Beauty. Fashion. Food. Lifestyle.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

5 Tips To Build Your Shoe Collection On A Tight Budget

So you’re a shoe lover. You’ve always believed in the power of shoes to level up an outfit instantly. You enjoy shoe shopping, and seeing your closet grow one pair at a time gives you so much joy.

Building a shoe collection is possible even when you’re on a shoestring budget, regardless of the type of shoes you like. Yes, all the lovely shoes you want can be yours without blowing a big hole in your budget. The key is to be more strategic in shopping. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither does your shoe collection have to be. After all, the journey of collecting and building one pair at a time often matters more than the outcome.

Here’s a guide to walk you through the process:

1. Buy On A Discount Online

Online shopping has become very popular nowadays for various reasons beyond accessibility and convenience. When you shop online, you could also be eligible for more special offers, many of which could even come from leading shoe brands.

Building a shoe collection takes time. So a good strategy is to buy at a discount online. Good-quality shoes with classic styles can stand the test of time. You could score expensive name shoes but on a dime.

2. Navigate The Resell Market

Besides online websites, go through other sources, like the Marketplace and social media sites. There are lots of resellers who buy and sell shoes or some who sell from their collection. Most of those shoes are used, but if you’re lucky, you could find pairs in excellent or brand-new condition that doesn’t come with the brand-new price tag. No one even has to know you’re wearing a secondhand pair.

This tip works very well, particularly if you’re looking for designer shoes. Say, there’s a pair you’ve wanted for so long, but the price is just out of the budget right now. The Marketplace could be where you’d find a reseller who can give you a good deal.

 3. Avoid Shopping On Release Day

Shopping on release day is reserved for those with the funds for it. If, at the moment, your wallet says otherwise, it’s a prudent move to wait it out until later. There’s no shame in buying shoes off-season, when the hype has died, or when it’s on sale. Better yet, the shoe could even go on clearance.

Choose classics instead of trendy shoes so you won’t have to worry about your pair going out of season and out of style.

4. Figure Out What You Really Like

Whenever you’re out to shop for a pair of shoes, always remember you’re building your collection, not somebody else’s. Resist the urge to buy a pair you’re unsure about just because everyone else has it. Buying pairs that suit your fancy means every item in your closet is worthwhile.

That’s what a shoe collection is about. It’s not just about keeping them in the closet, giving them no time to shine. You must wear those shoes to feel like they’re a part of your entire collection.

5. Be Kind To Your Feet

Comfort tops all other factors when buying every pair that makes it to your collection. If it’s uncomfortable, chances are, you’ll never get to use that pair, as it’s a pain to use. There are thousands of shoes such that you can be sure to find pairs that meet the perfect balance of comfort and style, so don’t worry that you’ll have to don ‘ugly’ shoes in the name of comfort.

This is the reason it’s essential to emphasize the need to fit. If you’re buying online, always check the size guide, especially if this is your first time buying from the brand. Fit it as soon as the parcel arrives so you can return it if it’s uncomfortable.

When shopping in a physical store, don’t rush the process. Take time to fit in and walk around the store, just to be very sure.

The Bottom Line

If you previously thought that loving shoes and living on quite a low budget couldn’t go hand in hand, this article can prove that may not be necessarily true. Smart and savvy shoppers will show that building a shoe collection is possible as long as you know the ins and outs of shopping. Sure, some shoes can’t form part of your collection for now, but don’t let that stop you. Take it one shoe at a time and one shopping trip at a time, and little do you know you’ve just started your little shoe collection.

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Gorgeous Ways To Work Pantone's Color Of The Year Into Your Life

Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash

It’s something that you have been waiting for your entire year, and now Pantone’s color of the year is here! Pantone is a business that gives color a language for designers and producers and also gives them the tools to infuse their business and their life with some amazing colors that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you have been straining at the leash to get Pantone’s Color of the year and now you have it, you might wonder exactly what you need to do to work the Viva Magenta color into your entire life. Well, we’ve got a few ideas for that!

What Is Viva Magenta?

Viva Magenta is a color that vibrates with vim and vigor, and it is a signal of brave and fearless strength. It is a red that is powerful and electrifying, and welcomes those that have a rebellious spirit and a true fire inside of them. If you want to surround yourself with this powerful color, then here is how you can do it.

Fill Your Home With Plants That Bloom In Viva Magenta

There are several types of plants that bloom with Viva Magenta, including dahlias, roses, chrysanthemums, and carnations. Don’t be afraid to pot some of these plants and place them in your home, or fill your flower beds with them. Then every time you look at the roses and of course smell the scents, you can renew yourself with all the energy and inner fire that the color represents.

Design Your Home Around Viva Magenta

From throw pillows, to blankets, to decorations, to entire walls painted in the color, there are plenty of ways to bring Viva Magenta into your home. But don’t just add the color to your home with the intention of throwing it away the second next year's Pantone’s color of the year comes out. Instead, take advantage of what the color means.

Put Viva Magenta around the spots in your home where you do the most work and where you need that reminder that you are burning with an inner fire that can burn down the world if you would like it to. Put the Viva magenta in your home office, or around any area where you need a little bit more bravery in your life, because it couldn’t hurt at all!

Use The Equity Of Your Home To Finance The Renovations

Of course, if you want to go bigger and insert Viva Magenta into every single part of your life, then you might need to make some larger renovations, and that means needing some funding. You can use your home’s equity to finance your renovations, and it doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated.

If you need help making this shift in order to truly embrace the color of the year into your life, then you need to figure out how to get the best loan possible, and that means you need to get a Sofi mortgage loan. Then you can start making all the colorful renovations to your home that you want.

Let The Meaning Of The Color In

Whether you need a Viva Magenta colored throw pillow or an entire room filled with the color to remind yourself that you are strong, brave, and have some inner fire inside of you, don’t just fill your house with Viva Magenta until 2024. Instead, remind yourself every single day what the color symbolizes and how it can apply to your life and your situation.

That’s how the color of the year will stay with you even after next year's color is announced! 

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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

10 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Not Sponsored: Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I do believe in the philosophy that you should love someone everyday and be giving throughout the year, but it is nice to honor someone you love on this day. Have you purchased a gift? Have you made plans? If not, no worries. I've come up with some really great gift ideas to make your day extra special. These ideas go beyond red roses, candy and dinner. And the best thing is, they are all still doable (within this tight time frame).  So lets get started, shall we not! Dream Big! Think Big! That's my philosophy!

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

1. A Shopping Spree

I know you're saying, WHOA KIM! But this does not have to be on a large scale. You control the money. Pick your significant other's favorite store or stores and either give them gift cards to those stores or money to shop them. For some people, it can be really stressful picking out a gift. And who's to say, your loved one will like your choices. By letting them pick things, takes the guesswork out of the equation. Your significant other will be tickled pink. 

2. Instead Of Dinner, Book A Private Dining Experience

Why not elevate your Valentine's Day dinner? THINK BIG. Many restaurants now, offer private areas and rooms as dining options. They're usually specially decorated and the staff gives you extra attention. Your special one will feel extra special that you went to such lengths. And just think of how romantic the evening will be! If you can't get reservations on the big day, book an alternative day.

3. Book A Private Movie Experience 

Nowadays, you can rent a private movie experience at your local movie theater. I've always wanted to do this. Did you know, you can rent a theater for only 1-20 people. The pricing is not that bad either (last I checked $200 and less). You will have the theater all to yourself. How romantic is that? Your Valentine will giggle with glee. 

4. Book A Couples Massage

A massage is a great way to unwind and relax. Why not book a couples massage session? Exclusive hotels usually offer this option. People can also be hired to give massages at your home. 

5. Concert Tickets

What's your significant other's favorite artist? Is it Andrea Bocelli? Marc Anthony? Taylor Swift? Bruno Mars? Beyonce? Are they touring? Secure tickets for the both of you. This will make an excellent gift that both of you will look forward to doing in the future. 

6. A Date At The Jewelry Store

It's often suggested that YOU pick out a ring, necklace etc for your significant other to give on Valentine's Day. Why not shake up that idea!?! Set a budget. Then tell your loved one that they can pick out anything they want at a particular jewelry store. They will have free reign at the place! Again, they can pick out something (ring, earrings, bracelet etc) they will love and cherish. This takes the pressure off of you.

7. Hire A ....

I think everyone nowadays has a To-Do-List a mile long. How can you make your loved one's life easier? Do they need extra help cleaning around the house? Hire a cleaning service. Do they get tired of grocery shopping? Subscribe to Shipt. Do they get tired of mowing the lawn? Hire a grass cutting service. Hire someone that will make your loved one's life EASIER.

8. Weekend Getaway

Long trips are wonderful, but we also need breaks in-between those times. Weekend getaways can be just the ticket that both of you all need. Check out your local city and state tourism website. Then check out the websites of all the states that surround you (that are drive-able). There are a host of Bed & Breakfast's, Hotels, Local Events, Campgrounds etc. They should give you a number of ideas. 

9.  Box Seating At The Theatre

What theatrical performances are coming to your city? Elevate your theatre experience by giving your significant other the VIP Experience. This could be by booking seats in a VIP area, Club or Box Seating. And don't think you have to have membership to do this? Many season ticket holders, sometimes sell their seats for a performance if they're not in town. You can usually purchase these through reputable resale ticket sellers. This is what I did when I went to see the musical Waitress.

10. Romantic Photo Shoot

When was the last time, you as a couple took pictures together? Ahhh, its been that long? Why not book a local photographer to take some impromptu pictures of you two together. What's your favorite place? Try to make it FUN and not stressful. Impromptu pics are the best. Even throw in some money for your loved one to get their hair, nails done and an outfit. 

I hope this post stirs up your creative juices and that you have a great Valentine's Day!

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What Are My Home Loan Refinance Options?

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Your home loan was a signed deal, and it may feel like you’re committed no matter what life brings your way, but you aren’t without options for changing the terms. While you are responsible to pay back your loan, there is a way that you can transfer the balance and switch up the terms. Through the process of refinancing, you can attach yourself to a new home loan with new terms and even a new financial lender. With a home loan refinance, the new loan is used to pay off the remainder of your current loan, and all future monthly payments go toward repaying the new loan.

Many people choose to refinance their home loans to better match their current financial situation. With a variety of options available, refinancing can allow you to change the terms to be more in your favor. It can also allow you to take out cash from your home equity to use for repairs, home improvements, or other expenses. If you’ve been considering ways to lower your interest rate, get rid of private mortgage insurance costs, tap into your home’s equity, or change the length of your repayment schedule, a home loan refinance may be a good choice for you. 

Here are some home loan refinance options you can consider.

Access Your Home Equity

As you pay off your initial home loan, you build up equity in your home. This equity is the value of your home that you own outright—that is, the value of your home minus what you owe your lender. Your new refinanced home loan could be a dollar-for-dollar match to your current balance, but it could also be larger if you choose to access your home equity.

A cash-out refinance is a popular option for people who have a substantial amount of equity in their homes. Equity builds as you pay back your loan, as we’ve mentioned, but it can also build if your home increases in value during the time you own it. Opting for a cash-out refinance through a credit union allows homeowners to refinance their mortgages for more than they currently owe on the home and receive some of their equity in cash.

With this cash, many homeowners choose to make upgrades and increase home value. Others use the money to pay off or consolidate other debt. Consolidating other debt, such as credit card debt or student loans, allows you to keep all of your debt in one place and also avoid the high interest rates associated with other types of loans. A cash-out refinance is a great home loan refinance option that can open a lot of opportunities for homeowners low on liquidity or holding on to debt in other places.

Lower Your Interest Rate

With a home loan refinance, you have the opportunity to change many things about your home loan, one being your interest rate. If your current interest rate is higher than you’d like it to be, refinancing can be a great opportunity to see if you can change that. Maybe your credit has improved since you took out your original loan. Or maybe interest rates in your area have dropped. Most experts agree that if you can lower your interest rate by 0.75 percent, refinancing may be worth it.

A lower interest rate can really benefit your finances. It has the possibility of lowering your monthly payments and saving you thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your home loan.

Change Your Loan Term

One of the many things you’ll have the ability to change with a home loan refinance is your current loan term. The term of your loan is the number of years you agree to spend paying your loan back. The length of your loan repayment makes a big impact on how much interest you pay over the life of the loan. When you’re considering refinancing your home loan, think about how long you want your loan term to be and how much you can afford to repay each month.

Long- and short-term loans each have their benefits. Consider the two most popular home loan term terms: 30 years and 15 years. A 30-year loan gives you the most time to pay back your loan and provides you with the lowest monthly payment option, sometimes significantly lower than your current payment. If you’re interested in lower monthly payments and aren’t in a hurry to pay the loan back, then opting for this term could be in your best interest. Note that with this option, you’ll pay more interest in the long run unless you plan to move in the next several years.

On the other hand, a 15-year term can save you money overall. Paying back your loan in 15 instead of 30 years will save you 15 years’ worth of interest. And if you’re able to negotiate a better interest rate during your refinance, you may find that opting for the 15-year loan only slightly increases your monthly payment. Even if the monthly payment is quite a bit more, the long-term benefit could make the shorter loan term worthwhile.

A Note About Closing Costs

Not everything is different when you refinance your home. Just as you would with a traditional loan, a home loan refinance comes with closing costs. You might have to cover costs such as inspection fees, origination fees, taxes, title searches, and appraisal fees. While some refinance lenders allow you to bundle the closing costs into the overall loan balance, many don’t, so it’s a good idea to be financially prepared just in case.

You also need to consider your closing costs in determining whether a refinance will pay off. If your lower interest rate is only slightly lower, you may not see the benefits of the switch for a few years. It’ll take time to make up what you spend on the closing costs required to do a refinance and reach your break-even point. Talk to your lender and crunch the numbers before you make a commitment.

Does a refinance sound like the right fit for you? The home loan refinance experts at Solarity Credit Union can walk you through your options so you can determine which is right for you and get started today.

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Tips For Building Adequate Skills To Improve Your Job Performance

Improving job performance is an important part of career development, as it can help you advance in your field and open up new opportunities. But how do you go about doing this? Improving job performance requires honing certain skills that will help you be successful in your current role, as well as any additional roles or positions you may find yourself in throughout your career. Here are some tips for building the adequate skills necessary to improve your job performance.

Develop Time Management Skills:

Being able to effectively manage your time is a key skill when it comes to increasing your productivity at work. Take the time to plan out tasks and projects, break them into manageable chunks, and prioritize what needs to be done first. This will allow you to focus on the most important tasks first, ensuring that you are tackling them in a timely manner and allowing you to move onto other tasks more quickly.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Enhance Your Communication Skills:

Effective communication is essential for any job, regardless of industry or position. Being able to clearly articulate your thoughts and ideas will help others understand what it is you’re trying to achieve, as well as make sure everyone is on the same page regarding expectations and deadlines. Make sure to practice active listening when conversing with colleagues, too - this will show them that you value their input and can help foster better working relationships.

Learn New Skills:

No matter how long you’ve been in your current position, you should always be looking to learn new skills and broaden your knowledge. This will not only ensure that you stay up-to-date on industry trends, but it can also open up new opportunities for you in the future. If travel nursing is something that interests you, make sure to research travel nurse requirements and start building the necessary skills and qualifications for this role.

Take Initiative:

Taking initiative at work shows employers that you are motivated, ambitious, and have a desire to contribute to the success of the organization. Be proactive in seeking out tasks or projects to work on; this will show your manager that you are willing to go above and beyond what’s expected from you. Additionally, when faced with a challenge or obstacle, don’t be afraid to look for creative solutions - think outside the box and come up with new ideas that could potentially benefit the organization.

Seek Out Feedback:

Asking for feedback from your manager or supervisor is an important step in improving job performance. It can be nerve-wracking to put yourself out there and open up to criticism, but it’s essential if you want to grow and develop as a professional. Pay attention to the advice they give you, and use it as an opportunity to learn about your strengths and weaknesses so that you can continue working on areas of improvement.

Improving job performance is a slow process that requires dedication and hard work. However, with the right attitude and skill set, you will be able to drastically improve your job performance over time. Utilize these tips and take the necessary steps to make sure that you are doing your best in your current role.

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Friday, February 3, 2023

Tips To Help Your Body

Your body is an amazing vessel. You need to take care of all aspects of it, including your mind, physical body, and soul. It does not have to be stressful. In fact, taking care of yourself should be the exact opposite of distressing. Try these tips to take care of the whole package.

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy from Pexels

Care for your oral health.

When your mouth is causing you problems, it can lead to other issues within your body. Your teeth need to be in good health to effectively eat and deliver the proper nutrients your body needs to keep going and live a healthy life. If you are missing a tooth in the back of your mouth, it can be difficult to eat comfortably.

Consider a Nesbit partial custom-made appliance as the solution to your missing tooth problem. It is an easy-to-use device that snaps quickly into place around the adjacent teeth for a clean fit. You can remove it for effortless cleanings and at bedtime.

Other aspects of your oral health include following a proper hygiene regimen. Always brush your teeth at least twice per day, ideally in the morning when you wake up and before bed. Brush as you can after meals throughout the day, as well. Floss your teeth before brushing to remove food particles, and use mouthwash after brushing for extra protection.

Spend time outdoors.

Being outside is invigorating. You can close your eyes and lift your face towards the sun. Feel the warmth upon your skin (while wearing the proper SPF coverage, of course). When you step outside the confines of your home or office, you have the opportunity to experience nature in all its glory. The fresh air is practically beckoning you to go out and play.

If you have a green space nearby, that is the perfect place to start. Lace up your walking shoes, grab a reusable water bottle, make sure your phone is charged, and off you go. Almost anything can qualify as a green space for the purpose of getting outside and into the fresh air. A local zoo is a fun alternative, and they usually invite walkers at special times. A forest or nearby nature preserve is a great option, and you can bring along a pair of binoculars for a close-up view of the flora and fauna. Who knows? You may just become a bird watcher.

Control stress levels.

Stress can have significant and detrimental effects on your body and mind. Be aware that small amounts of stress are part of everyone’s life, however. Your body is hard-wired to respond to stressful situations it deems potentially life-threatening by reacting quickly. That is a beneficial stress response. Things begin to go awry within your body when stress is constant.

Watch this video for tips on how to effectively handle stress in your life.

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

Make your health a priority by taking care of the body you have. Be mindful of your oral health. When you have a full mouth of teeth, you just feel better. Watch your stress levels and enjoy the world around you.

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

2023 Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: This year's Valentine's Day Gift Guide includes everything from a delicious charcuterie board (love those) to popcorn that creates employment opportunities for people with disabilities to luxury items. I included all price points. Remember to love one another everyday. I celebrated Valentine's Day with my mom last year. Enjoy!

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9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17

18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25

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Happy Birthday Candles

Not Sponsored: Well you guys, I am officially in birthday mode! February is my birthday month and I literally have everything BIRTHDAY on my brain. The first thing that always comes to mind, whenever I think of my birthday or someone's birthday, is BIRTHDAY CAKE! Is that not surprising to you? I LOVE birthday cake! I was on ULTA Beauty's website the other night, when I saw a couple of birthday cake themed candles by Homeworx. I've never tried the brand, but I always hear great things. So I plan on buying a few. I'll definitely do a review on them when I order them. Last year, I was at Bath And Body Works and noticed they had a Sprinkles Birthday Cake candle. It smelled so good. So, I did a little perusing on the internet and found some other great birthday candle finds. As usual, I would like to share my findings with you. Last year, I had a milestone birthday and went all out (1,2,3,4,5,6), but this year my birthday will be much quieter (I think, HaHaHa). So many great things surround my birthday, like Valentine's Day, the Superbowl, Mardi Gras, Black History Month and President's Day. Ok guys! Enjoy and try not to lick your computer screen.

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Property Maintenance Hacks For Homeowners And Landlords

Buying a house or an apartment is an incredibly exciting milestone but it comes with a lot of responsibility. Whether you’re buying a new home or you plan to invest in real estate and find a tenant, it’s crucial to understand the importance of property maintenance. In this guide, we’ll share some helpful hacks to help you keep on top of upkeep and repairs.

 Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Heating and cooling

Getting the temperature in your home just right plays a critical role in creating a comfortable, relaxing environment. It’s not possible to avoid every problem, and heating and cooling systems don’t last forever, but maintaining units can help to lower the risk of issues dramatically. Keep up with routine checks and services and seek expert advice if you notice warning lights, strange smells or noises or performance issues. It’s usually best to intervene early to prevent small problems from turning into more complex faults, which can be expensive to fix.

Roof repairs

Whether you own your home or you’re a landlord or landlady, investing in basic roof maintenance and minor repairs can lower the risk of extensive damage and wear and tear. Inspect the roof regularly and contact a reputable roofing company if you spot signs of damage or your roof is old and worn. Look for a firm that provides either residential or commercial roofing services and caters to your requirements. For condos, for example, contact companies like Northeast Home. Roof replacement may be a cost-effective solution if you have an old house, you’ve already spent a lot of money on running repairs, or the roof is severely damaged.

Maintaining curb appeal

Maintaining curb appeal is beneficial for several reasons. Taking good care of the exterior of your home adds value, reduces the risk of damage and makes the property more attractive to potential buyers or tenants. Make a list of jobs, such as mowing the lawn, weeding, varnishing woodwork, freshening up paintwork, clearing gutters and inspecting paving, driveways and patios. Take care of tasks you can do yourself and call in the professionals for complex or time-consuming jobs.

Smoke detectors

Smoke detectors save lives and they also help to lower the risk of severe damage to the building and its contents. If you don’t already have smoke alarms in your home, install one on each floor. If you’ve already got detectors, test them at least once a year. It’s also wise to ensure you have carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless so it’s impossible to detect with the human senses. A detector will make a noise if there is carbon monoxide in the property helping to keep everyone safe.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Buying a house or an apartment comes with a range of responsibilities, including maintaining and looking after the property. It’s not always possible to avoid damage but keeping up with routine checks and services, carrying out regular inspections and working through a to-do list can all help to lower risks and protect the building. Maintaining your home or investment property can also help to add value.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Too Faced Better Than Sex Chocolate Mascara Review

Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. 

Not Sponsored: It didn't take me long to hit the purchase button, when Too Faced came out with their NEW Better Than Sex Chocolate Mascara (Nordstrom, Macys, Selfridges, Target). It's FEBRUARY! Anything Chocolate!?! YES, PLEASE! And this chocolate won't go to your hips! HaHaHa Is brown mascara new? Nope. But in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I can see why this was released. So Too Faced always gloats about their Better Than Sex Mascara. I think it's a great everyday mascara. So now, it's in BROWN. So what does this mascara promise (as said by Too Faced), voluptuous volume, longer lashes, rich multidimensional effect, film forming polymers that lock curl in place, peptides that will condition lashes, its ophthalmologist tested and suitable for contact wearers (that would be me). So let me share my personal thoughts. Love the packaging! The mascara is in a rich chocolate brown casing. It's pretty heavy, but easy to use. I love the shape of the wand (hourglass). It really grabs each strand and coats each lash. The mascara is a rich, dark brown. So if you prefer a dark brown over black mascara this will work wonders for you. This mascara really thickens each lash ... creating volume. So your lashes look full. It does an ok job lengthening (just like the black). If you want more length, use a lash booster like Lancome's CILS XL Booster Mascara (reviewed here)(Harrods, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, Nordstrom, Farfetch, Saks Fifth Avenue). That's what I did in the pictures below to achieve my look. Does this mascara smell like chocolate? No, but it sure looks creamy like chocolate. I think you will like it. I'll post my Instagram video showing this mascara in action in a couple of days. I also want to mention, that Too Faced has come out with a Better Than Sex Chocolate Easy Glide Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (Nordstrom, Selfridges, Sephora, Target) if interested. But please note, that the mascara is NOT WATERPROOF. 

Sweet-Bittersweet-NotSweet
supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
Too Faced Better Than Sex Chocolate Mascara is Sweet

Outer Packaging

Chocolate Brown Mascara

How It Looks On - (FYI) I Used Lancome's CILS XL Booster + This Mascara

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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser, Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum, Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, Anthelios Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 50 Review

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: I placed an order with ULTA Beauty, the very beginning of this year. In that order, I  received this free La Roche Posay skincare routine sample kit. The last time I tried anything from La Roche Posay, was back in 2018. I had heard many good things about the brand, but the moisturizer I tried left me underwhelmed. I almost decided not to try this kit, but was curious as to how the other products from this brand would work for me. So I gave it a go and I'm glad I did. Let me share my thoughts with you on each product below.

FRONT AND BACK PACKAGING

Sweet-Bittersweet-NotSweet
supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
  La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser is Sweet 
Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum is Bittersweet
 Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is Bittersweet 
 Anthelios Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 50 is Sweet

La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser

This is a really good cleanser for anyone that has dry, normal or aging skin. La Roche Posay goes on to say its for normal to dry skin types and also sensitive skin types. The name for this cleanser tells it all. It's gentle. It's hydrating. I found the cleanser to be creamy. It applies really well to the skin. When you rinse the cleanser off your face, your skin will feel moisturized. It's not a heavy feeling. So this cleanser will not strip your skin. It's formulated with prebiotic thermal spring water, niacinamide, and ceramide-3. It maintains the skin's natural moisture barrier and pH. My favorite cleanser is REN Gentle Cleansing Milk, but if I ran out it I wouldn't mind using this cleanser on my face. My skin felt really good after using this. For acne prone and oily skin types, check out La Roche Posay's website for alternative options. They offer options for all skin types.

Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

This serum is described as an "anti-aging ultra hydrating pure hyaluronic acid face and neck serum". I would describe its consistency as a liquid gel. It absorbs really well into the skin. Whenever you see the word hyaluronic, the word PLUMPING should come to mind. But then the second question should be, HOW MUCH PLUMPING? Not all hyaluronic acids are equal. This serum provides some plumping. Maybe if you're in your 20s or early 30s, this may be enough for you. But above those ages, you need something more serious. I would recommend Fresh Beauty's Kombucha Essence. So this was ok.

Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

I reviewed this moisturizer back in 2018. I tried it again and still feel the same way :p but I didn't experience any pilling this time. So maybe they've improved the formula.

Anthelios Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 50

Wear sunscreen!!! YES!!! This is a mineral sunscreen strictly for the FACE. There is a difference between MINERAL/PHYSICAL (sits atop the skin) and CHEMICAL (absorbs into the skin) sunscreens (you should read more about both of them to see which is right for you). This sunscreen has an SPF of 50 (Water resistant (40 minutes)). I LOVED EVERYTHING SO FAR! Let me add, that it applies evenly. It's not heavy, greasy or sticky. It's not perfume-y or scented. Its even recommended for sensitive skin. Now, the TINTED part. I don't really care for color in skincare. When I first applied it, I said how is this going to go over with someone fairer or darker than me. It blends into my skin, but it's going to be very obvious on fairer/darker skin tones. I liked it after it dried down. But I don't know how it will look on other skin tones. If you can, try a sample if possible. It's a very effective sunscreen other than that.

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Monday, January 30, 2023

Get A Head Start On Your Spring Cleaning

Not Sponsored: The first day of Spring isn't until March 20th, 2023, but that doesn't mean you can't get a head start on your cleaning and organizing projects. I usually wait a couple of months into the New Year to do so, but I decided to get a head start this year. If you cleaned your home for New Years, Lunar New Year or Vietnamese New Year, you're probably saying everything is good! While it's all good (and before everything needs cleaning again), why not start those other home projects!?! Let me share some projects with you, that I've been working on.

Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels

Closet Clean-Out

It took me YEARS to pare down and organize my closet. However, for the last two years I've experienced a shift (transition) in my wardrobe. What kind of shift? What kind of transition? An age shift! An age transition! What I liked 10 and 20 years ago, no longer appeals to me. As you reach new birthday milestones (30s, 40s, 50s etc), your likes will change. For example, I no longer particularly care for really short dresses (on me) anymore. I held onto a few in my wardrobe, but after trying them on a couple of days ago, I decided to let them go. They have now been placed in my SELL pile. I had a collection of Bermuda shorts, that I was unsure about selling last year. I no longer like that style of short on me and prefer my jean-style (white, olive green etc) & linen shorts on my body frame. It took me longer to clean my closet this year, because I literally tried on EVERYTHING! But I'm glad I did, because a lot had changed with me. I fit the clothes, but I didn't feel the same about the clothes. My love for them had changed. If an outfit or accessory doesn't put a smile on your face, let it go. DONATE IT! SELL IT! THROW IT AWAY (last resort)! I only threw away 2 articles of clothing, so that was good. The rest I'm selling: 11 dresses, 5 tops , 3 shorts, 3 pants, 1 outfit, 2 purses and 3 pairs of shoes. This is also a great time to sell your clothes, because people will be looking for Spring and Summer items really soon. This gives you several months to sell your items and get a head start on everyone else.

Take Inventory

My Spring Cleaning always begins with my closet. I'm so glad I started earlier this year, because it really gave me a snapshot of things I need. After going through my closet, I need to invest in new foundations. Not just bras and panties, but some shapewear. I really need to buy some bodysuits. Cleaning out my closet also revealed I need more nightgowns and pajamas. I need to invest in a collarless black leather jacket (maybe I might catch one on sale during these Winter sales). I also need another black turtleneck and long sleeve black top. I usually pair my outfits together (on one hanger), that way I don't have to guess whether that skirt or pair of pants go with that top. When I pull the hanger, there's the complete outfit.

Hobby Room

Do you have a hobby room? Mine is my makeup room.  Is it organized? Have you cleaned it? Mine is pretty organized, but a lot needed to be thrown away. For example, I had an entire shelf filled with nail polishes. I got rid of over half. Honestly, I've gone through another shift. I only paint my toenails nowadays. Some nail polish had separated and some colors I was no longer interested in. This is the room I'm currently working in. I have a lot of cute treasures in that room, so it also requires a lot of dusting. With hobby rooms, take them one section at a time. Don't try and clean them all in one day, unless you truly feel up to it. Pace yourself. Try to do one to three things a day. You will feel much better. Also take inventory of things you may need for your hobby! Mine is makeup. Do I need more foundation, certain color lipsticks, cleansers etc. Sephora usually has a sale in April. Now is the time to make a list and prepare for future sales.

Important Papers and Pictures

Last year, my biggest projects were going through important papers and family photos. No matter where you are in the world, we're all faced with SOMETHING. It can be winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, etc. Is all of your important paperwork together? I finally have all of my paperwork in one case (birth certificates, social security cards, resumes, transcripts, diplomas, death certificates etc). So if I have to grab and go, everything is in one container. It's also a great idea to make a digital copy of these papers. As far as family pictures, I have gotten rid of keeping them in albums. Family members that have passed, I keep my favorite photos of them in a bag that seals along with their other paperwork. I am currently trying to pare down all of my photos. I've thrown away (sorry my high school friends) other's high school dance photos (remember when you use to exchange photos with your classmates) and ex-boyfriends HaHaHa. So really take a look at your paperwork and picture inventory and pare it down. 

Bed And Bath

No, I didn't say Bed And Breakfast! Although that would be NICE! There are a lot of white sales currently happening and will probably go on into February. Take a quick inventory of your sheets, comforters, pillows and blankets. Do you need new ones? Now is the time to take advantage of those deals. As far as it relates to bath (towels, soaps, cleaners and cleansers), this is an excellent time to stock up on those products. 

Kitchen

I was looking at my pots and pans the other day. It's been several years since I've purchased a nice set. Mine are looking worn. I'm not ready to buy a set now, but I will by the end of the year. I need to invest in a better quality set of pots and pans. So I'm going to take the beginning of this year to research brands and see what would work well for me. My appliances are really good.

So, I thought by sharing some of the things I'm doing and what's on my mind would also help you. I know reading other's blog posts helps me. Sometimes we don't think about things. When other's bring something up, a little light goes off and it gives us inspiration. Hope this helps you. God Bless.

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5 Alternative Burial Options To Choose

Photo by Johann Siemens on Unsplash

When you have breathed your final breath, what will be done with your body? Will you go into the ground like everybody else, or will you try something more innovative and unique? In this article, you can find 5 alternative ways people today are thinking about after they pass on.

Tree Planting

One of the most popular alternative burial options to emerge in recent times is tree planting. Tree planting involves cremating the body and planting the ashes in the ground together with a tree seed. The ashes act as fertilizer for the tree that grows and blooms into a lovely memory.

Tree planting is a very natural way to be buried. The ashes don’t affect the DNA of the tree and help it to grow; you effectively nourish the tree and complete the circle of life. If you want a tree-planting burial, there are some dedicated companies you can find to help you arrange one.

Cryogenics

You might have heard of cryogenics from science fiction books and movies, but it is a real technology that can be used near the end of life. Although technology has not been perfected, there is always a chance you could emerge in the future when the medicine is more advanced.

Cryogenics involves freezing the body and brain and storing it for years to come. This technology is mostly used on brain-dead people, but it is likely to become more popular in the future. With cryogenics, there is no guarantee of revival, but there is always a fighting chance.

Aquamation 

If you don’t like the idea of being buried in the ground to decay with the worms and insects, and the idea of being burned to cinders in a cremation chamber is also unappealing, then what about aquamation? This is the process of submerging the body in water to help it to decay.

When the body is submerged in water, it speeds up the decaying process making burial faster and less fussy. Aquamation is emerging as a new and popular alternative to cremation, and you can combine it with tree planting for a fast and eco-friendly way to end your life with integrity.

Space Burial

Are you obsessed with space and technology? If so, you could have a space burial. That’s right, your deceased body or your ashes can be placed inside a rocket and sent into orbit, never to be seen again. Unless an alien species finds you and runs some tests for their scientific endeavors.

If a space burial sounds like it’s up your street, you better save for it, as it’s not the most cost-effective option in the world. Nor is it the most environmentally friendly when you think of all the rocket fuel needed for a single body. But if that’s what inspires you, it is entirely possible.

Plastination

If you like Madam Tussauds or Body Worlds, then you might like to plasticize your body for educational purposes. If all these options are too far-out - literally in some cases - choose a conventional burial by contacting Hilton Funeral Supply for the best deals on funeral products.

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Buying A Diamond Ring: 5 Simple Criteria To Make The Perfect Purchase

Image by Grown Diamond from Pixabay

Whether you are looking for an engagement ring or want some piece of bling, diamonds may look pretty but there are a lot of criteria that you should consider. Buying a diamond ring is a very personal experience. So let's show you what to bear in mind when purchasing a diamond ring.

The Clarity

There are the 4 C's in buying diamonds: carat, color, cut, and clarity. Clarity refers to the number position and type of blemishes on the outside and inside. Any diamond clarity chart can show you what suits your personal preferences.

Look At Your Finances

Diamonds are, of course, very expensive, and if you are a first-time buyer of a diamond ring you may be surprised as to how much the cost is. So before you purchase a diamond, make sure you look at your finances and set yourself a budget. This is not to set you up for disappointment, but to get you in the right mindset to opt for a lower-carat ring if necessary. There are many ways for you to haggle for a good deal, but you may have to compromise somewhere.

Finding The Right Shapes For Your Style

There are many different diamond shapes:

  • Round.
  • Oval.
  • Princess.
  • Emerald.
  • Cushion.
  • Heart.
  • Marquise.
  • Asscher.
  • Pear.
  • Trapeze.
  • Baguette.

And each shape comes with a different price. Ultimately, it depends on the carat. You could opt for an emerald diamond at a 0.50 carat for around $1,000. This is why you need to think about your personal preferences, rather than just going for something that is typically expensive. Your fashion tastes and what you are buying the ring for can greatly determine the type of diamond you will end up with.

The Ring Style

Some people will want the diamond to be absolutely perfect, but the fact is it's not just about the diamond itself, but how the ring works with the diamond. The ring is going to have an impact on the diamond’s appearance, therefore, the setting is critical. If you are choosing a diamond ring to go on top of your engagement ring, think about how they work together. The metal color and the setting itself will all play a role in how the diamond looks so it’s worth thinking about the setting you would prefer. If you want something intricate this may require a lot more budget but you could also think about asking your jewelry if they can make amendments. Alterations aren't always costly so it is definitely worth asking, especially if it means the ring gives you extra sparkle.

Try It Before You Buy It!

If you've never bought a diamond before, it's important to look at the diamond in the flesh. Rather than just looking through the window, you need to assess its quality, so make sure you ask to see it, put it on, and see how it feels. It's not just about having it on your finger but it's also about making sure that you see it from different angles and away from its intended setting. There is plenty to consider, and some of the simple criteria can help you get a perfect diamond ring.

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6 Tips To Set Yourself Up For Financial Success

Money is a basic need, and yet it can be hard to manage. To set yourself up for financial success, you must look at both short-term and long-term goals. Financial success means different things to different people, but it usually connotes a sense of financial stability and even wealth. You can set yourself up for financial success and reach your goals with a few simple strategies. Here are six tips on how to do just that.

 Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Tip #1: Create A Budget

Creating a budget is one of the best ways to get control over your finances and start saving more money each month. A budget helps you track where your money is going each month so you can identify areas where you can cut back on spending and redirect those funds into savings or investments instead. Start by tracking all your income sources, then list all your fixed expenses, such as rent or loan payments, followed by variable costs, like groceries or entertainment expenses. Once you know everything that needs to be paid each month, decide which items are priorities and allocate funds accordingly before allocating anything extra towards savings or investments.

Tip #2: Establish An Emergency Fund

Establishing an emergency fund is one of the most important steps toward achieving financial success. An emergency fund is a savings account that you use to cover unexpected expenses such as medical bills or car repairs without having to dip into other accounts or take out loans. Having an emergency fund will help protect you from going into debt if an unexpected expense arises and will also give you peace of mind knowing that you have a cushion in case of any financial hiccups. Aim to save at least three months’ worth of living expenses, so you have enough to cover any emergencies that come your way.

Tip #3: Automate Your Savings

Automating your savings makes it easy for you to save more money without having to think about it each month. For example, you can set up automatic transfers from your transactional account into a separate high-yield savings account or investment account so that money is automatically transferred after each paycheck. Doing this will help ensure that you don’t overspend and allow your money to grow without having to transfer it each month manually. Often, when allowed to spend or save, people are more likely to spend. Automating your savings eliminates this temptation and gives you greater financial security in the long run.

Tip #4: Reduce Your Debt

High levels of debt can be detrimental to achieving financial success because it limits your ability to save for retirement, invest in other assets, buy a home, etc., so reducing debt should be a top priority when working towards becoming financially successful. Start by focusing on paying off higher interest rate debts first and then move on to lower interest rate debts. Debt consolidation is another option to consider if you have multiple accounts with high-interest rates. This will help lower your overall payments and make it easier to pay down your debt faster.

Tip #5: Invest Wisely

Investing wisely is key to achieving financial success. When it comes to investing, it’s important to be smart and do your research before making any decisions. A good way to diversify your investments and spread out the risk is to make various investments for completely different things. This could include stocks, venture capital, real estate, mutual funds, and more. Recently, venture capital has become a great way to diversify your investments. Alumni Ventures performance in the marketplace has made it possible for individual investors to start investing in venture capital with smaller amounts of money. Smart investing involves balancing short-term and long-term goals and constantly being aware of the risks involved.

Tip #6: Have Multiple Sources Of Income

Having multiple sources of income is one of the best strategies when it comes to financial success. Having a full-time job is great, but having additional streams of income can help you save more and increase your overall net worth. Diversifying your income could look like taking on freelance gigs, starting an online business, or investing in real estate. In addition, having multiple sources of income gives you more flexibility and financial security if one source fails because your other streams can act as a safety net. In the digital age, there are so many opportunities to make additional income; it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for you and getting started.

Conclusion

Financial success is achievable, but it takes time and hard work to get there. Establishing strong financial habits and setting yourself up for success can help accelerate the process and make it easier to reach your goals. So keep the above tips in mind and get started on your financial journey today. With the right strategy and dedication, you can reach financial success sooner than you think!

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