Brain Dump…I Guess?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            This last week has been a lot and I am completely empty with ideas so I really don’t know what this blog post is going to contain. I really don’t, and for me that’s kind of odd, I like to know what I am going to be writing about at least a little bit before I am writing it. Here I am though, just typing away at a few sentences hoping that inspiration strikes me. 

            At one point I was going to do a series called ‘Self-Care Sunday’ when I first started the blog in 2018 but I never did because it never felt authentic. I felt like I was just going to be rehashing what everyone else was saying at the time. Then the pandemic happened and we all had to learn to take care of ourselves in a different way because we were all in some way locked down. I know that I have been feeling burnt out for months now but you can’t just stop, even when some days you just want to. 

            I have found myself organizing and reorganizing my life this last year or so and I think that’s just to stave off the feelings of overwhelming existential dread. I think that’s more what this post is going to be, just a dump of my brain at the moment and sometimes you just need that. 

            I don’t share a lot about my life, I have an about me post, but that’s about it. I am a really private person and always have been. I don’t open up unless someone proves to me I can trust them and unfortunately in my past there are plenty of examples of people who I trusted, got all of my information, all of my worries and my past, and proceeded to use it against me later. So I don’t open up as easy anymore to new people; which somedays is fine and somedays it’s super lonely. 

            I don’t even know if I will actually publish this, I just feel like I need to get something out today because I promised myself that I would get two posts out a week, but my brain is both moving at a million miles an hour but also making the dial up noise like we are trying to get on the internet in the 90’s and early 2000’s. If you have never heard that noise, lucky you, Google it and you will hear what we did for like 10-15 minutes trying to get on the internet. That stuff used to not be instant like it is now, God Bless Wi-Fi. I am a child of the 90’s, I was in fourth grade when the world stopped on 9/11, I graduated from high school in 2010; which doesn’t feel like long ago but they cancelled our ten year reunion last year because o COVID. Would I have gone? No, I didn’t enjoy high school. It was probably the darkest time of my life and I don’t look back on it fondly like some of my peers do. 

            This post doesn’t have a point, so if you want to, stop reading now and go on with your day because I don’t have anything profound to tell you. I don’t even have a thought in my head that’s worth really sharing, but I’m sitting here typing this out anyway. We have a local bakery here in Bentonville, well it’s in Centerton, called the Challalujah Bakery and they make amazing Challah bread and I am eating a pineapple scone from them at the moment and it’s bomb. So good. 

            If you really want to know how disjointed my thoughts are right now at this very moment I was just thinking about all the writing I need to get done and that fact that I wanted to finish my last two unfinished projects that I didn’t get to last year and I haven’t written much in either of them in months. In the last, we’ll say year, I have come up with five or six new projects that I am tossing around in my head all the time. I also have sequels and series to finish as well so in total I am, or will be, juggling like a dozen projects because I have so many ideas but not enough plot or time to write all of them at the moment. Some of them will just stay half on paper and half in my head for a while until I actually get an idea and that sparks me to finish the novel in a few months’ time. (Also my Word grammar corrected that and it gave me two options, I picked the wrong one; if you know which one it is why give me two options?) The last book I finished last year is a good example of that, I have something like 37 pages when I started writing it again (I started it in 2017 and pieced it until last year) and I wrote the other 110 pages in a few months because I got inspired and I could not stop writing it. I think I wrote like 25 pages in 11 days which for me is a really good page count. 

            More on writing, I guess, because that’s now what I feel like writing about. (ha ha, I know) My laptop is almost five years old, in late June it will be and it’s showing its age. I have already had my keyboard replaced once and I am out of warranty so the keys are starting to lose their letters, my tab key hasn’t been working right recently, and my battery is on its last legs, but I cannot get a rose gold MacBook anymore so there’s that. I don’t see it being able to be replaced any time soon, so I have to be nice to it until I can eventually get a new computer. 

            I think I need to stop now, I am rounding out on 1,000 words which is a lot. It’s like 7:15 in the morning and I have things that I need to do and that means that I need to step away from my laptop and go be a person for the day.

            I will be back mid-week with hopefully a much more profound and stitched together post, who knows with me though. 

            Until then though, stay happy, healthy, and safe.

            -MJ 

Books I’ve Read So Far in 2021 Part #2

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Part two is here already and for me it’s been two months, well not as I am writing this I am still writing this progressively so right now for me it’s mid-March and I have read one book so far this month, reason for that well it’s been a cluster truck this month and also the book I am reading at the moment is super dense. It’s good but really really really dense and it’s taking longer than I expected so to catch up I will have to read some fun books next. 

            I am really hoping to make a dent in my reading list over spring break even though I doubt I actually will because I just don’t read when I am not at work where I have a break. Spoiler alert from future MJ, I didn’t read anything over spring break. I didn’t even crack open a book. I fill my time on the weekends with doing nothing in particular because I work all week. 

            If you want to read part one for this year, you can, just click the link.

            No one cares about that, so here I am posting all of the books that I have read this year. All opinions are my own, I doubt that I would ever have opinions that weren’t my own so roll with me. 

What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

            This book just kind of fell in my lap, one of the sixth grade ELA teachers got a bunch of books and she was looking for someone to read one to make sure that this was appropriate for sixth graders to read. It isn’t in my opinion, eighth through high school, sure, but not for 11-12 year old’s. There are too many swear words and things that might be difficult for sixth graders to process. It’s a great book though, I knew someone who had Asperger’s when we were in high school, we were close, we no longer speak but that is not a story for here. I also have a degree in Psychology and think that lumping all of these disorders onto the spectrum was wrong for the DSM-5, but again, that’s not a conversation for now. High school is a cruel place and that’s no secret for anyone who wasn’t popular or people thought was different. I have very few if any good memories of high school so this one hit me. All of the characters feel real though, the situations feel real, and it’s one of those books about acceptance and loss, about the insanity of high school and the expectations of the world when you are “different”. I read it in like two days just because I really enjoyed reading it and I wanted to keep reading it, it may not be for everyone but I work at a middle school and that means that sometimes I have to read middle grade or young adult fiction because then I can have authentic conversations with the students. I have been given so many book suggestions by students and sometimes you just need to read something that you would have read in high school because it’s an escape for all of the adult responsibilities that you have. Overall, I would suggest it because it shows a side of people and relationships that a lot of people don’t understand with people who are not “normal” and I don’t think that’s represented enough. 

I, Ripper by Steven Hunter

            So I love learning about serial killers as much as the next person and I wanted to read two thrillers this year and Jack the Ripper is one of those people who still strikes fear into like everyone because of what he did. Like I read this book and it took me like two and a half weeks to read because I didn’t have the time to sit down and read. Also this one was dense and a little confusing. I enjoyed it because it is a fictional retelling of the Jack the Ripper case and it closes the up the mystery even if the real Jack the Ripper has never been identified. It was really graphic which I had figured it would be because you know, serial killers. I mean, if you like this kind of thriller stuff I would suggest this book told in two voices through a memoir of a journalist and the diary of Jack the Ripper. 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt 

            Another book that I have read with the sixth graders. It’s one of those books that somehow I missed in school at any time because it’s one of those classics now that everyone has read, there is a movie about it and everything. I did enjoy reading it and I was reading the ending out loud to the sixth graders yesterday and I had so many kids who hated the ending. I’m not going to spoil it because that would be not so nice of me even though the book has been out since the 70’s but I still won’t ruin it for you if you want to read it. It’s a really quick read compared to some of the other books that I have read this year and I would suggest it if you have a middle schooler or upper elementary schooler at home. (can I just say #teacherproblems?) It’s very much a question of; would you, if you could, live forever? 

Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle 

            So I started this one directly after finishing I, Ripper because I needed a break from that very dark book that I read. It’s a cozy and I am never mad about a cozy, which normally only take me a few days to read. I had Spring Break and read nothing for 9 whole days, I could have read three books in that time and I am an idiot for not doing it. I finished it on April 1st which is fine and I have started my next book already but I have not read enough books so far this year. I have read 12 and that’s it and we are already in April. So what was this book about though. I had no idea who the killer was until the end of the book and that is one reason why I love reading Kate Carlisle’s books so much, she keeps me guessing until the very end on who the actual killer is. I also love the title because every time I looked at the cover I thought of You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi, which I am never mad about. This book was really good though, I still love seeing the world expand and change because you get to know these characters and you want the best for them. I want to attend a conference like the one in the book, but you know without the murders. Seriously this is a series that I suggest if you like cozy mysteries. 

All is Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant 

            This one read very much like a Hallmark movie and I was not upset about it. There were parts where I laughed, parts where I rolled my eyes, parts that just made me feel all warm inside. It was a good book, I read it in two days once I really had a chance to read it. It is one of those books that make you feel good and who doesn’t love cupcakes? It’s a lot about family, chosen family, and faith above all else which is not something that I usually read. I have had this book in my collection for at least five years now if not longer so it was good to finally get it off the shelf and read it. The ending is predictable but sometimes you want an ending like there where everything is wrapped up in a bow. Sometimes those are the best stories. 

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

            One of the other teachers let me borrow this because I was reading I, Ripper and I could not put this book down. I love a good fictionized telling of unsolved true crime. Let’s just say I am going to head to Barnes & Noble at my earliest availability to pick up all four since I borrowed this one from someone else. It had me gripped from about the third or fourth chapter and kept me guessing as to who they would paint to be Bloody Jack. I was surprised but I am not going to give up the ending. I love the characters and the subtle hints of romance without being the main focus of the book. I like that the author made the main female character interesting, someone who bucked against societal norms and was following a dream and a fascination. It’s just good even though it’s YA. I am an adult, granted a still young adult, but I try really hard to not read YA much anymore, I do every once in a while just because I work with middle schoolers and I like when one of them gets really excited about a book they are reading and tells me all about it. This was a suggestion from another teacher, but either way school breeds book suggestions for me some days. I am planning on reading the next one after I read Dracula because I read another retelling of Jack the Ripper before I read this one and breaking up the series will make it last longer so that’s just what I plan on doing with it right now to not only read the whole series but also stay on my targets to get my book list read this year. 

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

            My second classic of the year, I know that this is for sure a book written for children but it was really good, and my goal this year is 10 classics. This is one of those books where I have seen bits and pieces of the movie but not much else. I know that it’s one of those things that gets talked about as important works of literature. I really enjoyed it and it was a quick read. I would love to have a garden like this, any of these beautiful gardens I read about in books but I can’t even keep a cactus alive and they are so easy to keep alive. I do not have a green thumb and I am totally okay with that. All I want though is so many beautiful leafy green plants, but that is not something that I can achieve. I am not good with plants no matter the kind so I am going to stick with fake plants, I can’t kill them. This story is just one of those about acceptance and friendship as well as growing up. It’s a little dated because it was written over 100 years ago, like 110 years old so of course it’s dated. I would suggest it though if you want to read a classic. 

            So truth be told I was hoping to have one more book on this list but things have been a little crazy this last week or so. I am working on Yes, Please by Amy Poehler and it’s really funny but I’m not finished with it yet and this post needs to go up now. I don’t even have my actual cover photo for this one even taken yet, hence why it’s late. It’s been that kind of week where MJ is just dealing with a lot and that means that I don’t have a much time as I usually do to actually read anything during the day and by the time I get home I don’t want to do anything, which isn’t great, but it’s how I’m living at the moment. I am hoping to get this book finished by the weekend though so that will be the first book on my next post. 

            So until then, I hope that everyone has a good end to their week and a good weekend. I will be back on Sunday with another post. 

            Stay safe, happy, and healthy, 

                        -MJ

Let’s keep track shall we?:

Classics:  3/10

Historical Fiction:  1/5

Sci-Fi/Fantasy:  2/5

General Fiction:  2/5

Memoirs/Autobiographies:  /2

Non-Fiction:  /1

Thrillers:  1/2

Free Choice:  4/15

What Was Really in My March 2021 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I finally got this in the mail a few days ago, because the other one got lost. I didn’t get the same bag as the GB last month but it’s okay, I got a repeat from last summer. I honestly wouldn’t have minded if they didn’t even send a bag with a replacement, I know it’s expected but I would have been cool with it either way. If you want to see what the bag looks like you can check out my July Glam Bag post from last year

            I feel like I don’t have much to say before we get into the actual products, so let’s just roll right into them because this post is a month later than it should be and at this point; I’m over it. 

The products: 

            I think I got everything that was supposed to be in my March GB because in the email I got they told me that if something wasn’t available it would be switched out with something else so it’s not a big deal.

            I first want to say that I am thankful for the ‘past glam bag’ tab on the website otherwise there is a good chance I would not give all the proper names for these products, I apparently also can still review the items so that’s exciting. 

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Magnet Mascara:

            It’s is no secret that I really like Benefit, their Roller Lash mascara is one of my holy grail items, I don’t actually have any at the moment but it is one of my all-time favorites. I really like the fact that they use silicon applicators instead of a brush applicator because to me it just gets product on better. You can disagree on that with me and that’s totally cool, we can have different beauty preferences. I just threw a tube of mascara away because it expired and my right eye let me know right away. I may have mentioned that in one of my other posts but at this point I don’t remember. I am excited to give this one a go though because a lot of the reviews say that it has some great benefits to your lashes. 

Clearly Balanced Days It’s The (Lip) Balm with CBD in Peppermint:

            I feel like there are so many products with CBD in them now and I am not upset about that because apparently it has some great benefits. I can read all the ingredients which makes me super happy, I am not a huge fan of lip balms that have ingredients that I can’t read, pronounce, or identify on sight. I have probably a good dozen lip balms scattered around my apartment, in my bags, and just in general around my life and I lose at least one or two a year and then find them a year or two later and have to throw them away. I have joked since college that I want to finish a tube of lip balm before I lose it and I still have yet to accomplish that goal. 

Eleman Beauty Eyeshadow Duo in Aerial & Luna: 

            A brand that I have never heard of before getting it in my Glam Bag but the shades and pigmentation are great so I am noy mad about it. I am always looking for mor brands to enjoy. They are both glittery and metallic which in certain looks are really cool so I am going to put this in my random eyeshadow box and use them when I have a reason to. They are really nice shades though and I want to incorporate them into a look sooner rather than later. I want to see what it looks like with long wear before I really say that I enjoy it but so far as just a swatch, I like it. 

F.A.R.A.H Pressed Powder Brush 620F:

            I am going to have a full collection of F.A.R.A.H brushes here soon enough because I have several of them. It’s a nice soft brush and it’s for powder, I don’t use a lot of powder because it’s never really been a thing that I do but it wouldn’t be a bad cheek brush as well. Let’s be honest with ourselves though, I don’t use all of my brushes for what they are supposed to be used for, one because I forget and just grab a brush, and two, it’s a brush that I can use on my face. 

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Werk:

            This is a little dark and orangey for me. I like Milk Makeup but this is not the shade for me. Alright, after actually putting it on my lips, it’s actually a really nice shade and I like it. Also the one I have is a little cracked. Not a big deal, I can still use it but I have to have the right look to go with it. There is also just something about a lip and cheek product that seems weird to me because I don’t like to use products that claim double duty, I will use it as one or the other, I fear contamination. As someone whose skin is sensitive to just about everything I am really careful about what I put where on my face. 

            Overall, I liked the Glam Bag, it was fine. Some hits and some that could be considered, not per say misses, but not hits. It was nice to finally get the bag though because I wasn’t really sure if I was going to. 

            If you want to check out what else I’ve gotten this year, you totally can! January, February, and April. It’s so weird to write April on this post even though we are almost in May.

            I will be back later in the week with another post, so I hope that everyone has a great start to their week.

            Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

            -MJ

What Was in My April 2021 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            Happy almost May everyone, I cannot believe that we are getting this close to May, after the 2020 that we had it feels like 2021 is just flying by. Also it is April 20th and it snowed in Arkansas today, yea that feels bonkers to me, but here we are.

            I got this in the mail several days ago but I just haven’t been writing as many posts ahead of time as I usually do, (it’s not a good choice but that is where we are at the moment, no matter how rushed and stressed it makes me feel.) so I am writing this on Tuesday night and posting it because that is my life. 

            I got my March bag as well so I will be sharing that here soon, I promise. This post probably will be pretty short because that’s what I am capable of tonight.

            As always the opinions in this post are mine, they always are but I feel like I need to say that and I don’t say it enough. 

The Bag:

            It is more of a canvas and I love the pattern, it’s probably in my top ten favorite overall patterns that I have ever gotten and I really want to find a use for this because I want to carry it with me everywhere. 

The Products: 

Pacifica Beauty Wild Hemp Eyeshadows: 

            I really like Pacifica when it comes to skin care, I used to use their makeup wipes all the time. I use a Makeup Eraser now but I have used them for travelling over the years. This is a great tiny travel palette because it is five shades and two of them are matte so it is a really good on the go type of palette and I always need one of those to go with me when I don’t want to take a full pan palette with me. They are all really pretty warm neutral shades and I am super jazzed about it. 

Pür Mini Fully Charged Mascara: 

            Pür is a brand that I really like as a whole and I had to throw away a tube of mascara yesterday because it was getting to the expiry point. (my right eye is really sensitive to everything and I wasn’t sure if it was the air in the building I work in or the mascara and I think it was a combination of both) So I am always in the market for a new mascara. My one thing about mascara is that I never know what to say about it beyond the fact that it’s great and makes my eye lashes look good when I don’t straight up sneeze while I am applying it. 

Saint Luxe Highlighter in Celestial:

            I think if you have been hanging around my blog for a while you know how much I love highlighters, if you haven’t welcome in, I love highlighters. I like the shade though, it’s a nice shade, a little coppery, it’s a little dark for my skin tone though if you really blend it out, it looks amazing. I think this would be more of a summer shade for me when I have even a slight tan. It is really nice though and I plan on adding this to my summer routine as we get toward that time of the year.

Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum:

            I love Sunday Riley, that’s not a secret either. I wish I could get The Martian toner again because I loved that and now I can’t seem to find it. I would buy full sizes of the products but they are so expensive. I know I am paying for the quality but it’s just a little steep. Seriously, I got the eye cream last year, used it all and was thinking about buying it but it was like $65 dollars and I just couldn’t justify that when I get an IPSY Glam Bag Plus every month and they seem to just be sending me skin care. I am really excited to give this one a try because it’s Sunday Riley and they have such amazing products. 

Tatcha The Water Cream:

            I chose this one and I have chosen it in the past because I love it so much, this is one of those products were I keep saying that I am going to get a full size of it, it’s also really expensive but totally worth it because it’s amazing. This is probably one of my favorite IPSY samples ever, hence why I picked it again. If you want a good hydrating moisturizer, I would 110% suggest this one. I have combination skin but it does get oily and this is moisturizing without making my skin feel more oily and that is the best! If you want a holy grail item for me, Tatcha’s Water Cream is for sure one of them. 

            I loved my bag this month, it hit all the marks for me; which sometimes doesn’t happen, but this month it for sure did. I really liked every product I received in this bag and I am looking forward to next month. 

            I don’t really have much else to say about this one because I have nothing to complain about, it was a great bag and if you want to read my other bags this year, you can check those out: January, February, and March (when it gets published over the weekend).

            I hope everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.

Until next time, 

            -MJ 

April 2021 IPSY Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            We are already most of the way through April which is insanity to me. This week coming up is birthday week, it’s not like I am celebrating it because let’s be honest…I don’t really celebrate, I’ll be at work all day and then maybe dinner with my parents. When this post comes out I will have already had my first does of the COVID shot, say what you will about it, get it, don’t get it, that is completely up to you and your choice. I work in a school, I work around kids, and I finally was able to get an appointment to get one so I am. For my health and the health of everyone I care about. I want to be able to hug people again without the fear of transmitting this virus. 

            Right, so, my Glam Bag Plus because that’s what this post is about. I am still waiting for my regular Glam Bag from last month, they are replacing it and it is on its way, so at this point it is just a waiting game. I want to say something about the “ultra-personalization” again this month. It was mostly skin care, I love skin care, but there is only so much you can get and use. I wish they would give me the options for more cosmetics and things like that. It’s just irksome that I don’t really feel like I have choices that I want, they say the items are personalized to me and I am really wondering where they are getting my options. Literally every category I had there was a serum, no one needs that much serum.

The Bag: 

            I absolutely love the bag this month, it’s so springy and fun. I am actually really liking the drawstring bags that they are coming out with in the Glam Bag Plus. 

So what did I get? I am going to share first what was chosen for me and then go on to what I chose. 

Dr. Botanicals Lemon Superfood all-in-one Rescue Butter:

            It’s a face and body cream which I am not mad about and I love the smell of lemons. It has a bunch of oils in it which usually are amazing for moisture in your skin. I love a good moisturizer, there is nothing wrong with a good moisturizer in the beauty routine. Especially if you can use it on your whole body. I don’t think I will use it on my face but I will for sure use it everywhere else. I think putting that many oils on my face would break me out too much so hand and body cream application for this product will be better for me personally. 

Beau Gâchis No. 7 Collection:

            I like makeup brushes but I have a lot of them and not a lot of space for storage right now. I like that there is a spooly in here though because I do not have enough of them. I like a good all over brush set and a set like this I can take when I travel or when I have to not be at home and I want to put on a full but simple look. I opened the bag and it smelled like nail polish remover and I am hoping that if I keep them out of the bag for a while they won’t smell like that. I do like the feeling of the brush though so I am looking forward to giving them a try.

Now on to what I chose, which I have said I feel like I don’t have much choice every month on what I actually get. 

The Nue Co. The Pill All-in-1 Serum: 

            The first of two serums that I chose because I didn’t like any of the other options. I like that this one is a pump and I am excited to eventually give this one a try. For now it will go into the storage in my fridge because I need to keep it fresh until I run through all of the other serums that I have. It has some really good ingredients in it and that is the best. I want my skin care items to have good ingredients and as few artificial ingredients as possible, this one has no fragrance which is actually really nice because I have never been a fan of fragrance in my skin care. 

Serumkind Purple Cabbage Drop:

            I never thought I would be able to say that I had a skin care product with cabbage in it. I love the fact that it is actually purple (even though the picture online is blue) and the packaging is beautiful. It is apparently very gentle which I am really excited about and it’s K beauty, I think, so I know that it will be okay for my skin. It’s anti-inflammatory and that is always really good for all the problems that my skin has. I think I am more excited to try this one than the other serum that I chose. 

Avant Skincare Pro Perfecting Collagen Touche Éclat Primer: 

            Avant is one of those brands that I would never buy for myself because it’s expensive. I think I already have one of these, I checked, it’s not the same but it is similar. Really though at the moment that’s okay because I kind of need to start using a primer when I put on my makeup. I like the idea of having more collagen in my skin care. It’s really expensive, for 30 ml it’s $122 retail and that is just insane so the only place I get them is through IPSY because while I love good expensive skin care, it’s not something I can actually afford to splurge on very frequently. 

            Overall I am not upset about what I got but I still wish there was more of a balance between skin care and cosmetics because I just feel like there isn’t really that “personalization” that they have been trying to do since like August of last year. I kind of miss just picking one product and they pick the rest because what I am offered is a lot of products that I don’t really want or need. I know that is the issue with subscriptions. I still think that if they gave us all the options and said “pick three” it would be better because then there wouldn’t be this weird limit on choices. I don’t want a multiple choice test I want to be able to choose from a pool of things. I know that is something I complain about every month but I feel like nothing is changing and I wish that they would do something to change it. 

            So that was my GB+ this month, you can check out all of my other months for 2021 if you want to, you can read more of my complaining there too, I promise. Just click on the month, January, February, and March.

            I hope that everyone has a great start to the week and my Glam Bag will be my post for Wednesday because I have it and that’s about all I can manage this week. 

            Stay happy and healthy,

            -MJ 

Animal Crossing Update

Hey, hey, it’s MJ, 

            Sorry this post is late, I kind of forgot that today was Wednesday so I am writing this at work, I am hoping that this gets posted today but it will for sure get posted tomorrow if I don’t have time to actually post it on Wednesday. It’ll be up eventually, I promise. 

            So Animal Crossing has been out a year now and my island will be one year old on the 26th. My best friend bought me the game for my last birthday and my island has grown a lot over the last year and I know I still have a lot to do on my island to make it exactly what I want it to be. 

            In my last Animal Crossing post I just showed my house, this time I am going to be showing some updated rooms and some of my outdoor spaces. They are not Pinterest worthy, not even close but it’s my island and I’ll do what I want on it. 

            I have been playing the game for a year now and participating in almost daily play still because I just really enjoy being on my island with my villagers. I don’t pay as much attention to them as I should because most of my time on my island is spent running around looking for things or trying to finish out my Critterpedia. 

            I actually put a bunch of pages in a journal for all of the museum categories that I have and that I am missing. I had a really stressful weekend one weekend and did it all on a Saturday because I needed to get my mind right, so I made lists. 

            Some of my fave outdoor spaces though, let’s start there. Some of these are finished some are more in progress because I need more materials or crafting patterns to actually complete them. 

My 50’s Diner

            This was an idea I had over a month ago, I still want to do more with it or potentially move it so I can expand it a little bit. It’s not finished yet, it’ll be finished eventually but that’s what ACNH is like, it’s never fully done and you can grow and evolve your island whenever and however you want to. 

My Tiny Library

            Another space on my island that isn’t finished yet. I have a lot of those spaces where I start a project and then realize to do the whole thing I need DIY recipes that I don’t actually have yet. It’s never fair. I just wish that there was some way to purchase seasonal DIY’s before they were suddenly gone. 

Astrological/Zodiac Garden.

            This is not going to be the permanent home of this feature on my island and it will get done some day, when I have all the celestial DIY’s I need but that will be no time soon because I need star fragments and DIY recipes but for some reason I feel like Celeste never visits my island and I miss her, she’s one of my favorites. I have seen some cool things with the celestial DIY’s on the internet and I want something cool of my own on my island.


Up Top Flower Garden

            For probably 10 months my island was covered in flowers, I mean I had flowers everywhere and I decided one day that I didn’t need all of those flowers everywhere, so i started to pull them up. This idea came from me using flowers in the colors I really liked to create a little contained flower garden. I still spend way too much time picking flowers/ digging them up after a rain storm and it rained on my island for like two days so I know when I log in tonight I am just going to have more flowers to pick. I will probably add more things beyond just the bench in here but for now I am happy with this one.


Greenhouse

            This was an idea I saw on Pinterest and I pretty much copied it because I was looking for ideas on what to add to my island and this was one of the ideas I really liked. I had a flower patch here at one point but I got rid of that when I stopped caring about crossbreeding flowers when I decided to get rid of 75% of my flowers. This is pretty much the one thing on my island that is like 99% done. I may use a simple panel to put on a door but I don’t know yet, I haven’t decided. I may expand this one as well and put a couch or bench in it so I can hang out there if I want to. Let’s be real. I want to live on my Animal Crossing island. 


House Updates

            I haven’t really changed much in my house, I have updated my living room, kitchen, and bedroom a little bit so I will show those again because looking back at my house from my last post. I have put more things in all of my rooms because I am still a trash goblin. Happy Home Academy tells me every week to have furniture all the same color and I don’t wanna so I wish they would stop telling me that.

            So that’s about a look my outdoor spaces, I wish there were a few quality of life updates that they would bring out but I don’t remember a single one at the moment. Maybe except a cart in the Able Sister, also being able to buy seasonal DIY’s that you are missing as the season ends. Like I didn’t get the Sakura bonsai tree recipe and I needed that for another DIY project so now I have to wait until next year to get it and that’s annoying. 

            I should find other games to play but let’s be honest with ourselves, i am like really bad at gaming because I get frustrated more than I should, I love playing games but I am more on the line of The Sims, Minecraft, and Animal Crossing, casual world building games because they aren’t as stressful as other more involved games and I don’t want to be angry when I game, I just want to enjoy myself. 

            Alright, well that’s it for me today. I will be back over the weekend with another post so until then I hope everyone stays happy and healthy.

            -MJ

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Spring Mystery Box, Was It Worth It?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            April is birthday month and I wanted to get myself a present because you know, I’m a year and (at the time of this being published) 9 days away from being 30 and I am not looking forward to the big 3-0. It shouldn’t be a big deal but I feel like I need to accomplish more before I hit that number. 

            I decided to buy this because I really did like my last box almost two years ago and I like the brand. No matter the controversy and all of that, I like the brand. I love the quality of the items I have gotten in the past and that’s in most cases what matters to me. Yes, is he inflammatory? Yea, but who isn’t? Also his dogs are super cute. 

Short answer to the question asked in the title, yes. Long answer, let’s get into that. 

So what did I get? I got the deluxe box, I would have gotten the 4/20 box for funzies, but that’s my actual birthday and my initials are MJ, I will let you extrapolate meaning from that without telling you what my actual name is. I figured getting that would be a little too pointed so I stuck with the Deluxe Box instead. 

Spoiler, I am kind of surprised I didn’t get any highlighters because those are such a big part of the brand, that’s okay though I have so many highlighters already.  

Jawbreaker Palette:

I almost bought this palette when it came out because it was so bright and fun. I didn’t end up buying it because I don’t need any more palettes, no matter how much I love them. I love the shades though and I cannot wait to play around with this palette. The shade names make me laugh and one I will have to blur a little bit before I post it because I try really hard not to have any profanity on my blog. (In real life I swear a lot but here, I try really hard not to.) I love this palette though and I am so excited to own it. This is actually my first JS Cosmetics palette no matter the fact that I would like to have all of them. 

Single Pan Shadows:

            All of these shades are from the Cremated palette, Life Insurance, Burial Gown, and Goodbye. I like the shades, they all go together and I am never mad about single pan shadows because you can mix and match them with other palettes without having a full sized palette. 

Automatic Eyeliner in Resting Rich Face:

            I normally don’t wear eyeliner because it’s a lot of liquid eyeliner now but I used gel pencil eyeliner for years and this one is like a taupey (yes I am aware that is not a word but we are rolling with it) green. I actually really like the shade and I am not going to be mad to actually try and use it, also the name is like the best thing ever. 

Enamel Pin Set:

            I like pins, I have no idea if these are exclusive to the box, I honestly didn’t check the website to find out but I really like them and I love the kind of Sailor Jerry style to them. I think my favorite one of the four is the broken mirror that says ‘beauty killer’ I don’t know why but that one is super cool. 

Velour Liquid Lip Mini Red and Pink Bundle:

            I was shocked to see a lip bundle in this box. It’s one of those pieces that people keep the unicarton as decoration. I have seen that online and I love the shades. Lipstick is never a bad thing in my mind. I like that they are mini’s because I can just drop one of them in my bag and go. The Velour Liquid Lipstick line is probably one of my favorite lines of liquid lipsticks that I have ever tried. I love the shade names. The quality of the packaging from JS Cosmetics is always above and beyond and this is just another example of that. 

The Gloss in Table Top: 

I don’t wear gloss, I wore a lot in the mid-2000’s when everyone was wearing a lot of lip gloss. I have not worn it really since then but this gloss, I love it. I am actually wearing it as I am writing this post, it started out sticky but I have been wearing it for about 45 minutes now and it stopped being that sticky feeling you get with most glosses and feels more like a balm with just a little bit of stickiness. I would buy more of these glosses, which is never something I thought I could say because I am not a gloss fan. I am a fan of this gloss. 

Velour Liquid Lipstick in Birthday Suit: 

            I thought it was ironic that I got a lipstick called ‘Birthday Suit’ in the box I bought myself for my birthday. It’s a red, orange, pinkie nude. At least that’s what it looks like on my hand, I swatched it and I really enjoy the shade. On it is really great and I want to really see what it looks like with a full face of makeup. I would say it looks more deeper blush pink when swatching and more tan pink on my personal lips. I love a good nude lipstick though so I am excited to add this to my lipstick collection. 

Diet Shane Lip Balm:

            I watched the series like many other people did when it came out. I love the lip balm, it is really nice, but the person it’s named after is problematic. (I know all of them are problematic) I love a good lip balm though and the packaging is amazing, again JS Cosmetics packaging never disappoints. 

Jeffree Star Cosmetics JStar Tee-shirt:

            I couldn’t find this one on the website, the coral one is on the website, but it seems like I get yellow shirts which I really like. The shirts I get from JS Cosmetics are always super soft. I order a size larger than I need because they are so comfy to wear around. I feel like all I have been saying is how much I like the stuff that I got but I really do and the apparel from the brand is so good. 

            So that was what I got in my mystery box. I could have gone for a larger size but I am good with this one. I like this one better than the last one I got for sure. I got a palette this time and maybe eventually I will end up with a mirror. I want to try the concealer eventually and if and when he comes out with a foundation, I will buy it. Problem being with that I would want to see the shade and try it because I am pale, there are some brands where even their lightest shade is too dark for me. I is pale. 

            Would I get another one in the future? Yea, sure, why not. I know that I risk getting duplicates if I would get boxes in the future but that really doesn’t matter to me. I like the brand, the quality is amazing, and I really enjoy the things that I got. 

            I will be back later in the week with another post, I hope everyone has a great start to the week, so until then stay happy and healthy.

            -MJ

Favorite Podcasts

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I drive to work every morning and sometimes I just don’t want to listen to music so I plug my phone in to listen to podcasts and some I have been listening to for years, some have ended, and some are rather new finds in my life.

            I don’t listen as regularly as I used to but at the moment I am doing a deep dive and trying to catch up on a podcast that started in like 2016 and I found through Spotify late last year and have been listening to pretty consistently on my drive to and from work because I love it. 

            This is not a comprehensive list because there are some podcasts that I have listened to in the past that I no longer enjoy, does that mean that you can’t go out and find your own faves? No, but if you have a sense of humor like I do you might like some of these. 

            So what do I listen to when it comes to podcasts? 

The Jenna Julien Podcast: 

            This is one of those podcasts that is no longer still updating but there are so many episodes on the apple podcast app or the video podcast on YouTube. Jenna Marbles is still by far one of my favorite YouTubers and her podcast with her boyfriend Julien has made me laugh hysterically on more occasions than I can count. When I moved here I was in a lot of pain on my drive down and their podcast and laughing so hard was one of the only things that actually made my drive bearable. A few of my favorite episodes include any of their Shark Tank episodes, Snake Oil, Don’t Even Get Me Started, and quite a few others. 

Ask Iliza Anything:

            This is one of those podcasts that I need to catch back up on because Iliza Shlesinger is my favorite comedian. Her brand of comedy is right up my alley and I really like listening to her answer peoples questions while still having witty banter with her assistant and a guest if she has one. It will be a common theme on a lot of these podcasts that they are funny because I love a good funny podcast.

Welcome To Night Vale:

            I have been listening to this podcast since I was in college because I was on my college radio station and sometimes it felt like this. I love radio dramas and this one is not only long form but also amazingly well written. It’s fantastical and hilarious. I cannot give this podcast enough praise for pulling me in and not letting me go. I have listened to it all the way through at least three times and I now need to catch up again because I got into a funk listening to podcasts during 2020 where I didn’t. If you like weird, this podcast is for sure for you.

Good Morning Night Vale: 

            This is a behind the scenes look at Welcome To Night Vale by people who are on the show and I love seeing behind the scenes looks at things that I enjoy, so hearing people talk about this show is always fun. I for sure also need to catch up on this one as well but that will be eventually because I have so many podcasts to catch up on! 

Wizard and The Bruiser:

            This is the one that I just started a few months ago and I am already like 30 episodes in and it’s all geeky and stuff which I love. There are a lot of episodes about things that I don’t really know about, so to have a podcast telling me the histories of pop culture figures, comic book heroes, and everything else. It’s really fun to listen to and I find myself laughing out loud in the car to myself on the way to and from work. 

            There are for sure other podcasts I have listened to and I have enjoyed them but these are the ones that I am trying to catch up on at the moment. I would love to expand my podcast repertoire, and eventually I will but at the moment I wanted to just share a few here and now.

            There are so many podcasts out there, and I mean so many. I could never have a podcast because I would just ramble and vomit words out of my mouth, like I do here but less talking. I don’t even know what I would talk about, I do talk a lot but not much of it is productive. I will leave the podcasting up to the people who are good at it. 

            I will be back over the weekend with another post, so until then, I hope that everyone has a good rest of your week. Remember stay happy and healthy, make good choices, be a nice person, and most of all be you. 

            -MJ

Fitness Update: It’s all Hills and Valleys

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So here’s the deal, I was going really strong until December and then it got cold. I know that in my last post about my fitness journey I was so excited to keep going and I still am but winter hit me like a truck, maybe two trucks and I am just pulling myself out of that funk. 

            In my last post though I did talk about doing my 5K over Thanksgiving week and my goal was to do it in under an hour, I did, 59:49 and I was really proud of myself. I also did Flex It Pink’s Holiday Hustle 5K in December and my time was, brief pause while I find it in my 2020 Bullet Journal because I don’t remember it off the top of my head, 1:00:18. 

            I walked last weekend, four miles both days after taking three months off and let’s just say I was limping all week because my hip was killing me. By the time that you read this hopefully I will be going walking in the morning. I want to get back to my 3-4 5K length walks a week because I have a goal this year to walk a straight 10K. I signed up for a Yes.Fit race in January and I am working on that one now. It’s the Beauty and The Beast race which is 26.7 miles and I am like 30% done. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot but that was two workouts. I have already signed up for Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run in the fall and all three of the monthly 5K challenges that are associated with that (September to Remember, Rocktober!, and Novem-brr Dash) and I was so excited when they opened that race up over spring break. I know that I will sign up for Gobbles Free Range 5K when that opens up too, if they are going to do it this year. 

            Every journey has hills and valleys and I am not an aspiring fitness coach, I am not trying to be a fitness influencer but writing it down on my platform, my blog, it makes it feel more real. Like I need to and have to do it and that’s what I need. I need that accountability to keep myself going and I want to, I want to keep going but some days when your mental health (not an excuse) is fighting against you, you just have to stop and recognize that you have to be present with yourself, not just push through it with a workout. Don’t bury that stuff down deep and think that you can just do one thing and it makes it easier. Somedays, that is super true, you can help yourself out by doing a workout, meditating, and things like that but sometimes you just have to sit and be present with yourself and your issues before they spiral you down. As someone who spirals down in the spring, February and March, those are my tough months and I don’t know why but here I am in April (birthday month!) and I want to give myself a birthday present this year. I want to be better, I want to feel better, I want to look better, I want to be able to do cool things, I want to be able to wear whatever clothes I want without feeling terrible about myself, I want to love who I am both inside and out. The inside part took a long time, the outside part is taking even longer. 

            There are so many people online who want to be influencers, I am not here for that. I show y’all what I get in subscriptions, I share DIY’s and crafts, I share little pieces of me and that’s totally cool. Right now though I just need to share this. I need to get this all off my chest, I want to be motivated to be a better version of myself. So that next year on my (I can’t believe I am saying this) 30th birthday I can look back at year 29 and say that I did the best for myself, that I showed up for me. I don’t want to waste any more time than I already have but I need to be aware of my limits, I need to be aware of what I can and cannot do because I will do more damage than good if I ignore my body telling me that something is wrong or something hurts. 

            I am not out here telling you how to live your life, I would never try to do that because that’s not who I am. I probably won’t tag this one like I tag all my other posts, it may go on Twitter but at this moment I don’t know. I spend my time here being as authentic as possible because I don’t believe in putting on a front and a face for social media. That’s not how I roll, I just want to be me, a better version of me, and some days that’s difficult. 

            I want to do this post more regularly than every six months or so. I want to do check-ins with me as much as making it a blog post, so I’ll be back in June with another post like this one, hopefully I will have better news when it comes to my journey. I have days where I do amazing and other days where I do terribly but I think that my better days are starting to outweigh my terrible days, and at this point that’s all I can ask for. 

            So there it is, me as an authentic human with a real human being problem and a thing that I for sure need to work on as a person. My alarm is already set for 4:30 tomorrow morning because I like to walk early before work and then go deal with middle schoolers all day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

            I will be back mid-week with another post, even though I am not sure what it’s going to be yet. I have to consult the Bullet Journal and see what past me planned for current me to write about. So until then, have a great start to the week, and stay happy and healthy.

            -MJ 

What was in My March 2021 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            If you look at the title of this post it should be obvious on what the content of it should be, yea I get that and this feels a little click baiting but at the moment I am a little upset about the fact that I cannot show you what was in my Glam Bag this month because it has been lost in Memphis at the USPS sorting facility since the 13th of this month. 

            So here is where I talk about it, eventually, if it shows up I will write a real post on it but at the moment I need to have a real conversation about the fact that a package that I get monthly and is not super easy to lose has seemed to have gotten lost. It’s in a pink package for crying out loud.

            I understand completely that the USPS has been overworked to the brink of it for the last year with the pandemic but I have never had a package get lost at this facility for this long ever before. I few days, sure, that happens but it’s been over two weeks since it suddenly just stopped in transit. 

            ISPY as a company wants you to wait 15 busines days to report something stalled or missing, well I am sitting at 11 now, I have to wait until Friday to inquire about the loss of a package that I pay monthly for. I have already picked my customization option for next month and the company wants me to review my products. I can’t, I don’t have them. 

            I am not happy with my shipping experience this month, my Glam Bag + made it in a few days but it seems that my regular Glam Bag has fallen through the cracks and I have a feeling that I will have to ask for a replacement or a refund  and I was looking forward to the products that I was getting. 

            I know that with the pandemic shipping times have gotten longer and longer and I get that but for my package to arrive at the facility at like 1 in the morning on the 13th and now nothing since then makes me think that something happened to it in transit though the facility. 

            Normally I don’t complain about things like this because it really is just stuff but I write a blog post on this bag every month so at the moment I am down a blog post, hence why I am writing this one at the moment because I feel the need to explain why there isn’t  GB post this month even if the post would only get a few views.

            I am not one to go into the comment sections on social media and express my distain for the situation but I am going to use this platform to state my problem, I have a lost package and I am not too happy about it. 

            So until I get some information either through the tracking or the company when I email them on Friday I guess I am in a catch 22 and I don’t like feeling that way. 

            Until then if you want to read about what else I have gotten this year, you totally can. Just click on the month and you can read that post, January and February

            Until next time with another post, stay safe, happy, and healthy and I will see everyone soon with another post. 

            -MJ