Fitness Update: Back in the Swing of Things

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            As I am writing this post I have been up since 2:15 AM and I cannot tell y’all why. I’m not even sure if I am writing this in English at the moment, but here’s hoping. I was going to come out with a fitness post in like July or August but it got a lot deeper and sadder than planned so I never posted it. 

            In June I did over 250 miles in two weeks on a stationary bike and did the Yes.Fit races, The Kraken, Will Run for Tacos, Poseidon, and started Llama Rama, I am still working on Llama Rama so you know how much I have done in the last several months. July and August were hard for me mentally and it was hot. It was hot until like last week. 

            I am currently working on my fall 5K’s, I have my fall cold at the moment though and that means that I have had to take time off to recover from that. I am hoping by the time that this post goes up I will have finished my actual Gourdy’s race (I have not, I hurt my knee and I had a cold so it just didn’t happen, this week.) and am working on my Spooky Ooky 5K, because I have a problem and everything that Gourdy’s comes out with I just have to have. 

            I have already completed two/thirds of my fall-natic challenge and that is a 5K in September, October, and November. I did September in under an hour and October in just about 30 seconds over an hour. I even ran a little bit because I do miss running, I started running and enjoying it and my podiatrist told me to stop because I could do severe damage to my left foot because it’s already messed up. I just wanted to feel that rush of running again and I run a little in each of my mile long loops. 

            I will eventually post all of my medals because they are so much fun and right now, I have all of them stored because I have all my Halloween decorations up. My dad made me a new medal holder and it’s super cool and I am really looking forward to filling it up. 

            I am doing Gobbles again this year as well, hopefully on Thanksgiving again; weather permitting. 

            I started this journey one year ago, I walked my first 5K on October 15th and as of me writing this that was yesterday, which is kind of fitting. I have had so much progress and so many setbacks because life and weather get in the way. I promised myself that I would preserve, that I would keep myself accountable. I have been doing okay, but in the last few weeks I have been snacking again, my stress levels have been through the roof and I feel like everyone’s are; that is not unique to me and I know that. I am trying to keep a positive attitude and hope that everything works out but some days that’s difficult. 

            I feel like I don’t have any insights into pretty much anything, I don’t pretend to. I am on a journey and at the moment it’s slow. I am trying, some days that means that I go one step forward and three back, but I am still trying. I bought jeans last month for the first time in about 6-7 years so that’s growth for me. I know it’s not much but I am getting slightly more confident in who I am as a person and that is part of my journey. I am not here on this earth to impress anyone but me, I am not here to live up to or manage anyone else’s expectations of me. It took me 29 and a half years to figure that out, but here I am, living for me as a person. I am violently myself; I am not one to pretend to be someone else or change myself to fit in. I did that for a long time and one thing that COVID taught me was that I am who I am and I’m not going to let anyone change that. You just have to deal with how I show up, if you can’t handle that that’s your business but I am not going to shove myself into a box of your expectations of me to make you feel better. 

            I have two more 5K’s this month which I am looking forward to actually doing because now the weather is chilly in the morning and I love that kind of weather. I also have two next month which I am also really stoked about and I will post pictures of the medals at some point here soon. I mean, they will also be on Instagram at some point because my Insta doesn’t actually post to the blog, I don’t know y’all it just doesn’t want to. 

            It doesn’t matter how slow your journey is, it might be one small change a day and guess what? That’s amazing, keep going. 

            I will be back on Wednesday with another post and until then I hope that everyone has a great start to the week and stays safe, happy, and healthy! 

            -MJ

What was in My October 2021 IPSY Glam Bag

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, we are like half way through October which means that the year is starting to draw to a close which is absolutely crazy. The last 18 or so months since we have been in the pandemic haven’t felt real, like not real at all and now here we are in month 19 or something and it’s still a thing. 

            Both my Glam Bag and my Glam Bag Plus showed up in my mailbox the same day so that means that I will be writing these posts back-to-back. I am currently, as I write this, sitting at work waiting for the end of the day. I am very much ready for the end of the day. I did enjoy my GB this month, pretty much as much as I usually do. 

            Who doesn’t love spooky season? The theme this month for sure leaned into that idea I love spooky season and I plan on just watching a bunch of Halloween movies this weekend to catch up on the fact that I have almost two dozen to watch. None of them are scary because I don’t do scary movies, I don’t enjoy being scared. I went through a haunted corn maze as a kid and still have emotional scars from it. Like one of the high schoolers doing it pretending to be a dead football player had to take his helmet off and show us that he was really just a person in a mask. I love spooky season, but I hate being spooked. 

            So, let’s start with the bag, I love the design on it, the vampire lips, it’s so much fun. My one problem with it is that I wish that they were outlined in white, they just don’t stick out as much as I would like because it’s black lips on a black background and that makes them kind of hard to see. I still love the bag and I love the witchy aesthetic that comes with it. 

            On to what I actually got: the products.  

F.A.R.A.H. Short Shading Brush 45 E Rose Gold: 

            I have a lot of FARAH brushes and they are a good solid brush. I cannot complain about them and who doesn’t need a good short bristle shading brush. I also love rose gold, that is not even close to being a secret. I am not a huge fan of yellow gold (even though my computer is now gold) but I love a good rose gold moment. It’s a brush though and they work well so I don’t have much more to say about it. 

Lottie London Slay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Yass: 

            The name is a lot of fun, that’s always a plus in my book. I like the shade and it looks like a good fall shade for the maybe three days a year that I actually wear lipstick. I love lipstick but wearing it to work is another story. I work with little kids and they are the first ones to point out that “Miss. Steele, your face looks funny!” and I really would like to avoid having a bunch of middle elementary grade kids all telling me that my face looks funny. Because no one can build you up and tear you down faster than a kid. 

Sur.Medic + Perfection 100 All in One Facial Eye Cream: 

            I have a few other products from Sur.Medic and they have all been pretty great. I cannot complain about them one little bit. I love a good eye cream even though I don’t use them as much as I should. I get good at putting it on and then I forget for a week and that is just a cycle that comes with my life. I am currently using a Purlisse eye cream and love it so I am looking forward to giving another one a try. 

Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream:

            They gave me the option for Tatcha so of course I chose it because I love Tatcha. Their Water Cream is like the best moisturizer that I have ever used. I love all sorts of moisturizers, but Tatcha is amazing. I have been meaning to try this in general for a few years now so when given the option, of course I took it. I do hope that someday ISPY gets full sized Tatcha products because that would be amazing. 

Theorie Charcoal Bamboo Detoxifying Body Scrub: 

            I don’t do body scrubs all that often, I should do them more to get the dead skin off but I just don’t. I like Theorie though and it’s been a while since I have had anything from this brand so I am excited to give it a try here soon. I like Charcoal in some beauty products and the word “detoxifying” is one of my favorites. 

            Over all, I love the theme for October of being “Pretty Wicked”, I love spooky month in general so having a fun theme to go along with never makes me mad. I feel like I don’t really have much else to say about it besides I am looking forward to also diving into my GB+ this month which will be out one week from today and that means that Halloween is just a few short days away by the time that that post comes out.

            I am excited to see what the theme and bag will look like for November and in a few days, after this post comes out, I guess I will get to find out. Their theming this year has been kind of amazing and I cannot complain about that, some of my favorite bags have come out since January this year. The one from May was really cool, as was the one from September, and the one from April was really neat too. I might down the road just do a favorite Glam Bag’s post, but who knows. 

If you want to see what else I have gotten this year, you totally can! January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September.

            Well, I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and I will be back on Sunday with another post! Until then though, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 

            -MJ 

Bullet Journal Comparison #3: Monthly Covers

Hey, hey it’s MJ,

            Back again with another Bullet Journal comparison. If you want to check out the other two I have done, you totally can and I would appreciate it. I have done posts on my Yearly Covers and my Book Trackers so far and now here we are with my Monthly Covers. 

            A lot has changed with my monthly covers since I started, I mean what we are learning with this post series is that a lot has changed over all with my Bullet Journal as I have learned my own style. That’s the thing about Bullet Journaling, you can experiment and see what your style is without the restraints of the standard day planner. It is not for everyone, it is a time commitment, but it is worth it for me. I like the control and the creativity that I can express while I work on my Bullet Journal each year. 

            So let’s start with the oldest one first, my experimental year. 2018, where I wasn’t all that sure what I was doing but I figured I wanted to do it anyway. 

            I am showing the April cover for the last four years. 

            2018: It’s an umbrella and I liked the lettering, it’s super simple, but all of my covers for 2018 were really simple. I was still really learning at that point and I didn’t really know what I wanted in a bullet journal at that point. I have said this before and I will say it again and again with this post series, 2018 was my experimental year to see if this was a hobby that I could sustain long term. 2018 was not the best year in general so there are a lot of qualities that I didn’t keep from this journal to my next journals and I don’t regret leaving some things in the past.

            2019: Another umbrella and I just realized that. I didn’t even think about it before today that April for two years in a row had an umbrella featured in it. 2019 I tried harder at my covers and I also added in a calendar that I never used, I like the bunny that I drew. This one for sure was an upgrade from 2018 but not even my best cover for 2019. I have a post on my fave BuJo pages from 2019 and you can see some of my better covers there. 

            2020: Two page covers became a thing last year and I don’t regret them one bit. This is probably one of my favorite covers from last year because I love the Avengers, my 2022 themes will all be Marvel. I am just not sure exactly what I am going to do yet which is weird but I’m working on it. I tried so hard on this one and it took me hours to do the building with any kind of accuracy to the movies and I love it. If you want to see the rest of April you can check out my 2020 Bullet Journal #1 Update.

            2021: Lilo and Stitch is one of my favorite movies and this one took me hours upon hours. That is the real difference between 2018 and today, the theming and also how long it takes me to actually do the covers and the final pages of the month. I was really proud of this one to be honest because I am trying to make better art. I could have colored in the sand below Stitch but I didn’t want to. You can see the rest of the month if you want to in my 2021 Bullet Journal Update #2.

            Well there it is, four years represented in under 1,000 words and I am only like half way done with this series. I have a few more comparisons I want to make. I have for sure changed my style with my Bullet Journals over the years and I love growing and learning as a creative minded human with projects like this. 

            Like I said, it’s not for everyone and I think you can buy premade Bullet Journals online, but that takes the fun out of it for me. I want to look at a blank journal and create my own thing on it’s pages. It gives you room to add other things to it and change and adapt to your style as time goes on. I actually used all of my pages in my Bullet Journal this year, that’s 251 pages all told and that’s crazy to me especially since in 2018 I only used 184. I missed two months, but still, I am learning and adding more things that I want in each journal. It’s fun. 

            Well I hope that everyone has a good start to the week and I will be back on Wednesday another post. (I am writing this at the end of August and this doesn’t come out until October so you can see that I am planning ahead!)

            Until then, I hope that every stays safe, happy, and healthy.

            -MJ 

Halloween DIY #2: a Witch’s House

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I got a new computer today so I am relearning how to type on it, I am used to the keys on my old computer so I am having a bit of trouble readjusting my fingers to actually hit the right keys at the moment. By the end of this post I will be back to typing all the right keys in the right order, but at the moment I feel a little clumsy. It’s been that kind of day and by the time this comes out on the blog it will be almost a month ago for me. Here’s hoping that October is treating me well. 

            I love Halloween, would I be a basic white girl if I didn’t love Halloween and fall? I am reminded of that video of the little girl saying, ‘I freaking love bats.’ It’s funny. I am super hoping that by the time that this post goes out it is not in the high 80’s. MJ is ready for sweater weather, I miss sweaters. I am ready to stop sweating and start sweatering. Yes, that just came out of my brain and I cannot take it back. We are rolling with it. 

            So I already went over one scene that I made for this season and hopefully if I remember next week (as of me writing this) I will be able to get over to the craft store and pick up some supplies for my last DIY of the year, I already have the homemade part down. (Plot twist: I’m saving it for next year instead) I just need to go to the store and get the rest of the stuff. I should not be allowed to go into a craft store unsupervised. That’s how DIY’s happen and while they are cute they can get expensive. 

            That’s not what this post is about though! I did another scene, it started out a lot different than it ended. 

What do you need to do the thing? Materials and such: 

            Hot glue gun (it’s my favorite tool, not really but for DIY it’s essential.)

            Miniatures, got them at Michael’s, I love Michael’s and the closest one that I have is an hour away so I don’t get to go as much as I did when I was still in Indiana when it was literally fifteen minutes away from my house and like five minutes away from where I went to college. Two ultimate date ideas for me, a craft store or a book store. Don’t buy me a drink, buy me a book. Seriously. 

            The terrarium, I got this one when I got the one for the graveyard because it was half off so I bought two for the normal price of one. 

            Paper, I used wood grain from a paper pack that I bought years and years ago and am finally using all of the paper I bought and then forgot that I bought because I am a hoarder for paper. 

            Cardboard, I cannibalized part of the box for my Book of the Month book because that was what made sense to me at the time. 

            Cob webs, I bought some last year and I have no idea where in my apartment they disappeared to so I had to buy more, thank the lord that I live in Walmart country.

            Spiders, also from Walmart because it was early last Sunday morning and I thought, “Spiders.” So I bought the spiders, now I have six that I have no clue what I am going to do with so that’s fun. 

Method to the madness, or just the chaos, it kind of depends on the day: 

            I am not going to number this because every time I do the blog has a panic attack and it doesn’t format right so here I am just making a nice list. 

            – Unwrap all of your miniatures. Marvel at all of the plastic and packaging because it’s so much for how small the miniatures are. Also get your hot glue gun warm.

            – Make sure that your terrarium or display case is at least kind of clean. 

            – Cut your cardboard to fit and then wrap your cardboard with your flooring paper choice. I really did love the wood look and if I had thought about it I would have tea stained parts of it before I glued the miniatures on to give it a more weathered and worn look. I would do that if I did flooring for a tableau again.

            – I glued all of my miniatures onto the floor before I put it in and like my other terrarium scene I did draw it all out at least as an idea first. I did so much gluing for this part because everything had to sit just right. Then shove it into the terrarium and shut the door.

            -Alright so here’s the deal, originally this is where everything stopped. I didn’t like it when I finished this part a few weeks ago. I wanted more, it just didn’t feel or look finished and I was not cool with that. 

            -Go and get another idea for it, I promise, it’ll be worth it. If you don’t feel like it’s finished, it’s not. I decided to put spiders in it, make it a miniature spider scene that a witch made for her pet spiders. Imagine me shrugging at this very moment, it worked out. 

            -Spread your spiderweb out after cutting off a chunk and realizing that your scissors need to be sharpened yet again which you just sharpened them like a week and a half ago and you are getting sick of it. 

            -Place the spiders and the spiderweb into the terrarium and realize that the spiders are too heavy to stay up, get your hot glue gun, and straight up glue them to the glass at the back of the terrarium. 

            – Now you can close it again and display it. I feel like I need creepier pictures of these scenes than just where they are in my apartment. Maybe I’ll do some sort of photo series on my Instagram or something after I have made them a little creepier. Who knows. I am bad at social media. 

            -Enjoy the spooky season however you celebrate it. Have fun or have a spooky time. Enjoy making things, enjoy creating, and enjoy this fun little thing that is still amusing me every time I look at the bookcase behind my desk. 

            Well there it is, hopefully the second of three DIY’s that I present this spooky season. I will be back later in the week with another post, so I hope until then everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy out there.

            -MJ 

MJ’s 2021 Bullet Journal Update #3

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            I am prepping posts because we are back to school and that means that I come home and just want to hang out so I am trying to get posts written on the weekend. I am sitting right now on the 22nd of August and this post doesn’t come out until the end of September so roll with me (roll even further with me because it’s the second week of October…oops). The more I can get done now means that I will have posts even when I don’t have the physical or creative energy to write a blog post. I am trying to force 1,000 words out a day and most days that works, but some days there is just a whistling or the dial up noise in my brain and nothing comes out. 

            On to what this post is actually about though! My 2021 Bullet Journal, if you want to read Part 1 or Part 2 to see what else I have done this year, you totally can. I already have my layout pages for 2022 done and that’s so exciting. I also know all of my themes and pages for my 2023 bullet journal which is crazy because usually I don’t even start thinking about the next year’s journal until about July. Well now I am two years ahead. I know my themes for next year I just have to figure out how to implement them on the pages. That’s going to be fun…hint hint: next year’s theme is Marvel. 

            Alright, I think that’s enough exposition and we are just going to move straight into the post. We are here covering the months July, August, and September. I cannot believe I am on the third post of four in this series for the year, it’s insane.

July: The Great Mouse Detective

Cover: This cover took me hours to finish, it was a lot of lines and drawing Big Ben was complicated. This for sure is one of my favorite covers of the year though. TGMD is so underrated and trying to get inspiration pictures for this was hard. I just watched it on Disney Plus because I needed to see certain scenes and I was unable to find the pictures online. I love this movie, it was one of my favorites as a kid and I still love it, the opening scene with Fidget still freaks me out and I am almost 30. I was going to draw the mice riding on Toby but I cannot draw that much small detail so I stuck with Toby. Who doesn’t love an animal retelling of a classic? Disney did a few of them and I love all of them. (The Great Mouse Detective and Robin Hood come to mind right away.)

Mood Tracker: Of course, it is lab equipment, I thought about doing something with Ratigan but I decided against it because there is a scene as the beginning where they are testing ink and I thought of all the chemistry equipment and ran with it. I like having fun with something I have to fill out every day and the mood tracker is one of those things and that means that I have like what I am coloring in on the daily.

Last Page: I love the invention of the flower to ballerina toy from the very beginning of the film so I drew it as best I could. I have wanted that toy since I was between four and six and saw the movie for the first time. It’s so graceful and beautiful so I had to put it in my Bullet Journal.

August: Winnie the Pooh

Cover: I think that most of us grew up on these characters, I had to watch a few of the movies on Disney Plus to make sure that I was getting things right, the one from the 70’s and the one from like 2011. I wanted the whole gang in the picture and some of the characters turned out better than others, that’s for sure. Eeyore has always been my favorite and I think that explains a lot about my personality. 

Mood Tracker: Of course, it’s honey comb, I love the Hunny pot at the bottom and I wanted something nice and simple yet effective for the mood tracker this month because I have been doing a lot with this journal. It’s fun, I love fun and the bee is dumb looking, but I love that too. 

Last Page: This is the one scene from the 1977 cartoon The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I grew up on that one and I watched it while I was working on this page. I think doing my BuJo this year Disney themed was just an excuse to get Disney Plus and rewatch all of my favorites. The scene in the movie Pooh eats too much honey at Rabbit’s house and gets stuck in the entrance. I could have drawn the view from inside Rabbit’s house where Rabbit draws on Pooh and uses him like a trophy mount and a shelf but this one was cuter. 

September: Big Hero Six

Cover: I love this movie, it was also kind of underrated, but it’s so good and so inclusive. I love Baymax so of course he had to be half of the cover. The quote is a little hard to read but it’s lines across because I love that quote. The other side is all of the character’s “battle suits” in minimalist, I guess. When I started working on this month, I actually wasn’t sure what I was going to put on this page and then this idea came to me because of a poster I saw. The movie is visually stunning and has a great story, if you have not seen it, go see it. 

Mood Tracker: Honey Lemon’s character is a bad ass (excuse the swearing, but she is) like she makes the chemical compounds without looking at the bag. It’s so cool! I ran with this one because I had no other idea, this was the idea that came to my brain and it was what I wanted to do, so I did it.

Last Page: I love “drunk” Baymax in the movie, when he starts to deflate and it’s so funny. I have a tank top that says “We jumped out a window!” and it is one of my favorites. The character of Baymax is so fun, all of the characters are so unique and it’s just one of those movies that sits with you. 

            So, there you have it, another three months in my Bullet Journal. One more of these posts and we will be heading toward my 2022 Bullet Journal. That’s still really crazy because 2021 has been a roller coaster. 

            In my last BuJo update post I talked about starting my comparison series, I did that you can check out the Yearly Covers post and my Book Case post because they are both out!

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post and I hope that everyone has a safe, happy, and healthy rest of the week!

            -MJ

Halloween DIY #1: A Graveyard Scene

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So it’s October, I have had this terrarium done since August because I waited too long last year to get miniatures and that was a huge mistake, so I went early. I made two, I made this one and a second one that will come out next week. 

            Here is the issue with this one, I forgot to take pictures of it while I was working on putting it together; like an idiot. I feel real dumb that I didn’t actually take any of the process photos. I will explain as best I can and then you are just going to have to live with only seeing the finished product. Which I love so much. 

            This was my original idea last year when I made the skeleton forest lantern. I made it this year! 

Materials:

1.  Miniatures

            -I got mine at Michaels and it is an hour drive there, I had to go twice. You can order them online but I like seeing them in person before actually committing to spending actual real people money on them.

2. Moss

            -I had to buy more moss, no matter how much of a mess that it makes because I used the last of my other moss on my succulent terrarium that I made in June. 

3. A Terrarium

            -I got this one at Hobby Lobby half off because I liked the greenhouse vibe that this one gave me. I also love that it has a handle on it. It looks like a Victorian style greenhouse and that sold me on the graveyard look that I was going for. 

4. Hot glue

            -Like a lot of hot glue, it will be your best friend. 

5. Cardboard

            -For the bottom, I regret not covering it with something, but you live and you learn, right?

Steps: 

1.  Unpackage all of your miniatures, I had a pile of plastic and cardboard on the floor next to my desk because I did two in one afternoon, this was the second one I did, but it’s the first post y’all are getting. Also, while you are unpackaging get your hot glue gun on, it will usually take a little while to heat up so getting it turned on now really helps in the long run. 

2. Cut your cardboard to the size of the bottom of your display case, I had to cute it like four times because I am a mess when it comes to cutting paper and the like to size. I used the cardboard from my Book of the Month box, it was what I had so don’t come for me. 

3. Start to figure out where you want everything, I did a drawing of what I thought I wanted it to look like and I pretty much stuck to that. I worked from the back to the front where the door is because I didn’t want to knock anything over in the process when I was putting it in.

4. Get your ground cover in, it doesn’t have to be moss, you could use turf or something like that, I like the moss because it makes it look like the graveyard is old and not as well taken care of. 

5. Start placing your miniatures, I hot glued the bottoms of every piece I put in, the moss holds the glue pretty well but I would not suggest knocking it around a lot, it’s not meant for vigorous activity, it’s a decoration. 

6. Keep placing things until you are happy. I had some of the pumpkins from last year left over so I put them in as well because I just really like pumpkins and Halloween requires pumpkins. 

7. When you are happy with it, close the door, and find a place to put it. I like using a terrarium or container that has an opening because then if something happens I can go in and fix it without much hassle because I have some snow globes that I have to fix like every year and it’s a pain to try and get them apart every time I have to reglue or fix something inside of it. 

            Like I said this is post one of two with terrariums, dioramas, whatever you want to call them. I enjoy crafting and I like the ability that crafting gives me to dream something up, or see something I like and recreate it for a lot less money. 

            The other diorama, at the time of writing this post at the beginning of September, isn’t actually finished yet. It’s like 85% done, but it needs something more, I might actually change it a little bit because I am not sure if it’s exactly what I want from that terrarium right now. I have some ideas on what to do with it but I need to find my spiderweb stuff and I am not actually sure where I put that. By the time this post goes up though, they will both be finished and out already for the season. 

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post and I hope until then everyone has a great few days. I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 

            -MJ

Fall 2021 fabfitfun Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

This was supposed to be last Wednesday’s post, but if you read my September BotM review you know that my internet at home is completely out and at the moment of scheduling this (Sunday) it’s still out. So hopefully it’ll get fixed this week because not having Wi-Fi is difficult. So y’all get a bonus post this week because last week was DIFFICULT.

            Well here we are again with another fabfitfun unboxing. I want to preface this with the fact that I was super excited for this box; like I was excited for the summer box. I want to make that preface before I actually get into the meat of the post because I was not as excited when I received the box as I was when I placed my order. 

            So things have changed over at FFF, a lot has changed in the last two years. I know that supply chains are having trouble keeping up and transporting goods from place to place as well as their production and manufacturing. I get that with my entire heart, things are hard right now and there is not a lot that anyone can do about it at the moment. No matter how much we probably wish we all could. 

            This box though, it left me disappointed. I know that one of the items that I had chosen was late so I chose to get money off on my next box, which was fine. I am going to go over what I thought of the box as a whole though. I don’t know what the future of this box is, I will for sure be getting the winter box, but after that; I am just not sure. 

So, what did I get? I am going to start out with what I remember choosing and then move into the bundle. I don’t like the bundling; I really really don’t like the bundling that they have been doing lately. As well as the weird item I got in my box. 

            I also miss when they would list all of the options in the magazine, I liked seeing everything on paper and allowing myself to be able to see all of the other options. They didn’t have it in the magazine this time so I had to go on the app and see everything, please put it back in the magazine. 

Golden Rabbit Enamel Swirl Mini Dutch Oven:

            I was really excited for this one, it does not really feel like what I expected it to. I expected it to be heavier. It’s small which is nice just because I am one person but I am kind of afraid to use it on the stove. I have to do some research on it before I feel safe using it. My mom suggested using it as a planter, I don’t think I want to use it as a planter. I think that would be a waste. 

Coach Open Circle Necklace and Tea Rose Stud Set:

            I chose this one too, I actually am really excited about these ones. I have had Coach things since like high school because it’s just one of those classic brands that never really goes out of style. It’s timeless. I am really excited to switch out my earrings for these ones. I just really need a better variety of timeless jewelry that I can wear with whatever. I actually really enjoy a cute little jewelry moment. One of the backs of the earrings is super loose so I am going to have to use another back or try and get it fixed because that’s how you lose earrings and i don’t like losing earrings.

Dose & Co. Pure Collagen:

            This was the only option in this choice that I actually liked; I don’t even remember the other choices. I feel like I should remember other things, but I don’t. I like collagen in my coffee because it is good for your joints and stuff. I use it not as often as I should. I should use it more than I do. I want to try out some different collagen brands and then actually pick which one that I like. 

Purlisse Pumpkin + Ginger Mud Mask: 

            While I love Purlisse, I use it all the time, I am not a huge fan of mud masks. The last one I used straight up burned my face. So while I am willing to give it a try, my hopes are not set very high for this one. I want to like it, I really do, but masks like this can be harsh on sensitive skin and if you are going to have a product like this in a box. Make sure that it can be used by everyone. I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t make a value judgement on it but here I am, hoping that when I do get around to using it, it doesn’t make my face hurt.

The Bundle: 

            I am going to say this again here, I don’t like the bundle. I liked when it was just a list of options or everyone got three or four of the same items. It just made more sense to me that way. The bundle concept has really missed the mark for me personally. 

            Babe Lash Pro Lash Lifter:

            I do not use eyelash curlers; I never have and I probably never will because they terrify me. I have heard the horror stories of people losing lashes over an eye lash curler. I tried to use it to see if I could figure it out and something poked me instead. I don’t like them. I can’t say much else, they are just not something for me, they might be for others; but they are not for me. 

            Doctor Rogers Restore Lip Balm:

            It’s a lip balm, like a straight up could buy at the drug store lip balm. That just feels super weird to me. I subscribe to IPSY and this is something I would expect from them. Not FFF. While I love lip balm, I just expect a different quality out of FFF that this let’s down. 

            Zoe Ayla Eco-Friendly Comb Set: 

            Interesting choice, I like the idea of a comb. I just don’t really use combs in practice, I should. I like the colors and they feel really interesting so here’s hoping that I like them when I actually get them out of the box and use them. 

            Now onto the weird thing, there was a plastic wrapped box in my box and I was a little concerned on what it could be. I pulled the plastic off to find an alcohol-free mini can of Heineken, I have so many questions as to why there was a mini can of alcohol-free beer in my box this season. It just seems like an odd choice for a stylized company like FFF, there was also no information on why it was in the box in the magazine (if there was, I didn’t find it) so it was just an odd thing to find in my box. That left me absolutely baffled as to why that was included, but maybe I am not supposed to know. 

            FFF is one of those companies that I love and have for over three years, but the last several boxes have been, underwhelming. I know that the pandemic has put a strain on things as well as interruptions in supply lines and I understand that. I do, I really do get it, but I feel like they have changed and not for the better. There are some amazing items that are thrown in it feels like but there are so many that just don’t interest me. I hate that feeling, I miss the variety that we used to get in boxes, that excitement that I would feel when I would come home to this amazing box of goodies and I feel like my last several FFF posts have had this vibe to them. I don’t like to complain because I cannot imagine how hard everyone at the company is working, I can’t, I have no clue. I just miss the joy that I felt opening up my boxes. The pandemic has changed so much, COVID has changed so much, everything in the last year and a half has shifted and changed. So, I understand that businesses have to shift and change with it to stay afloat. I just miss the joy and excitement for getting one of these boxes left at my door. 

            Hopefully soon enough things with get back to normal, I am looking forward to the winter box spoilers, I hope they can win me over again. 

            If you want to check out what else I have gotten this year, you totally can: Spring and Summer

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post, so until then, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ

September Book of the Month Review

Title: Rock Paper Scissors

Author: Alice Feeney

Hey hey, it’ MJ,

I need to preface this post, sorry there was no post on Wednesday, I was going to post something but my Wi-Fi is out and I am trying to not use all of my hotspot data on my phone. I could have posted it at school but this week had us in the eighth ring. So my Wi-Fi is still out and it will be until they can run an entirely new hard line into my apartment because everything is rusted. That’s fun, it’s so fun, last week was like the worst and I can only hope that it gets better. I need better, I need some joy, and I just kind of need a win.

Now onto the review though…

            Wow. 

That’s all I can say about this book for my third month of BoTM. I wasn’t actually sure how I felt about the choices when they came out at the end of last month. This was the least objectionable to what I like to read. 

There will spoilers because this is a review and that just happens! If you want to read the book then stop reading and I will see you with my next post. 

I read it in like three days and I would for sure give it like a 3.9/5. It was so good, slow start but there was so much subterfuge that my brain is still processing what happened throughout the novel.

It’s told from two perspectives at first with interstitial yearly anniversary letters, you think that letters are being written by the main female character and then things get weird. Another perspective is introduced and you have no idea who this women Robin is to the main characters. It took me well over half the book to put any connections together because of how the story is woven. 

It is woven masterfully by the way, I was guessing and hooked most of the book while my brain slowly started to explode in my head because of everything that was going on. It’s just a lot and there isn’t really another way to put it. 

Marriage seems hard and you think that this marriage has been going on for years and then someone cheated on their spouse, that’s super true but the woman who we meet at the beginning is not the first wife, it’s the one that he cheated on his wife with and I needed to stop reading for a moment and process that. 

This is one of those books that sticks with you, it will stick with me for the foreseeable future because it blew my mind. I am going to say that over and over again because usually books don’t blow my mind. Usually they are kind of predictable and usually I like predictable, this one, this one was unexpected. So many lies, twists, turns, and just a hint of crazy. 

I have so much that I want to say but I am still reeling from this book, it was so much and I could not put it down I read most of the book in two days, I just couldn’t get enough and it kept me wanting to keep turning pages while making me question everything I had read to that point. 

I like multiple perspectives and this one has less than the last few I have read, I like when and author puts the perspective as the chapter title; it’s so helpful when reading. I don’t mind the switching perspectives especially in a thriller because you get to see everyone’s innermost thoughts. 

I also really liked the limited cast of characters that you see throughout the novel itself, I love a good locked room mystery and this was that. A converted chapel in Scotland where a weekend away was supposed to save a marriage, an ex-wife planning revenge, and a snow storm keeping everyone in place. 

Everyone in this book is crazy, I have to say that for sure; no one was the hero. No one was a victim or just a villain, love makes you do crazy things, but this book is full of so many lies and crazy situations that I am still trying to figure everything out. 

I like the mix of present and past with the letters, I think that letters in a book are fun, they provide information that may not be in the full plot line, the letters condense entire years into a few pages and it’s so good. 

I have started so many paragraph’s with I but here we are because it’s my review. Book of The Month is really great and I am so excited for next month’s choices, I need to not get another thriller. I need to branch out in what I am reading genre wise, but this one it’ll stick with me for a while because it blew my literary mind. 

If you want to read the other Book of The Month’s that I have gotten this year, you totally can because I just started this in July: July and August.

I hope that everyone has a good week and I will see y’all later in the week with another post. Until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!

-MJ

What Was in My September 2021 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, here we are near the end of September, how are we already almost at the end of September? I just don’t understand and this was going to be Sunday’s post, but I hadn’t actually written today’s post…so here we are. Plot twist, it’s still Sunday’s post because last week kicked it out of me and I just couldn’t seem to find the motivation to take the pictures for this post until yesterday, so here we are. 

            This week has been a challenge and I don’t see it getting any better as the rest of the week progresses so I don’t have the emotional or mental capacity to really get all up into writing anything at the moment. Which for me, is not great. Writing keeps my mental health in check but I have cried twice this week so it’s not going well fam, it’s not going well. 

            That is not what this post is about though, it’s about what I got in my September IPSY GB, I just posted the GB+ so if you want to read that you can go ahead and click that link to head back to that post or just like scroll down a little bit; it’ll be there.

The Bag: 

            Again, like the GB+ this bag is giving me Clueless vibes and I am here for it. I love the tartan plaid and the brown faux leather flap; it reminds me of a really cute school bag and I love it. I really like the snap closure on some of these bags recently. I like the different options that we are seeing in bag styles. 

The Products: 

BRTC Vitamin B5 Velvet Mask and Vitamin A Velvet Mask Duo: 

            I love sheet masks, I have so many and I need to start using them because they will go bad and I don’t want that to happen. I have enough going on in my life I don’t need the sheet masks to go bad too. That would just add insult to injury and we don’t need that. I love a good sheet mask. I like the benefits of a good sheet mask and I need to start using them again. 

M2Ü NYC Eye Primer:

            I don’t really use eye primer as much as I should so here’s hoping that I like this one enough to keep it in my stash. It’s a brand I have never heard of so I don’t know much about them beyond the description on the IPSY website. It’s vegan and cruelty free which is always a great sign and something that I like to see. 

Shades by Shan Highlighter in Irma:


            This one looks like a lot of fun; I have a whole collection of highlighters because I have a problem. I like shiny things, like a crow, seriously y’all like a crow. I have never heard of the brand before but that something that IPSY is really good for; helping me find brands that I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. I like the variety of items that we get in the glam bag more than I like the variety of items we get in the GB+, but the GB+ is all full sized and it’s easier to have a variety of items in sample size rather than full size. I totally understand that, I just wish that the variety would level out a little bit on the side of more to choose from and enjoy. 

Tatcha The Rice Wash:

            I picked this one because I like Tatcha so much, spoiler alert for next month I have already chosen the Tatcha product that was offered to me as a choice item for my Glam Bag. It’s no secret that I really enjoy Tatcha products and I don’t pass them up if given the chance because they are amazing but so expensive. I wish that this brand was one of the ones that I could get in the GB+, that would be the ultimate goal at this moment. Give me Tatcha in my GB+ options. 

TheBalm Cosmetics Bronzilla: 

            This one is a little too dark for me, which happens. I am pale enough that a lot of bronzers are too dark for me. I love The Balm as a brand this one is just a little off the mark for me, also the packaging is a little weird. I love the fact that it’s recyclable but I don’t like how it opens and closes. I will be taking it out of the packaging and putting it in my magnetic palette as soon as I get a chance because that seems like the best option at the moment. 

            Well, there you all have it my Glam Bag for September, I liked it. Don’t get me wrong, but I am wondering where the algorithm is taking its information from. I think that it’s for sure gotten a little less accurate over the last few months. I get that supply chains are an issue right now and they may not be able to get all of the product that they want. I just think it’s strange that the algorithm seems to be becoming more and more geared toward things that I don’t really have super positive reviews on through the website as well as my beauty profile. 

If you want to see what else I have gotten this year with my GB’s, you totally can! January, February, March, April, May, June, July, and August!

            I think I will leave this here because it’s long winded and kind of dumb but this is the capacity that I have today for a post. My fabfitfun post will be up soon and that one promises to be an adventure, it is just a lot and it’s not a great thing. 

            I hope that the beginning of the week goes by well for everyone, I hope that every stays happy, healthy, and safe and I will be back on Sunday with another post. 

            -MJ 

September 2021 IPSY Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            How are we already this far into September? I cannot believe that we are already over a month into school. That is just so hard for me to wrap my head around. Seriously, now if only it would feel like it was later September and not still in the high 80’s at all times; that would be great. I am ready for more fall weather, I miss sweaters and I will not miss sweating. 

            So I got this bag in the mail a few days ago and I will say this, I didn’t feel like I had that many choices when I was doing my personalization. I had the standard number but I didn’t feel like I had any variety when it came to the content of the choices. I like variety and I love some of the brands that I get as samples but never see them as full sized. Seriously, if they just put out a list that said ‘pick three’ from all of the options for the month I would absolutely jump on that more than picking from four things and hoping that I like it because it was the most appealing even when I am not a huge fan of the choices. They have been doing this ultra-personalization for over a year now and I feel like they are getting to know me less and less because the options are just kind of blah sometimes. 

            I needed to get that out there because it’s just been something on my mind for the last several months and I feel like I haven’t brought it up in a while. I know that I am probably in the minority of people who have any adverse feelings about this but it’s how I feel and I can and am allowed to express my opinions on my own blog. 

So let’s get into the actual bag though: 

The Bag:

             I love this bag, it’s very school and for sure makes me think of Clueless, I have honestly never seen the movie it’s iconic enough that it’s one of those movies that makes sense to relate to it. I grew up on Mean Girls so there’s that. (I didn’t see that one until college and my sorority sisters were appalled that I had never seen it, so we watched it.) This bag though is for sure going down in my list of favorites for the GB+. It’s plaid, who doesn’t love a good plaid in the fall. I know I for sure do.

The Products: 

Aceology Overnight Lip Mask:

            I am not a huge fan of lip masks, usually they don’t feel like they do anything for me, but I have been wearing more lipstick and lip gloss as of recently so maybe having a new lip mask to try is going to be a good thing or my overnight beauty routine. It’s got a bunch of really good oils in it and I love anything with macadamia nut oil in it so here is hoping that I really like this product when I get a chance to try it, which might be the night I am writing this. 

Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel:

            If it is not clear already, I am a huge Murad fan. I have been using various products from the brand since like the summer of 2018 and I have never had one of them that isn’t amazing. During the summer I love a good gel moisturizer and there are even some nights in my beauty routine that I do a double moisturizer and usually the gel goes below the cream. That might not be the right order or even a good idea but sometimes my skin needs all the moisture it can get. I am not a super hydrated human. It’s non-comedogenic and that’s always the best because it won’t clog my pores and that’s pretty much all I need in life; not to clog my pores more than they already are. 

East 29th Vital Serum:

            I have been getting into serums in about the last year and I have been loving every single one. This one is clean beauty at IPSY and at this point I think that a lot of brands, if possible, will be shifting over to clean beauty. I know that clean beauty usually doesn’t affect my skin as much as others. It has a lot of good things in it and I am so excited to finish the serum I am currently using so I get to be one step closer to using this one. 

Mischo Beauty Sheer Lip Shine + Lip Balm in Ijama: 

            I had the choice for two lip products on this one and this was the one that matched my color palette more for fall so this was the one that I went with. I also really like sheer lip products sometimes if I want the benefits of having something on my lips but don’t want to deal with full coverage lipstick. I am so excited to use this and I plan on making it my staple color this fall. At this point why not, I started wearing highlighter again and lip products for reasons that I am not going to discuss, but here we are. 

Vegan by Happy Skin Original Skin Essence Toner: 

            I used to use toner when I was a teenager and it was whatever I got at Wal-Mart or Target and I couldn’t use it because it physically hurt. I started using toner again a little over a year ago and I have found that I can use it, just not the ones that you can get at chain stores. I mean that shouldn’t be shocking, I can’t use a lot of drugstore products on my face. My face will get almost immediately irritated. It’s vegan which is always a win in my book and it has aloe vera in it, which is amazing. I am so excited to gt to using this one. I am still using another one but this will be my next toner. I can’t put toner on every day, I will regret it so it’s every other day at most otherwise my entire face just gets tight and I don’t like it.

            Well I think that’s all I need to say about my GB+ this month, I am looking forward to seeing what they think I want next month. Here’s my thing, the more skin care I review the more they think that I want, but when that is the only thing I am being offered it’s not like I have a choice. It’s like getting stuck in a weird algorithm and I am not sure how to get out of it. 

            If you want to see what else I have gotten this year, you can! Just click on the month, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, and August.

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post, until then I hope that every stays safe, happy, and healthy out there.

            -MJ