Birkenstock Sandals

I’m not going to lie to you guys: I used to own a pair of Birkenstock clogs in elementary school back when clogs were the thing. (Remember when all your classmates wanted to own a pair of Crocs?? Those are the days I’m talking about.) After they went out of style, I tossed them to the side and never owned another pair of shoes from Birkenstock again. Well, that was the case until recently.

No, I didn’t buy another pair of clogs. I’m not ready for that…yet. Instead, I bought a pair of pink suede sandals from Birkenstock. I’ve been wanting a pair of comfy, durable slip-on shoes for spring and summer without sacrificing style. The outdoorsy style of sandal such as Chacos or the original Birkenstocks have never really appealed to me, but the rosy pink color of these really caught my eye. It modernizes them and makes them wearable with the items I already have in my closet!

What really takes the cake, however, is the comfort. The sandals are soft, cushy, and offer a lot of support for your feet. Though they look a bit clunky, they’re actually very lightweight (which was a surprise to me!). I also like that they have adjustable straps so you can make them as tight or as loose as you wish. They’ve been an absolute dream to wear!

They’re a bit on the pricey side ($135 to be exact. Sorry bank account…), but I think they’ll last me a long time. Overall, I’m really happy I decided to purchase them and have been wearing them frequently since! If you’re in the market for comfortable summer shoes, I highly recommend these.

What types of shoes or sandals do you love wearing in spring and summer? Let me know in the comments!

Birkenstock Sandals

How I Balance Blogging & a Full-Time Job

To put it simply: it’s not easy. In fact, it took me a whole year to figure out a schedule that I could stick to without feeling completely overwhelmed! I work 9am-6pm Monday-Friday at a small marketing agency, and it demands a lot of my brain power. Most nights after work, I feel pretty drained and brain-fried, and all I want to do is veg-out on the couch for the rest of the night. One day I decided I didn’t want to live like a sloth anymore, so I decided to come up with a plan that would get me blogging consistently without adding a mound of stress. Sometimes all you need is a little self-discipline!

Here is how I keep a consistent blogging schedule while working my full-time job:

  1. Write blog posts ahead of time.
    This step is probably the most important. While there are a few blogs out there that are photo-based, most blogs rely on words. People will be able to tell if you whipped up your post in five minutes, so really set aside some time to write something thoughtful. I used to write my posts after I took photos, which I realize now is the most ridiculous thing. Once you have an idea, take it and run with it. Photos can come later! I’ve been writing my posts a week in advance, and it has been an absolute life-saver (especially since I publish three a week)! I used to try to cram both writing and photography in on the weekend, but it was making me a bit miserable and would cause me to not post very often. You definitely want to give yourself some time to actually relax on your days off or else you’ll get burnt out!
  2. Keep track of every single idea.
    My notebook and Notes app are always at the ready when I have an idea. Any time a thought related to your blog crosses your mind, you should jot it down. When you’re in a creative rut, you can look back and see that silly little scribble you made three months ago when you were in the makeup aisle at Target. Who knows, it could spark your best idea yet! My notes really help keep the creative juices flowing so I never run out of ideas. Okay, never say never, but it definitely helps.
  3. Create a posting schedule.
    Some people are blog genies and can post on a whim several times a week whenever they feel like it, but I am definitely not one of them! I need structure in my schedule otherwise I’ll never get anything done. My blog posts now go live on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12:00pm EST, and so far it’s been working great! I highly suggest giving yourself deadlines to keep on track.
  4. Set aside time for taking photos.
    This is a little obvious, but it’s definitely something you don’t want to forget. Photos will help improve your click-through rate, which is extremely important if you want your posts to get seen! I’ve found that the lighting is best for product shots in the late morning, around 10am or 11am, so I set aside time on Saturday and/or Sunday to take my pictures then. For outdoor outfit posts, it’s definitely best to go in early morning or very late afternoon (6pm or 7pm) when the lighting isn’t as harsh. Cloudy days are also good for outfit photos! Know what kinds of posts you’re going to do and plan accordingly.
  5. Stay inspired.
    The best way to stay inspired is to read other people’s blogs. Not saying to copy anyone, but seeing other people create cool stuff makes you want to create cool stuff. Reading blog posts makes me happy, and I want to give that same feeling to people who read my blog as well. Follow a few blogs on Bloglovin’; you’ll be amazed at how many creative people are out there! Pinterest and Instagram are also great tools as they help you know what’s trending at the moment. Utilize your resources!

And that’s five ways I balance blogging with my full-time job! Though some days I will be tired and stressed after work, I always feel happy and accomplished when I finish writing a post. It’s truly the little things!

What are some things you do to keep a consistent blogging schedule? Any tips for balancing blogging with a full-time job? Let me know in the comments!

How I Balance Blogging & a Full-Time Job

How I Balance Blogging & a Full-Time Job

April 2017 Boxycharm Unboxing

Here we are again with another Boxycharm unboxing! I have to say, I wasn’t too impressed with this month’s box. Of course I didn’t expect to like every single box I received, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit bored and decided to cancel (gasp!). I did, however, sign up for Ipsy to give that a try, so more about that soon I hope!

I still think Boxycharm is a great subscription box. Who doesn’t love getting a box full of full-sized products for a fraction of the price? We’ve received some bangers for sure, but the nice thing about these month-to-months is that there’s no commitment! You can come and go as you please. I may reinstate my subscription in the future, but for now I’m onto trying different things!

All that aside, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this post:

  1. Rodeo Drive Highlighter, OFRA Cosmetics ($35)
    Without a doubt, this highlighter is my favorite product in this month’s box. It is the blingiest highlighter I have ever seen! Though I’m not usually a fan of excessive highlight (for everyday makeup at least), when this is applied tastefully, it has a stunning effect. It is a bit on the glittery side, but I love the golden yellow color. Perfect for summer!
  2. 3 Piece Contour Blending Sponges, PÜR Cosmetics ($36)
    One thing I love about Boxycharm is all the tools we receive. I love getting new brushes, and this month they sent us THREE beauty sponges which is super convenient. Sponges get gross kind of quick, so I’m glad to have some backups!
  3. Concealer Palette, Measurable Difference ($20)
    So this was a product I was kind of disappointed with. Like most people, I’m pretty picky about my concealers. They have to be the right coverage, consistency, and color. A palette like this is great if your skin tone tends to change throughout the year (i.e. darker in the summer, lighter in the winter). This way, you have all your skin tones in one convenient palette. My skin tone doesn’t change, so it really doesn’t help me any. Even when I fake tan, I still use my same concealers (which if we’re being honest, the tanning routine lasts probably a month out of the whole year because I’m lazy). Plus I am not a fan of the consistency. These concealers are very thick; I would rather have a thinner, more liquidy consistency. This product was a bust for me!
  4. Lip Gloss in ‘Taos’, Cargo Cosmetics ($16)
    I love lip gloss, so I was excited to receive one in my box this month. The color is very sheer, but it has a nice shine. The formula is perfect as it doesn’t feel sticky on your lips. It also smells really good! One con for me is the wand. The tip is a bit flimsy; it bends easily which can be a bit annoying when you’re trying to apply. I personally prefer a wand tip that doesn’t move!
  5. Hairgurt Smoothing Yogurt Shampoo, Project Beauty ($10)
    I really wanted to like this shampoo more than I do, but I’m thinking I just haven’t given it a fair chance yet. At this point in time I’ve only used it twice, so maybe my mind will change after a few more uses. I like a lather to my shampoo, and I feel it lacks in that area. It says to use a small amount, but my hair is so long that I’m not sure it’s doing much. It’s supposed to help tame frizzy, dry hair (hi! That’s me). It made my hair feel a little bit softer, but I didn’t see much of a difference in frizz. The same brand makes a hair mask, which I think I would have preferred over the shampoo.

This month’s total: $117

So this month was kind of ‘eh’ for me, but as I mentioned before I think Boxycharm is still a great subscription box. I just want to try something different for a bit to see what else is out there.

What subscription boxes are you currently subscribed to? Which ones would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Simple Peachy Makeup Look

I mentioned in my Beauty Picks for Spring post that the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette ($49) was one of my favorite warmer-weather palettes. Even though it’s only been a few weeks since that post, I still hold true to that statement. The colors in this palette have been a dream to play around with, and I love creating fresh, fun looks like this one.

Here’s my step-by-step to get this simple, soft peachy eye with a bright lip look:

FOR THE EYES:

  • After priming my eyes, I started off by dusting the color ‘Georgia’ across my crease. This one served as my transition shade.
  • Next, I applied ‘Peaches n Cream’ all over my lids.
  • ‘Nectar’ is applied on top of Peaches n Cream to give a little shimmer, and to also add a bit of a yellowish tone.
  • After mixing ‘Just Peachy’ and ‘Candied Peach’, I applied this pretty pink combo to my outer corners and lower lash line. I also dusted some onto my crease to add a bit of depth.
  • I lined my upper and lower lash lines with ‘Summer Yum’ to give my eyes some definition without adding too harsh of a line. The goal was to keep things soft!
  • Finally, I popped ‘Nectar’ onto my inner corners. Then I mixed ‘White Peach’ and ‘Nectar’ and applied to my brow bone areas.

FOR THE LIPS:

Simple Peachy Makeup Look

Yup, that’s all there is to it for this peachy makeup look! This is definitely a look I rock pretty often during the spring and summer, so I thought I would share with you. Hope you enjoyed!

13 Reasons Why Book Review

Unless you’ve been living somewhere completely disconnected from the internet, you’ve probably heard of the newest Netflix sensation 13 Reasons Why. My husband and I recently binge-watched the entire show in a couple of days. It was compelling.

I read the book early on in high school, but I don’t remember it having much of an effect on me. I think this was mostly due to my young age, but I also know part of it was I didn’t relate to the story; it was hard for me to understand something that I had never experienced myself.

Now that I’m older and have more life experience than I did then, the story has a much different effect on me.

In case you aren’t familiar, 13 Reasons Why is about a boy named Clay who mysteriously receives a box of cassette tapes from a girl who committed suicide a few weeks prior. Her name is Hannah Baker, and each side of a tape includes one reason why she killed herself. These reasons aren’t intangible; they’re actually people she met throughout her time in school. After facing excessive bullying and torment from her peers, Hannah decides she would rather fall into a place of ‘nothingness’ than face another day at her high school.

Each person mentioned in the tapes is supposed to listen her story in its entirety and pass them onto the person discussed after them in the tapes. While it may seem a little cruel at first, you begin to understand why she wants each person to know what they did to hurt her, and why she wants everyone else on the tapes to know, too. In some way or another, everyone is connected.

The story itself is very gripping. You ‘listen’ along with Clay as she recounts the horrible experiences of how her reputation was destroyed with no hope of getting it back. You, the reader, see her warning signs as she explains them, but everyone around her turns a blind eye during her most vulnerable moments.

It is a very tragic but realistic story. Since she had no confidant or someone to talk her down, she became a slave to her own demons. The story shows how much of an effect words and actions can have on a person, especially when you don’t know what’s going on in their life at the moment. Without the tapes, each person would have blissfully continued on with their lives, not knowing they were a contributing factor.

It also shows that there are no second chances with suicide. She would never know what her life would bring in the future because she couldn’t see through her darkness. There were experiences she’d never get to have with people who actually cared about her. I think it’s easy for us as outsiders to tell people in pain that life gets better after high school, but the thoughts Hannah was having were so deep-rooted; it takes a lot more time and attention than just those few words.

There are actually some pretty major differences between the book and the TV show, so if you’re at all curious I suggest finishing them both! The book has a solid ending, but the TV show left some open ends (which could possibly mean a second season!) The acting in the beginning is a bit cheesy at first, but it gets better as the characters start to evolve. Overall, the show did a great job reimagining the situations and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

I think both the book and TV show share an important message, and I hope the recent spike in popularity will deliver it to a lot more people. Mental health and bullying are serious issues, and sadly, they’re often overlooked. The subjects are intense, but more people need to be aware of the signs and symptoms to stop them before they cause too much damage.

Have you read or watched 13 Reasons Why? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!