Archive | April, 2013

Tiny Tweaks, Big Results: April 2013 Birchbox Reveal

30 Apr

Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription box. I love Birchbox because it is a great way to sample new products, but I also love it because they have a point system that is hard to beat. You receive 10 points for reviewing products in your monthly Birchbox, 50 points for referring new members, and for every $1.00 spent you earn 1 point. Each 100 reward points can be redeemed for $10 off of an order. I have been a member for 8 months and have always had a huge discount when I purchase items from the store!

If you are interested in purchasing a becoming a member (which I highly recommend) you can click here: https://www.birchbox.com?raf=fc3p4

For the month of April Birchbox teamed up with Women’s Health for the theme “tiny tweaks, big results.”

My April 2013 box included:

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Weleda Body Lotion 

Weleda Body Lotion

They gave me three small packets of the lotion– Wild Rose, Sea Buckhorn, & Pomegranate. This lotion smells heavenly (especially the pomegranate) and left my skin silky smooth. I like that it wasn’t as thick as most lotions, but it still left my skin moisturized and smooth. The full size product is $16.50 and that is basically the reason why I will be passing on purchasing the full size product. 

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

This balm formula is supposed to keep “oil in check” and “up your makeup’s staying power”. They gave me a very small sample with no lid. I didn’t see much of a difference when using this product. I don’t have very oily skin (even in the dead heat of summer) so maybe that is why this product didn’t work for me. I also really hated the presentation of the sample. It had no lid and so it had to stay in the cardboard box which takes up a lot of space in my makeup bag. The full size product is $36.00. I am also not really interested in purchasing this product. 

StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate

StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate

StriVectin and I go way back. I was introduced to this amazing line of products when I worked at a flagship Bath and Body Works Store in college. It really does work wonders, eliminating the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness! The sample I received was fairly small but will last a few weeks. The full size is $65, but it works so I think it is well worth the price tag! 

Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir 

Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir

This product is supposed to give you healthier younger looking hair in just one week. I have long very thick hair and felt that I didn’t see much of a difference with this product. I wonder if I needed more of the sample to see the results. The full size is $20.99 and I probably won’t purchase. 

Skin&Co Bagnodoccia Body Gel

Skin&Co Bagnodoccia Body Gel

This body gel is made specifically for sensitive skin and is made from olive oil. I wasn’t thrilled with the scent of this body wash, but I did like that it was gentle on my sensitive skin. The full size product is $17.50, and that is precisely why I won’t be purchasing this product.

As you can see I had a pretty sad little Birchbox this past month… the only redeeming quality was that we received a one year subscription to Women’s Health which was worth $9.99 which basically means this box paid for itself. I hope I get more makeup samples in my next Birchbox!

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10 Reasons Why I am Obsessed with the Irish Travelers of Murphy Village

26 Apr

Reasons why I have an unhealthy obsessions with the Irish Travelers of Murphy Village.

1. They have the BEST names, especially the newer baby gypsies: Spain, Onasis, Paris, Minka, and the list goes on and on.

2. They throw parties for literally EVERYTHING… gypsies don’t just throw down for baby showers, weddings, and birthdays they celebrate new cars, new houses, and everything in between!

3. Speaking of parties they get dressed to the NINES for just about any occasion. I am talking three gallons of hairspray, lipstick, and glitter everywhere.

4. They love to shake it. These ladies are dancing machines. Some may call it inappropriate for a four year old to dance to Hit me Baby One More time but I call it timeless.

5. They speak their own language (sort of) . How cool is that?  I want to be fluent in Irish Traveler language…. it’s my next big goal.

6. They are exclusive. You won’t see a gypsy talking to a non-gypsy unless they are serving them. These bitches don’t just befriend anyone and that is exactly why I NEED to make friends with them. Scratch that last goal. THIS IS MY NEW GOAL.

7. They have unique customs. Irish Travelers are all about being original… and so am I! We are a match made in heaven….

GRACE & THE GYPSYS 4EVER.

8. They might be obsessed with social media more than I am… I mean the toddlers have their own Facebook pages… obv they are manned by the moms unless they are super geniuses which is also a possibility.

9. Glitter, Bling, Diamonds, Sparkles… They can’t get enough and neither can I!

10. Have I mentioned the dance routines? I am talking full on red carpets, stages and lighting outside of their houses for these performances. They are so mag it is unreal.

Now you know why I am the traveler’s biggest fan! Stay tuned for more gypsy encounters and adventures!

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Winning!

25 Apr

I have been asked about a million times how I win giveaways and sweepstakes and so I wanted to appease the masses and let you know my secrets!

The secret is…. Geminis are incredibly lucky!!! Just kidding 🙂 (Though I do believe in the power of positive thinking to be a winner you have to believe that you ARE a winner!)

There is a little method to my madness….

  1. Where do I find giveaways? BLOGS 🙂 They have great odds and the most interesting prizes. Plus I am an avid reader and usually the contests I enter are from blogs already on my blogroll. I keep my blogs organized primarily through a site called Bloglovin. I visit that site daily to read all of the new blog posts written my all my favorite bloggers and I have them organized by type. Speaking of Bloglovin… You should totally follow me… just click on the link to the right of this page.
  2. I mostly enter giveaways with good odds. This does mean that I don’t usually win huge prizes like cash, cars or vacations. This doesn’t really bother me because I personally think spending 10-15 minutes entering a contest to get a $50 shopping spree is totally worth it! Sometimes if I really want to win something (like currently I am trying to win a Kitchen-aid mixer for my sister who is getting married in June) I will enter regardless of the odds, but generally I go for contests with less than 10,000 entries.
  3. I love giveaways that have multiple methods of entries because I know I can have a competitive edge! If a giveaway has 54 ways to enter you better believe I am going to spend the time to enter all 54 ways. This does mean my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest is blown up by people I don’t necessarily know in person, but that doesn’t really bother me because I have created lists on my FB and Twitter so I can see close friends statuses without having to look through my news feed.
  4. Most giveaways have an option to tweet daily about a giveaway. I do this. Daily. Now this takes a bit of dedication because you have to go back to the original site and re-enter, but like I said above I feel like that is worth it. Plus I am usually reading the blog anyway and so it is not that big of a hassle.
  1. When you do win a giveaway and receive a prize in the mail you should document it on social media and tag the blog and sponsor in the post. Blogs get prizes from sponsors who are wanting to spread the word about their products. I think it is just good karma to give a little shout out once you receive the prize.

 

If you have any specific questions about giveaways or sweepstakes ask in the comment section below 🙂

 

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Spring Crush Linky Party

18 Apr

This is my first blog link-up! Today I am linking up with Agape Love Designs for the Spring Crush Linky Party. I figured it would be a fun way for you to get to know what I am loving right now in life!

Real Life Crush – The Hubs. I crush on him daily and I think that is an important part of keeping the spark alive in marriage. I feel lucky that he still gives me butterflies.

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Girl Crush- Jennifer Lawrence. I love her. She is hysterical, honest, awkward, brilliant, and beautiful all at the same time. I sometimes find myself lurking youtube to watch her various interviews because literally everything she says makes me laugh.

Music Crush- Justin Timberlake. I have been listening to his new album on repeat. I can’t get enough of his whole album. He is also easy on the eyes & funny. I am obsessed.

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Blogger Crush- I love Raven over at Don’t Quote the Raven. She is hysterical and beautiful! I look forward to her posts each day! You should follow her if you haven’t already. Also read her post about the vacuum salesman. Hilarious.

Childhood Celebrity Crush- Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I have a 6th grade yearbook covered from front to back in: “Grace & J.T.T 4ever.” Classy I know. I could have been like President of his fan club. I still remember his favorite food (olives) and his favorite band (Hootie and the Blowfish) I wonder what that kid is up to these days.

Product Crush- Twistband. I got these in my Birchbox and ever since I have been obsessed. I use them all the time. Perfect for when I have been a slacker and haven’t washed my hair or have let my bangs grow out to a crazy length. Right now I am guilty on both accounts.

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Sports Crush- 2013 Master’s Tournament Champion Adam Scott. That is one sexy Aussie. Also I am from Augusta so I have to give a little shout out to the best golf tournament in the world!

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Shameful Shameless Crush- I have no shame. Sheldon Cooper I love you.

Hair Crush- Zooey Deschanel. I get my hair cut like her everytime. Love that bitch.

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Fictional Character Crush- Nancy Botwin. I will always love you. You might make morally questionable decisions but your heart is in the right place. You are also funny, beautiful, and always find a way to get what you want. I respect that.

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Low-Country Boil

17 Apr

The low country boil is an iconic recipe of my childhood. One bite conjures up memories of summers spent on the shores of Edisto Beach, South Carolina with family and friends.

Low country boil is a casual dish, spread out on an old wooden picnic table covered in newspaper. It is a Southern delicacy and is meant to be shared with large groups of people you love.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. It is my ultimate Southern comfort food!

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Low-Country Boil

4 lbs. Small red potatoes

5 quarts of water

1 (3-ounce) bag of Old Bay Crab Boil Seasoning

4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

6 lemons, cut into halves

2 lbs. Kielbasa sausage, cut into 2 inch pieces

6 ears of corn, halved

4 lbs. Large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cocktail Sauce

Butter

Salt

Pepper

Add potatoes to a large pot, then add 5 quarts of water, lemons, crab boil bag, & Old Bay Seasoning. Cover pot and heat to a rolling boil. Add sausage and corn and, return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add Shrimp to pot (you must do this last, so that the shrimp won’t be soggy). Cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Drain. Serve on newspaper. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and serve with butter and cocktail sauce.

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Looking Up

14 Apr

 

Things to smile about:

 

  • My husband accepted a job offer in Greensboro, North Carolina. He starts the new job on the 22nd but I am going to stay in Augusta until we find a suitable place to live and accumulate some furniture since we sold most of ours after our move to Florida.
  • My best friend, Leigh, is getting married this week to her love Paul. I am so excited for the festivities and even more excited and honored that I am one of her Matrons of Honor!

 

leigh leigh st pats leigh wedding

  • One of my dear friends Molly gave me a facial/makeover this week and entered me into a contest to win $5,000 for my favorite charity. My favorite non-profit is the Greater Augusta Arts Council. You can click here to visit their website and learn more about what they do for the Augusta community. Voting begins on May 12th and as soon as I get the link I will let you know.

  • My lovely friend Amelia held her annual Master’s week low-county boil and I had a fabulous time hanging out with my friends. I feel so blessed to know such a great group of people. Her fun shindig inspired me to write a post later this week on how to cook a low-county boil so be on the look out for that.

boil friends

  • On Saturday I went kayaking down the Augusta Canal with two of my friends Natalie and Jefferson. We had such a good time and it was a gorgeous day. I highly recommend Savannah River Kayak Rental if you are looking for something fun to do in Augusta.

 

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  • I received my April Birchbox, which always makes me smile. I will write Birchbox reveal post later on this week to talk about all of the products I received in my box this month.

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Silver Lining

9 Apr

Silver-Lining

My experiences in Florida taught me a lot about myself and the person I am. I was afraid that my confidence might have been permanently marred after my two job experiences in FLA. But really all I needed was a few weeks away and some love from my husband, family, and friends to realize it really wasn’t me …it was them.

I learned so much in Florida from my work experiences that I have created an incredible list of the top 5 ways you can be an awesome boss:

1.    Don’t talk down to the people that work for you. First and foremost you hired them, so obviously they aren’t complete idiots. Secondly, if you talk to people like they are idiots they will start to resent you, then they will stop caring about their work (it will never be good enough for you anyway)and if you treat most of your employees this way eventually you will have full on mutiny in the workplace. Bitches will go crazy and start sabotaging you and your office. Women are sneaky. You might not even know what is going on, but it is happening, and one day you will be at a dog park and you will see a sign with your number on it that says: Having a bad day? Call me because I am an asshole and I deserve it! And by that time it is too late. Everyone in your city knows you are an asshole. AND who knows what else they have done that you don’t know about! (All of this is hypothetical by the way, if you know me I have a HUGE imagination) BUT THIS COULD HAPPEN SO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY Y’ALL!

2.    Don’t micromanage. As mentioned above you hired these people. They obviously were qualified for the job or else you wouldn’t have hired them. Now I totally get that some form of training has to occur, but after the guidelines have been set forth LET IT GO. Eventually micromanaging will take its toll, and people will either quit or just stop giving a shit about their job.

3.    Speaking of training. My third rule of thumb is to train your new employee. Sounds like a pretty standard request right? Obviously not. If you have a particular way of wanting something done you have to TRAIN someone how to do it that way. People are not mind readers. You can’t tell someone you don’t have the time to teach them or tell them to figure it out on their own and then get mad if things aren’t done the way you would have done them. This makes you seem CRAZY. Which brings me to my next point…

4.    There are many different ways to accomplish tasks. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain. Everyone works in different ways. I for one am someone who likes to make lists. Sometimes I write things down multiple times because it helps me remember things. I prefer email to phone calls. I also do not like paper. I like having my files electronically organized. These are just a few of my quirks, but I find these things help me work more efficiently. These things help me do my job BETTER. There is nothing wrong with that. Just like there is nothing wrong with someone who prefers paper or someone who likes to use sticky notes instead of a note pad. The bottom line is, everyone works differently and a good manager knows this and respects the differences of their employees.

5.    If you have a high turn over rate in your company it is probably your own fault. What is a high turnover rate? I would say you should disclose that you have a high turnover rate if you have had more than 3 people attempt to fill a position in the past 1-2 years and you DEFINITELY have a high turn over rate if people rarely stay at your company longer than 3 months. If that many people are going through your doors you probably aren’t being very nice to your employees. You MIGHT not be a very nice person in general. And you definitely should look inward at your personality and management style. In some cases therapy might be needed. You probably don’t even realize that people don’t really like you.

I totally found the silver-lining y’all. Florida taught me how to be an awesome boss! Do you have any tips I have missed? Please DO share below in the comments 🙂

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Nine Months

8 Apr

Hello my loves. I took an unintentional break from writing and an unintentional dip into the depths of depression. (Being a little melodramatic here I know but I AM a Gemini!) Anyway…

The last time I wrote I was living in the sunny state of Florida, enjoying the adventure of a new city with my husband, but trapped in a job I hated with a boss who seemed like the devil himself (maybe not the devil but definitely a huge sociopath) I was desperate to get out and I took the first opportunity to jump ship. And I am here to tell you that the grass is not always greener on the other side. I ended up being just as unhappy at my new job as I was at my old job for many of the same reasons. I still was enjoying the time with my husband and the adventure of a new city, but it was so hard to deal with the fact I left a job I loved, and a job where I was truly appreciated and valued for one  two where nothing I did was ever good enough.

Then in January my husband’s job situation changed and I became our sole source of income. I felt incredibly trapped and downright sad.  I prayed so hard these past few months for a change or at least a sign that we hadn’t made a mistake. After all I did leave a lot behind.

My husband started seeking out new job opportunities and I was thankful when he started looking outside of Florida. He was very supportive of what I was going through in my career, but this point after being beaten down for 9 long months I felt very confused about my career path and unsure of myself and my abilities as an event planner. My confidence was gone.

I tried to make the best of my situation. I would run during my lunch break, sometimes listening to music and sometimes listening to the stations of the cross or the rosary. I would ask God to give me strength, endurance and above all a sign of what my husband and I should do next.

All of the running paid off and I accomplished my goal of running my first 5k in early March. I was and still am incredibly proud of myself. I am a HUGE quitter when it comes to exercise. Generally my patterns is go to the gym for a few weeks and then convince myself it is more interesting to get Dairy Queen and visit my Gypsies.  Anyways I am STILL very proud of myself for running 3.2 miles.

Finally in March some things fell into place and Hollis left to work for his father in Raleigh, North Carolina. We talked over the options and this opportunity provided me the option of coming back to Augusta while he worked in Raleigh and looked for a more permanent solution to his job situation. I can’t tell you how thankful I am of his hard work. He works long hours right now six-days a week doing manual labor, and he is doing it for the future of our family. I am truly blessed!

We are unsure of where we will end up permanently, but in the mean time I am enjoying spending time with my family and visiting with my Augusta friends.  Augusta is also only a few hours away from Raleigh so I am able to leave the dogs with my parents occasionally to go up and spend quality time with Hollis.

Right now, I am working on my own small business plan for my online marketing and social media venture. I also plan to pick up where I left off blogging and make it more of a priority in my life.

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