Weekly Wonders

OGX Shampoo and Conditioner

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The ogx shampoos and conditioners are fantastic and have helped repair my hair.  I have seen this brand in stores but it was pretty expensive so I never purchased them before.  Ulta.com had a fantastic Black Friday deal on this brand that I could not pass up.  I ordered two shampoos and two conditioners from the sale.  So far I am loving the shampoo (pictured above) and conditioner I am currently using.  My hair became more soft and shiny.  This is a huge improvement because my old shampoo and conditioner would leave my hair dry, greasy, and limp.  So glad I bought this shampoo and conditioner!  It has worked wonders on my hair and smells great too!  The next shampoo and conditioner I will be using from ogx is the Vitamin E.

Crossword Puzzles

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I am such a nerd at heart and love crossword puzzles.  I am able to concentrate on them for a long period of time and learn new vocabulary words from different puzzles.  Sometimes I do them to relax and wind down after a long day.  They are a staple in my travel bag whether it’s going to the beach or on a plane.

Vera Bradley Makeup Case in Mocha

 

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Many moons ago when I was in college I had a slight major obsession with Vera Bradley products.  It seemed to be all the craze in during my college years.  After awhile I found the Simply Violet pattern and was in love!  I used this tote till it was falling apart and sadly had to be thrown away.  Then I moved on to makeup cases and currently have two in the fabrics Mocha Rogue (above) and African Violet.  They are my go to makeup case and use one of them when traveling to store all my makeup.  The lining inside the makeup bag helps.  Definitely check out the products Vera Bradley has to offer.  Some of them are machine washable too which makes caring for them easy peasy.  Great for gifts or a splurge.

Shonda Rhimes Year of Yes

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I love this book!  It is what I have needed!  Found this book while shopping at BJs and had to purchase it.  Figured there would be a fifty fifty chance that I would like it due to the fact that this is not my typical book choice.  Fiction is my usual choice not a self-help/motivational book.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was able to relate to Shonda Rhimes difficulty of saying yes to events and requests.  I am a more introverted person who tends to stray away from the spotlight or garnish attention in social situations.  Ever since I moved from my hometown I have been making positive changes in my life and at the time I found this book I was already saying yes to smaller things/events, joining a book club and volunteer group,that the pre-move Amanda would not have given either a second glance in a million years. It was nice to see that someone as successful as Shonda had similar issues and fears as I did.  The book is very relatable and an easy read.  This year will be my year of yes and I hope it goes as well as Shonda’s did!

Vera Bradley Lanyard

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In love with this lanyard!  Picked it up at a local boutique and was attracted by the color.  Anything green usually catches my eye!  My old lanyard that held my car keys broke and I needed to shop for a new one.  THis lanyard is durable and I am able to clean it with a sponge if it gets stains or dirt on it.  Since the color is bright it makes it easy to locate the lanyard in my bag.  THis will be good to store your car keys or for a college student to use for their school ID and dorm keys.  Love it and will buy another one down the road!

Dilemmas of Dating xx2

 

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This is actually a response to my dilemmas of dating 2 post.  First off I curse the distance between people.  So I was really hopeful that it would work out between me and the cute decent guy I was texting but it didn’t.  We did not even get to meet in person womp womp.  Since the guy was a newbie to the state in which I live I figured I see what things there are to do in between our houses.  Believe it or not there is a very limited range of activities halfway between me and this dude.  But whatever I figured something could work for our first meeting. Except, it’s not happening.

They guy I was texting was so eager for us to meet up at some point and would be flirty in texts etc.  He even initiated contact which sometimes does not happen when I talk to guys form online dating.  Mainly I need to initiate or lead the conversations, which I hate.  Anyway, I finally asked the guy to meet up and what weekends were good etc.  Except nothing, nada, no dates even after he said I’ll check the schedule when I get to work today to see what will work and we talked that night too but nothing.  So I guess this dude was not as eager meet me as he first was or had not intention of meeting up at all.  It is what it is and I don’t ask people things twice when I know that they heard me or in this case responded to a text about it in the first place.  It is your loss dude because I do not chase anybody I just move on.  By Felicia to decent nice guy and I’ll just keep trucking.

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On another note here are some more (un) fabulous first messages as they typed:

Would you be interested in a sugar daddy? I would be willing to pay around $2000 a month. All i want in return is conversation and photos.

Can I eat you all up? 😉 you’re absolutely gorgeous luv.

If I were as beautiful as you I’d upload a pic too.

Hey you’re pretty cute. I hope you like pizza and corny humor, cause my jokes are pretty cheesy.

Dilemmas of Dating 2

 

So life has its way of throwing curve balls.  For some odd reason I am always the one who finds themselves in the way of these said curve balls.  In this instance it is screwing up my dating life or potential date with a guy.  Basically he is a great guy but it is the distance and timing issues which 100% sucks.

After talking to guys through the dating site and getting, ghosted, asked for a hook up, or dealing with creeps, I believe I found a decent guy.  We finally exchanged #’s and have been texting.  Everything has been going  well and we even want to meet in person.  The only problem is distance.  We live more than an hour apart which basically gives me little to no hope of this actually going anywhere.  Also, the dude is really new to his area down here.  So idk life why- I finally meet a decent guy and we hit it off (and he’s cute too) but distance puts a major wrench in things.  It totally blows because let’s just say we meet up and want to go out again.  The distance would be too much and well only be able to see each other on weekends.  I know what you all are thinking… Why can’t you meet up half way?  The problem with that is there is nothing to do halfway that is worth doing.  That also puts another wrench in the situation.  So I guess this was doomed from the start.

On the other hand I was the foolish one because I realized the distance but figured why not chat with him and see where it goes due to the lack of dudes in my area.  Seriously the same dudes keep rotating through my feed and it’s not like I live in the boondocks.  He messaged me first with a normal message instead of the typical hey or sup.  So that’s how we began talking and we haven’t stopped since.  So yeah that  was a bad move on my part even answering the message knowing how far apart we live.  But I truly thought of the distance factor for like a nano second and then just figured what the hell and answered his message.  Hey if I don’t try things I will not know what could happen or where things could lead even if it turns out to be a friendship or going nowhere.  The fact that he didn’t ghost on me in the middle of the conversation was a plus.  Also, I was not the one carrying the whole conversation due to him asking questions as well.  So I guess when I see a cute guy  and am having a good conversation with him my rational and practical thoughts go out the window. In a way this is bad because now I feel like I was giving this guy false hope due to how new he was to his area and he most likely didn’t know how far we lived from each other.  But in reality there was nothing that said how truly new he was to the area so I assumed he knew how far we lived.  Distance issue aside there is the chance that things with this guy will turn out to be a bust when/if we meet in person.  If we’re not compatible in person it would totally suck but I need to just keep on trucking and start searching again.  That would be a bummer!  So life your curve balls and impeccable timing are horrible as always. I’ve found a nice guy but the distance and timing isn’t right.  Why could we not live closer to make meeting up easier and I couldn’t have found this guy earlier in my searches.  I’ll see how this goes and I hope it works out for the best.  We shall see!

 

Music Mood: The Big Chill

Lately I have been listening to the soundtrack to the movie The Big Chill.  The album is amazing and I have been playing it for the past few days.  My family is old school and we have The Big Chill record and a record player so I play the album on that instead of from iTunes.  Let me tell you this was a nice refreshing break from the overplayed pop songs on the radio.  Love  this album and I should go old school more often!  What is you favorite oldies album or soundtrack?  Check out the movie too!  It’s just as good as the soundtrack.

The Big Chill Sound Track

I Heard It Trough The Grapevine

My Girl

Good Lovin’

The Tracks of My Tears

Joy to the World

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman

I Second That Emotion

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Tell Him

Words of Wisdom Sister Style

Advice, one of those things that people either love or hate.  Fortunately for me I am a decent advice giver- at least my friends think so because they always come around looking for advice.  Over the past three years my sister, I’ll call her Pep, and I have started a tradition where I write her an advice letter during each year she is in college.  I give the letter to her at the end of winter break before she goes back to school This is the third year I wrote a letter and figured I’d share it with all of you.  BTW by write I mean actually handwritten and not typed.  I am old school like that.  This post will probably be a tad bit long.  Enjoy!

To The One The Only Pep,

So, I am back with more words of wisdom!  I’m going to do this in one shot this time so there will probably be mistakes, possible misspellings, and cross outs.  Now that the formal things are out of the way let’s begin!  Here I go … oh and one last thing, I hardly go back and edit what I write in these.

1.Don’t settle … I repeat don’t ever settle for anything ever!

If you know what you want go for it and don’t stop until you have it.  Even if it takes you 25 years to attain it keep going and trying.  Once you settle it is hard to move on or go back on the path of not settling (aka before the thought of settling ever crossed your mind).

Things to never settle on:

  1. Guys: Just do not do it.  If I get a feeling of being complacent get out of the relationship.  Run do not walk out of it.
  2. Job: Keep finding better opportunities.  I’m  not the best example but learn from me.
  3. Friends: Keep making friends until you find your true crew.  It is fine to keep old friends but always find new ones who bring out your best.  Get rid of friends who settle.

2. Jackasses suck and you just have to deal with them (yes more than 1 will be in your life)

The best way to deal with them is to ignore them or stand there nod your head, listen, and walk away.  Do not associate with them but still be polite and courteous.  Being respectful will get you far in life.  It is totally ok to tell them off or get your Brooklyn on if they disrespect you, are rude to you, or spread false rumors about you.  Otherwise keep them past arms length and poke them with a ten foot pole.

3.Stay away from the gossip train

You probably do this already but I am just drilling the fact into your head.  No good can come from this unless you are trying to put an end to a rumor about you.  What Mom said is true- Walls have ears.  So always watch what you say besides not getting tangled in the gossip ring.  Trust me there are always gossip people at jobs and among friends.  They are fake and always want to stir the pot.  Just stay away and keep mum!

4.Network, network, network, oh and did I mention network?

A major faux paix I made in college and my first year in the real world was: not finding or using my connections to my advantage.  Most jobs occur through networking, use it to your advantage and connect to as many people as possible.  You never know who will be the person to get you a job.  Also, if an acquaintance or friend gets you a job or internship be gracious and try to pay it forward too.  Remember if you help give someone a contact or job they might repay you one day.  So keep on networking.  Now why do you think there are so many incompetent idiot CEO’s, teachers, VPs etc.?  Because they all had a way in through some type of connection.  Get the picture? I hope so!

5.You are young so party hard, get a decent GPA, fuck up, get your heart broken, break hearts, and just live life.

These are your glory days!  They truly are!  Please I’m begging you to not be a cautious girl like me and just go for it or do it!  This is the time to be free, explore, make mistakes, and just live it up.  Now is the time to do what you want without any strings attached, no health benefits to worry about, no kids, no husband, no full time job, and virtually no real responsibilities.  So just live it and if you have a mistake(s) it’s ok and you have people that will help you out.  When you are an old person ,like me, you will always wish you did the things you were afraid to do such as the party you missed, boy you didn’t kiss, beer you didn’t drink, so do it now and don’t look back or think about it too much.  Your future old person self will thank you and you will have tons of funny stories and memories to tell the future generation!

6.Invest in these key pieces of makeup

1.Foundation

2.Concelear (works wonders and the occasional miracle)

3.Mascara

4.Setting powder (polishes the look)

I know you do not wear makeup that much but having those pieces on hand help polish off a look and are good to wear for a night out or an interview.  So yes do invest in quality products (Bobbi Brown has amazing concealer for under eyes)!  It will make a difference.

7.Start investing or saving for retirement as soon as you get your first full paying job.

Seriously do this! Before you know it you’ll be 35 with nothing put away for your senior years.  This is the one good thing I did and now I have a few thousand put away for when I’m old.  Trust me you will thank me!  I know you are invested in stocks which is another good move unless the stock market suddenly tanks then well you know- you’ll be losing money womp, womp.  So keep doing what you’re doing and  then do an IRA or 401(k) or 403(b) it will save you from eating cat food when you’re old.  I do not want to eat cat food or Alpo lol.

8.Have a go to dessert or appitizer

I have a few for both and these are good recipe types to have on reserve for parties or pot lucks.  This makes it easier to plan and cook them.  Since the recipes are familiar you will know how they will turn out.  This helped me.  I have a few on reserve.

9.You need at least 1 good quality handbag

I know you can spot good ones because I taught you myself!  You need at least 1 that will stand the test of time and not fall apart with tons of use.  Brands I recommend: Patricia Nash Designs, Dooney and Bourke, Frye leather, and Kate Spade.

10. Travel- even if you go broke or even if it’s local

This is so very important!  You can learn a lot from this and help other people learn too.  I never want to stop traveling or exploring and you shouldn’t either.  It can be the most humbling experience of your life so keep doing it!

11.Write even if it’s in a journal

Writing is so freeing and you don’t have to worry about topic, grammar, or spelling when you do your own journal.  It helps get feelings out and helps you work through things.  Just do it you will not regret it.

12. Lastly, I’ll end on this note which does not need explanation

Everyday is mother’s day!

The wise old words of Grandma H and need to get shithead in here too.  If somebody truly pisses you off it is totally ok to internally call them shithead over and over.  I’ve done it before.  It helps in a weird way.

Hope you enjoyed these words of wisdom this time.  I had fun writing and thinking of them.  Just trying to impart some of my knowledge and life experiences to the future generation lol!

Love XOXO

A

* P.S. Don’t waste your life!! Before you know it you will be 25 and regret not taking more chances!!  Risky things are better done when you are young because it’s easier to pick yourself up from a mistake.  Wake up and say I tried, I succeeded, I failed but never wake up saying I wish because before you know it you’ll be dead.  Or one day you will be too old to do the things you wanted  or never got a chance to do.

Lesson Learned in 2015

I’m a little late with this post but not too far off the mark.  Here is what I learned in 2015

Talking to people is not so scaryYou actually need to go after what you want and not sit on your ass and wait for shit to happen to you

The importance of networking with others because it will help your career not hurt it

Try new things and do not be afraid to say yes to new adventures or tasks

Get rid of toxic friends or family who are not there for you when you need it

I have hated being the person that was there for everyone else when they had troubles or needed advice but would not receive the same in return.  When I needed something from certain friends or just wanted to chat I was turned down or they said no which sucked.  Through the year I realized that people are just out for themselves and some do not truly care about others.  Some people just do what is good at the time or would benefit them in the long run.  So, take it from me and give these people the ax or do what Donald Trump does and say “You’re fired”.  To think that after all these years of so called friendship I was the schmuck and  didn’t kick these people to the curb sooner.

Smile at people and compliment them more to make them happy

Learned to let things go and not obsess over things

Figuring out your own problems instead of blaming others

Thinking and ruminating about the past will only hinder you and keep you from moving forward

Enjoy every minute you are with family and friends.  Seriously you never know when they’ll be gone so cherish whatever you do with them.  Especially your parents and grandparents because they continue to get old and you never know when it will be the last time you see them.

Nailed and perfected a go to everyday beauty routine.  I found one that I love and it stuck with me during the past year.

Do not be afraid to be you and if you fuck up it’s ok because everybody does at some point during their lives

Realized that your not that far away from turning the big 3-0 and that I’m slowly getting old.  People still say I’m young but at this point I would consider 21 to be young at this point.  Kind of wish I could go back to that age. Getting older is scary especially since it feels like I don’t really have things figured out.  But does anyone ever have things completely figured out?

Learn from your mistakes so you do not make the same one twice or three times.  This is always a hard one for me because I hate revisiting my failures and mistakes in life but nobody really does.  This always makes me uncomfortable and vulnerable.  The truth is I just want to move on and leave the past mistakes behind!

This Years Past Book Blast

Reading is a hobby of mine and I wanted to share my favorite books from 2015.  I mainly read fiction books with an occasional non-fiction or YA novel thrown into the mix.  Here are the best books that I have read this year!  Enjoy and feel free to share your favorites from this past year!

1. Me Before You  By: Jojo Moynes

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I absolutely loved this story! It is a sad story but was well written, had good character development, and the plot flowed very well. The title of the book relates back to the novel in that parts of the book reflect on how the main characters ,Louisa and Will, lives were before they met each other. A must read and this book will definitely leave an impression on you!

Plot: Louise a twenty six year old young lady is hired as caretaker for Will who is a paraplegic. The story focuses on their relationship and how they both impact each others’ lives. There is a sequel titled After You and that is on my to read list.

2.  The Rosie Project &The Rosie Effect By: Graeme Simsion

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These two books were enjoyable and Don reminded me a little of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. I really enjoyed the books due to the interactions between the main characters Don and Rosie. I felt that they complimented each other well.  THere are some funny moments in the story and I enjoyed both books due to the fact they were off the beaten track and different than a typical fiction book I’d normally choose.

Plot: Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father.

When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

3. We Were The Mulvaneys By:  Joyce Carol Oates

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Most reviews I have seen regarding this novel have been love or hate.  I totally understand why people would not enjoy this story and would rate it negatively.  The few reasons in my opinion are: topic, novel moves at a slow pace, as a reader it was hard to connect to the characters and the character development.  With that aside I enjoyed this book and was intrigued with how a certain event completely changed the dynamics of the Mulvaney family.  The story starts out with Judd, the narrator, describing his family (The Mulvaneys) in the past, at the present time, and before the tragic event happened.  The reader is able to get a picture of the family’s life and roles of  all of the family members.  The novel progress to the Mulvaney life, event that occurred, and the impact of it on each member of the Mulvaney family.  I enjoyed this novel and could not put it down or wait to finish it.

Plot: We Were the Mulvaneys” , is the story of the destruction and regeneration of a family caused by the rape of the teenage, cheerleader daughter. Unwilling to testify against the rapist because she was drinking at the time, the daughter , Marianne, refuses to prosecute. Her father,Michael, a head of a small roofing business, takes the law into his own hands and attacks the father of the rapist. He is fined and given probation. From there, the family’s life goes downhill, from a happy existence on a farm, filled with animals and freedom, to a constricted life in the suburbs with only the youngest of three sons mother, Corinne, present. Oates fills the story with colorful characters and a wealth of details, making the restoration of the family fascinating reading.

4. Finding Audrey By: Sophie Kinsella

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Read this book for my book club and figured I would share it because I like it a lot. This is the total opposite of Sophie Kinsella’s usual lighthearted and chic lit fiction books.  In Finding Audrey she focuses on 14 yr old Audrey who has social and general anxiety.  THe book focuses on how both impact Audrey’s life and daily functioning.  THis book was enjoyable and I like how real life issues are brought to light instead of shopping or frivolous stuff.  Hope that Sophie Kinsella writes more YA books or books with relevant topics in the future.

Plot: An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

5. Big Little Lies By: Liane Moriarty

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Love this one!  It is a long read but well worth it!  I found it hard to put the book down and wanted to finish it right away.  The book shows how everyone has secrets and lies in their life and sometimes they become exposed.  The book also shows how judgmental, cruel, and rude adults can be to each other. The writing kept me hooked and I enjoyed reading this novel.

Plot: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.