Friday, November 21, 2014

Currently Obsessed

So I've been a bad blogger, but I wanted to share a few things I've currently been obsessed with, sound good?

1. This EOS Holiday Three-Pack
I already love these lip balms and when I ran into Ulta for something and saw them, I bought them on a whim. The flavors are so amazing, probably my favorites out of all of the ones I already owned.

Flavors include:
  • Aloha Hawaii Strawberry Kiwi
  • St Barth's Sunrise Pink Grapefruit
  • Indian Summer Orange Blossom

If you have an addiction to lip balm like I do, you need these!

2. Netflix.

I used to have it a long time ago, but canceled. Now I have it again and I can't stop watching. Right now I've been loving Orange is the New Black I know, apparently I was out of the loop and have been missing out! It's pretty raunchy, but I love the character development and getting to see the story lines/stories for each character. Why does season 3 not come out until June?!?!

I've also been obsessed with re-watching Gilmore girls! I used to love that show when I was younger, and it's so fun being able to go back and re-watch it! I'm on season four now :)

3. Sour gummy... anything!

For some reason, I've been on a sour gummy kick. It started this past summer when I tried some of these Trolli Octopus. Sure they look creepy (kinda like spiders!) but OH MY GOSH THEY TASTE SO GOOD. They're definitely different from the regular sour worms. Trust me if you haven't, you need to try them! I've only been able to find them in certain places, Hobby Lobby being my biggest (and most random) dealer ;)

But seriously. They are addicting and so so good!

4. Red lip and winged eyeliner

I've been inspired by the makeup Taylor wore in her Shake It Off video. While I look nowhere near as gorgeous, I've still been enjoying that makeup look! It's classy and elegant, and surprisingly easy and fast to do.

5. Turning 21!!!

Can I put this on my list? Haha, well I am!
Monday, I turned 21. Yeah, it sucked having such a moments birthday on a Monday, especially since I had to work. Boo being an adult! But I had a great day nonetheless. :D

Hope you enjoyed my list!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Someone Else's Kids

I recently had to read Someone Else's Kids by Torey Hayden for my special education class and write a book report. It really touched me and I wanted to share a little excerpt of what I wrote.

"Lori was her first student and arguably the student in which Hayden had the most
connection. She was in first grade and came into her class originally as a resource student. Lori
was struggling with reading, and after some research, Hayden had learned that Lori experienced
a traumatic brain injury from her abusive father, which left her unable to learn and read on her
age-appropriate developmental level. After being put up for adoption, Lori found a new, loving
family that cared for her and her twin sister, who did not receive as bad of injury as Lori. Shortly
after finding her new home, her adoptive mother died of cancer, leaving the family heartbroken.
Through all her struggles as such a young girl, Lori had the happiest spirit. She was caring and
always bubbly. She could always point out the bright side in any situation. After so much
struggle with her regular teacher and reading, Lori was exhausted in the subject of reading.
Knowing mentally that Lori might never read, it left Hayden with a battle inside herself. She felt
conflicted because of the pressure from the teacher and principal to make her read, and still
having to see first hand the emotional stress it was causing Lori.

That afternoon when Lori ran into her classroom, saying “I brung you something!", it
brought a smile to Hayden's face. Looking at the picture Lori handed her, it was a drawing of a
blue bird with black wings and yellow legs. While it was abstract and not perfect, she could still
tell that the bird was happy. Lori exclaimed to Hayden that it was the best picture she had ever
drawn and that she used her favorite crayons. She explained that she stayed inside the lines and
that it was the best thing she had ever done. Lori then explained that it wasn't as good as a
photograph and no matter how hard she tried, it wasn't perfect. After Hayden reassured her that it
was beautiful just the way it was, Lori corrected her. “No, no, that's not what I'm saying. It isn't
right because that wasn't the way I wanted to draw it. It wasn't perfect, like I wanted it to
be...What I was thinking was that it is perfect. Not the part you see but what's inside you. In my
head, I could see this bird perfect...and that's sort of enough for me to like this picture even
though it isn't really very perfect. Because...I know it could be....Things never really are perfect”
She said “But inside you, you can always see them perfect, if you try. That makes things
beautiful to me.” (154-155).

What Lori said is a very important life lesson that everyone needs to hear at some point in
their lives because often, as human beings, we tend to lack the ability to see things from a
different perspective. When I think about becoming a Special Education Teacher, I want to be
reminded of what sweet Lori had said that day. In all aspects of life, things are not perfect. No
matter how hard you can try, sometimes it just doesn't go the way you wanted. It doesn't always
go your way and it doesn't always turn out the way you planned, but there is beauty in that. There
is beauty in this imperfect world and despite all the negativity, the badness, the pain and the
suffering, there is still beauty. There can still be happiness and joy. Life is still beautiful. All you
have to do is look. And as a teacher, it's my job to find it."

Monday, November 10, 2014

October Ipsy Bag

Okay, I feel like I just did this...oh wait, because I did.
But I figured that if I just did one video per bag it would make the video shorter for you guys.
It's all for you ;)

Anyway, here's what I got this month:

What a glorious thumbnail, no?

No really.

One of my readers suggested that I change up my personality thing on Ipsy's site so maybe my bags will start getting better. It worked! (thanks Lovely) I was pretty happy with my bag this month.

My November bag is already being shipped so I'm sure I'll be back soon with my November bag!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beauty Shaming

We were walking to my next class, having just finished our heated discussion on the professor's teaching philosophy, when she looked over at me and casually said:

"You know, you would be so beautiful if you didn't wear makeup."

I was taken aback. My first thought was uhh yeah, no. You haven't seen my naked face in the morning. It's pretty scary. But, I just kinda smiled at her and brought up a new topic.

But as the day went on, the comment kept bugging me. I kept thinking how rude it was to judge another woman's beauty based off her choice in to wear or not to wear makeup.

You see, my beauty does not lie in the choice I make to wear makeup. In fact, my beauty doesn't have anything to do with my face at all.

I am beautiful because of my passions, the things that drive me, the dreams I aspire to. I am beautiful because I can make people laugh and because I am smart and caring and kind. I am beautiful because of my character, my inner-thoughts and the depth of my soul. None of those things have anything to do with makeup.

Beauty does not correlate to what I decide to put on my face. 

I think that the issue lies within what women and men are taught from a very early age. We are taught that thin, tan legs, flat stomachs and a big chest contain women's beauty... that the rosiness of our cheeks, the length of our eyelashes, the color of our cheeks make us pretty. All these things are instilled in us as things to strive for. But I reject it. I am not beautiful because of those things and they are not what define me.

As I think about what that peer told me that day, I want to respond with this:

As women, we need to stop judging ourselves and others. Personally, I do not care about your choice in not wearing makeup and you should not worry about my choice in wearing it. What I do care about is if you are a genuinely good person with a good soul who wants to make a difference in this big ol' world.

Yes, I like to wear makeup. But I realize that my face is only skin deep. I am constantly reminding myself that if what I have on the inside doesn't match with what appears on the outside, I have a problem.

I think that as a society (not just women), we should be more uplifting and accepting to differences. I should love you not because you choose to wear makeup or not, not because of who you love, because of the religion you follow and not because you have a different skin color than myself. None of those things should define who you are and I should not be judging you based off those facts.

Let's choose to uplift and inspire one another, not degrade and bring each other down. Together let's strive to be more accepting to others and their differences and to learn to look past the surface. Let's train ourselves to not judge outward appearances and focus on making ourselves better human beings on the inside. 

Beauty is not a check box. It cannot be defined by a certain set of requirements. So please, please stop shaming one another. We are all better than that.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Texas State Fair, Y'all.

So I'm from Dallas. (No, I don't have EBOLA. I figured I'd mention that forefront.) And if you know anything about being from Texas, you'll know that the annual State Fair is like a huge deal. From my memory, I think it might be the biggest fair in the nation? (fact-checkers correct me if I'm wrong.)

We have this creepy dude named Big Tex (who rather ironically, went up in flames a few years ago... it only seemed like a big deal at the time.) Everyone, and I mean everyone,  has to get a picture with him. It's basically a right-of-passage for any Texan child. That and the easter bunny. (Although I'm pretty sure the easter bunny is a little more world-renowned than poor ol' Big Tex.)

 Then of course, there's the fried foods. You know, fried butter, fried sweet tea, fried milk and cookies, fried guacamole and several more variations of the like. Basically anything they can fry, they will. Note: above we are consuming fried cookie dough. It was fantastic...just like a fresh cookie from the oven. Which leads me to a very important philosophical question: why they don't just serve regular old cookies?

But hey.... It's FRIED!

Side note: an impeccably creepy big tex photobombed this picture ^^ like a boss!

Then there are the rides. What's more fun than risking your life on some poorly maintained ride for about 70 seconds of childish pleasure? Oh, don't get me wrong, I love fair rides just as much as the next girl, but seriously...there's something pretty terrifying yet exciting about risking your life. Especially when the ride operator tells you "Hmmm...good enough!"

Of course there's the ferris wheel. It's true you know, everything really is bigger in Texas. I believe (again fact-checkers correct me) it's one of this biggest in the US. No, we didn't ride it because we refused to pay the $30 fee to only get unbelievably nauseous and terrified of heights. 

By now you're probably thinking "Oh Amber! Please, please tell me what your favorite thing is at the fair." Well lucky you, I'm about to tell you.

The answer is fairly simple:

Cotton Candy. 

(AKA Candy floss to you Brits/Canadians)

Yeah. Enough said. 

So there you have it, folks. That was my wonderfully vague and yet terribly uninteresting lesson on the Texas State Fair, Y'all.

(Sorry, I had to add that. It was completely necessary.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

August and September Ipsy Bags!

So, I get pretty awkward once again in this video. I was in a strange mood (maybe just how I normally am, you'll never know.) which might explain some of the awkwardness.

Anyway, this is what I got in my past two month's bags. Like I said in the video, I am thinking about canceling my Ipsy subscription. The quality has seemed to go down recently and I find that I just keep giving most of my products away. Let me know what your thoughts are!

Friday, October 10, 2014

{A Very Late} Weekend Wrap Up: Quick Trip to Tampa + A Gorgeous Wedding!

 I am perfectly aware that it is currently Friday and I am just now posting about this fantastic past weekend...that's just how I roll these days. 

So, since my mom now lives in Florida and I only have class on tuesdays and thursdays, I was able to come out for the weekend to attend my (2nd) cousin's wedding! (Also because we found a super cheap ticket. 

I packed up Friday afternoon and headed out to the airport. And because it's just just my luck, the plane was delayed by 3 hours so I didn't end up arriving at my Aunt's house until late that night. 

We woke up early (to my college standards) and decided to head out to another Goodwill in the metroplex that we hadn't been to before. It was a really good one and I ended up with a pair of chucks, KED slip ons and a few cute tops. Side note: you should've seen me trying to shove those in my small 'personal item' to carry on the plane. 

When we got back, it was already time to get ready for the wedding!
My mom's cousin (my second cousin) Sara was getting married.
The wedding took place in a gorgeous country club in Tampa and the actual ceremony was in this breathtaking garden with trees canopying the gazebo where they stood. 

 She made such a beautiful bride...I fell in love with her dress!

Here are some pictures we took before the ceremony:

My Nana and Papa and I

My cousins and my youngest brother...aren't they handsome?

My beautiful aunt and I

My cousins, brother and mom!

Stealing kisses from my cousin, Matthew ;)

Then it was time for the best part...the reception!!
While I don't dance (must be a family thing because no one else in our little clan does either!), we still had a blast. 

I introduced Matthew to the greatness of Shirley Temples!

All of the Dixon/Abells/Hamiltons/ Greens!
 Let's see (going sorta clockwise) that's the bride's dad Waymon, his wife Dianne, my Nana's other brother, Ted, my aunt Tee, my mom, my brother Addison, my twin cousins Jake and Tyler, my Nana and Papa, Ted's son Jason and his fiancee Nicole and finally me and Matthew in the front!
Whew, that's a lot.

The night ended with me being the DD and running through McDonalds for a a late night junk food run.
So many fun memories I'll have from this day!


Sunday morning my mom, Addison, my cousins Jake and Matthew headed out to the beach. Yep. You read that right, it's October and we went to the beach. Gotta love Florida!

Now, I didn't say it wasn't chilly... hehe

We found an alive jellyfish! It was so cool.

We concluded the afternoon eating the best chicken I've ever had at this little shack called Ya-Yas.
The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and spending quality time with the fam...especially this sweet girl that I missed so much.

Monday morning after getting all the cousins off to school, Addison, my mom and I got donuts at the one and only Dunkin, then went out to the coolest music store ever...seriously!

The building used to be the most ritzy, fancy restaurant in the 80's that had the prettiest architecture and these glam chandeliers...there's even a fancy garden that houses hundreds of statues. 
You can read more about the history here.

It went out of business and now the gorgeous building houses a music store. It's kind of sad to see how fancy this place used to be and how different it is now, but I thought seeing all those bad-a** guitars juxtaposed against the chic, vintage decor was kinda neat. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon touring USF Tampa (such a beautiful campus!), eating Chinese with sweet Matthew and packing me up to head back to the big D. 

The end came way too fast (please refrain from a 'That's what she said' joke).
Before I knew it I was back in Dtown. The plane ride was pretty cool because I got to see downtown Dallas and even the State Fair!

This is the only picture I could get and it's pretty crappy...sorry.

I had so much fun spending time with family and visiting the great state of Florida!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall Beauty Essentials- Rose Golds

Ahh, simply mentioning the word 'fall' and I instantly picture the most glorious time of year. 
As promised, I'm sharing some of my favorite beauty products for autumn. 

I like using darker shades on both the eyes and lips this season...something about it just screams class to me. Another trend I'm loving for the fall is all the rosy tones, in fact now that I'm looking at the pics, most of my products were rose inspired!
I simply adore the rose gold shades with deeper shades on the lips.
I'm also really liking playing with a pop of blue or green on the eyes! Although I have blue eyes myself, I still like adding a pop of warm greens to really capture the sense of the season.

I also tend to use more blush than bronzer in the colder months to really add an intense flush of color.

Starting clockwise:
1//Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
2// Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet
3//The Balm Instain Blush in Houndstooth
4//Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on pencil in Desperation
5//L'oreal 24hr Infallible eyeshadow in Golden Sage
6//Clinique Blush in Iced Lotus
7//Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm stain in Honey
8//Maybelline Eyestudio quad in Makeover Mocha
9//L'oreal Silkissime Eyeliner in Plum
10//L'oreal 24hr Infallible eyeshadow in Amber Rush
11// Mac lipstick in Plumful

Let me know if you'd like to see some makeup looks using the products above! What are some of your favorite fall trends?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Essentials

So, I'm about to go all stereotypical white girl on you and share some of my favorites for fall!
Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather, the foods and drinks, the outfits and most importantly, it's my birthday season! 

I've saved my favorite beauty products for another post, so this is just a random collection of my fall inspired loves (except the nail polish I forgot to include in the other pics, so I threw it in here!)

1// Burnt red polish-perfect for this time of year
2// 'Leaves' candle from Bath and Body Works (an all time fav for me)
3// Sweet cinnamon pumpkin candle-yum!
4//Werther's carmel apple candies (oh so addicting!)
5//Sparkly ceramic pumpkins from the Dollar Tree
6// Orange and leopard Fossil wallet I found at Goodwill for $5!

Not pictured:
Pumpkin muffins from Target -if you haven't tried these RUN DON'T WALK!
Carmel apple cider- Starbucks or my at home Keurig version
my favorite brown boots- a staple for this time of year! 
scarves! enough said.

What are some of your fall favorites?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Allure Sample Society Review: Is it better than Ipsy?

I've been debating for a while now whether I was going to continue on with my Ipsy subscription. I've had it for about two years now (crazy!!!) and I was just itching for a change. I did my research and found Allure Sample Society.

Here are the details:
  • $15 a month (shipping included) 
    • Five deluxe-size beauty samples—so you can use each one more than once
    • Curated mix of skin, hair, and makeup products, as well as fragrance
    • Allure mini-mag, packed with in-depth beauty sample product reviews written by Allure editors
    • $10 gift card to redeem on any $50 Beauty Bar purchase

    I've been subscribed for two months now, so here's a peek into what I got in my two boxes:

    Now to the nitty-gritty....

    Here's what I like so far:

    • The products are more high-end than what I generally receive in my Ipsy subscription. (Meaning the products are valued at a higher cost. For example, September's allure box was valued at over $95 and I got two full sized products. Whereas my Ipsy bag for August was valued around $25)
    • There's a bigger variety in the products. Ipsy typically is mostly makeup with the occasional skincare/haircare item. In the Allure box, it's always a mix of skincare/haircare and makeup and occasionally a fragrance. 
    • It's packaged nicer. I always say that I wish Ipsy would get rid of the bag and add in another beauty product because most of the time I don't like the style of bag and to be frank, I have a crap ton of bags. In the Allure box, it definitely feels more fancy when you open it. I love the bright red box (which I reuse for storage!) and the crinkles and tissue add a nice touch, without being wasteful or excessive, unlike the Ipsy bags. 
    • I like that they include the magazine which shows how much each item costs, how it's used, and why Allure likes it. That really helps when you get a product and you have no idea what it is! Plus, it's nice to see a price to show just how much your $15 stretched. 

    Now onto the dislikes:
    • Obviously, the biggest one is that it's $5 more expensive. Now, I actually don't really mind it because I feel like I am still getting more for my money. To me, the point of these subscriptions is to try things you normally wouldn't buy for yourself. With the Allure box, these are all brands that I could never afford to just buy at the store. 
    • I don't really like that they include the fragrance sample as a 'sample'. These are typically free in any department store, so I don't see the point in including them. Now, if they were a bonus sample, that would be another story. I also never end up using them because I tend to be pretty picky with scents. But I will say my friends and family always end up with a billion samples! 

    So there's my full review on the Allure box! I am excited to see what I will get next, and I will be sure to start documenting that on here if you'd like! Yes, I am going to show my August and September Ipsy bags (I still haven't gotten my Sept. bag but that's another story). I think I will continue with my Ipsy subscription another month and I will decide then which I will continue with. 

    If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask!

    I'm not affiliated with either subscription service, and I actually pay with my own money. Although, now that you mention it, it'd always be nice to get free stuff ;) However, I do get credits if you subscribe to either service by clicking on the links to the left of my page and links in this post.