Monday, December 29, 2014

January Goals

Happy Monday!

Today at work, I typed 12/29/2014 multiple times. It is the freaking end of the year. It sounds so cliche, but where did the year go?! I feel like it was just my birthday in July, or that I just graduated college in May? It is seriously so crazy how fast this year is gone.

With that, comes the disappointing realization that there goes another year that I didn't stick with my new years resolutions. It sucks and is embarrassing, but I'm writing this here because I can ensure I'm not the only one who SUCKS at keeping my new years resolutions. Like many other women, my goals usually revolve around health and fitness, and just bettering myself overall.

This year, I am going to try something completely different. I am going to make three small goals per month. Ideally, the goals would roll over to the following month, so I don't just stop working on my goals when February starts, but I'm hoping this will be successful for me. Usually, when January 1st comes around, I say I want to "lose weight". Then January 15th rolls around, and I haven't stepped foot in a gym, or improved my eating habits AT ALL. It is because I'm setting too broad of a goal, and I'm not giving myself even a chance to accomplish it because it isn't an overnight thing.

This year, instead of one huge goal, I'm going to work on three smaller goals per month. I am sharing my monthly goals here, because once you publish something it truly helps you stay accountable. So here you have it, my three REALISTIC monthly goals for January.

1. No Starbucks!

I have a confession, I'm literally addicted to Starbucks. I truly mean "literally" there, I feel like I need it everyday, and it is becoming a problem. I do need a cup of coffee in the mornings, but I definitely don't need a White Chocolate Mocha, that is way too many calories, and around $5 a day. I live right down the road from Starbucks, and also work right down the road from Starbucks, which definitely doesn't help my case.

I am going to try to not have Starbucks at all during January. I will still allow myself to have a cup of coffee at home with creamer if I want, but I am more or less just trying to stop Starbucks. It is too expensive, and when I go there I choose a very unhealthy drink, when in reality I truly like just regular coffee with a little creamer at home. I am hoping that once January is over, that I won't crave Starbucks anymore, and I can truly realize that I don't need it. I might still allow myself a coffee every once in a while from Starbucks, but we will see about that;)

2. Exercise More! 

Here is where I always, always, always fail. I put way too big of a goal on it, and I never stick to it. I tell myself I need to go 7 days a week, and the first day I miss, quickly becomes the last time I ever go. I am going to start off January with setting a goal of going to the gym 3 days a week. I am hoping I will want to go more than this once I start going again, but I am not setting that as my goal.

I am going to be very subtle at first, not setting a time limit, or type of exercise that I need to do. I simply am setting a goal of going TO the gym three days a week. In accordance to this goal, it doesn't matter if I stay 10 minutes or 2 hours, I just am setting a goal to make an effort at least three times a week. I truly love working out, so I know that I will love being there once I get there, but the problem is just getting there. Does anyone else have this problem!?

3. Post 2 Blog Posts Per Week! 

I have a lot of fun things planned for my blog for the new year. I have been stunned with the response I have gotten with my blog since starting it, and I really want to take it to the next level. I don't have a set schedule for posting, some weeks I post 3-4 times, and some weeks I only post once. Ideally, I would like to post three times a week, but I have to make my goals attainable or they might not get reached. Two posts a week is still a stretch for me, I am a full time graduate student, and have a full time job as well, but I love my blog and really want to add great content twice a week. I am planning on Wednesday's and Sunday's for posts, but that part is very tentative.

If you have any requests or ideas for what you would like to see here on the blog, please leave it down below, because as you can see, I am wanting to start posting more!

Well, there are my goals for January 2015. I am hoping I can stick to all three of these goals. I will be extremely proud of myself if I can, especially cutting out Starbucks. It sound so silly, but I think that might be my toughest one. I would love to create a habit of getting used to going to the gym, and am definitely looking forward to the money I will save by not getting Starbucks daily.

I am hoping that formatting my goals this way will prove to be successful for me. At the end of January, I will come back and recap how I did at these goals, and whether I was successful, as well as plan my goals for February. Hopefully these three things will carry over to February, and I can add on a few more attainable goals.

As always, thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Current Favorite iPhone Apps

Greetings from a very sick blogger. I've been in bed sick now for two full days, and that obviously means I've been rotating between my phone, iPad, and laptop, depending on which one has the most battery at the moment. Being sick in bed is never fun, but some of my favorite iPhone apps have been helping me not feel so miserable. I thought now would be the perfect time to share my current favorite apps, because I've literally been rotating through them all for two days now.

1. Trivia Crack

My boyfriend told me about this app a few days ago, and I'm officially hooked. Just like the title, it's like crack. This game is so fun, but also really challenging. It basically is a head-to-head trivia game that you can play with your Facebook friends, or with a random opponent. You spin a wheel, which lands on a trivia category (Art, Entertainment, Science, History, Sports, or Geography). If you answer three questions correctly from these categories, you can play to win a badge of the category of your choice. The player who gets all 6 badges first wins. It is really fun, simple, but like I said, not easy. I've been playing this like crazy with my friends back and forth, and could barely get my notifications to stay at 0 to take a screen shot of my apps!

2. aa

The name of this app doesn't make much sense, but I have been hooked all day today. It is a silly little game, that takes a little skill, and can get pretty frustrating. There isn't much to it, you tap the screen to add a dot up into the rotating puzzle, but it can get pretty challenging. It is a free download, so you should just try this one out for yourself. I'm a little embarrassed to say I'm at level 25, and I downloaded it this morning. BUT, to my defense I've literally been in bed all day.

3. Instagram

The obvious, Instagram. I have always loved Instagram. I currently am trying to decide between merging my blog Instagram and my personal Instagram. I always forget to log out of my personal account and go post on my blog account, so I might just merge them into one. What do you think? I pretty much love to follow other beauty bloggers, fitness inspiration, home decor inspiration, bloggers in general, business and company accounts, and foodie blogs!

4. Pinterest

This is another obvious one for me. I've been addicted to Pinterest for a while now. I remember my mom showed me this app a few years ago and I thought it sounded so dumb, but once it really took off I realized how amazing it is. The majority of my blog views come from Pinterest, so I love to spend a lot of time here. I have a lot of boards of yummy recipes, style inspiration, home decor, and party planning ideas. Feel free to follow me!

5. Bloglovin'

I'm a blogger, obviously. One of the most unique thing about being a blogger, is the relationship you have with other bloggers. Bloglovin' is an app that basically puts all the blogs you follow into an Instagram feed. You can scroll through the feed and see all of the new posts for the day, you can click on the picture and it will take you to the website to read the post, or you can scroll on by. Blog's are a tough thing to follow and keep up with unless you follow the blogger on Instagram and Facebook and see that they posted a new blog post. Bloglovin' is my favorite way of keeping up when my favorite bloggers post something new. Feel free to follow me on there and see when I post something new!

6. Audible

Audible is an app which you can listen to audio books on. I love to read a normal book, and I never thought I would like listening to them, but it is really convenient! Audible is a subscription service, which you pay for monthly, and you receive a credit, which you can use on any book in the store. Also, if you choose to do more than one book a month, they are at a reduced rate for your second book once you've used your credit. I just finished "Big, Little Secrets" and I loved it. I listened to it in my car on the way home from work everyday, and I was surprised on how much I enjoyed an audio book!

7. Flipp

With the holidays literally around the corner, I still have some last minute shopping to do. I, in general, like to find good deals on things I'm planning on buying, but especially around the holidays. Flipp is an app that rounds up all of the weekly circulars from different stores into an app. Whether you are trying to track down the best deal on an electronic, or simply look at deals at your nearest grocery store, Flipp makes it easy to locate all of the good deals in one place, if you don't receive the weekly paper with the circulars included. This is also great to have with you in the store so you know what is on a good deal, and might not be advertised as on sale!

8. Buzz Feed

Buzz Feed has always been one of my favorite 'time wasting' websites, and when I discovered they had an app, "time wasting" went to a whole new level. I love the app, I can quickly scroll through all of their stories. Some are funny, some are stupid, and some are legit current news. I love their quizzes, which usually result in some form of ridiculous answer, but they are always fun anyways!

Well, there you have it, my current favorite iPhone apps! What are yours? When I upgraded my phone, I chose to go with the 64g option, and I'm NOWHERE even near to halfway full, so I would love to try out some new apps! I love pretty much anything. Leave your favorites down below!

As always, thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Recently Read : Chapter 3

Hello all!

I'm here with another "Chapter" of my recently read series. I just finished "Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty.

This book is classified as a mystery book, which are my favorite. This book follows around three main characters, but with a lot of smaller characters thrown in. When I first started this book it was a little hard to keep up because right when I thought I could remember who was who, they would introduce a new couple or group of people. 

This book follows these three ladies, who are all moms of children who are in the same kindergarten class. There is a lot of "he-said, she-said" in this book, which was appropriate since the book was shaped around a group of parents of over achieving kindergarteners in a private school. There is a lot of realistic situations in here about real life parenting, relationships, and friendships. It is so hard to say anything about this book without spoiling it, because the entire book plays a part in the ending.

Pretty quick into the book, the author introduces the fact that somebody dies. It is in the future, and each chapter would begin such as "five weeks before the trivia night", or "7 days before the trivia night". Obviously, the trivia night is where someone dies. I liked the way that this book was formatted because even while the book was at it's low points (more on that later), I knew that something big was coming up, and I know that somebody dies. The entire book you keep wondering who dies, who did it, was it an accident, was it a murder? Then, right at the end, everything ties together and it all unravels. 

Speaking of the low points, I found that there was a few in this book. Like I said above, there is a lot of "he-said, she-said drama" in the book, and at times it would be a little too much, and really hard to follow. I listened to this book instead of reading it, so maybe that might be why it was a little hard to follow, but at times I just wanted to stop reading it.

I'm really glad I stuck with this book, because the "event" that the book leads up to is pretty crazy. As you can tell by the title of the book, there is a lot of "little lies" in the book, that all lead up to a huge deal. 

It is so hard to review a book without spoiling it, but overall I liked this. I wasn't 100% in love with it, and I will admit that I'm excited to start something new. It was a longer book, and at times it got boring for me, but the ending made it worth it. Liane Moriarty also has other books that have been rated very high, so I'm adding those to my list! 

Up next, Dark Places and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn!

What have you recently read?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November Favorites

Happy Tuesday! I can't believe it is already December 2nd, but here I am today to round up my top five beauty products from November! Let's get right to it!

1. Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation by Covergirl

I have been wearing this foundation all throughout November when I wear foundation. I absolutely love this, it is quickly becoming my favorite drugstore foundation. I have combination to oily skin, and this this foundation keeps me matte, but still allowing my natural skin to look very healthy and not dried out, like some "matte" foundations can do. It provides really great coverage, and truly stays on amazing throughout the day. This foundation can be tricky though because you have to find the perfect amount to apply for  your face, if I apply any more than that, it can look a little thick and noticeable on my skin. When I apply a really thin layer though, it is amazing!

2. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat

About a month ago, I tested out the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel System (review coming soon). I did have to include the top coat in my favorites though. I will go into more depth in my review on the polish and the top coat, but I truly love this top coat by itself. It works great with the polish that it come with, but it also performs really well over any normal nail polish. I have always loved the top coat from Butter London, but it is around $20, so I am thrilled to find a great top coat from the drugstore!!

3. The Body Shop body butter in Glazed Apple

Mmm. What more can I say? This body butter is so great! I love the body shop products, they smell SO amazing, and really are great moisturizers. I picked up this scent at the airport about a month ago when I noticed they had some new holiday scents. This smells like fresh apples, but with a touch of sweetness. It smells so great and fresh, and I love it! I highly recommend The Body Shop body butters, I grab the small tubs so I can keep them in my purse, and that way I'm not stuck with the same smell for too long! (although I have like 4 in my purse currently, guilty).

4. Smooth Sexy Hair Frizz Eliminator

In the winter, my hair tends to be really frizzy. I never have this problem any other time during the year, but in the winter my hair is a hot mess. I picked this up at ULTA a few months ago and I find myself using it way more than I thought I would. I use this one of two ways. I either use this before I do my hair, if it air dried the night before. This helps smooth out my hair a little bit before trying to style it while it is a frizzy mess. I also will use this after I do my hair, if I feel it needs any smoothing out, especially when it is straightened. I use one pump of this, and really rub it between my hands before touching my hair so I don't pack on too much product.

5. Stila Eyeshadow in "Kitten"

This eyeshadow is a cult favorite for any makeup lover. I rediscovered it recently in my collection and forgot how amazing it is. My "signature" eye look is a really bright lid, with a darkened crease. This shadow gives such a bright lid, with a gorgeous shimmer. If you don't like shimmer eyeshadow, than this color isn't for you. If you do, you have to pick this up!! It is the most finely milled shimmer, that it is so gorgeous and doesn't look "chunky" or "glittery" at all.

Thanks for reading! 

Also, since you are reading this, I want YOUR opinion! I am wanting to move to a more structured blog post schedule after the first of the year. I want to do some fun theme days every week, and some specific posts based on what YOU want to see. Please click on this link, and take this quick survey letting me know what you would like to see more of. It is anonymous, and I will take every answer into consideration, thanks for participating!