a team or going down a different career path, meet with someone that is currently in that team or doing the job you want to do to a get day in the life. Sometimes what you think a job is like, really isn't like that in the real life. As the saying goes, "the grass isn't always greener on the other side".

When you meet the person, be thoughtful of their time and make sure that you come prepared with at least three questions to ask about their role/team. These meetings/conversations are so important, in my opinion, because they can either affirm that that is the right career move for you or make you realize that maybe it's not. Better to figure that out before than making the move and then regretting it.

Also, I can't tell you how many interviews I have conducted where the person I am interviewing clearly doesn't know what the role is about. Immediate turn off. If you don't know what the role is or the daily activities associated to the role, how do you know that you can do the job?

Resume reboot.
You should always keep your resume current. There are tons of resources online that can help you build a resume that perfectly captures your experience and skills. With that being said, I think it's also important to share your resume with a peer or mentor that can review it and share any thoughts.

When applying for a role, tweak your resume for that role. What do I mean by that? Look for keywords in the job description that you can add to your resume IF you have that skill or experience. Don't lie on your resume.

Finally, keep the resume to a one to two page max! Depending on where you are in your career, sometimes the starter jobs (ie. cashier/babysitter/pizza delivery) aren't necessary in the resume. If you have been in your career for a long period of time or have held several roles, keeping details of each role to three to four bullets.

Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you have secured an interview, practice. In front of a mirror. With a friend or family member. Practice what you are going say. Get comfortable with speaking to your resume. That interview time is your one opportunity to show why you are the best person for that role above all other candidates who are interviewing for that role. Practicing will help you work through any hiccups you have in message delivery and in turn build your confidence.

I hope this has helped you all a little. Next week, I will share part two of this series: Day of Interview.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

New Sigma brushes!

Guys, I made the plunge and purchased a Sigma brush kit which had been on my wishlist for yearsssss. I'm talking since 2009ish? All the OG beauty gurus raved about these brushes and of course, I needed to have them. Back then, these brush kits could be purchased for like under $100 and now they are closer to $200. Ridiculous, I know.

Well, fast forward to January, while perusing their site, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Make Me Classy Essential Kit on major sale! I kid you not. Please see photo below.

I knew this was my time. I had to make my wishes come true and buy it.

Y'all, not only was it already on huge discount with the sale, but I also got $10 off by signing up to be on their email list. Holla! Of course, since making my purchase, I saw that they have permanently reduced the price to $125. -_- So, if you have had this kit on your wishlist as well, you can get it at the same price.

It took me a while to start using them once I received them in the mail because I really wanted to go through the brushes I had now and store away/trash the ones that would be replaced with the new brushes.

The ones that I was trashing were already trashed and not in picture.

Plus, I wanted to buy some vase fillers from Michael's to put in my brush holders. I remember that was the it thing to do back in 2009. Haha! I am just 8 years behind. NBD.

These little brush holders are actually from the Target Dollar Spot section. I got them a few years ago during Christmas time. I have seen them in various colors depending on the season.

What are my thoughts so far?

Love them! It's like having a shiny new toy. The weight of the brushes are good. I've heard beauty gurus comment about brush weight and sometimes they are hollow or too heavy. I think these are normal. I will say that they are longer than other brushes which you wouldn't think was a big deal, but it will take some getting used too. The bristles are synthetic and soft. I think the kit itself comes with a good range of brushes, but there were a few brushes that I use on the daily that were not in this kit, like a blush brush. I feel like that should be a staple in any set, so that was weird to me. I had to keep some of the brushes I already had out while I work on getting replacements for them.

Confession. I have my eyes on the Spot-On Concealer Kit - on sale for $39. I know. It's a sickness. I can't help it. I like the smaller brushes for doing my eye makeup. This may be in my hands in the near future!


Monday, March 5, 2018

Unique Wooden Watches by Jord

Hi friends! I have a very exciting post to share with you all. We’re going to talk about a fun new accessory that I’ve added to my collection, a wooden watch by Jord.

Let’s talk about how I first heard about Jord wood watches.

A few years back, I wanted to gift the Mr. a watch but could never find the right watch for him. He is not one to really accessorize, aside from his wedding ring, so a typical mens watch didn’t seem fitting for him. I tried though but I just wasn’t happy with what I saw. They were either too bulky, too blingy, or too techy. I felt like Goldilocks from Goldilocks and the Three Bears story, except with watches. #thestruggle

Well, I started seeing images of wooden watches on Instagram and they always caught my attention. I know that as you read this, you might be picturing some burly lumberjack when you think of wooden watches, but these watches are sleek minimalist meets rustic earthy. When I came across these watches, I knew it would be perfect for him! They are unique and, obviously, made out of wood which he has a thing for wooden stuff… even his phone case is wood with a ship etched on it.

I ended up getting the Frankie in Dark Sandalwood and Smoke for him a couple Christmases ago and he absolutely loved it! Heck, I loved it even more in person and wanted to get one of my own! It came in the nicest wooden box that makes the perfect jewelry box.

Well, I can finally say that I am the proud owner of a Jord watch myself!

Voila! Ain’t she a beauty?!

This is the Cassia watch in walnut and vintage rose. The combination of the dark warm wood material with the rose gold is everythinggggg. When I was selecting a watch, I was torn between this one and the same watch in zebra and ivory, but I am so happy that I went with this color. It’s even prettier in person! I really like the size of the watch face and band width. It’s more feminine looking which I appreciate and can pair with my day to day work wardrobe.

So I know what you might be thinking… I own an Apple watch. Well, I have great news for you cool kids! I discovered, while perusing their site, that they carry wooden Apple Watch Bands.

Well, now that I’ve convinced you on how you need one of these in your life, I have even better news for you. Now YOU friend have the chance to win $100 gift code to Jord! Say whattt??!! You can put it towards a women’s watch for yourself or this could make the perfect gift for bae, there is a great selection of men’s watches as well. If you are looking to give a watch to that special someone, they even offer personalized gifts where you can engrave a sweet message either on the watch or on the box. Just a little hint to those newlyweds who plan or are doing the traditional wedding anniversary gifts, year five is a gift made out of wood. You’re welcome. Details on how to enter are below.

Complete the form below to enter yourself in the contest by Sunday , March 18th at midnight. One winner will be selected and announced on Monday, March 19th.

Note: All entrants will have a chance to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site! One lucky person will win, but everyone will receive a 10% off code once the contest is over!

May the odds be ever in your favor 💗


Thank you Jord for this great opportunity for my readers!

Luxury Wooden Watch

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Antiques, BBQ, Mini Cupcakes and Strawberry Shortcakes

Just a few more hours left to the weekend and I am trying to soak it all up. I have a fun post in store for you all tomorrow so I thought I would share what I did this weekend tonight.

On Saturday, we took a trip to St. Pete to visit the Brocante Market. It's an antique market that is open the first weekend of every month. I've been following their Facebook page for some time now and have been wanting to visit and finally had the chance to.

Holy antique market! There was a LOT to see. I didn't leave with anything but not that I know that little gem is there, I will visit again for sure.

For lunch we had BBQ at Urban Brew & BBQ.

The Mr. and some sort of waffle topped with a brisket and some other layers of goodness. I had a roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and baked beans. Even though I wasn't necessarily in the mood for BBQ it was pretty good.

For the sweet tooth, we grabbed dessert at Swah-rey and they specialist is cakes and mini cupcakes.

Y'all, this place is legit! Of course, we grabbed mini cupcakes so that we could have multiples because why wouldn't we?

As we were making our way back to the car, we came across this bookstore that was jaw-droppingly huge! They had an endless amount of new and used books of all genres. We were two little kids in our own candy shop.

Today, we took a trip in the other direction to Plant City to go to the Strawberry Festival.

We did our usual, first had hotdogs and fries for lunch, then went over to St. Clementine's booth to build our own strawberry shortcake. My perfect combination: Cake, Strawberries (squeezed out the juice when scooping out of tub), and LOTS of whip cream.

After filling our bellies, we walked around to see the livestock, grabbed Amish donuts and a strawberry flat to go.

Now I am home, doing my nails and tearing up watching The Notebook on TV. When Allie regains her memory for those short few moments and then forgets and begins to panic. Noah's face. 😭 It gets me every time y'all! Their love is so sweet.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday Four

Happy Fri-Yay! Today was a day full of interviewing people for a role in my team and boy am I exhausted. Ready for the weekend!

I only have four things to share with you all.

ONE | Florida Strawberry Festival

The Florida Strawberry Festival kicked off yesterday. I don't typically do fairs because I don't trust the rides and can't handle the crowds of people, however I do make the exception for the Strawberry Festival. Making my own strawberry shortcake at the St. Clement's Catholic Church booth and picking up a tray of strawberries for dirt cheap are a must. Not sure which weekend we are going, but it's definitely happening.

A couple months ago I purchased the cutest infinity scarf with strawberries and gingham from The Loft outlet with the Strawberry Festival in mind. We Floridians take the Strawberry Festival seriously. Or maybe just me. Either way, that will be part of my get-up when we go.

TWO | Carrie Underwood "Champion" music video

Her music video for Champion debuted today. This song has grown on me. When I first heard, I wasn't too impressed but now that I have heard a couple times, I'm liking it. I feel like that happens often to me songs where it's not love at first sight but love that grows over time.

Often course, the mini gossip lady in me what trying to see what of her face looks different after her accident and they kept her face well covered by that mic! Sheesh!

THREE | Casetify Art Deco Phone Case

I wrote a post earlier this week about getting a new phone. Well, it arrived yesterday and I decided on the Art Deco phone case. Ordered it today!

FOUR | Meghan Markle and The Royals

In Royal news, Meghan Markle joined Will, Kate and Harry for their first engagement together for The Royal Foundation Forum. Look at Kate and Meghan looking all BFFs. I feel like I need to crop in my head in that picture because we needs to be BFFsssssss! 

The husband will be busy tonight meaning I am flying solo this evening. A glass of wine and chocolate, along with pups, will be my companions tonight while a watch a movie!


Thursday, March 1, 2018

My Favorite Blending Sponge

Today, I wanted to share a beauty tool that I've been loving lately. It's the NYX's Flawless Finish Blending sponge that I purchased back in December at their store in Orlando. Previous to this sponge, I used round sponges to apply my foundation/concealer that I would pick up at Ulta. It did the job although it probably wasn't the best sponge to get in smaller areas like the outer nostril and inner corner eye area.

When I saw this sponge at the store and saw that it was only $8, I thought "heck, why not?". Guys, best $8 spent! It blends the foundation/concealer wonderfully. Very similar to another sponge.... The BeautyBlender. Have you heard of that? I'm sure you have. It's the OG blending sponge of the beauty world.
Yes, there are some differences with the sponge shape BUT do those differences out weight the $12 cost difference? I don't think so. I've owned and used the BeautyBlender once before and, honestly, didn't see the $20 value in it. That is just my opinion as I know that others would probably argue that it's God gift to the beauty world. I will say that the point on the NYX sponge is a little more pointier in person that pictured above. So works well for the nooks and crannies. Plus, I'm sure there is some added benefit to the flat side. I haven't really done any research to see what they are yet.

How do I use the sponge, you ask? I dampen the sponge first, do two pumps of liquid foundation on the top of my hand, then dabble it in the foundation and apply to my face. Then I use the pointier side to blend in my under eye concealer around the eye area and near the nostril area.

How do I clean the sponge, you ask? I actually use the BeautyBlender cleanser solid which I had purchased when I purchased the BeautyBlender back when. It's still kickin'! Cleans the sponge like new.

If you happen to use this sponge, let me know what you think. Or if there is another sponge that is comparable in price that you think I should try, let a sista know!


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Planning our trip to Jekyll Island

It's official. Our anniversary vacay has been booked for March! We will be staying three nights in this lovely resort, Jekyll Island Club Resort.

Beautiful, right?!

When we have done road trips north, we have passed signs for Jekyll Island which prompted me to look it up. The location is historic which that alone had me won over but it just looks like a great place to getaway and relax. It's only about a 4.5 hour drive from where we are which is a breeze.

Now that our stay is officially booked, we've already started planning our itinerary for the trip. Yes, we are those people. Since we are only staying a few nights we want to make sure that we can get the most out of our stay there. Here are some activities we have in mind.

These are just a few of the activities available. If you go on their site and look under the Activities drop down, you will see there is a plethora of activities to do. Hard to choose a few!

I can't wait to enjoy some time away from work and life here. I know I need it. We will also be able to enjoy our time away, just the two of us, knowing that our babies will be in good hands with a good friend who will be staying with them in our house.

We decided to keep this vacation short in order to save on costs and put towards our Fall vacation. We're thinking either Washington (state) or Maine which I can't wait for! We are still taking the whole week off and plan on finishing off the week with a visit to our second home, Disney. Yasss.

Now that we have the vacation and activities planned out. Time for me to start thinking outfit/accessories I need to purchase pack. I will let you know what I come up with closer to the trip. Stay tuned.