The first few months of 2016 were not really the epic start to a new year that I had planned. I had a whole list of I want’s relating to my life, relationships, and work. But things came up that I didn’t plan for, and it seemed like time was flying by way too fast to tackle any of my resolutions or plans. And with each day that passed I felt more and more discouraged.
I knew I wasn’t happy with my life as is in a lot of areas, and I knew where I wanted to end up, eventually—but I just couldn’t seem to get moving down that road. I was stuck. Then, last month, I read this blog post that just seemed to really address everything I’d been struggling with. It made me realize that if I wanted to make changes and become that happy future me that I was envisioning, I first needed to change how I went about making those changes.
You’ve heard the phrase “old ways won’t open new doors”, and that’s true. I was weighed down with so many old things: habits, thought patterns, plans, self-perceptions. They had failed me a hundred times before and were failing me yet again, yet I was clinging to them because they were familiar and easy…and lacked any real commitment, other than a commitment to second-guessing myself. I felt paralyzed.
I had to let go of who I was yesterday, complete with all her bad habits and flaws (or the perception thereof), before I could start working on a new me. No more excuses for my bad habits. No more negative self-talk or endless “what if”s. No more “plan B” because of the mistakes I made once upon a time. No more apologizing for who I am because I was once a girl who sought approval. Those old remains were holding me back from making the changes I needed, and once I laid them to rest so many decisions and changes I’d agonized about suddenly felt so simple.
I won’t lie and say that I don’t still have days where I struggle. I have to hit the “reset” button on a daily basis and examine what my body and spirit are telling me that day. And I won’t say that it isn’t frightening to chart a course that’s neither easy nor guaranteed. Saying firmly “this does not work for me” can be hard when it’s something that you think should or could work for you, especially if other people are chiming in on that chorus.
But I think it’s even scarier to settle for something you don’t really want just because it’s easy. Life is so short. I’m not willing to live it looking back.
(Disclosure: Sponsored post w/ affiliate links. All opinions are my own.)
My picks for Mother’s Day gift ideas from ModCloth (L-R): Beach House Brunch Jacket, $49.99; Receiving Drop Honors Earrings in Turquoise, $14.99; Critical Kit! top, $34.99; Peaceful and Quiet Votive Candle Holder Set, $39.99; Trunks Full of Taste Shaker Set, $14.99.
Happy Friday everyone! I just got done addressing a big stack of Mother’s Day cards for family and friends—Mother’s Day is only a week away! This year I’ve got all sorts of moms on my list, from my own mom to girlfriends who are soon-to-be or brand-new parents, and so I’ve been having fun looking at all the different cards and gifts out there geared toward moms. And since I was having so much fun shopping, I thought I’d put together some gift guides this week featuring some of my favorite items!
Today I have a handful of items I saw on ModCloth and just really loved. They have so many cute and quirky options, from clothing to accessories to home decor. There’s something for every mom on your list, from the hipster (how awesome is that Pusheen tee?!) to the grandma who collects salt and pepper shakers (you can see my elephant obsession peeking through here).
If you just can’t pick an item, or you’re a last-minute shopper (been there, done that), ModCloth also makes it easy to get Mom a gift certificate. You can opt for an e-mail or print out a certificate to give her in person.
Don’t forget that you can get free shipping on orders of $75+ and new shoppers can get 20% off orders of $100+ when they sign up on the ModCloth site. Those savings add up! Check out more Mother’s Day gift ideas from ModCloth on their social channels.
The Selection (The Selection #1), by Kiera Cass (hardcover, 336 pages). First published 2012. Genre: young adult, dystopian, chick lit, romance. Three out of five stars.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. And when I say “a lot”, I mean “a truckload”. Warning: this will get long.
I feel like I need to start off by saying that before I picked this up at the library, I knew nothing about Kiera Cass, her books, or the intense online drama that surrounds this book. I picked it up blind, thinking it was a fluffy YA dystopian romance that I may or may not enjoy, but would certainly provide some fluffy entertainment for a Monday afternoon. It’s a quick, easy read with very light world-building and minimal character development, a somewhat sweet love story, and a fairly predictable plotline, but like a sugary treat, it’s hard to not gulp down all the same. I fluctuated in my rating throughout, first thinking it would be a two-star book, then thinking I really enjoyed it and it was probably a four-star book, then deciding it was not that great and downgrading to three stars. Again, this was all before hitting Goodreads and the Interwebs to learn more about the series or the author.
So, I’m going to divide this review into two parts: how I feel about the book (this is my original perception of the book and remains unchanged by what I’ve read around GR), and how I feel about continuing with the series overall, now that I’ve had time to mull over the book and have learned more about the series and the author. I say this because I do feel strongly that book bloggers have an obligation to be upfront about their opinions and how they may flavor a review they’re writing, and while I did mostly enjoy this book, my opinions definitely would flavor how I might feel about any future installments in the series. It’s kind of hard to view art and a creator separately and I think it’d be difficult to not see the rest of the series in a different light. Also, I feel like it’s important to be choosy about the authors we support and promote, especially those of us who are bloggers or budding writers ourselves and want to support our sisters, or who identify as feminists and want to support authors who write feminist stories.
So yeah, this will get looooooong. Read on for the full review and my thoughts on all the drama!
I always forget how pretty Taylor’s voice is. (Her louder stuff is good too but you don’t notice her voice as much.)
I can’t believe how fast March flew by! Before the month is out, I wanted to share what I got in my March 2016 Birchbox. This box was a little mixed for me but still had some good items in it.
The biggest disappointment for me was the Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm ($16.50), because it’s made of pure lanolin, which is not vegan and is just kind of gross in my opinion anyway! I’ve heard such rave reviews about this product and it’s nice to see Birchbox trying to include more natural, “green” products, but c’mon. I don’t want to put this on my lips, or anywhere else on my body.
I’m not entirely sure about Kiehl’s animal testing policy, since they’re owned by L’Oreal and L’Oreal and animal activists are still at loggerheads over how slow they’ve been to convert to a 100% ban on animal testing. For the record, this Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum ($48/0.5 fl. oz.) is a very nicely sized sample. I think the great thing about eye cream samples is that you use so little, you can really make these samples last and last!
The Number 4 Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner are nice to try since I really love the results I’ve gotten from sampling this brand, and they’re vegan-friendly. But you’ll shell out $34-$72 for full size bottles—way too much for me!
I’ve never tried theBalm products but this Stainiac lip and cheek stain ($17 for full-size) looks interesting. I just hope it’s sheer and pretty, not streaky. I don’t have good luck with stains because my lips are so dry.
Finally, I got an eyeshadow duo with two shades from the new Cargo Land Down Under Palette ($34). I’ve wanted to try Cargo for a while but have just never gotten around to it, I guess. I’m not normally a palette person but this palette is so pretty and summery, and the consistency of the shadows is great. (And this is another great sample for the box, since the Cargo eyeshadow singles typically retail for $15.)
If you’re interested in signing up for Birchbox I’d love it if you used my signup link. Each month costs $10 and you can cancel anytime. What I really love about Birchbox is that you earn $5 in points for reviewing all of your box samples each month on their website, and those points are redeemable in the Birchbox shop to buy full sizes of the items you loved, so instead of paying $10 for each box you’re basically paying $5. That’s pretty hard to beat, especially with such awesome deluxe samples.
So there’s my March 2016 Birchbox! Do you subscribe to Birchbox, or do you have another favorite monthly box? Any new products you’ve tried lately that you can’t live without? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Happy Saturday everyone! I created this mani with shades from two of my favorite polish brands, Julep Cameron and Zoya Marley.