Thursday, May 31, 2012

Even Though I Don't Drink....

Yes, I know that I drank in Denver, but that hangover just reaffirmed my feelings on drinking.
This doesn't mean that I can't still go out with friends....
I'm really good at sober fun, as a matter of fact.
Here I am dancing on a bar totally sober:

It is actually really funny when I order water at a bar, and the bartender looks really confused.

Good news, Happy Hour is more about the fun and convo, than the beverages.
{I never really cared for the half-price well drinks anyways}
That's why I decided to join in with Jenn and Trish to share in the fun!

I would love to share the heck of a day I had at work yesterday, but we aren't anywhere NEAR

Instead, let's talk girl stuff.
I got an email from a sweet blogger last night asking about my makeup routine, and since it has been awhile since I shared it, I figured why not!
You can find the initial post with the video here, but here is a shot of the products:

For preparation:
I wash with Noxzema Triple Clean.
Apply PersaGel 10 all over to balance my oils with the Benzoyl Peroxide.
Apply liberal amounts of Clinique Moisturizing Gel to offset the dryness caused by the Benzoyl Peroxide.  I use the gel moisturizer, because the lotion makes me breakout.
{I'm actually thinking of covering this more in depth, because this regimen changed my life}

Spot Treatment:
I don't wear foundation or powder (they also make me breakout), so I use Clinique concealer for any spots or blemishes, which is then blended with the little red brush and the Physicians Formula Bronzer pallet.  I just mix the colors to cover as necessary.  If I have a really red spot, I used the Physicians formula green concealer.  The green tint cancels out the red.  Very great for "that time of the month" breakouts.

I am very picky about the type of brush on my liquid liner, but NYC has just what I like. I apply it on my top lash line, and while that dries, I fill in my eyebrows with a little bit of eye shadow (I am obsessed with full eyebrows, but mine are blonde, dang it), and then apply eye shadow. I mostly use Covergirl because I LOVE the colors and how the colors blend, but I like the LA Colors pallets, as well. I follow all that up with Covergirl Pencil Eyeliner, and then call it a day! I would explain exactly how I do the eye shadow, but that would be hard....just watch the video. ;)

I'm sure some of you are appalled that I don't use all department store makeup, but makeup really isn't my top priority.  If I can make it work with drugstore products, then that's what I'm going to do!

I know a lot of people ask me how I curl my hair and what the "Curling Wand" is, so here is a visual:

It's really that easy.  
My hair doesn't hold curl for crap, but I can manage to keep it wavy or with loose curls.
The key is LOTS of hairspray.
Speaking of which, I'm looking for a new hairspray.
I want something that holds extremely well without giving you helmet hair.
I have used Aussie and other generic brands, but I'm looking for something a little higher quality.
Any ideas?

I happen to have another surprise up my sleeve ;)
Zara and I came up with a fun 30 Day Challenge, and we will be kicking it off tomorrow!
I wish that we had more time to get y'all acclimated to the idea, but we figured that there is no time like the present! Come back tomorrow to find out ALL about it!

Happy "Thirsty Thursday", Y'all!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Whose Baby Is That?"

First off, I'd like to thank all of you for the kind emails, texts, and comments I received yesterday.
I'm glad to find that you all care, you all understand, and that I'm not the only one going through this right now ;) I feel mucho better already!
Plus my house is super clean.

                                                                                                      Source: via Janna on Pinterest

I mean, the computer wasn't broken, but I'm sure you get the picture.

 Now to address some things from yesterday. 
I'm sure you remember from school, they always told you to ask questions because someone else is probably wondering the same thing...Well, I'd like to address some of those questions/topics.

"What's said 'Full Google Reader'?"
Well, my dears, it just happens to be the greatest thing since sliced bread!
I had been quite annoyed at not being able to comment through the Google Reader, so I {of course} Googled how to comment in Google Reader. How did it take me months to try this? No clue, but at least I FINALLY found the answer! With a few clicks, the Super Full Feeds For Google Reader popped up, and something told me to install it.  I have Google Chrome, instead of Internet Explorer or Firefox, but I'm pretty sure they have applications for all of the browsers, and as soon as you hit install, you are up and running. It applies several tabs to your reader, one of which is a "Link" tab, where the comment section is available!
You're welcome.

"If you took a "break from the computer", did you still have access Facebook and all that on your phone?"
Technically yes...but did I use them? NO.
I must admit, I have this weird fear of going over my data allowance, and although I have never even come close, I choose to only use my data when I really need it or need to talk to the hubby. I get some Twitter notifications, but that's about it.
When I say I took time off the web, I really meant it.
I also have a fear of my battery dying. Keeping my phone time to a min. really helps with this.
Just by turning off my Facebook notifications, I doubled my battery life.
Try it.

Those of you that suggested posting less...that's not where my problem lies. Yes the more I post the more comments I get, but the content on my blog is what matters the most to me. I started blogging to journal our life and as my creative outlet, so that is what I want to continue to do.  Especially since I am "alone" for the next six months. I assume that my co-workers and my Facebook friends don't want to hear or read everything I have to say, but here I can let it all out.
No Will = Left to my own devices.

"Whose baby was that?"
Hehe. It was my friend America's little bundle of joy!
I got to babysit Austin for a little bit, after I took him a present I decorated for him.
Cute, right?

"No you DID not wear Will's pants..."
Why, yes I did ;)
I was not about to ruin ANY of my clothes crawling under the house.

I think that covers it, but I also want to give a heads up that I will be in B'more in a week and a half! (There will be someone staying at my house, so stay away thieves)
Pinky and I, are trying to plan something, so if you want to come play with us, let us know!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It happened...

I had a blogging mental breakdown.
Ok, so maybe it wasn't that serious, but I did realize that I was beginning to get lost in it all.
I know you all know what I'm saying, and if you don't won't be long.

I feel like "it" is getting in the way of this:

Yep, that's right folks...LIFE.
Yes, I have still been social (I have blates to prove it), but I feel like I've stopped smelling the roses.
I can't take it, y'all.
I must find a balance.

This is why I took a Social Media break this weekend.
It felt good...It felt REAL good.

Do you want to see what happens on a weekend of "smelling the roses"?

I spent some quality time with the nugget...

I went exploring...

I snuggled with this nugget....

I had a Blate with Sami!!

And I had time to DIY.  
Check out my new Lifeproof iPhone case:

Super snazzy...I know.

Not as snazzy as my OOTD on Saturday, though...

Pants: Hubby's "work on the car" pants
Shoes: Wellies from the little boys section.
The perfect attire to vacuum the crawl space, clean out the garage and do some yard-work.
Exciting, right?

This weekend really WAS exciting to me...Every last bit of it.
Because other than skyping with my prince charming, the weekend had NOTHING to do with my computer.  I don't want to be glued to my computer.
This is why, I am making changes peeps.
I am consolidating my computer time.

#1 Skyping my lover.
#2 Keeping up with my long distance friends and family.
#3 Using my blog as my outlet.
#4 Continuing my amazing relationships with you all.

By some grace, I stumbled upon this blog last night, and my feelings were reaffirmed.

"Obviously, new bloggers or bloggers who receive a small amount of comments on their daily posts should make interacting with their readers a priority because that is one way you will see growth....But for bloggers who are seeing lots of traffic and are starting to feel torn between living life and typing up emails and comments...the choice needs to be life."
{Her whole Commenting Series is genius, as a matter of fact}

I do want to keep up with all of you, so I installed a new "Full Reader" in my Google Chrome.  
Now I can comment from Google Reader, keep up with a lot of you on Twitter, and I LOVE connecting with y'all on Facebook. Some of you even have my phone number, and your texts totally make my day, i.e. Zara's sweet comment on Memorial Day, thanking my husband for his service.

I don't know how much I am really going to change, as I absolutely love every aspect of blogging, but I know that I must streamline this process.  I don't ever want to really burn myself out, so I'm going to take it one day at a time.  

Thanks in advance for being patient with me!
I hope that you all had a lovely Memorial Day Weekend, and enjoy the four day week ahead.
I seriously love you all...

Friday, May 25, 2012


Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Do you all have a ton of fun things planned?
I know Pinterest is abuzz with BBQ shenanigans and Patriotic decor.
I will be working, but I will most DEFINITELY be remembering the true spirit of the holiday.

That's right my dears, this holiday is more than just the kickoff of Summer.

Source: via Janna on Pinterest

"In peace sons lay to rest their fathers, in war fathers lay to rest their sons."

But I do not want you to be all sad. 
It is not just to mourn the loss of the soldiers. 
It is to celebrate the sacrifice they make 
for all of us.

That means PARTY DOWN people!
If I can't do this, you should be:

One of my lovely "sponsors" bloggy friends asked me to guest post tomorrow because she will definitely be partyin' it up, so I will be over there talking about the infamous Incline. It is so hardcore that we didn't even make it to the top! Just wait till you see it...

Please visit Alana, if you don't already lover her ;)

Oh, and I won my THIRD Giveaway! I'm on a roll!
Thanks Michelle!
I will definitely put that Amazon Gift Card to use!

My last piece of advice today, is to practice safe fun this weekend! No drinking and driving, don't burn the burgers, and no kiddies alone by the pool.  Have a safe and WONDERFUL weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Another inspiring Care Package has arrived in The 'Stan!!

This one was from Sweet Tea (the person, not the drink) from Creating Footprints!

Her package went to another FOB to our friend Buck.
He's in my husband's unit, but he is a part of a Task Force!

Unknowingly, she gave him a real taste of home! The only restaurant close to where we live is Applebees, so  that was sometimes our "hangout".  The Fact-or-Crap cards lined the bar, so we logged many hours laughing and carrying on with them.  When he received them, he said he was definitely missing our time at Applebees!

The pictures he sent me reminded me of this:

Our soldiers, male and female, send smiles home to us via Skype all the time, so let's send them back to them. The simple act of enjoying your freedom and living life to the fullest will mean more to them than anything. Let's not sweat the small stuff and just be happy!

Here is my favorite "Happy" song:

It never fails to put me in a good mood!

Tea shared her experience here.
Thanks again, girl! You should be very proud of yourself!

As she so poignantly stated..."Taking care of the people who take care of us".

As for my shopping spree from yesterday, most of you were right!  I got some phenomenal deals!
I got ALL of this:

FOR $70
Can you freakin' believe it??
I went into this random little store called Rainbow for some cheap little tanktops or t-shirts to decorate, and walked out with all of this!
But sssssshhhhhh. Don't give away my secrets ;)

One sleep till Friday! Heck yeah.

PS. Have you ever felt your house shake because of bombs?
That is seriously happening to me right now...Living in close proximity to a base will do that to ya.
I wish I knew what was going on!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What I'm loving Wednesday

All of a sudden, I feel the need to share what I am loving with you all...

 +TWO awesome Skype dates!
The first was with Desiree from All At Once (previously Mama And Her Boys)

Yep, we talked for over TWO hours, and it felt like five minutes.
It's astounding that you can meet through blogging, and feel like you have known each other forever.

And after too many days, I finally heard from my soldier.

It's like I could breathe again.

Speaking of Desiree and the love of my life....

+I LOVE the 
15 Ways To Stay Married For 15 Years 
on Desiree's blog!
I am proud to say that we practice all of these, pretty well ;)

+After not having an appetite since Will left, I'm loving FOOD.
I was seriously getting tired of just making myself eat, but not enjoying it.
My three faves, right now:

Sweet Potato Chips and good ol' Ketchup.

Source: via Janna on Pinterest

Parmesan Crusted Green Beans, and I throw in Mesquite Seasoning and bacon.

Source: via Janna on Pinterest

This stuff is Bomb-Diggity. I can't even 
explain the hold this glorious product has
 on me. I typically eat it with grapes or
 Granny smith apples, but it's also good 
 in a peanut butter & Jelly sammich.

I definitely want to try it in 
smoothies. I'm pretty sure it will 
taste like a Caribbean adventure.

I'm thinking:
Coconut PB
Vanilla protein powder
Coconut Water
Greek Yogurt or Avocado.

(Don't knock the Avocado)

+Discovering new Photo Editing Sites!
Picmonkey is my new go-to for simple editing.
iPiccy has COLLAGES and general editing.
Pixlr is my go-to for creating images from scratch, and editing blog buttons!
Between the three, I have all the tools I need!

+My impromptu shopping spree!
I went into the store looking for a surprise for my girlfriends birthday and came out with all of this:

(Totally didn't know what to do with my hands. Haha)

Did I:

A) Splurge because I damn well deserve it?
B) Get some to good to be true deals?

How bout you guess how much I spent...

Oh, and apparently, Tabitha is up to something on her blog about me today, but she won't tell me what. That makes me scared.

Lovin' My New Blang!

Remember back when I won TWO giveaways in ONE week?
I am finally able to share my goodies!

My VERY first win-ever- was from Kelly @ Messy Dirty Hair!
She is a fairly new blogger, but is kickin' @ss and takin' names.
Needless to say, she got added to my Daily Reads, pretty darn quick!
And no it wasn't just because she bribed me bestowed me with this little treasure:

And THEN I got the news that I one ANOTHER giveaway from Lesley @ My Lively Mind!
We aren't just blog friends...Our friendship spans over several media outlets.
There have been times that we emailed, tweeted, and facebooked at pretty much the same time.
If that isn't love, I don't know what is.

I actually think that it was divine intervention that I won Lesley's giveaway. Considering how much I worry about my soldier? These are perfect!

I also snuck my goodies into my last photoshoot, and got these great photos of them!

And of course, they will be my new fave accessories.


Sometimes: I enter giveaways just to support the blogger.
Always: It's always a gamble, and gambling is fun.
(In moderation)

Sometimes: You think that you will never win a giveaway.
Always: You are more likely to win a giveaway than the lottery!

Sometimes: Winning one is cool.
Always: Winning two in one week is the best!

Sometimes: You connect with Bloggers more than people in your every day life.
Always: Bloggers like Kelly, Lesley, AND Meg touch you more than you could possibly imagine.

Thanks again, ladies!
You are truly the BEST.  I can say that, because no one else has let me win a giveaway.
*Hint, Hint*

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Baller On A Budget: Janna's Budget Breakdown!

In appreciation for helping me reach our first goal on our Facebook Page, I am now going to teach you how to be a baller on a budget! Don't ask me how I learned this, because other than the desire to be financially stable- I had no direction.  As a matter of fact, before I met my husband, I was livin' the high life.  I had very minimal bills in college, so most of the money I made went to fun in the sun and traveling wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Yes, I was one of "those people" that had college paid for, but I also worked hard to get scholarships, had sometimes up to three jobs, and NEVER asked my family for money. It wasn't that I couldn't ask them or that I needed to work three jobs; It was that I had an innate drive to work hard and play harder.  I feel very blessed to have that drive.

Fast forward to the end of college and the beginning of our relationship, and life started getting put in perspective.  At this point, I had NO DEBT. I had credit cards, but they were paid off regularly, and obviously no student loans.  Will, on the the other hand, was a totally different story.  He had the student loans, other loans, credit card debt, AND was helping to support his roommate that got laid off. I'm not gonna lie- that all scared the bejeesus out of me, and made me want to run.

To be honest, he was probably better off than most guys our age, but to someone who had no debt- It was quite off-putting. So guess what? We started cutting back.
GASP. We sacrificed? Yes. Because that's how you fix it.
It's not like we didn't have any fun, we just found cheaper ways to have it.  I remember a lot of Publix picnics, and you know what? I will forever hold those memories fondly in my heart. At this point we didn't know anything about budgeting, but we knew that we had to cut back.  It doesn't take a genius to realize that if you are spending more than you make, you are going to add to the debt, and in order to lessen the debt, you need to spend under your means. Unless your game plan is to win the lottery. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that ain't going to happen.

So let's fast forward a bit. Within a year, we had ALREADY paid off all the credit cards and had a good hold on the loans. Gosh darn did that feel good. Then we realized that the older we get, the higher the bills were going to be. Not to mention- there was going to need to be a ring purchased in the near future and a wedding.  This is when we really buckled down.

At the time we were both making cash, so each week we would divide our money into two envelopes holding our savings and bills.  We had set amounts for each item of our budget (based on goals we set for ourselves), and then what we made ABOVE all of those goals was our "fun money". Let me tell you, that fun money feels like you won the lottery.  You don't have to feel guilty about it, since you are reaching your budgeting goals, and that is the best feeling in the world.

As time went on we became more and more streamlined, but our budget also began to fluctuate and change.  When Will enlisted, we had to become more structured based on a set pay and a real paycheck.  This means that the envelopes wouldn't work anymore.
So what did I do? I figured out how to adapt it to our new situation.
I took this:

And made one big list:
*This is not our exact list, but a generalized guide for everyone*

Rent/Mortgage $1,000
Electricity/Water $150
Gas bill $50
Groceries $300
Gas $400
Car Insurance $200
Life Insurance $30
Trash $15

Savings & Loan:
Student Loan $100
Investments $400
Savings $300
Vacation Fund $150

Extra Expenses:
Cable/Internet $105
Cell Phone $100
Total: $3,350

Now some of you may not invest or deposit into savings every month, which would subtract about $1,500, but then you might have other expenditures like car payments, daycare, tuition, home owner taxes, etc. Point is- you create your budget based on EXACTLY what you spend. In order to have a fully functioning budget it needs to be very specific.  You also need to know your BOTTOM LINE, which is how much income your household is bringing in each month. If that number is smaller than the amount you are spending each month, then you are in BIG TROUBLE.
You will have to cutback, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You basically need to subtract your necessities from your monthly income, and prioritize from there. I personally find savings and loans to be equally as important, so they were also initially figured in.

Let's say your bottom line line is $45,000 based on the Median Household Income:
$45,000/12 mo.= $3,750
If you apply that to the budget breakdown, that leaves you $400 in Fun Money. Woohoo!

Now what really happens when we apply this?
Well for us- this number wouldn't work for us.  We invest 20% of our income, and put another 20% of our income into savings, so THEN we subtract our necessities, and what is left is applied to our extra expenses.  We have a decent dual income, and I REFUSE to be the type of people that spend more the more we make.  As our income has grown, so has our savings and investments.

40%+45%= 15% leftover for Fun $
15% of $45,000 = $6,750...Sounds like a good time to me!

For you we will do it like a Choose Your Own Adventure:
Option A
If your  Monthly Bills & Savings are under your budget- AWESOME.
But then decide what you would need to do to invest and/or put more money in savings.
+You need to have, at the very least, a three month padding in your Savings
(which would = approx. $10,000)
+You need to figure out how much per month needs to be invested for your future retirement.
(A typical IRA maxes out at $5,000/year- $416/mo.)
Apply these new numbers to your budget and adjust accordingly.

Would you rather drink your Starbucks and get your nails done or have Savings and a Retirement?
Priorities people.

Option B
If your Monthly Bills & Savings are over your budget- CRAP.
Where are we going wrong?
Brand new cars, overpaying in rent, expensive hair styles, vacations that aren't budgeted...
You can get sucked into all of these things EASILY.
What you have to decide is do you like falling farther into debt in the hopes that you will eventually catch up, or would you rather lower your blood pressure by re-prioritizing.
I know that when we moved to Colorado- all of our savings went out the window and we hadn't begun investing yet, so I was a basket case. I knew that in order to de-stress and happy again, we HAD to prioritize. Now it has only been a year, and we are EXACTLY where I want to be.
Don't you wish that you could say that?

If you are nodding your head yes, then here are some ideas:
+Begin pricing things like Insurance, trash, cell phone providers, and cable.
We have cut $3,000/year by switching all of our providers or consolidating.
(That's more than half of your IRA!)
+Cut some coupons!
HELLO! It's FREE $ people!
I don't even clip a lot. I just go through and clip the ones I know we need and I save at least $5 per grocery store visit. $10 if you count buying what's on the store sale ads.
$10 x Your Grocery trips for the year= At least $240.
+Don't buy the newest car, upgrade to the newest iPhone every time they come out, or get pedi/mani's every two weeks. I'm sure some of you think I am crazy, but I think you are the crazy ones for allowing your life to be controlled by material things.
One time, I was chatting with my dad, and I added up what I watched my friends spend on Vices: Alcohol, cigarettes, mani/pedi's, fancy hairstylists/colorists, new technology, new cars, etc., and at MINIMUM I spend over $10,000 a year less.
Not to mention, I am not consumed by all of these "things".
It's freeing people...Try it sometime.
Once you have conquered your expenditures (I KNOW that you can do it), you can
 refer to Option A. That's your goal, my dears. Change your life.

Do you all think I'm crazy by now? If you even made it to this point....
I'm ok if you think I'm crazy, because I am happier and more at peace than I have ever been. I never thought that you could be truly "Financially Stable" without a six figure income, but I am happy to be proof that you can. Now I have to go plan for my next vacay in two weeks, which has already been budgeted for! That makes for a REAL stress free vacation.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Please Accept My Apology...

So I need to make a public apology.
I have had my blog comments coming to my main email, since I began blogging.
Then recently I set up my google+/Gmail account, which magically started having your replies to all my comments on your blogs sent to THAT account, instead of my main one.
I just figured this out. Tonight.

Source: via Janna on Pinterest

I feel like a total jerk, because you probably thought that I have been ignoring your sweet words and questions, which is NOT the case.  I wish I could go back through every single one, but that may take awhile...If there was anything that you needed or wanted from me PLEASE let me know! 
I don't want to leave anyone hanging :)

I have been a busy bee this weekend creating a button all by myself with this
amazing tutorial, and the help of Jordan from Holding On To The Little Things.
At least completing that task made me feel a little less of a dumb blonde.

The best news that I have is that I got to talk to my lover tonight <3
Such a RELIEF.

Go check out Anna from A Sweet Southern Mess if you are recuperating from the weekend 
want to meet a sweetheart. She also helped to lift my spirits today :)
Well, I hope that you are all having an amazing weekend!!


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