January Favorites

Been a while since I have done a favorites post and I feel like in January I had some actual new favorite things. I am going to try and keep this on the short side because I didn’t actually start writing this until about an hour ago, to be honest. It has been one of those weeks where I am working a lot on original writing and I have let myself take less time to write my blog posts which isn’t okay. 

            Most of my favorites were beauty related this last month because I actually really started to hit hard on my skin care routine. So that is where I am going to start.

Peter Thomas Roth: Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser 

            This was a late month purchase and then use, I love it so much because there is almost no fragrance and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry, there are no microbeads in it like most of my pervious cleansers and I am happy to report that it is keeping my skin issues at bay. 

Lush Cosmetics: Karma Komba Shampoo Bar 

            I have been using the same Tea Tree shampoo for like two years now and I was finding that it just wasn’t doing the right things for my hair and scalp so I tried something different and I love Lush, I really do, their Outback Mate soap is my absolute favorite and their bath bombs are amazing. It lasts about the same length of time between washes as my other shampoo but I love the smell and how it makes my hair feel. I also like that it’s not in a bottle and I can put it in a tin that I have from Lush already so I don’t have to recycle another bottle. Small steps, right?

Hello: Activated Charcoal mouthwash

            Spoiler alert, it’s activated charcoal that mean when you spit into the sink it looks like you are expelling the foamy devil but I love it so much. To be honest I was not a huge fan of mouthwash because of how harsh it felt in my mouth, this one is not too bad on that, it might be because of the coconut oil but I am a huge fan of it. It’s vegan and they don’t test on animals so those are two huge pluses in my book! They have really simple packaging and if my Target would get them back in stock I would go pick another one up, I think I am going to have to go on the hunt for it before I run out.

Tarte: Shape tape in Fair

            So I finally got on the shape tape train, I have been using Urban Decay’s Naked Skin since about 2015 and I had to get another concealer and I have been hearing about this one for so long that I figured, why not. The first time I used it, it made my under eye area pretty tight, not going to lie but the second time I didn’t have that problem and every time since then I have not had any of those issues with it. I really like it, it does the job I need it to do when it comes to concealing. It has a much bigger applicator on it than I am used to so I am still learning exactly how to use it and that for me is very much just trial and error and then buffing and blending with my beauty sponge. That’s right, I gave the beauty sponge another try and I don’t hate it.

Okay this last one is not beauty related at all it is just a convenience related thing. I have been taking a lot of notes with my Professional Development and my required history hours for my license transfer. It is a long and tedious process of a lot of videos and then a quiz, you know as you do. 

Bic: Atlantis Pen in black

            It’s such a simple thing, it’s a pen but it has been my favorite pen for years now, I like how it fits in my hand and it writes really well. I have had other pens in the past that I have loved for years but they have been discontinued like the Bic Pro+ that I haven’t seen in years now so I had to switch and the Atlantis was the one that I picked up and have not put down since, I have like six around my desk, two in my back pack, and some strewn around my apartment for quick note taking or adding to my grocery list. 

So those were some of my favorite things from January, did you have any favorites? 

See everyone on Tuesday (I hope) with another post,

            -MJ 

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What was in my February ipsy Glam Bag?

Okay so I have been MIA for the last week or so because I have been sick, that’s right I got the flu and some sort of repertory thing so I have been sitting on my couch watching Netflix for the last week or so trying to get myself to feel like a person again. It has not been fun and I do not like being sick (no one likes being sick) and I haven’t been sick since like 2016 so this one really knocked it out of me. 

            I got my ipsy bag in the mail Tuesday and I got the email on Monday and it showed up on Tuesday, it was a little odd to get the email like four days after I checked the tracking information on the website. I don’t know emails and tracking are crazy. 

            The bag:

                        So it’s cute, not my absolute favorite so far, it is very Valentine’s Day which I expected because it is February. It is covered in lips, which is a little much for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cute but just not my favorite. 

            The insert this month was different than last month, this month it was a card instead of a pamphlet and mine got nice and crunched in the mail so honestly I liked the pamphlet better though I can assume that it might have just been for January for the new year or the printing of the pamphlets is just too expensive to do every month, which I get. I just wish that whoever was handling mine in the mail was a little nicer to it in transit. I still like having an insert of any sort in the bag because it gives me the information on the products instead of me having to go on the website and look. It’s purely a convenience thing and I am here for it. 

            The products:

Eyeko: Lash Alert Mascara

            I have never owned a mascara in a tube like this before I am used to the standard hard cylindrical tube that most mascaras come in. This however is almost like a squeeze tube and I am not sure how I feel about it yet. It is a fibrous mascara which I am going to give a try but because of my sensitivity I am not sure if it’s going to be a product that I can use. Stand by for that one. It also has a curved brush which is also something that I have never really had before in mascara, the closest I have had is Roller Lash by Benefit which I love so I am hopeful with this one as well.

M.A.C Cosmetics: Studio Fix Powder Foundation in NC20

            I haven’t used powder foundation since probably 2009, I like M.A.C though so I am excited to give it a try and it seems like a pretty good shade match, maybe a little yellow but I can work with it. I will have to really think about how to use this because I am so used to having full liquid products for foundation and concealer that I am going to have to tread lightly when it comes to the mixing for powder and liquid in my base makeup routine when I try this product. I think that could also work as a powder that goes over foundation but to be honest I don’t know. 

Aisling Organics: Eco-Luxe Eyeshadow Brush

            It’s be a while since I have gotten a brush and this is a duel end, now I use my Urban Decay duel ended brush from the Naked Smokey palette all the time, it’s either that or the brush that came with my Lorac Brunch palette. I like the versatility of the duel ended brush when it comes to eyeshadow, in reality it’s because I’m lazy and I don’t want to clean several different brushes. The packer end of this brush was really stiff, I had to work with it for a few seconds to even get the bristles to move, I don’t know if I am having any bristle fall out but there might be a little already. It’s a pretty soft brush and I bet it will get the job done, the brand also gives to charity so I am very much on board with that. 

Glamglow: Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow

            Glamglow is one of those brands that I follow on social media and covet but don’t own unless it’s in some sort of subscription box. I don’t know why but I find myself not knowing what to actually purchase from their line. Deep and several step skincare and all of that is still such a new world to me, so I am hesitant to purchase anything for my skin, for that reason and my skin sensitivity as well. I’m excited to try it because it’s Glamglow and I have heard only good things about them.

Meech and Mia: Pressed Eyeshadow in Caramel

            This is the second Meech and Mia product I have received in my Glam Bags since I started in March of last year, that’s right next month will be a year of me getting his product.  The first shadow I got from them was a loose pigment so I am really excited to try a pressed pigment from them. It is a nice almost orangey gold shade, with a name like caramel I hope it would be. It actually has a pretty good pigmentation and the pan size is pretty standard for a single pan shadow. I am excited to actually see what this looks like beyond just a swatch on my hand. 

            Overall I liked the contents of the bag, it was a pretty diverse set of samples and I am excited to really dive into all of them. Ipsy is such a great service and I love it more and more every month. I am not going to tag last year’s unbaggings but I will tag mine from January.

Did you get any great products this month?

See you all on Saturday!

-MJ

Everyday Skin Care Routine

Hey everyone, welcome to February! This would have been posted earlier but I have been doing Professional Development for the transfer of my teaching license all day. To be honest I wasn’t even sure what post I was going to put up today because my original idea required actual planning and to be honest, I forgot. 

            So I figured, what was something that I do pretty regularly that I can share. The first thought that popped into my head was, skin care. I have been really trying to take better care of my skin in 2019 and that includes a routine that I did every once in a while last year but am now trying to do it every day twice a day because skin is important.

            Now I am going to be focusing on my facial skin care routine that I do every day. Now I will also include some special occasion skin care when it comes to my face as well.

I need to disclose that I have normal to dry skin but also an oily T-zone so the products that work for me may not work for you depending on your skin type or skin issues, I have really sensitive skin that is prone to acne so the products that I use I have curated to my skin and its issues. Also because of my skin issues I do have to use more high end skin care products, it’s expensive and I wish it wasn’t but for the benefits I have seen with my skin right now they outweigh the monetary cost of the products that I have found work for my skin. 

            Morning: 

So morning routine first, most of my steps are similar when it comes to cleansing and moisturizing but there is always a chance for an anomaly in my routine.

            I have a Luna Fofo which I love and use again at least once a day if not twice. I usually take the time to use it to measure the moisture level of my skin, I need to try and really figure out how to make sure my moisture level is good because most days it really low. I try to get enough water and keep my skin moisturized but there is probably more that I need to do when it comes to keeping my skin’s moisture up. 

            After I have checked that and it has updated my skin routine from the app to the Fofo I use the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser, it is a 4oz. size and I got mine at Ulta for about $30 with tax. I only started using this specific product about a week ago because I was using the Soap and Glory facial wash but it was becoming just too harsh for my skin when using it twice a day every day. This cleanser so far actually isn’t as abrasive as some of the cleansers I have used in the past and so far, I love it. I still us my Soap and Glory face wash in the shower but for my every day routine I have recently switched to this and so far so good.

            After I get everything rinsed off my face it’s time to moisturizer, I do not use toner, because every toner I have ever tried hurts my skin, the last time I used a toner was probably 2004. I should more than likely try again with the knowledge that I have now but I am still a little leery from past experiences. I also don’t really use serum, don’t get me wrong I have used serum in the past but it just made my face too oily so I am still on the hunt for a good serum that won’t make my pores clogged and my skin unmanageable. 

            Now my moisturizer routine is pretty straight forward, I use the Mary Kay Timewise Eye Cream, why? Because my mom got it and her eyes are a lot more sensitive than mine are to products and she couldn’t use it so she gave it to me. I use it every day now and I really like it. Granted it is the first ever eye cream I have used but I like it so far. The eye cream retails for $36 but I don’t know if when I run out I will purchase it for myself or I will try and find another brand that I like more. 

            I use two different lotions, one in the morning and one at night. My morning lotion is the Murad Oil-Control Mattifier and it is really thick so you have to use more than you think. Well I do, you may not have to. It lays down a pretty good base for makeup as well as just feels really good on the skin. It retails for $40 on their website, Ulta, and Sephora (I got mine at Sephora.) 

            Let me get this out of the way right here, I am trying to get better at moisturizing everything and I have been pretty successful so far this year, for body skin care I moisturize with The Body Shop’s Raspberry Body Butter and I love it. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized for days and it smells amazing. 

            Night: 

            My night routine is pretty much the same, though I add Micellar cleansing water to the mix because I am usually taking my makeup off before I do anything else. 

            So I do that, wash my face, put on the eye cream, and then finally the only real change to my moisturizing routine is I switch out the Oil Control Mattifier for the Murad Skin-Perfecting Lotion, it was one of my favorites last year and soon enough I am going to have to buy another one. This like the Mattifier retails for $40 on the Murad website, Ulta, and Sephora. 

            There is a good chance in the coming months that I will add more steps to my routine but for now that is what I do every day and I have seen a change in my skin since I started taking better care of it and making sure that I am doing more to protect it. 

Special Occasion Skin care:

            I normally don’t do peels of any sort because they make my skin burn, I found that the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel however does not have that adverse effect, I have only used it a few times but I really like it. Granted my face is a little red afterward but my face is always red, MJ has rosacea so it’s a daily battle. 

            I also am a fan of sheet masks; I don’t do them as often as I would like even though I have about 20 of them. I have done one in 2019 and I have plans to do another one tonight right after I post this and have a nice evening of self-care because I did PD all day. Face masks are great they have some really great benefits. I have so many Tony Moly sheet masks and I love them, I have gotten so many in my ipsy bags that I need to start doing them more often and maybe I will find a new favorite brand, who knows. 

Just in case you didn’t believe me about the sheet volume of my face mask selection.

            If you have skin like mine, any tips on products to try out? Do you have a routine that you swear by? 

See everyone on Tuesday with another post,

-MJ

January Birchbox Unboxing

So I decided that I was going to subscribe to something new because I found myself down a subscription box after unsubscribing from Marvel Collector Corps and I have been seeing this one online for such a long time now. 

I want to pause a moment before I go on with my unboxing and review, I had a comment on my Marvel Collector Corps box that I have since deleted because I found it very triggering. It started out with “you people wouldn’t be happy if they hung you with a new rope” I have been thinking about that exact line for over a month now. With that being said, I understand that everyone on the internet is entitled to their own opinion, I use a platform to talk about my opinions all the time. That was not my issue with this comment, first of all you should never knowingly go on someone’s blog, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, or any other social media platform and tell them that they wouldn’t be happy even being hanged with a new rope, there is a line there that is crossed the moment you make that suggestion. I shared my displeasure and disappointment with a box and a service and everyone’s experience may be different but malice filled comments like that aren’t welcome. 

The internet allows people this false sense of anonymity, it allows people to think that they can say hateful things or mean things and not make the person on the other side of the screen feel something about it. Even if you copy and paste a comment over and over onto multiple blogs or comment sections hoping to get a rise out of one person, for that person to comment back and start something; that’s just not right. We don’t need drama, we don’t need to be at each other’s throats all the time to get a reason to say something to someone because you don’t agree with them. We are allowed to have our opinions and guess what, we don’t have to agree at all that is the beauty of free will. 

Now away from the heavy stuff because I do not want to pollute my 2019 with negativity. 

I was expecting a little box to show up in my mailbox, it was a bubble envelope with a small box in it and within the small box was the actual Birchbox, it was a lot of packaging. Because I subscribed in January I got a bonus and it was on the outside of the box in the bubble envelope, making it necessary to have an extra layer of packaging. 

The box was super cute though and I absolutely love it. 

Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara 

            This was the bonus for my January subscription and I have been seeing this product online for months now. Benefit Roller Lash is one of my all-time favorite mascara’s and I am hoping that when I actually get to play with this product in the future I feel the same way I do about Roller Lash. The packaging on it is crazy though, super cool.

MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream in Pinklite

            I think this is the first MAC product that I have ever owned, MAC is one of those brands that I would see walking through department stores and everyone always looked so professional and knew how to apply makeup so beautifully. From everything I have heard about the brand I am super excited to use this. It is an iridescent pink and it is actually a really pretty shade. According to the pamphlet it is green tea and vitamin infused so that means not only is it pretty but it is actually also good for your skin. I love multi-duty beauty products. 

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

            I got this product in my July ipsy Glam Bag and I am still no better at eyeliner, it has a really nice formula and is really pigmented but I still think that eyeliner is still a thing that I need to work on; like majorly work on. I cannot do a wing to save my life, it ends up wonky and stupid looking. My cat eye turns quickly into a raccoon the next morning after going out the night before, it’s a mess. Liquid eyeliner is like my White Whale; I may never be successful with it but I will continue to try. 

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara

            I used Stila back in the day but it’s been a minute since I have used anything from the brand. I love mascara because honestly with how often you are supposed to throw away your mascara there is almost no point in buying a full sized product so having a trial or travel sized can make it a little easier to keep yourself honest and not keep a mascara for years on end; which I am for sure guilty of. It has a nice formula from the one time I have used it so far, I wanted to see what it did to my eyelashes and I am excited to wear it for a full day and see if it holds up. 

Winky Lux Strobing Balm in Radiant Pink

            A brand I have heard of and have been meaning to try, it is a beautiful color and the pigment is amazing with such a creamy formula. I am such a huge fan of highlighters and I think this is the first cream highlight that I have ever gotten. I swatched it and was absolutely in love with it. I am really looking forward to having a reason to wear this everywhere on my face. 

Minu Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hair Serum

            The conditioner and the serum according to my insert pamphlet were bonuses but it is really nice to have the whole set to see how it works with my hair. I do color my hair, that’s not even a secret, I have for several years now and this shampoo is supposed to be safe on color and I am always looking for good shampoo that doesn’t strip my color out quicker than I want it to. The formula actually seems to be preserve color which is even more exciting. I have never used a hair serum but I am looking forward to trying it out.

            Like ipsy this box gets better and better as you review your products so they can get more in your head and learn your beauty and skin care preferences so I am excited to see how this evolves as the months go on. 

First impression: I like it so far and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next month. It may be kind of similar to ipsy but I really like both formats. If I would start getting a lot of duplicates then I would have to make some concessions on which one is more worth it but for now, I am just excited to see what I get next month.

            Do you subscribe? Any beauty tips? 

            -MJ 

What was in My January ipsy Glam Bag?

Welcome to 2019 everyone! Back at it with another unbagging, per usual I am a fan of the bag that I got, I knew about half the brands in the bag so that was exciting. Ipsy per usual blew it out of the park. Also this year they added in a pamphlet with all of the products in it instead of looking online this time around. I really like the little pamphlet because it puts everything in one place. 

The bag was really cute but felt almost really summery, love it so much. I really do like getting a makeup bag every month because it means that I not only have a growing collection of bags for makeup but also for other things and I am absolutely loving the selection that I am amassing.

Jeju:en Sheet Mask Set

            This Sheet is Bananas

            You Can’t Handle This Sheet

I love the names of the sheet masks, it’s ridiculous and I am such a fan. More face masks, just to add to my collection. The “This Sheet is Bananas” has hyaluronic acid which helps with hydration. The “You Can’t Handle This Sheet” has volcanic ash in it which helps purify the skin. Per usual I am a sucker for sheet masks and I have a small crate full of them in my bathroom. I should use them more because I love the idea of a sheet mask but I I never feel relaxed enough to have a nice time with a mask on my face.

Ittsē Eyeshadow Single in Boho

            I got an ittse eyeshadow product in the Gold Holiday Collection and I really like the very dusty pink shade that this single pan eyeshadow. I feel like I am quite the eyeshadow hoarder because I have so much. Having a single pan that is already magnetic is great when it comes to putting it in a magnetic palette. 

AHAVA Dead Sea Water Mineral Hand Cream in Sea-Kissed

            I am a huge fan of AHAVA, I used it when I was in high school because the nail salon that I worked at carried it. I was a huge fan of the Frasier Fir scent as well as some of the scents that I don’t even think they make anymore. AHAVA has such a good formula and I have always loved it. I am really looking forward to having this either next to my desk or in my purse for quick hydration on the go. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation in Fair Sand

            I just got on the Shape Tape train because I have been seeing it for years now but I just tried it for the first time a few weeks ago. I have never tried their foundation but I have good things about their Amazonian Clay foundation in the past. Now this shade may actually be a little bit too dark for me because I have really fair skin, however it is close enough that it should work though so I am excited to try it. 

Belle En Argent Lip Luire Lip Gloss in Bored Now

            I have never heard of this brand, I am also not a huge fan of lip gloss, I was in the mid-2000’s when that was exclusively what I wore. Now it is something that is just sticky and I am not a huge fan. I have gotten so used to using matte lipsticks so I’m used to everything drying down. However, I really like the color and for a special occasion I will be more than happy to try it out. I love the packaging, it is so sleek and pretty that I am a fan of it just because of how it all looks together. 

            My bag was pretty good, I love ipsy and am excited to see what else they do this year! 

            Do you subscribe? Did you get anything you can’t live without this month?

            -MJ

MJ’s Top 12 Beauty Products of 2018

2018 was a crazy and intense year for beauty for me. I amassed so many beauty products in 2018 and it’s a lot you guys, a lot. I got introduced to a lot of new brands because of ipsy as well as FabfitFun and I found a lot of things that I really liked because of those subscription boxes. 

All of these opinions are my own per usual.

NYX Worth the Hype mascara

Why I love it: This one of my early purchases this year and it is a pretty good mascara at the price point. (it retails for $8.00 on the NYX Cosmetics website) You get pretty good volume that doesn’t look super fake even with a few coats. This was my go-to mascara for the first half of the year, it came out really early in 2018 and it was my absolute favorite for such a long time this last year. It lasts all day, it doesn’t irritate my eyes unlike some mascara’s because I have super sensitive everything and I was a huge fan of it.  

Artic Fox Hair Color in Wrath

Why I love it: So I got my hair colored professionally for a long time, I am not naturally a red head but I love the color that I have had since probably 2013. It became for feasible for me to dye my own hair and Artic Fox was one of those brands that I had seen online before so I knew what it was. It is a beautiful color and everyone loves it, I am still trying to get better at dying my own hair because it’s hard you guys I always miss spots. It was something like $16 at Sally Beauty and that is a lot cheaper than having it done at a salon. The dye is also vegan and cruelty free which I am always really excited about when it comes to beauty products. 

Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation in shade 0.5

Why I love it: Urban Decay was the first prestige foundation I ever got when I was younger when everyone was still using powder foundation, I talked about that in one of my haul posts when I bought the product. It doesn’t break my skin out, it isn’t super heavy, and it looks amazing. (It retails for $40 at Ulta) It is more on the pricy side so I find myself subbing it out with less expensive foundations for my everyday just going to work wear. It doesn’t clog my pores though and every time I wear it I fall in love with it over and over again.

Foreo Luna Fofo

Why I love it: I got this in my summer fabfitfun box and I use it all the time. It makes my skin feel great. (It retails for $89 on the Foreo website) I would for sure buy from their skincare range in the future. It is on the pricy side but I was lucky enough to get it in a subscription box, seriously one reason that I am always so hyped about getting the fabfitfun box four times a year. 

Colourpop All-Star Setting Spray

Why I love it: I am not a person who usually uses a setting spray but I got this one on a whim (honestly it was to qualify for free shipping because I am one of those people) but I actually really like the product. 

Murad Skin-Perfecting Lotion

Why I love it: Again another gem from one of my fabfitfun boxes from last year, I use it every morning and it makes my skin feel so good. I am already planning on buying another tube when I run out of this one. (It retails for $40 on their website as well as other beauty retailers.) 

Soo’AE Rose Mist

Why I love it: I used this for the first time over the summer when I burnt the crap out of myself and it was just a little extra hydration for my skin and it really helped out. Now I use it whenever my skin feels dry or tight because even just that little bit helps out so much. Now that we are in the winter months it is so dry outside and a mist is so useful. (It retails for $14 on their website, I got it at Wal-Mart for about the same price.) 

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water (for waterproof makeup)

Why I love it: MJ has really sensitive skin and therefore I have to take extra care when I choose the products that go on my face and that includes what I use to take my makeup off. I used the micellar wipes for a long time but this seems a little better because it is used with cotton pads instead of the pre-moistened sheets. (it retails for $6.59 through Target.)

Coty Airspun Face Powder

Why I love it: This last year has been the year where I discovered a lot about beauty and makeup and setting powder is a thing apparently. I have used it a few times and I really like how it works and it just smells good. So I really like it. (It retails for $7.99 at Walgreens) 

Tree Hut Sugar Lips sugar scrub

Why I love it: It’s so great. It leaves my lips feeling moisturized and not rough. This was another product mentioned in one of my monthly hauls and I use it a few times a week when my lips feel dry and gross. It smells good and it is easily transportable because it is in such a small container. (it retails for $5.99 at Ulta which is where I purchased it.) 

Colourpop It’s a Princess Thing eyeshadow palette

Why I love it: I didn’t really include much makeup on this list and I just kind of realized that, I have been a fan of Colourpop for a few years but never bought anything from them. One of my friends shared the Disney Princess collection with me when it was announced and I had to have this palette. I love it, the pigments are great, and the color names are amazing. (It retails for $20 on the Colourpop website.)

Cactus brush cleaner

Why I love it: It’s really nice to be able to clean brushes on this, it was an impulse buy at the time but I am such a huge fan of it. It cleans my brushes really well and it is rubber so it is really easy to clean after each brush cleaning session. I got it so long ago at Marshall’s so I don’t remember what the price was, nor do I know the exact brand. 

            Did you have any favorite beauty items in 2018?

            See you all on Saturday!

            -MJ

What I’m Doing Different in My 2019 Bullet Journal

            When I started Bullet Journaling I promised myself I would not be one of those people who would make a post of anything like “what I will do differently” “what I wish I knew before I started” but here I am because everyone’s journey is different when you take on the task of bullet journaling. It’s a task, it takes time, it takes energy, and it takes creativity. It takes planning to plan out a Bullet Journal to make it something that is actually useful for your life. For me it became a chore part of the year because I was dealing with other things but I used my Bullet Journal as an anchor point. 

            This year it is a little different, my life is a little different this year and I am going to try and do more with my bullet journal to make it my own not just a copy of some of the cool things that I have seen on Pinterest. Though I am still constantly inspired by the people who I see on Pinterest with these amazingly beautiful Bullet Journals

            This post is not going to be super long because I have only gotten through the set up pages, January, and by the time this goes up I will be working on my February layout.

             I’m adding new pages, I am doing different things and I am really excited to have a chance to do different things as my bullet journaling journey continues to evolve. I am doing a full monthly spread before each month this year so I can eliminate a monthly planner, I use one for blog posts and when I was still doing my YouTube channel I would use it for video scheduling. I am hoping to get back to that this year as well, without spreading myself too thin because I have real life adult things that I have to do outside of the sphere of social media even though I find myself coming back to social media over and over again trying to be a better version of myself. Back to my pages though, I decided that I wanted to eliminate another planner from my life and make sure that everything is just in one place so I can do better at keeping myself on schedule. 

            I am also doing calendars at a glance for each month because I don’t want to rely on my phone when I am looking for a date if I am on the phone, that is why calendars were invented, actually to be real I don’t know why calendars were invented but I can hazard some guesses. Maybe I will research the history of calendars for my own personal enjoyment. 

            I am doing my weekly layouts different as well this year than I did last year, last year is on the right and this year is on the left, even this year I may switch up my weekly layout, I thought about doing that last year but I never got around to it. 

            I’m also doing two habit trackers this year, one general and one beauty/skin care. I am trying to become a better human being and part of that is working on me. I’m trying I promise. Last year is on the left and this year is on the right.

            I am working on a lot of things this year and keeping a Bullet Journal is hopefully going to help me keep more organized, I am consistently dealing with a lot so having something as a creative outlet that isn’t on social media may help me out some. Self-care, mental health, all that stuff.  

            I think that I can say that this is not for everyone and that’s totally cool, in a few years when the trends change maybe I won’t do it anymore or maybe it will evolve into even more of an art form than it already is. 

            I will be checking in with my Bullet Journal every few months, it’s a way to keep myself honest and make sure that I am working on it even if no one else is interested in it, I can’t shrug over the internet but that’s about how I feel. If I am on this journey by myself then here I am on it by myself but if you feel like joining in, you’re welcome to join me. 

            Do you bullet journal? Any tips for someone who is still pretty new at it?

            See everyone on Thursday with another post, I am trying to catch up before the end of the month. 

            -MJ 

Some of my Favorite Bullet Journal Pages from 2018

First of all, welcome back. I have been a little MIA so far this year because of work and just general life stuff. Being an adult is hard sometimes you guys. I feel like January has straight up knocked all the creativity out of my body and I hate it. I miss writing blog posts and even writing in general because I haven’t been doing much of that this month. I am in the middle of my revisions on a few novels so that has kind of been taking up some of my time. Other than that I have just been tired, January is gloomy and even though there have been days in the 60’s down here it’s still just a little gloomy. 

            That is however, not what this post it about. It is going to be more photos than anything else because last year was the first year I attempted the fabled Bullet Journal that has taken over Pinterest. I was mostly successful I missed two or so months because I had some low points last year but when I was using it, it was keeping my sanity pretty well in check. Most of my page inspiration came from Pinterest and blogs that I found through Pinterest for pages ideas. That is one thing that I am going to try to branch away from this year because I have already started my 2019 Bullet Journal. My next post is what I am doing different this year so be on the lookout for that in the next few days. 

            I am not as skilled in drawing as many of the other Bullet Journal creators out there but I try.

Monthly Cover Pages:

January, this was my first cover page and I really liked how it turned out when I started this thing in January. 
 March, so this was inspired by a glass terrarium I saw on Pinterest and I am a huge fan of succulents. My one problem with this was how the glass didn’t line up right because making a 3D object into something 2D can be tricky. 
April, I mean, the old saying “April showers bring May flowers” is super true where I am so I liked the idea of an umbrella. 
August, I don’t live anywhere near a beach anymore but I got the inspiration from Pinterest and it was either a real sign or a monthly cover, I honestly don’t remember but if I did I would give credit to who inspired me
September, this is where I got ambitious, I was feeling better about life and I did a garden scene that was inspired by an actual photo, it was a lot of greens and I tried to make it look realistic, not sure if it actually worked but I tried. 
October, again I got ambitious, this one is probably tied with September for my favorite covers of the year. It was also a photo so making it look realistic was a goal of mine. 
December, the last one of the year. I completely skipped November so I wanted December to be something that I was proud of. It was simple and cute because it was a very holiday inspired scene. 

Mood Trackers: 

            July, it was a hot air balloon and for some reason that screamed mid-summer to me. I used the same colors every month so some months my color schemes made less sense than other months. This one turned out pretty cool in my opinion.

            August, this was one of those months when my colors made less sense, it’s a very weird looking pineapple but overall I liked the pineapple itself even with the multi-colored color scheme. 

            December, of course I had to pick a Christmas tree, there is no other option for December for me. I wish though I would have planned the light placement better. 

Misc Pages: 

            Quotes, I am one of those people who loves inspirational quotes and I picked a few that I liked and filled a page with them. It’s a simple thing but it made me feel pretty good every time I turned to that page.

            Things that Make Me Happy, I did a list like this in my writing journal which was kind of my first foray into Bullet Journaling before I knew what that actually was. I didn’t fill the whole page and that was okay. I think I am going to do it again this year but a little different because I like the list idea more than I like the bullet pointed spread that I had last year.

            There is no title to this page, it’s just a long form quote that I came up with almost in a poetry form, I moved to a place where there is a lot of nature and I wanted to get more into it. I probably actually will this year but I just needed a calm page in my August spread to remind me. 

            One Phrase, I wrote one phrase over and over again in different handwriting and it was a really cathartic experience.

            Holiday Movie Checklists, I did one for Halloween and Christmas and I will be doing it again this year for sure. 

            A bullet journal can be so many things, it is for you to decided what you do with it. I actually really enjoyed doing it and am still enjoying it this year even if I haven’t started my February layout yet. That is my plan for this weekend so when this post goes up I am probably working on my February layout.

            Do you bullet journal? Got favorite pages?

-MJ

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!

Originally this post was going to be called “2018 Can Bite Me” but I figured that was a little harsh for the normal tone of my blog so I decided at the last minute to change it. Welcome to 2019 everyone! 

I’m done saying “this year is my year”, because I say it every year and guess what, no year so far has been my year. I am not saying that this year isn’t going to be your year, 2019 is full of possibilities and I am starting this post of November of 2018. My year started out pretty great; let’s just say the trajectory for the rest of the year after May has not really gone all that well. I have not currently gotten any of my New Year’s Resolutions done because this year flew passed me going 80 in a 35 mile and hour zone. Y’all 2018 has been wild, some of it was great but most of it was not so much for me and most of that is my fault. Some of it has been beyond my control but here I am sitting well before Christmas hoping that 2019 will be a better year. 

            Like I said, I’m not going to say again this year “2019 is going to be my year!” because no matter what happens 2019 is still a year of my life, for the better or for the worse and your year is what you make it. I don’t want to sit on my goals anymore, I have been saying that for years. I am going to work out, eat better, lose the weight, make more friends, get out more, live like a normal person does, get my stuff together, publish a book, and a whole host of other things that I want to accomplish in life. 

            The beginning of 2018 was fine, I moved, I met a few people who became huge parts of my life, there are some long stories there and a lot of memories that I will cherish forever. Thigs changed in the summer and from pretty much then on things have just been consistently going right downhill. 

            New Year’s Resolutions are such a crock, granted they can be guide posts to show you what you need to work on and they can be really helpful when you are trying to hit both long and short term goals. But I don’t want to call them resolutions anymore because I am not going to resolve anything by finishing my resolution. Writing down goals in a book without a plan or posting them on Facebook just makes them words on a page, I don’t want goals as words on a page any more. I want results, I want to prove to myself and everyone else in my life that I can do something. I don’t want to tell people my goals because guess what, the moment I tell someone something I lose motivation to do it and I am done losing my motivation in 2019. 

            I don’t know what this year is going to hold me, (as I write this in early November.) but here is me standing, rather sitting and hoping that 2019 will be a year that I look back on and say “wow, that was a really great year. Maybe it even was my year.” 

            So happy New Year everyone and I hope that you reach all of your goals this year, no matter what they are. You want to lose the weight; cool I am with you. You want to eat better; cool I am with you. You want to make more art; cool I am with you. This year is full of 365 new possibilities, though now we are down to 360 because I am posting this on the fifth of the month. Still, 360 is a lot, it’s all of the degrees in a circle and by the time we get to the other end of this year I hope I can say that 2019 was a different result than 2018.

            I am making a promise to myself to at least post two days a week and I am really trying to stick with that goal because I did pretty well some months last year but my consistency was not there and I really want it to be there this year. 

            Got any goals? 

            -MJ

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas Eve everyone! Happy Holidays! Here are some puppies to brighten your day!

Mr. Oz and Miss. Ginger wish you Happy Holidays!

            I can’t believe that we are a week out from 2019, there were so many things that I wanted to do this year that just fell by the wayside but I will talk more about that in my New Year’s post which I started writing in early November because this year, it’s been a year. I just wanted to take some time with today’s post to take a break from beauty and lifestyle and everything else that this blog usually is and reflect on the season.

            I’m going to preface this, this post is probably going to be more “stream of consciousness” than my usual posts because I don’t really have a set intention for this post, no razor sharp focus today because I just want to get some thoughts out.

            I hope that this holiday season finds you well, I hope that you are spending time with family or friends. I hope that everyone has too much food and laughs too much around a table with people who make you feel whole inside and for some people I know that’s not possible and I am sending love to all of the corners of this place for all of those people. 

            I don’t expect this post to be super long because I am just going to talk about my holiday, in my family it’s just my mom, my dad, our dogs, Ozzie and Ginger, and me. We don’t have a big family but this is this year since we moved from my hometown it’s going to be a small Christmas; normally we would be surrounded by my cousin’s family so there would be about 10 of us, this year that is not the case. I doubt that we even really get out of pajamas this year and I am not mad about that. I’m not making a big deal of Christmas this year because this year has been, I can’t sigh over the internet but that is about the emotion that I tie to this year; just one long sigh. 

            It is something like 50˚ or a little bit below as I am writing this post so that means there is not going to be a white Christmas and that to me is such a strange sensation, I was born and grew up just underneath Lake Michigan and we had snow. We got the lake effect and that meant that usually we got plenty of snow and there is a part of me that doesn’t miss that, I hated driving in it, I didn’t like shoveling, because once you grow up there are no such things as snow days unless it’s a state of emergency which we dealt with more than once because of snow. Or you are in education and then it just means another day on at the end of the year, I’m not complaining, days when they closed school meant that I didn’t have to drive 45 minutes to school. I have been walking around in a sweater, I had my windows open last week, it’s December and I’m just not used to that. I was hardened by the north and all that rot. 

            This year is my first year in a new place, it’s not in the house I grew up in; no someone else owns that now and from what our neighbors have said about the new neighbors who now live in our old house, they are not well liked. (I’m not here to pass judgment on them, I don’t know them.) If I was still in Indiana Christmas would be different, we are still going to be doing many of the same things but it’s just different down here, new house, new town, new everything, and I don’t feel very jolly this year. That is not the fault of anyone but my brain, it’s been a really up and down year for me and I think my mind and body are just exhausted with this year and I know when I wake up on January 1st, 2019 it’s not like I get to press the reset button but I am going to do what I can to make that reset button a real thing, even metaphorically. 

            On a lighter note with no transition because I am not having a very easy time having this post pull together as a flowing piece of prose, but here it is. A brief of Christmas traditions in my family: Christmas Eve is just appetizers, we used to make a full dinner because it would be the three of us, my grandmother (God rest her soul) and my Godfather but several years ago, I think I was still in high school when we started to just have appetizers because it was just the five of us. My grandmother passed away in 2015 and that holiday season was hard because her birthday was Thanksgiving that year, she only missed it by a month so that season was hard and even now I am getting a little teary because Christmas was her favorite time of year, my grandmother and I had a rocky relationship from the time I was about 12 so Christmas was the one time a year when nothing was ever said because we were family and it was the holidays. So lighter note my behind as I fall into a pit of needing a therapist and that is not what this post is for. (I am super scattered this morning, I’m sorry but I am not going to censor myself to say that everything is sunshine and rainbows when that’s not how life works.) 

            Back to traditions, appetizers on Christmas Eve, then we all go do our own thing, I normally watch A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, if you read my Top 10 Christmas Movies post, or if you would like to do that you can click the link and see my reasoning and recommendations to what movies I love to watch during this season. Christmas morning is presents, breakfast, coffee, and it used to be watching the WGN morning show because that is just a weird tradition in my family. Then it was starting to cook, cooking all day, and then having family over in the evening, and topping it off with right before falling asleep I would watch Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown. This year however, we are still having appetizers, our Christmas will just be us and maybe my mom’s best friend, I’m going to try to squeeze in movies because by the time this is posted I’ll have been at my parent’s house for over a day. It’s odd to have to drive somewhere for the holiday but I am excited to do it, even if it’s only about half an hour away. 

            I don’t really have all that much else to say, I hope that your holiday is merry and bright. I will see everyone on Saturday with another post.

            Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

                        MJ