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 

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Top 10 Christmas Movies

I can’t believe that it is already this time of year! Like 2018 has taken three or four solid years but the last three months of this year have flown right by and we are two weeks out from the end of 2018. Cannot even believe it. 

            I wanted to do a few holiday posts even though we are only a week out from Christmas but this is the time of year for themed movies! I did a post like this for Halloween and so I felt like I needed to continue the trend of the “my favorite movies” but now for Christmas. I did something similar if not the same last year on my YouTube channel but I have taken most of this year off of my channel, hopefully 

            Now I am going into this as the top ten movies that I watch during the season, it doesn’t mean that my number one movie is my all-time favorite, they aren’t really in any order so here we go. 

All thoughts and opinions are my own, per usual.

  1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

There are two movies that I watch every Christmas Eve and this is one of them, usually the first film of the pair that I watch. I have been watching this movie for probably longer than I should have because of some of the language and the themes that are involved but who doesn’t love a good old fashion family Christmas from the saga of the tree, to the Christmas lights, to the reality that is having a big and diverse family around at the holidays. It’s one of those movies for me that no matter the time of year I can pop it in and enjoy it no matter what. It has some really memorable lines that I reference in conversation every once in a while if I know the other person has seen the film. 

2. A Christmas Story

This is the other movie that I watch every Christmas Eve, TBS shows, it or at least used to for 24 hours and I would try to stay up all night on Christmas Eve and watch it over and over, there was a good chance that I actually would only catch about half as I dosed in and out of sleep. Now that I am an adult I prefer sleep to trying to stay up all night like I did as a kid and even as an adolescent, when I was a kid it was the excitement of Christmas morning when I was a little older it was just me seeing if I could do it. I don’t think I ever did. Such a good movie though, whenever I bundle up to go outside and I have a lot of winter clothes on my first reaction is to say, “I can’t put my arms down!” because that is one part of the movie that makes me laugh every single time I see it. Also the word “fragile” neither my father or myself can resist saying it like they do in the film whenever we see the word. 

3. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas 

I love both of the incarnations of this film that have been out for years, I have not seen the version that came out this year but the one I am referencing in this list specifically is the 2000 live action adaptation. We went to the theater I think two days after Thanksgiving to see this and the whole family went my mom, my dad, my grandma, and me (small family). Now I watch it at least two or three times during the season because this is the movie I wrap presents to, normally that means I don’t really watch it so I have to watch it again and usually the second time through I end up falling asleep so a third time is required. I watched it for the first time yesterday and I was only a little distracted while trying to write this post yesterday, it didn’t work. (Then I watched Coco and cried a little.) It’s been one of my favorites since I got it on VHS in 2001, that’s right VHS; let that sink in for those of you who remember what a VHS is. I was 8 when this film came out so I grew up watching it and I still watch it every year.

4. Muppet Christmas Carol

Okay so I have a confession to make on this one, I didn’t see this movie until 2014 in my senior year of college, I told one of my roommates that I had never seen it and she was appalled because this is one of her favorite movies. I may have seen parts of it beforehand but never all the way through so we watched it and I have watched it every year since. It was on Netflix, then it was on On-Demand and then I had to get the DVD because no one else had it on TV or to watch online one year. I love a Christmas Carol; I need to actually sit down and read the original Dickens prose because it’s one of those pieces of literature that is so ingrained in our popular culture in so many different forms. Bah, Humduck! a Looney Toons Christmas Carol and A Flintstone’s Christmas Carol both are on my list to watch every year but didn’t make the top ten, though they were rather close in the running but I didn’t want more than one movie adaptation of a Christmas Carol on here.

5. The Santa Clause

Another movie that I grew up on, I am talking about the original Santa Clause here not the second one which was fine or the third one which I haven’t seen. I’m talking original mid-90’s movie. This was another one I had on VHS growing up so I watched it every year without fail. I love the story that goes along with the film, but there are some pretty dark themes to it that as a kid you don’t see. Like Scott losing custody of Charlie because everyone thinks he’s going insane, the mistrust of things that you don’t understand, and some other things that are at the moment slipping my mind. 

6. The Nine Lives of Christmas

I am a sucker for a Hallmark Original holiday film, even though they all have roughly the same plot formula, I don’t care. I will sit and watch a whole day of the same movie over and over because it just makes you feel so good inside. I actually did read the book for this movie and it is a lot different from the movie if we are being honest. Though my cousin borrowed the book in like 2015 and has yet to give it back, I probably should go buy a new copy because I have a doubtful feeling that I will get my original copy back. This movie is just super cute, I’m not even a huge fan of cats but this is one of those feel good movies that you can’t look away from no matter what. I don’t even get the Hallmark Channel now with my cable so I haven’t watched a single Hallmark movie this year. 

7. Yogi’s First Christmas

            I scoured the internet for this one year because I remember watching it as a kid and it was one of those things that I just couldn’t find, thankfully Amazon had the DVD so I ordered it because I needed to watch it and relive my childhood. There were plenty of Christmas specials on Cartoon Network when I was a kid, they had days dedicated to it or at least evenings about the time the Christmas break for school started and I watched so many things that I don’t remember the names to now. There was one movie about Santa with fairies and I had to look it up because for a while there I couldn’t find it to save my life, it was The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus.This movie is just one of those movies that brings back memories from when I was little so it’s really nostalgic even though it came out over a decade before I was born.

8. Arthur Christmas

            I mean, it’s a cute movie and Christmas is the time of year where animated movies rule the day. It’s a really cute movie about family and acceptance, it has some really good messages and this kind of amazing theory on Santa Claus. The animation quality is great and it’s just a feel good kind of film that takes a realistic look at a family business. 

9. Home Alone

            How could this movie not make this list? I mean it’s one of those movies that gave everyone the thought that they could so take on a burglar if they were Home Alone, though to be honest calling the police would have been a better option than maiming others. It’s a really violent movie if you watch it as an adult, no hate I still watch it every year and laugh throughout the whole film but after watching videos of medical professionals and others talk about the survivability of some of the stunts in the film it makes you question how super human Marv and Harry really are. 

10. The Holiday

            Another really feel good movie, holiday house switch both women find love. It’s very cliché and I love it either way. It has a really all-star cast and a really good story of stepping out of your comfort zone and not dwelling on things that bring you down and letting go of toxic people in your life. It’s cute and has a really great score behind it, if you haven’t given it a watch and romantic dramedy is your thing I would suggest it.

            I want to take just one second and talk about some of my favorite holiday specials growing up, The Rugrats Chanukah episode, it was something that taught me as a kid about a different holiday instead of Christmas and it was one of my favorites. Also the Proud Family Seven Days of Kwanzaa episode, again it was a holiday that I knew nothing about that was showcased on a show that I loved growing up to tell a different story about the season. 

            So have you got any favorite holiday movies, TV episodes, or specials? 

-MJ

Some Current Favorites

Well it’s been some time since I have actually done a favorites post and I kind of missed it. I feel like I have not had too many favorites in the last few months just because my life has been a little busy.

 

So these favorites are over the last few months (April, May, and June) I did do an April Favorites video over on my YouTube channel but I never actually wrote a blog on it (oops, my bad.)  Also, to be honest May and June got away from me. I feel like most of them are beauty related because those are what I have been using and that is why I remember them.

 

First thing is first, this product was in my spring fabfitfun box, the Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion. I use this product every day, I love it so much, there are very few lotions and skin care products so when I find one that doesn’t make my skin irritated I cling to it. I cannot say enough nice things about it, I actually bought the Oli-Control Mattifier lotion as well which is also a sun screen so it has really been saving my skin and I love that just as much. Seriously one of my favorites for the last few months.

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This was one of my favorites throughout April and into the summer months and that is my Lorac Malibu palette, it is four eye shades and two cheek shades, I normally don’t use the cheek shades when they are included in an eye palette but I have found myself using them throughout the summer because I actually have a tan. I love the summery and more neutral colors of the palette, it stays on pretty well and I found myself reaching for it over and over again when I just wanted to do a normal simple every day look when I don’t use my NYX Cosmetic Metals palette. If you want to read my normal makeup routine, you can, here.

 

I not only got tan this summer but I also burned, that is my usual summer plan, burn, and then back to being translucent. I had a friend tell me to use rose water on my burn to rehydrate my skin. It helped so much and I also use rose water with my moisturizer and the one that I have been using is the Soo AE Revitalizing Rose Mist and I have been using it religiously because I do not hydrate my face enough. It for sure helped my burn though and I am happy to say it did tan out which was the hope.

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I am one of those people who keeps lotion everywhere no matter what because I always need it because my hands are always dry, I think part of it is the air conditioning and I have been spending a lot of time outside in the hot. One brand that I can only get in limited form is Zoella Beauty, I have been following her channel on YouTube for quite some time now and I have not been without a tube of Wonder Hand in a while now and it is one of my favorite lotions at the moment.

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So I bought a CD in June that I loved and have been waiting for the release of for quite some time was the new Panic! At The Disco album Pray for the Wicked. I listened to it three or four times on release day and I love its sound. I can’t ever describe Panic! At The Disco’s sound because it has evolved so much since their first album that I listened to in middle school. I have grown up with Panic and I am always happy to hear new music from them, it’s a new sound, it’s a good sound, and I was here for it.

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One final thing in my current favorites. I had to get a new pop clip for my car, I have one so I can put my Popsocket into a holder in my car. I had one that was adhered to my dashboard but in early May it came off my dash. Well when I was in Indiana in May I got a new pop clip that is fitted into the vent in the car instead of sticking to the dash and I have found it so much easier and so much nicer to use because my phone screen is actually visible instead of being toward the sky. I am a huge fan of the pop clip and because I spend so much time in my car it has really saved my sanity in the car, I listen to a lot of music in the car so it’s nice to be able to have a better control over it when I am at stop lights without moving it from its holder.

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There were some of my current favorites, I am hoping that for this month (July) I will have more to share next month (August) when I actually post that blog post.

 

Do you have any favorites this month that you can’t find yourself living without or find yourself reaching for over and over again?

 

-MJ

 

A New Adventure

There are moments that define who we are, these moments can happen every day and we ignore them; I’m choosing not to ignore this moment.

Hey hey, it’s MJ and I have decided to add to the rest of my social media outlets with a blog! Something I have been thinking about for a while now as a supplement to my YouTube channel, by the same name, or by clicking here. I’m new to blogging in this format so give me some time to work out all the bugs.

-MJ