• holidays

    A little Black Friday post from me to you…

    I wanted to write something a little different today–something honest and straight from the heart. I know some of you don’t like to read posts like that, and you’re just here for the beauty and the fashion–if so, that’s 100% fine, and I won’t be offended if you close this post and move on to a different blog.

    Still there? Okay, here we go.

    I don’t usually tell you guys a lot about me or my life away from the blog. If you were ever curious about what I do when I’m not blogging, I work at a very large retail store. This means that every holiday season, I witness firsthand the mad rush to stock up on food, decorations, and presents. And every Thanksgiving night, I’m at work, prepping and working the floor during Black Friday.

    I’ve always been a little disgruntled at having to spend a holiday watching people push and shove to score deals on items they probably didn’t really need, but for some reason, it hit home extra-hard this year. All I felt last night was revulsion. There are so many people right now who have nothing to eat, nowhere to live, mounting medical bills, no family to visit, et cetera et cetera. So many people are struggling to get by with their day to day lives, and here are lines of people scrambling for deals and threatening to beat each other up over snagging the last of a hot item.

    I know the excitement of a sale and the thrill of saving big on an item, and I love shopping for Christmas presents for my friends and family! I understand the appeal of all of the fashion and beauty sales out there, and I certainly don’t fault anyone for partaking and scoring some great deals.

    BUT. I really hope we’re not all so obsessed with adding to our nail polish collections or getting a good deal on a new outfit that we’re forgetting the important things this season. Things like family, faith, and love. Things like helping those who are less blessed in life, either financially or in some other way.

    Part of the reason I bring this up is to warn you that this blog is not going to be packed with last-minute Christmas sales and deals or lists of covetable beauty items to buy this season. I’m really feeling the need this year to take a few items off of my own wish list and think about what someone else might be wishing for this season.

    Maybe you know a family who struggles to make ends meet each month, and could really use a bag of groceries on their doorstep. Some families can’t afford toys for their little ones. There are lots of seniors who face this time of year alone and have no one to light up their holidays with a smile and a “Merry Christmas”.

    So, in the middle of your shopping and gift wrapping, please join me in finding a way to make the holidays happy for someone else–perhaps even someone you don’t know. I really think that giving to someone who cannot repay you is one of the most beautiful things you can do, and you never know just how much a kind word or deed can mean to someone with very little.

  • Uncategorized

    Random Thursdays: In My Hometown…

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ll be off to enjoy some dinner with friends shortly, but I thought I’d be greatly remiss if I didn’t post my Random Thursdays topic. It’s short and sweet, because I don’t want to delay you from dinner, either!

    My hometown is an odd place to be a beauty blogger. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of things I love about the area I live in, but it is a redneck area through and through (and I hope I didn’t just offend anyone with that statement!). Out here, saying you’re into fashion and beauty is a surefire way to get “the look” from people.
    On the bright side, my hometown is a great place for lovers of the outdoors! There are tons of opportunities for hiking, swimming, and camping. We’re surrounded by mountains, rivers, and forests, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
    Other things to know about my hometown:
    • We have tons of public art scattered throughout downtown. I love the sculptures! I think it’s wonderful when a town embraces art for the people.
    • There’s an excellent boardwalk on the lake downtown. Every Christmas the resort that owns the boardwalk puts up a wonderful Christmas light display, and the husband and I bundle up to walk around and look at the lights.
    • We have tons of Asian restaurants in town, including a great Thai place that will make any order up totally vegetarian and is just a few blocks south of my house! (Can you say, “Great excuse to grab take-out”?) I’m so happy to live in a place with so many of these lovely little restaurants close at hand, because Asian food is my favorite!

    So that’s what I have to tell you about my hometown! What makes your hometown special? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know!

    • blogs

      Me, Myself, and I link party #5: November 2012

      Yes, yes, this was supposed to go live yesterday. Between having a cold (grrr) and all of the glitches I’ve been experiencing lately with Blogger, I didn’t get it up until today. My apologies.

      Anyway, on to this month’s questions!

      1. What are your top five movies to watch during the holidays?

      I love The Santa Clause, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and White Christmas, but that’s only four. Truthfully, I don’t watch lots of holiday movies: I’m always too busy to sit down in front of the TV! I do want to finally pick up The Polar Express this year, because lots of people rave about it. And I’d like to see Arthur Christmas, which looks hilarious.

      2. It’s the month of giving thanks, what are you most thankful for?

      Everything in my life. I get really down sometimes about circumstances and think, “My life sucks.” But I have so much more than some other people, I’m healthy, I have a lovely family and friends…and I’m trying to be more thankful for all of the blessings God has given me, rather than gripe about the perceived “crummy” parts of my life.

      3. If there was a quote or verse to describe your life, what would it be?

      “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.” – Kurt Cobain



      4. Who in your family are you most like?

      Probably my Mom! We both love Starbucks, we used to have a blast shopping for clothes together (we don’t live close by anymore), and we both like to read and watch funny movies.

      5. What is your favorite drink order at Starbucks?

       A chai latte! In the fall it’s the Pumpkin Spice and in the winter I go for Peppermint Mocha. Yum!

    • product review

      Product review: Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin

      If you guys watched my Influenster unboxing video last month, or read my blog post about this lovely blogger Voxbox I receieved, then you know I was pretty excited to get a package of these “Spin Pins”. They’re supposed to be an easy-peasy alternative to bobby pins, and I’ve always wanted to try them out but have never gotten around to actually purchasing any–so, natch, I was thrilled to give these babies a test run.

      (Disclaimer: I received the Spin Pins from Influenster for complimentary testing purposes; however, this does not alter my honest review of the product.)

      The product: Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin, $7.29 at drugstores

      The claim: “…allows you to easily achieve three chic updo styles. Simply twirl your hair up and spin the two Spin Pins in for a perfect undone bun, side bun or double bun!…Does the work of 20 bobbies.” (From their website, which you can visit here)

      I tried it: 20 bobbies? Really? A bun is pretty much my go-to every day hairstyle; I like to keep my hair off my neck and face at work, and I like wearing my hair up in an easy bun on days when I really don’t have time for styling. This sounded like a challenge I was happy to accept!

      Because my hair is thin and fine, I have trouble holding it in place. I have used lots of products that promised not to slip or slide, and I must say this is the first that really locked into place. I also want to point out how gentle these pins are. I am forever tearing out strands with ponytails and pins, and the fact that these slide in and out of your hair with such ease is really a plus for me. Again–I’ve used lots of products that claim to be “gentle” and aren’t, so it’s nice to find a product that I can use every day without fear of losing even more strands!

      I was hoping to have some photo or video tutorials to accompany this review, but with the generally rainy weather and subsequent poor lighting lately, I don’t have anything that shows my hair clearly enough. Hopefully, soon! So, I will just have to explain the process of using these pins as best as I can without a visual aid.

      You start by gathering your hair as though to make a ponytail; however, instead of using an elastic to secure your hair, you simply begin twisting the ponytail to create a bun. How tightly you twist is up to you, but I do recommend twisting fairly tightly. Wrap the twist around as though you were going to pin it in place for a bun.

      Now, instead of using bobbies, you’re going to use these magical little corkscrews. Hold a pin lengthwise up and down against the back of your head, with the open tips touching your bun. You’re going to use one pin on each side of the bun, so don’t try to center it! The pin should be fairly pressed against the back of your head to hold the bun in place.

      Now, just start twisting! It’s so simple it’s ridiculous. The pin glides into your hair in a few smooth twists; you’ll know it’s in when the top is barely sticking out of the bun. Take the other pin and repeat on the other side of your bun. Don’t cross the pins!

      My vote: Buy them, buy them, buy them! I am in LOVE with these pins. They’re easy to use, super-gentle, and they really do hold all day. In fact, I would say they hold better than my old clips and pins! I like them sooooo much…I MIGHT just have to give away a set sometime next month…so stay tuned!