Cheers To A New Beginning: Starting A Fitness/Lifestyle Change Journey

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So this year has been a cluster, I don’t want to put the second word because I try not to swear, so let’s call it a dumpster fire. Like all around just a mess and that means that any plans that we had this year have all gone out the window. Social distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, and don’t complain about it; that’s where we are at the moment in the midst of a dumpster on fire. 

            I am going to preface the rest of this post with my idea of fitness is more like “fitting this whole pizza roll in my mouth” but I also have dabbled in yoga, weight training, and even biking and running but I didn’t seem to stick to any of them, it was a motivation thing and I want to change that so bear with me for the rest of this post. 

            I know that I am not the only one whose mental health has suffered, I’m not the only one who has been spending time trying to pick up new hobbies, I’m not the only one worried, and I know that I’m not the only one who is just trying to keep their head up amongst the drowning feeling that is just 2020 as a whole. 

            I spent months trying to pull myself out of whatever funk I was in and writing and Animal Crossing both helped because I just needed a little escapism in my life. I found myself tired though and not just physically tired but I decided recently to reframe my mindset, not change it that’s a lot harder to do but I am reframing. I am not here to be some inspirational Instagram coach or tell you that everything is going to be okay as long as you put positive vibes out into the universe but I do hope that you are putting positive vibes out into the universe because you want to not because someone on the internet is telling you to.

            I have spent a lot of time listening to 80’s hair metal this year because it brings me joy, maybe hardcore rap brings you joy and pumps you up and you know what, you do you babe. 

            But I was getting sick and tired of being sick and tired so in August I decided to sign up virtually for Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run. I’m not allowed to run because of a problem with the joints in my left foot and a doctor told me running would run me the risk of breaking the joints in my foot, I ran the latter half of 2017 before knowing this and I had to stop even after I found my love for running but the 5K allowed for walking so I decided after seeing the ad on Instagram like a dozen times, you know when you click on an ad that’s all you see on Instagram and Facebook for a week and they got me. 

            Well I didn’t start walking until a few days ago but I did my 5K already, I was planning on building up to it but by accident I did it already, I had a plan too I was going to build up and walk it on Halloween on the trails at the art museum that is near my house. (If you are ever in Northwest Arkansas go to Crystal Bridges, it’s free and amazing all American art and they have a beautiful reference library that I want to spend days in and sprawling grounds full of sculptures and stuff, totally worth the visit.) But that didn’t stop me for signing up for one during Thanksgiving week, same company, it’s called Gobble’s Free Range 5K and I am looking forward to it.

            My last 5K time was 1:05:27 and for my next I want to be under an hour, it’s slow progress but I haven’t worked out in over a year because was so sick in January that I threw my back and tailbone out so hard that I pinched my sciatic nerve between either my lowest lumbar vertebrae or my sacral vertebrae, I cannot remember what the chiropractor said. It stayed that way until the end of March where I would have to crack my back in doorways or on my bed because I kept reinjuring it because I was in school all day, I slept with an icepack on my hip/back because I was in constant pain. School closing in March sucked but it was a blessing in disguise because my back healed, granted I still have to crack my back but I can feel my foot again which is the best thing. 

            But I decided to reframe, I want to be healthier, I have never been a small person and going clothes shopping is the worst thing for me but I don’t want to feel like way anymore. This is more to keep me accountable than anything else because I am not a coach, I am not trying to influence anyone to do anything, I want people to make good and healthy choices because they want to not because someone tells them to but I made the decision to actually stick to goals from now on. I want to be able to walk miles, I want to be able to hike, and visit all sorts of places without being in pain. So here I am saying these words on my blog, in my creative space to hold me accountable for me. 

            My medal comes in the mail hopefully this week and when I get it I will put a picture of it here somewhere but I if it takes something physical to say I did something it is what it is and I am okay with that, I get something shiny for walking a few miles. I plan on doing longer challenges next year because now all of my targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram are for walking and running challenges so here I am seeing cool medals and I want a wall of them someday, a binder full of finishers bibs, and a closet full of cute work out tops because I want to be a better version of me. I want to be the me that me as a kid needed and would have looked up to. 

            This is more a post for me, that I can promise but putting it in a public forum means that it’s out there for anyone and everyone to read and I am finally okay with sharing my journey, abbreviated, but still my journey.

            Any fun virtual walks that you guys have done that I can look into? Let me know in the comments. 

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post, so until then I hope you have a great week! 

            -MJ 

October 2020 IPSY Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ.

            How is it already half way through October? There is no way that that is true but here we are and I mean this is my favorite time of year it starts to cool down and the leaves start to change, I know it’s like the most basic white girl thing to say that my favorite season is fall but it is. I also love Halloween but the not so spooky versions. 

            The choices this month felt more diverse so I am hoping that that trend continues as we move through the rest of the year and beyond. 

The Bag:

            On the front is like what I would call a zodiac wheel or an all seeing eye but it’s surrounded by makeup items and I really like it, I think that the Glam Bag is similar and I wasn’t sure if I would like the draw string bag but I actually am really liking it. 

            The back says ‘you’re magic’ and I thought that was the cutest thing. 

What did I get?

Lovecraft Beauty Basic Rituals Eyeshadow Palette:

            I love this palette it is the perfect Halloween palette for quite a few darker looks. I also love the packaging and the holographic moth on the front because it all feels very Halloween and I can get behind a brand that sticks to their theme. The pigmentation isn’t bad on any of the colors even the white which is not a shade that I have many of. So overall pretty great little six pan palette. This was their first choice for me, I didn’t even pick this and it’s great.

Tarte Shape Tape Setting Powder in Translucent:

            I just love saying “shape tape” in funny voices and I cannot tell you why but this was their other choice for me which is a pretty great product to get, I don’t use setting powder all that often because I just setting spray and go. I love Tarte though and that is really not a secret so having another option for when I do use setting powder is never a bad thing. 

The Balm Cosmetics Autobalm Grl Pwdr Cheek Palette:

            I need to stop swatching while I am typing because I am just covered in eyeshadow and cheek products. I like the two shades of blush in this and the bronzer, the highlighter is a little dark for my complexion but I am not complaining. I like The Balm and the pigmentation is pretty great on this one as well. I like the little travel palettes that I have been getting because it means that I can carry them a lot easier to travel with and still have choices on what I put on my face. 

Skin&Lab B Plus Calming Cream:

            K-beauty for the win, I picked this one because I have been focusing more on skin care in 2020 because I have had the time to do so, it only takes a pandemic to really develop good skin care routines. I can’t really tell you much about this one without trying it but it claims to use B5 vitamins to calm the skin and regulate sebum levels and that all sounds great to me. 

Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener in Aurora:

            I love Thrive, their mascara is my favorite, there are plenty of posts on the blog about that one. I have one of the other eye brighteners and I really like it but that’s in shade Stella which is a lighter champagne this one is more of a rose gold champagne and it’s a beautiful shade. 

            Overall my Glam Bag Plus this month was amazing, I really enjoyed it after having like two months of just okay bags. I feel like this post is kind of short and I don’t know if that’s a good or a bag thing but here we are either way. 

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

            Hope everyone has a great start to the week and I will see y’all in a few days with another post!

            -MJ  

The Pressure to be Amazing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Something has been on my mind for a few days now and I feel like with the pandemic and subsequent quarantine everyone has been spending a lot of time on the internet and I know that my mental health has taken a hit this year but has it stopped me from consuming internet content? No because I don’t want to miss anything. I took some time off of Twitter and it was the best couple of weeks I’ve had in a while because I wasn’t constantly seeing what everyone else was doing, the current trends, any hot button topics, or internet fights and I think that it’s about time I do that again.

            Because we all spend so much time online we are bombarded with people who seem to have perfect lives, who post long and rambling stories about how everything is amazing in their lives and I don’t know how much of that is real but in some cases it seems really disingenuous, no one can be that perfect and happy all the time. Sorry, that’s an opinion and if you don’t agree with me, that’s fine.

            We worry about likes and recognition on the internet, I say as I write a blog for a hobby and aspire to inspire others. We worry about our reach and how many people are seeing our posts and with the rise of social media as a career people have gotten in some cases too much to handle. 

            I don’t know if this post will actually be posted but it might and I don’t care if it gets no views or likes or comments it’s just something that I need to get off my chest. I see people I went to school with living these idyllic lives on one social media platform but telling a different story on another. I try to be pretty consistent across all of my social media platforms but right now I am tired, I am stressed, and I have been comparing myself to others for years now.

            They used to tell us that you shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone but who you were yesterday and who you want to be tomorrow but with the rise and reach of social media it seems like everything I do is wrong or not keeping up to the pace of my age group. 

            So much has changed in the last decade, everyone is online showing off everything they are doing and in some cases I love it but in some cases it feels like they are trying to rub it in people’s faces. To take everything they do and make it “influential” and that to me just doesn’t feel right, it makes me itch. 

            Here’s my take away from the internet and our lives through the lens of social media: 

We don’t all have the same path nor do we walk down that path at the same pace. Compare you to you, be the person that you would have looked up to when you were younger. Don’t let other people’s Instagram pictures determine your worth. You are worth more than the likes that you get on your photos. Everyone has the potential to be absolutely amazing so don’t let someone tell you that you are less than just because you aren’t doing the same thing they are. Surround yourself with people in your real life that can help you remember that you are a rock star or a superstar or whatever kind of star you want to be. 

            It’s okay to look at other people’s lives and celebrate their happy moments, laugh at their funny moments, and mourn with them in times of sadness but bogging yourself down trying to make yourself someone else won’t bring you and joy or happiness. Sometimes I think that we forget that we are human, we aren’t perfect, we are flawed, and we make mistakes but mistakes are what help us learn for our futures. 

            I feel like I don’t share a lot of who I am personally because I like the distance between Wait it’s MJ and real life MJ, that separation between a “brand” and a person because I am not amazing all the time, I am a mess at all times but I have moments where I feel amazing and somedays that it literally just getting my laundry out of the dryer the same day it goes in the dryer instead of an embarrassing amount of time later. It doesn’t have to be big amazing things, the small things that bring a smile to your face those are the moments that are important. 

            I just needed to get some things off my chest today because I have been feeling really emotionally and creatively drained recently and I think it’s because I have been holding myself to an impossible standard of perfection because of the internet. I think that social media detoxing is important and there is nothing wrong with it, take your mental health seriously, care for yourself because you need to be whole and healthy too. Check yourself before you wreck yourself or whatever.

            Life is lived off of the internet, if we didn’t have lives to live we would have nothing to post so take a step back make sure that you are doing what you need to do to be happy off the internet, away from the scrolling, and posting. Live your life, live your journey, and don’t worry about being amazing all the time because that just sounds exhausting.

            Have a good rest of the week and I will see you on Sunday for a much more regularly scheduled nice and happy post, I just needed some real talk.

            -MJ 

Another Halloween Décor DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I had a lot of fun with the first one so I figured why not make another. I had this image of what I wanted to make in my head because I made some “snow globes” a few years ago for Christmas and I love the idea of a scene in a small space, this is not new it’s not revolutionary like if you looked it up on Pinterest there would be thousands of them but I needed more Halloween décor not just fall décor. 

            Well here’s my problem, I went to Michael’s the closest on is an hour away which isn’t a big deal but I expected to find Halloween decorations and décor and apparently October is too late to buy Halloween things because their section was slim and they already we getting the Christmas decorations out, I sighed a lot. But I made it work! You could make something like this for really any season or holiday or just for fun. A fairy garden, a miniature scene of something that means something to you, or foe any holiday where you can get themed miniature figurines. I wanted to make a graveyard maybe that’ll be next year’s project I’ll just buy them early.

            What you need:

            Miniatures: Mine were kind of slim pickings so I got ghosts, a skeleton king/queen, I don’t know which it’s probably a king but still (I also had to hot glue it’s foot back on so that was fun), some kind of tree (The picture I took was blurry because I am an idiot and I didn’t realize it until much later), and pumpkins. 

            A hot glue gun: A DIY/crafters best friend, let’s be real.

            A container: I got a lantern, you can do it in a glass jar or anything that you want to put a scene in. Like those shoe box dioramas we did in elementary school. 

            Ground covering: I used moss like you would put in a flower arrangement, it’s messy and it got everywhere but it looks super cool. 

            Mono filament or fishing line and a 1/8 inch dowel rod: if you plan on hanging anything, I had to get a dowel rod from my dad and I used a pair of pliers with a crimper in them to cut the dowel the length I thought that I needed it. 

            Method: 

            1. Make sure everything is unwrapped, your hot glue gun is on, and you have some kind of vision in your head on what you want this to look like, I would suggest laying everything out in the space before putting the moss own to see about how much space you have to work with.

            2. Hot glue in the moss, I layered mine up a little bit on one side so it looked less flat but I think it still looks a little flat but giving that effect of a forest floor layering is important. 

            3. The first thing I glued in was the tree, I used one first and then the skeleton and then I decided I wanted the second one, start at the back of your scene whatever that may be work forward; especially if you are working in a closed space.

            4. I had to prop the second tree up with some moss between the two trees just so it would stay in place but as long as it still looks natural it doesn’t really matter, do what you have to do to make it look nice. 

            5. I glued in a few pumpkins and forgot to take any pictures because I am really bad at DIY’s for blog post purposes, I will get better I promise. I figured a haunted forest pumpkin patch with a skeleton king care taker would be a good scene since I couldn’t do a graveyard this year. 

            6. I hung the ghosts, well first I got the monofilament around their necks and knotted a bunch of times, I checked the height with the dowel rod and tied them to that as well before slipping the dowel rod into the space at the top of the lantern where it’s open between the glass and the top, the ghosts move and spin so that’s both cool and frustrating because they are on strings, though I taped their strings to the dowel rod and the weight of them keeps the dowel rod in place if it’s just sitting on a table, I will probably take them out when I store it because then they won’t swing around into the glass. 

            7. Display, I put mine because it is heavy on my entry table, I want to have a new place to put it but I haven’t built the table yet, that’s a winter project. Lights would be cool in here too I just don’t know how I would have put them in so for now it is what it is. 

            Hope you liked another foray into MJ tries DIY because I had fun with this one. I plan on doing a few Christmas ones because finding Christmas decorations is easy apparently. 

            I hope everyone has a good start to the week and I will be back mid-week with another post! 

            -MJ 

Autumn Candle Roundup

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So my last post was all about my autumn décor and now I am going to tell you all about the candles that I own because why not? I am at this point where I am kind of drained creatively so I figured a nice fun little post. 

            I haven’t purchased a candle in probably two years because I had so many, actually that’s a lie I bought two from Target a couple of weeks ago for the season, I love candles and if I had infinite money I would probably buy every candle Yankee Candle and Bath and Body Works sell, seriously. 

            Also where I live right now I can’t actually burn candles because that is against my lease so I just have them out in places to look cool. 

            So what candles do I have for this time of year? 

            Most of them smell like pumpkin because why not? 

            I feel like this post if going to be super short and disjoined but this, this is the post I can come up with today and they can’t all be winners, so work with me. Thanks. 

            Spellbound Sangria, it’s from Target’s dollar bins at the front because I shouldn’t look in those and it’s shaped like a cauldron, it’s cute and it sits on my desk because décor. 

            Crisp Morning Air from Yankee Candle also sits on my desk because I wanted another little candle on my desk. 

            Cinnamon Sugared Doughnut, it smells so good and it’s from Bath and Body Works which I still accidently call Bed Bath & Beyond all the time because they are similar so I make the mistake. 

            Pumpkin Spice, the most basic of the fall scents and one that I have all over my apartment, this one is from Hallmark and it’s too cute to actually burn. 

            Sand + Fog Pumpkin Spice, I got this at HomeGoods (the year before last I think) and I mentioned this in my décor post, it is a fun jar and I really just like it for the ambience and it smells good. 

            Misc fall Yankee Candles for my Skull holder, they are Pumpkin Pie (which I have two of), Sugar & Spice, Spiced Pumpkin, Cinnamon Stick, and Autumn in the Park. They will be used eventually when I can make sure that putting them in the skull holder will not ruin the skull holder. 

            Pumpkin Woods, from Bath and Body Works, this for sure held up books for like a year and half, now a Funko Pop! of Smaug holds up those books. 

            Pumpkin Spiced Cheesecake, it smells really great actually, I have made a pumpkin cheesecake before and it smells similar. 

            Spiced Pumpkin, this one is also from the Target dollar stop because it’s right inside the door and there are always really great things in there that they want you to make a snap decision on purchasing. 

            It’s short and I know that, believe me I feel like writing this makes me look insane, maybe I am but at the moment this is what I can produce, my brain is addled with my fall cold at the moment and I promised myself I would try really hard not to miss an upload. This is actually switched with another post because my lack of creativity to make another Halloween DIY, I’m working on it and hopefully I will come up with something by this weekend. If not I’ll move some more things around but here I am telling you about candles because while this was going to be a post it was not going to be a post yet. 

            I would love to do a candle haul because that’s kind of this style of post but I can’t want into a lot of these stores at the moment, the scents sometimes give me a headache and with having to wear a mask the scents stick and that means that a headache is almost guaranteed, so from my quarantine to you, candles. 

            Hope y’all have a good rest of the week and I will see y’all on Sunday with another post.

            -MJ

Halloween/Autumn Décor

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            It’s October, how, how is it already October? My brain is still in March so there’s that but there is no way to stop the passage of time so here we are in the spookiest of months and I am excited. It’s the opening of the holiday season and Halloween is one of my favorites and I have been decorated for the holiday since early September because I wanted to feel some sense of normalcy and having a decorated apartment helps with that. The one problem with October is my fall cold, like clockwork I get a cold in the fall and in the spring when the weather starts to shift so writing this post was not at the top of my priority list which isn’t great but here we are none the less. 

            My Halloween plans this year are pretty much the same plans I have every year, sit on my couch with some candy or maybe some popcorn and watch a cute Halloween movie or two because I don’t like scary things. I don’t do the scary Halloween stuff, personal MJ story I was in 4H as a kid; it’s what you did in the corn fields of Indiana, I did girl scouts and 4H and quit both in middle school because I got tired of it, I think my mom got tired of it too but there’s that. So for 4H one weekend when I was in third or fourth grade we went to a corn maze and we were on the bus for hours, or it felt like hours to an seven or eight year old but the corn maze was fun and then at night there was a haunted maze and we had to go into it. My friend and I went into the corn maze and I don’t think I stopped screaming from the moment we walked in until we left. One of the performers who was probably in high school who jumped out at us as a zombie football player had to take his helmet off se we could see that he was just a person. Thanks dude you made my night a little better but to this day I can’t do scary things. I am pretty skittish, I jump at loud noises so in high school when all of my friends were going to haunted houses and telling me about them I avoided them like the plague. 

            None of that has to do with my decorations but I wanted to give y’all a glimpse into me because I feel like I don’t do that but the rest of the post is going to be about my décor, some of it I bought and some I made so bear with me. 

            The top of my bookcase in my office is full of pictures and stuff but for Halloween I added my cute little shadowbox DIY that was my last post and as someone who has devil horns I had to put them on my Vermont Teddy Bear that usually sports my Minnie mouse years but he gets my devil horns for the holiday unless I am wearing them. I am going to have a post about all of the fall candles I have amassed over the years but that is a post for later this month.

            Also in my office on my lower shelf I have some of my Halloween stuffed animals that I have had since I was a kid so of course they get to sit in here and hang out. 

            In my bedroom I have a tall vase full of small pumpkins and lights that I made a few years ago, I don’t remember if I ever talked about it when I was still making YouTube videos, I may go back to that someday but that day is not today, it was really simple to make and I got the idea from a magazine because they were selling something like that for a lot of money. I don’t really decorate my bedroom, don’t ask me why but I think it’s because that’s where I sleep and that’s really the only time I spend in there, I have some Christmas decorations that will go in there but I normally don’t have a lot of stuff in my bedroom.

            My living room is a different story, my table is full of things (that’s the feature picture!) and most of them are decorations, the pumpkin in the center was a DIY I did in 2017 for a video and I will eventually add more flowers to it, I did that to the one I gave my mom which is smaller but it has so many flowers on it and it looks super dope. The autumnal dachshunds I got from Target and I had to sew one of their legs back up because it was split and all of the ones they had in the store were but I love Target for holiday décor it’s always amazing. The little ‘Autumn’ metal sign should be on a wall but I don’t have anywhere to hang it so on the table it went. In front is one fake pumpkin (the maroon one) and on the left is a candle that I have never burned because I like the holder too much. 

            I also like arranging flowers, it’s a hobby of mine, at least it was for a long time and I want to get back into it but fake flowers are expensive, I mean they last for pretty much forever and I did this arrangement for my grandmother when she lived in the nursing home and she had it for a year in her room before she passed away. So it has a proud place in the fall on my kitchen counter but my kitchen is a mess and I don’t want people to see that so you get to see it atop something else. 

            All over my apartment I have pumpkins that my dad made, he likes to work with wood and has a full shop at their house and now that he’s retired he has a lot more time to actually make things for fun. I have all of them but one and the patterns are from Miesel’s if you know someone who likes to work with wood and wants to take time to make something super cute for funzies. 

            I have a bookcase in my living room that serves as a bar top as well (for someone who doesn’t drink I have bottles that I never touch and it’s…it’s a look) I have my sign board up with a cute little fall phrase and some candles because I love candles I really do and they make good décor. 

            I have pumpkins that I DIYed in my living room as well, I have one on my TV stand that says ‘One Bad Witch’ it was punny and I enjoyed it though if I could I would strip it all off and do it again because I messed up the first time.

            Next door to that I have one that I covered in rhinestones and oh my goodness I burned all of my fingers doing that and I would never do it again even though it’s so cute and I got the Maleficent dragon in a Funko Disney Treasures box when they still had control over it, man I miss those days. The squirrel next to it is something my dad made that I helped design because I made the joke of ‘desktop squirrels’, there is a bakery that has a tall one too that I helped design because sometimes we make a good team. 

            On top of the bookcase where I keep all of my trade paperback comic books (this should surprise no one) I have a little steampunk skull candle holder that I got at Yankee Candle a while back and the eyes look like they could glow in the dark, they do not which is disappointing. 

            One last place is my  entry table, I got the big pumpkin at HomeGoods last year because I wanted a big pumpkin for this table specifically. The ghost pumpkin lights up also but I normally never have batteries in them because I am terrible about even having batteries in my house let along the sheer volume I would have to have for all of my holiday décor, I got that at a little local place when I was in Indiana, and of course another pumpkin my dad made. Also because it is my entry table it also holds my house keys and one of my many masks because mask up for safety.

            There are other little bits around the apartment but nothing major and if I put in every little thing this post would be a lot longer and I think it’s long enough already. I love this time of year I love the leaves changing color and that sigh of relief that comes through the wind when the temperatures start to drop.

            I might do an updated Christmas décor when it gets to that time, which will probably be able Black Friday for me because I itch to put up my Christmas tree, though I just have a feeling that this year is going to be different. 

            Either way I will see y’all later in the week with another post! Have a good start to the week!

            -MJ  

A Fun Little Halloween Decor DIY

            Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

So we are now in this time of year where decorating your house is a revolving door and I love it so much. I love Halloween and fall so here I am telling you about a little DIY I decided to do recently. I have no idea if it’s already been done, it may not be super original but it’s here anyway. I was trying to figure something out and I was rearranging my closet and I found a shadow box that matches a Christmas one I did a few years ago and thought, hmm, I have the perfect idea for it. So I got to work finding all of the items I needed.

            So what do you need for this project, I have never written a DIY out before so bear with me. 

            What you need:

A shadow box, I found this at Michaels awhile back and I had put the words on it before I took the picture so if you buy one like this it will be plain black.

Paint pen (I used an oil based sharpie paint pen which works really well)

Spider web (I used some I found at Home Depot)

Fake spiders (I used ones from Target and I love them)

Hot glue gun and hot glue

The steps you take!

  1. I did all of my writing with the paint pen first and I found a quote I liked and put it on the front of the shadow box frame and put some little accents around it because it was a little plain with just the words, I also put another phrase on top because it seemed like I needed it there.

2. Take the back of the shadow box off and pull out the insert, I kept the pins because I used them to secure the spider web in, it has worked really well so far so if you have pins in the frame keep them, if not get a few pins to put in because it will keep the webbing in place.

3. Stretch out your web, I had to cut mine off the rest of the length of the webbing I bought because a little goes a long way when you are stretching it, use less if you want a more wispy web use more if you want a more full web. 

4, Pin the web in so it stays put.

5. Now arrange your spiders, I tried to just put them in but they were too heavy to be supported by the web alone so I had to hot glue them. 

6. I put a spot of hot glue underneath the web and underneath the spider so they had a good anchor to hang onto on the back of the shadow box frame. Let the glue dry and put the back of the shadow box back in and there you have it. A cute little décor DIY for this spookiest of seasons. 

I am hoping to do another DIY later in the spooky season but I don’t know yet because getting Halloween decorations right now is a little difficult, I know I was in Hobby Lobby and they told me that they got no Halloween decorations which shocked me so I had to search high and low for the decorations that I needed to make this. 

Any fun DIY ideas? Let me know in the comments.

Have a good week and I will see y’all later with another post! 

      -MJ

What Was in My September 2020 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,  

            So getting this bag this month was an adventure, I know with COVID and everything else that’s going on shipping times are messed up which I get but my problem was that I got an update saying it was delivered after not having much to go on with tracking and so I went over to my mail box and it wasn’t there. Now this is not the first time this has happened because there is a building with the same number on the next street so my packages have sometimes ended up there when we get a new carrier. This was one of those times so I went to the post office, my local post office is great they are always really helpful (shout out to the Bentonville, AR post office!) and it was in my mail box the next morning. 

The Bag:

            Like the Glam Bag Plus this month it was a corduroy which again made me feel like I was in the nineties and I am never upset for a little bit of nostalgia, it was two tone one side the same maroon as the Glam Bag Plus and the other a mustard yellow which was giving me major 90’s vibes because I think I had a pair of pants this color in like first grade and the bag is nice and soft. Also it looks very much like Gryffindor colors so I wasn’t mad about it.

What products did I get? 

Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Hydrate Primer:

            This product is one of those that people swear by, I like Benefit but I don’t buy a lot of it because it’s just one of those brands that I haven’t really explored, their Roller Lash mascara is one of my all-time favorites for mascara so I know that they make good stuff. Porefessional is just one of those products that I have heard about for years just never tried, so here I get to try this teeny tiny little sample and see what I think about it. I did try it out on my hand and it soaks in quickly and that part of my hand feels really hydrated so maybe I will start using primers again because of this product, who knows only time will tell. 

Pūrlisse Beauty Youth Glow Vitamin C CC Cream in Fair:

            Normally BB and CC Creams and foundations from subscription services are a crap shoot for me because my skin is so fair so when they say fair sometimes it’s still too dark or the wrong undertone for me. This one isn’t a terrible shade match but man under the flashlight from my phone it is shimmery, it’s almost like a highlighter, I know it is a “glow” product but it’s a little much for me. Maybe when applied and things go onto it it’s better but we’ll see.

Realher Confidence in My Glow Highlighter:

            It’s beautiful, I love the packaging and the shade, I have never heard of the brand but I love it so much and I have only swatched it once. It pigmented and I love highlighters so having one that I like as much as I like this one already it’s kind of great. I don’t know what else I can say beyond that because overall the effect of the packaging and the product has absolutely sold me on it. 

Tarte Big Ego Mascara in black:

            I don’t use a lot of Tarte’s mascaras, I have used Maneater and Lights Camera Lashes and they are both great. The brush is almost as long as the tube and figure eight shaped to an extent which usually tells me it’s volumizing so I will give it a try because I don’t think I have ever received or bought anything from Tarte that I don’t love. 

P/Y/T Beauty Day-To-Night Cool Eyeshadow Quad:

            I like the fact that there is a guide and the shade names on a plastic insert, normally with quads like this you don’t get those but it’s a great addition to tell your customer where they should put the shades for a day look and a night look. Most of the shades are decently pigmented, I feel like when I swatched the shade “coffee run” I didn’t get much out of it but it is the all over color so I wouldn’t expect a hugely noticeable color pay off with that because it is supposed to blend in a little more with the eye lid. The rest of the shades though are beautiful and lovely neutral shades that I really like. 

            So that was my bag for this month, I feel like my post for this one isn’t super informative but it’s been one of those months where I have been distracted by some things and I have been waiting for this bag to show up, literally I usually have it about a week before a post like this goes up but this one goes up on Sunday, I got the bag on Friday and I am writing it Saturday morning so it was cutting it a little close to me having to switch it with my other post for this month but here it is.

            Do you subscribe? Did you get any great products this month? General thoughts? Let me know in the comments. 

            If you want to read any of my other openings for my Glam Bag this year, you can! January, March, April, May, June, July, and August.

            I hope everyone had a great week and has a great start to almost October, I’ll see y’all with another post on Wednesday.

            -MJ

Fall 2020 FabFitFun Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            It’s that time of year again FabFitFun time and it’s a great time. I am pre-writing a lot of posts just because I have the time on my hands and maybe I still have some creative spark left in me because y’all the world is tiring. 

            I loved everything I got in this box, hands down one of my favorite boxes so far! I will say this first and foremost just to get it out of the way because it was on my mind, so in total you get 8 items and there were a potential of 38 items and that is a lot, there used to be a few items that everyone got and I kind of liked that, there was less choice and it was kind of nice to know that everyone got a few really cool things that were picked for everyone and there wasn’t a choice that you could have gotten instead, but things change and companies change so I cannot begrudge them changing and evolving to suit the needs of their fan base and customers. 

            Seriously though, that is my only complaint and the rest of it is amazing. They are moving to be more environmentally friendly with different box sizes and less paper and confetti that used to come in the box so again good for you triple F looking out for the planet. Also I love the box, the design and the fact that they are changing them to again be more environmentally conscious. 

My one complaint, the shipping label on the top so I don’t get the full nice box top, also I didn’t want to dox my own address so I blacked it out because, duh.

            This box was worth anywhere between $214-$544 and like usual I am not going to tell you the exact value of my personal box but it was up there so I was happy about that because who doesn’t love more bang for their buck?

            So what did I get? I will list all the choices at the end of the potential other items and let you know all sorts of things as I go because as always these are all my opinions and that’s how it always will be, so here we go. 

Botkier New York Trigger Backpack:

            I chose this one and I didn’t think about choosing anything else in this category, I love backpacks; I usually carry a backpack but sometimes it’s just too big. So having a mini-backpack to just carry around was right up my street. It’s a leather flap and an I think nylon bottom with cute little front zip pockets. I cannot wait to get around to using it for all of my daily travels (you know when we get to travel again) so this was the choice that fit my style the most. What were the other options that I could have chosen, Botkier New York Bond Tote, Foxybae 25mm Black Curling Wand, Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner and Huge Extreme Lash Mascara, Uncommon James Set of 2 Copper Canisters, Sachajuan Styling and Finishing Cream, Mila Mélange Foldable Cotton Basket. 

Soia & Kyo Woven Scarfigan with Fringe

            I chose this one too, scarfigan is just a really fun word to say and it’s so cozy and soft. I was wearing it around my apartment last night and I am already obsessed with it. I hope unlike the last cardigan that I got from one of these boxes it doesn’t shed to high heaven. It’s super cute and right now it’s sitting very dramatically on the edge of the chair in my office, I love it so much already because there was some pause about what to choose with this selection and this was the choice that just felt more right to me and I am so glad that I did. The other choices were the Beyond Yoga Hidden Pocket Infinity Scarf, Glossmetics Hair Removal Device, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Rose Perfecting and Refining Serum, Volition Beauty Celery Green Cream, or the Erno Laszlo Pore Cleansing Clay Mask.

Jenny Bird Leana Pendant:

            This is was last thing that I chose and I was happy with this one as well, I like necklaces and this one is simple and I love it, it’s a double chain with a single silver pendant and it’s so up my street. I like jewelry but when you work with elementary aged kids their first instinct is to grab things that hang so I don’t wear jewelry very frequently and that’s okay because when I get to wear it some of the pieces I have gotten from FabFitFun are my go-to’s. Probably because they are simple and fun but also most of them I have chosen which is always a plus in my book. The pendant actually has a good weight to it and that is always good with jewelry; for it to not feel cheap and flimsy. The other options were the Jenny Bird Austin Cuff, Vitamasques Multivitamin Mask Set, Nectar Sunglasses Blue Light Blocking Glasses in Brown Tortiose, Beauty Bakerie Proof is in the Puddin’ Palette. (which I got in my winter box last year and love!)

Masontops Glass Water Bottle with Neoprene in Turquoise:

            I was hoping to get this one because I love reusable water bottles, I try really hard to not use single use plastic if I can, recycle if I cannot, and this water bottle is actually really cool. It’s also a two cup mason jar if you take the sleeve off and I love a multitasking item. There is of course a lot of sustainable drinkware out there but this one is super cool in my book. I feel like there isn’t much to say about it though, it’s a water bottle but also a mason jar and it’s as simple as that. The other options were the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Whipped Cleansing Cream, Feel Beauty Renewed Pumpkin Walnut Facial Cleaners, or the frank body Original Coffee Scrub.

NCLA So Rich Cuticle Oil in Horchata: 

            In high school I worked in a nail salon and I for sure took better care of my nails, they are a mess now and it’s fine for me, but we are getting to the time of year where my hands will dry out and my cuticles will shred themselves so having this is actually really good for my cuticles moving forward into the fall and winter. I don’t know why it’s horchata scented, it’s not a bad smell but when I think of nail products I think of essential oils, lavender and things like that, soft spa scents. I like it though and it makes my cuticles feel nice and moisturized. The other options for this were the HIP cutlery Set, Likwid Rx Stress Reliever 100% Natural Ayurvedic Hair Oil, 8 Other Reasons Runway Clip Trio, Harper+Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes in Juice Cleanse. (I have this one I got it in my fall 2019 box and I like them) (In brief side note, I had to look up what post that was in and man my posts have become a lot different since then and I’m not mad about it, not one little bit.)

Voesh New York Pedicure in a Box Duo-Pumpkin Spice:

            I mean, I guess Pumpkin Spice everything really is a thing, now don’t get me wrong I love pumpkin spice but for a pedicure; sure why not? Again worked in a nail salon I used to get pedicures, I haven’t had a professional pedicure since the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012, it’s been a while y’all but having something where I can do a pretty good job at home is not a bad thing in my book. Like it sounds like it has a lot of boog vitamins and stuff in it so I am excited to give it a try. The other options were either The Laundress New York Crease Release or the Spongellé Boxed Flower in Sweet Cedarwood.

Stone Candles Room Spray in Santal Noir:

            I love room spray’s, there is no secret with that I have a bunch of them but let’s be real they are Glade and Febreeze so having a more boujee one is not a bad thing and it smells good with notes of sandalwood and cardamom. It’s beautifully simple packaging makes it something you could put in plain sight and unless someone was really looking at it they wouldn’t know it was room spray. The other options were the Stone Candle Room Spray in Pumpkin Spice (which would have been cool too), NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Repair Treatment Masque, or the Hythe Tranquility Sleep Mist. 

The Beauty Crop Glow Milk in Blind Date:

            The packaging is a little milk carton with cow spots and I love it! Also the shade is beautiful a rose gold champagne and a little really goes a long way, I know I got a little more than planned when I was swatching it and it covered most of the back of my palm and three of my finger tips on the other hand so be careful with it. Seriously though, the packaging is next level and it’s some of my favorite packaging in a while with any products so congrats, I love it. The other options were either the Beauty Papier Golden Superfood Shower Gel or the ZiGi &MARAiS Pouch with Stripe. 

            Overall this box per usual blew me out of the water and I loved it, keep doing what you do FabFitFun because whatever it is, it’s working.

Wanna check out my other FabFitFun posts from this year, you can! They are pretty fun if i do say so myself, spring and summer for 2020.

            Do you subscribe? Did you like everything you got? Any products that you were over the moon excited to receive?

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post so until then, have a great week!

            -MJ

September 2020 IPSY Glam Bag Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Okay so let’s be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about the new Glam Bag Plus experience. I wish that there would just be a list of options that you could pick and you picked three from a larger list because this limited choice nonsense doesn’t work for me. No, instead it’s like we give you four choices like this is a multiple choice test and you have to pick what you want out of those four because sometimes out of those four you don’t want any of them. Also I went to customize right after I got the email and one of the options was already sold out. That seems like poor planning. I wanted a set of masks because I like sheet masks and they were gone already, plan ahead for all of the options because then instead of all four options I only had three and that doesn’t seem fair for something I pay for every month. I know it’s only the second month and they are still working out the bugs but it is kind of annoying to want something or get excited for something and it not be something that you can actually obtain. Bait and switch and that’s not good business practice, yes I also know its first come first serve but it should not have been an option for me if it wasn’t available to me. 

            I also feel like this is becoming more hit and miss to what I like as opposed to the “personalized” experience they hyped up for the whole month of July before the choices started in August. 

            I will give IPSY this though, they are working with a lot of vegan and cruelty free brands which is a huge win in my book. 

            Also one more things before I get into the meat of this post, I never got a tracking email for this which is irksome and as I am writing this I just got a tracking email for my regular Glam Bag that shipped a few days ago because I checked the website, it should be automatic when it ships that an email goes out, it used to be like that. 

The Bag:

            I feel like I am back in the 90’s with this, I remember wearing corduroy pants to kindergarten because it was the mid-90’s and that was a thing you dressed your children in no matter how annoying they were. But I like the pouch, it’s not even really a bag but it feels very fall to me and I am not upset about that one little bit. 

What did I get?

Nature’s Cartel Cream Eyeshadow Trio 

            The shades are Champagne Scandal, 90’s Nude, and Tan Lines from Tahiti, I am not a big fan of cream eyeshadows and I chose this one because the masks were sold out. I clicked a button and then realized too late what I had chosen so this one was an audible on my part. They are nice colors and I like them but I don’t understand from my beauty profile how this was an option for me, I really want to know how they decide your 12 product selection that you can pick from but I guess I will never know. 

Space Case Cosmetics Quad 

            I like Space Case Cosmetics, I have a few of their single pan shadows and this is my first quad, I love the shade names and in this palette they are, Not Rocket Science, Unicorn Horn, Ghost Entered The Host, and Bella Trix. I did choose this one and I wasn’t unhappy with my choice at all because I know how their eyeshadows have performed in the past. They are mostly shimmer shades which is also fine because they can be combined with the billions of other palette’s I have to create some really cool looks. 

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30

            I like Murad and this was the other one that I chose, Murad makes really good skin care, their products usually don’t aggravate my skin but sometimes everything aggravates my skin so I can’t really make a judgement on it until I actually get around to trying it. This one is expensive! So getting it in a bag like this is really great for a budget. 

Context Vitamin C All Day Eye Cream

            They chose this one and the next one, lots of skin care they choose for me which is a little odd especially when it’s brands that I have never heard of, I love expanding my “liked brands” list so I am not upset about it but I wish that these products came in a cardboard carton so I could understand their benefits without going to the company’s website. The packaging is nice and simple and after Googling the website I have learned some things about it and I like what I see so I am looking forward to trying it out. 

Avant Collagen Intense Radiance Activator Serum

            This choice they made for me confused me a little because it’s anti-aging and then I looked on the website and the price for this normally made my jaw drop to the floor, I swear I had to physically close my mouth with my hand because I couldn’t get my jaw to do the work for me. I am excited to try it because I have gotten more and more into serums in 2020 so that is always a plus but for now it is going to go with the rest of my currently waiting to try skin care in my fridge. 

            I liked the bag, like I usually do I just want to complain about it for a minute because that’s how life works sometimes you just need to get that out and then you can see things more objectively. I normally don’t give a “what is my bag worth” number because IPSY for the Glam Bag Plus promises $120+ and I am going to tell you something that Avant Serum is the $120 already but in total my bag was worth $275.58 if I bought all of those today at retail price. So is ISPY worth getting? Yea, I think so you get a really good value for the money you are spending and the products are usually great so if you like makeup and skin care give it a try with either this one or the regular Glam Bag, I don’t know about the Ultimate because I don’t get it, that would be excessive. 

            Want to hear about all the other stuff I have gotten this year so far? You can, just click on the month: January, March, April, May, June, July, and August

            So do you subscribe? How do you feel about the new Glam Bag Plus customization? Let me know! 

            I will see y’all later in the week with another post so until then have a good week! 

                        -MJ