Beauty, FYI

January 2017 Favorites

I’ve been a little MIA but January was the month of self discovery and focusing on everything that deals with ME. I was so busy but now I’m back with a whole bunch of favorites! Let’s jump right into it!

Skincare:

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I’m not talking about my face but my body! I’m obsessing with this Neutrogena Body Oil that I bought from Ulta. I was so intrigued because I hate the filmy feeling that lotion gives me after a while. Have you ever sweated and then rub your hand on your shoulder or something and your lotion balls up? Or after you shave, you put your lotion on BUT it stings like a mother? This product has been the answer to all my prayers and YES I am aware I sound like I’m part of an infomercial but stick with me people. Basically with the Neutrogena Body Oil you shower like a normal person but before you towel off, you apply the lotion on your body. Then you pat yourself dry and BAM you’re moisturized with no filmy feeling. No stinging after you shave and honestly, its way quicker than rubbing in your lotion for 30 seconds waiting for it all to properly rub in. I’m never ashy afterwards but I do wish it had more sheen. Maybe if I apply it and just air dry. Still my favorite in January.

Eyes:

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The Too Faced Sweet Peach palette is definitely my favorite eyeshadow palette for the month. I’m obsessed with the smell and the colors. The pigment is amazeballs and I feel like I never run out of looks with this palette. Half the palette is neutral basics and the other half are bold colors so it gives you the opportunity to enhance your look a bit. I’ve done a mean smokey eye with this palette and I’ve done a “natural” look as well. I just feel like this palette is so versatile no matter the month, the season, or person. It’s definitely worth the buy and the time.

Face:

This month’s Boxycharm came with  Pur Cosmetics Mineral Glow Bronzer and at first I was turned off by the look of it. I thought it looked too ashy which is something I avoid when contouring. I love a warm bronzy look when I contour because I feel like on me, it looks like I came back from an island vacation. I decided to play with it some more before I threw it in the “pass along” pile and I actually fell in love with it. After I built it up more my Crown Beaute Basics Contour blush brush (I got it in my Ipsy bag), I actually saw that it was a bit warm. I actually use it everyday and always get compliments with how great my cheekbones look.

Home:

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Burt’s Bees Papaya Guava candle is a staple in my household. I always need one burning every night to calm my nerves. It smells so delicious and for $4.00 at Wal-Mart, it’s inexpensive. I’ve been using this candle since summer 2016 but I haven’t shared it with you guys. While I was thinking about my favorite January home product, I couldn’t think of a better one than this. This candle is the perfect every season candle. I’ve been obsessed for month with this fruity tropical scent. If you notice, I’m all out of this wonderful candle.

Overall Favorite:

My wonderful boyfriend got me a Fuji-film Instax Mini 8 instant camera in White for my birthday (January 17th) and I’ve been obsessed. Film can get pricey when you’re someone who loves to document everything like I do, so I’ve been very selective on which pictures I’d take. Of course my first one was of my son on his fourth birthday (January 22nd). Not only do Polaroids give a vintage vibe in general but the quality of the pictures make it look they were taken in the 90’s. I’ve shared a few of the picture’s I’ve taken and show you how nice the quality is. It’s like an instant filter. There’s also different settings for different occasions as in: indoor, outdoor, cloudy, etc. Can’t get better than this!

Share with me a few of your January favorites. I’m always interested in new products and love to hear other people’s opinion.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter to read my obnoxious rants (I’ve been slacking lately), my Instagram to get a glimpse into my life as mom, woman, and girlfriend, and if you aren’t sick of me already then follow me on Snapchat (irrelephvnt) to witness my horrible shopping addiction and ten seconds of hilarious jokes.

“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword”-John Ray

 

FYI

New Years Shopping Haul

So I’m mixing my New Year shopping haul with my TJ Maxx haul because honestly it was just a couple of days apart. I got a gift card from my step father for Christmas and because I haven’t been shopping for MYSELF in months. So I took the opportunity to spoil myself a bit before life gets crazy again.
I went to TJMaxx initially for accessories for work. Wearing all black can get boring but accessories are a great way to spice up an outfit. But when I saw that the accessories alone were almost $20 a piece, I threw that thought out the window. Instead I figured I get a few blouses for work instead. I don’t know about you guys but I just buy shirts I KNOW I like without trying them on. If it’s something in a style I don’t usually wear, then I’d try it on. But since that wasn’t the case on this trip, I just threw it into my bag. I ended up getting the wrong size in one blouse, even though it was in the medium section. The other blouse was more up my alley because it had cut out shoulders which I’m OBSESSED with as a style. When I put it on for work, I hated it because the sleeves were messed up as you can see in the picture. Instead of seeing this as wasted money, I’m just going to donate them. Someone else can probably use them better than I can.

Part of my New Years resolution’s is to plan my day’s better, so I took the opportunity to buy two planners. I bought one to stick into my purse for on the go and one for at home. I’m so obsessed with both of these because of the designs. My travel one is a coral peach with a gold “2017” on the front. It starts with a monthly calendar then moves on to the weekly calendar that has a larger section to write more in depth.My at home calendar has a marble print cover with gold lettering that spells out “two thousand seventeen”. This calendar follows the same layout as the travel one BUT it also has several pages in the back for notes. I love notes pages because sometimes I have plans that don’t have a certain date to them so I use these pages to keep them in mind when I’m working on my weekly or monthly schedule. The travel planner didn’t have a price sticker on it so I don’t remember the price but I’m sure it was nothing over $6.00. My at home planner was originally $12.00 but it was sold for $7.99. I honestly recommend everyone to get a planner because even if you feel like your life is in shambles, at least it’s organized shambles.


Of course I couldn’t leave TJMaxx without getting a bunch of mugs I DON’T need but very much wanted. Don’t judge me. It was bought with a gift card so it doesn’t count. I got a mug for my best friend because I saw it and it screamed her. I don’t know the price anymore because it was a gift and I ripped off the tag….I think. I knew she’d want this mug for her job so I had no problem getting it for her. It’s a pretty big mug that say’s “Hi. I’m a mermaid” in gold and turquoise lettering. Once you’re in the mug section, you can’t get out. I had to get a few for myself. I got a white mug with gold accents and a giant S in the middle. In case you didn’t know, my name is Stephany and it’s impossible to find things that spell my name the way I spell it OR I just never find a “s”. I save this mug for days I feel like being a true adult because it makes me feel classy and mature. Originally this mug was sold by the company Ciroa for $6.00 but I bought it for $3.99. Then I laid eyes on this little cute giraffe mug. I’ve been obsessed with giraffes since I was three years old and its an un-dying love that will never end. I love animal mugs because they’re so freaking cute but this giraffe captured my heart because he (yes I gave it a gender) looks so sassy. His facial expression is the best thing I’ve seen on a mug and I can’t help but feel emotionally attached to this mug. He’s originally $10.00 but I bought him for $5.99 and my soul. The last mug I got was this bright yellow mug that says in plain text “hello sunshine” in white. A few people called me sunshine growing up but they were my favorite people so that nickname means the world to me. I always liked to be someones sunshine on a cloudy day so I took that title very seriously. Even though this mug is plain, I love the little sun symbol inside the mug that appears after I finish my tea.


New Year’s day I had planned to sleep but then had this sudden burst of energy and HAD to go shopping for myself. My boyfriend and I went to Sky view mall in College Point, NY and I was gravitated straight for food. But unfortunately they didn’t have a food court (the blasphemy) and I starved while shopping. I walked to Forever 21 and went straight to accessories since I wanted to build up my collection again AND needed some for my all black work outfits. I immediately picked up this silver statement piece that had a bunch of layers and tear drop pieces. It’s a bit heavy but perfect for my all black outfits. I love it with a turtle neck or a faux turtle neck top or dress. It’s perfect in the sense that you don’t need anything else to accessorize your outfit with. It’s also sold online as their Floral Statement Necklace and I got it for the same price, $14.90. My next accessory was this faux gold (because I like to switch) and it has these coins and purple beading. I love it because while it is simple, it does have enough detail to it to make a statement. This necklace was $7.90 and worth every penny. My next piece of jewelry was on clearance because the chain was “broken” but in reality it could easy be fixed. I bought this simple piece for $1.90. Have I take the time out to fix it? Nope. But it will be fixed dammit!

My favorite color in the world is Olive Green. I can’t live without it. I love it in every aspect possible. So of course I would buy two items of clothing in Olive green and fall in love with them. I bought a pair of French Terry sweats for $12.00 because I don’t really have sweats. I’ve always been a tights kind of girl if I’m looking for comfort at home but going to gym, I prefer tights to work out in and sweats for at home comfort. I picked out this pair that has a drop crotch that I’m not really comfortable with. I have a very small butt and I feel like drop crotches on girl sweats just emphasizes that and makes me awkwardly walk. So I looked online and realized these are one of those sweatpants that are to be worn fashionably with heels. I can’t pull of that look. 1. because I don’t want to. 2. I’m not THAT fashionably creative. What has this world come to that I can’t innocently buy regular sweatpants?

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Moving on to my favorite purchase! I’ve wanted a button down skirt for so long and since they were sold out of this burnt orange corduroy one in my size, I was so excited to see a faux suede one in my size AND OLIVE GREEN! I love this skirt, I an envision my life with this skirt. I can wear this casually with some Chuck’s or dress it up with thigh high boots. I bought this skirt for $14.90  but of course I had to look up and find this taupe color bodysuit in front of me. This bodysuit was a fitness goal purchase. Typically I hate body suits on my because it emphasizes every little roll and indent. But I loved this one so much that I decided to make it a fitness goal purchase. A fitness goal purchase is an article of clothing that you buy to motivate yourself to lose the weight you desire and just to push you more. This is the only article of clothing that I have associated with my fitness goal because I don’t want to over do it. I love the cut of this suit and I definitely hope to wear it this summer.

Finally my last purchase from forever 21 is one that I use everyday. I always make one last round of the store when I THINK I’m done shopping just to see if I missed something and boy did I! A couple of days before my shopping trip, my mother bought a suede jacket from TJMaxx in this camel brown color and I fell in love with it. I wanted one for myself but instead I just contemplated on how I can steal it. But I found the sister jacket in Forever 21 for just $25.00 in black. I seriously wear this jacket everyday. Surprisingly it’s been good to me this winter as far as keeping me warm. This jacket also came in grey and brown. By the way, is the color “grey” or “gray”? I like it with an “e” rather than the other way.

My last purchase of the day was at the Adidas store and I was obsessed. I haven’t bought new sneakers since 2015 (I think) and because I’ve been planning to be more active this year I figured it was overdue for a new pair. But then I saw a sign that said “extra 50% off red tag items” and just knew that I was leaving with two pairs. Both of these sneakers have cloud foam and are beyond comfortable. One pair I’ve been wearing a lot for the gym or just to walk around the neighborhood with is the Adidas Durama Women’s. I actually got these in an 8.5 even though I’m usually a 9 but the fit without being too small. These are super comfortable for working out and the mesh fabric makes them so breathable which helps when you’re at the gym. These weren’t red tagged but was discounted at $54.99 and are black and white. The other pair I got was red tagged and I bought them for $24.99. I’ve worn this once but because they are all white I decided to save it for the spring time. These are called the Adidas Neo Cloudfoam Xpressions for women and holy fuck the cushion on these babies. They have this tempurpedic cushion that gives you amazing arch support. I love them so much and they’re my greatest purchase. Definitely a must have. New Years was definitely done right and I’m glad I spoiled myself a little bit.

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FYI

New Year 2017

Being a true New Yorker, I’ve never seen the ball drop in person. I’ve refused to stand in the cold and not have anywhere to pee all night. But this year I’m dedicating to do new things and step out of my comfort zone. So guess what I did this year?!! Nope, still didn’t go see the ball drop because I am doing new things but I don’t have a death wish either. I did go near by to 43rd street and 10th ave to a bar called “Mr. Biggs”(hello sex and the city fans). Now the original plan for New Years eve was to be with family and ring in the New Year with them. But everyone kind of made their own plans and broke off into groups. Going into the city by public transportation was actually not bad at all. It took us 45  minutes to get from Corona, Queens to Times Square on the 7 Train which is pretty good timing on New Years eve. My boyfriend and I spent the night with my best friend Jayson and his boyfriend Johnny. We drank, laughed at Mariah Carey (among other things), talk shit and danced. While they were looking for a second venue, I already decided that I wanted to go home with my man because 1. I was already drunk. 2. I was tired. 3. He was looking oh so fine… if you know what I mean.


I’ve been having all types of body issues lately that I was sure I didn’t want anything tight to wear on New Years. I shopped on Fashion Nova the other day and ordered this hoodie dress that was olive green with these bleach stains on it. I paired those with my Lola Shoetique olive-green knee-highs and called it a day. My hair was done that very day at my job where my hair girl, Monique, straightened my hair with steam infusion. Instead of taking a heat damaging flat iron to my hair, she used an iron that releases steam to straighten hair. My hair is super silky straight without being more damaged. It’s 11 days later and my hair hasn’t needed to be touched up with a flat iron. 


On actual New Years Day, I intended to just sleep all day but there was this urge to shop. So yes, a New Year’s Day haul will be coming soon, maybe later. That night we were invited out to a strip club in queens to hang out, drink and smoke hookah. I had an amazing time with my boyfriend, my best friend Yvette and her boyfriend. We tried to make a cute going out snap but our boyfriends ruined it with their pussy talk. 


But with New Years Day, comes New Years Resolutions. I have a bunch for this year and so far, so good. Here’s a few:

  1. Have more ME time. I’m constantly caring for everyone else but myself.
  2. Be consistent with my blog posts 
  3. Budget my finances 
  4. Start my YouTube channel 
  5. Plan my days accurately
  6. Start a dream journal 
  7. Get in touch with my spiritual side 
  8.  Paint more stress less
  9. Go the gym consistently AGAIN
  10. Take classes. Any classes I want. Just fuckin do it 

Those are just a few of my resolutions but so far so good. I have been back at the gym, my blog posts have been going up (not on time yet), and I have been taking steps on my spiritual adventure. Honestly, these are all things I kept saying “I think I’m going to start…..” but never did. That’s a silent resolution. Start actually doing the things I want to do with no excuses. What are some of your New Years resolutions? 
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Beauty

Masks Mondays-January 9th 2017 Edition

What? Is she posting a Mask Monday on an actual Monday? Yes because 2017 has made me a responsible adult. Let’s get straight to the point. I could not get the Farmacy hydrating coconut gel mask to stay in place. It kept sliding off my face for the full 25 minutes. Overall though, I did feel a little bit moisturized after every mask. Will I buy more? Nah, I’m good. I’m on this search for a really amazing mask so excuse me if I keep saying no to all these masks. I’m just not impressed.


That being said, I decided that maybe I needed to try a higher end brand to get more dramatic results. So I work at Ulta and when the store isn’t busy, I like to go through skincare and read the different product labels and find out what they do. I do it for two reasons. One, I’m always looking for new products for myself to try. I have dry skin and blackheads that I’m always looking to treat. Two, I like to know what to suggest to customers when they come in. My store also has a Clinique counter and the girl who runs it happens to be one of my favorite coworkers so she talks to me a lot about skincare and what to look for in products. This month at Ulta is all about skincare. Each day there’s a skincare item on sale for one day. Also, there’s these skin care kits that are worth $62 but are sold for $30 with prestige skin products that cater to different skin types. They’re on sale for $15 and I purchased two because I’m selfish. I got one to get glowy skim and one for flawless skin. I got this weeks mask from the Fresh Start Flawless Skin box but you can buy it separately. 


I always wanted to try Mario Badescu’s skin care products but honestly, for a long time I didn’t see the point I’m spending so much on one product. I wanted to try one of the products because of all the hype about them. Also because I think it’s so dope that they label their products with letters like c, o, s, d. Each letter means that the product is good for combination, oily, sensitive, or dry skin. This past year I’ve seen the difference in investing in make up and sometimes the quality is so worth it. Regardless I wanted at least a sample to try to see how my skin would react to it since everyones skin is different. In my Flawless Skin Kit there was a 0.5 oz sample Enzyme Revitalizing Mask. This mask was labeled with C,D,S which means it’s great for combination, dry, and/or sesnsitive skin. The point of this mask is to hydrate and revitalize your skin which is key during the winter time. It has papaya and grapefruit which apparently (because I had no clue) has natural exfoliants and vitamins that gives that glowy look that everyone should want. 


Okay so the instructions told me to apply a thin layer and leave on for 20 minutes. So after I removed my makeup I took my wet and wild foundation brush, that I specifically save for face masks, and did as instructed. It’s not a thick mask so it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. It does have a scent but it’s not strong enough to irritate your eyes like the Freeman’s Charcoal and Black Sugar Mud Mask. This mask does dry quickly so there’s no adding on without smearing off the first layer you already applied which is why there’s a big spot on my forehead that is patchy. I actually kind of forgot I had it on, that’s how comfortable it was to have on. After my 20 minutes, I washed off the mask with warm water and patted my skin dry. Then I put on my moisturizer and when I looked in the mirror I was so shook. 

My skin already felt hydrated after the mask but to see it so glowy made me so shocked. I want to let you guys know that I have been drinking water nonstop since the New Year started and I’m proud of myself but I don’t think that’s why my skin is glows like Jlo. My skin looked pretty good beforehand but the glow was amazing after this mask. I don’t know about you guys, but I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Tune in next Monday for the FINAL impression. 

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Beauty, Vent Cycle

What I got for Christmas 2016

**Not bragging but sharing for all you sensitive people  out there

I worked really hard this Christmas. Like exceptionally harder than any other holiday. When I was younger, all of my relatives lived in New York. We would have parties just to have parties. But the holidays had their own special feeling to them. Before I was a teenager and before I could actually appreciate it, everyone moved except us. For years, the holidays weren’t anything special to us. Then my son was born and the holidays meant something to me. His three Christmases were bland and nothing special to anyone but this year I had my boyfriend and his family (who I grew up with). Last year I vowed to make the holiday’s amazing and mean something to my family again. I can gladly say I succeeded thanks to my boyfriend and his help. I was so focused on getting everyone the PERFECT gifts that I wasn’t even concerned with what I was getting. I am so thankful for what I got and all the laughs I shared with these wonderful humans that I can call family.

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Let’s start with one of the gifts that I use everyday. My Boyfriend got me the Kylie Holiday Collection!!! I was really bummed out that I couldn’t buy this collection because I was spending all my money on everyone else but I survived. I literally screamed when I opened the brown box he stuffed all these beauties in. This collection contained the Kylie suede pouch, the Kylie makeup bag, the Holiday Palette, the mini lipstick collection, three individual lipsticks and glosses, three creme shadows and two lip kits. The packaging was amazing and I’m saving the ornament style ones for next years Christmas tree. I’ll do a separate review post about it because believe me, I have a lot to say.


I hate knowing what I am getting as a gift. I love surprises and just the anticipation of it all. But I have an even greater love for gift giving. I love seeing the expressions on people’s faces when they get my gifts and are extremely happy. For that reason alone, I actually didn’t open a few of my gifts until everyone else was done because of the madness that Christmas was, we didn’t even notice. My boyfriends sister and husband got me this awesome Turquoise portable Crosley Turntable. I’ve wanted one (a turntable in general) since I was 15 and now I can’t wait to go out to buy vinyls and be one of the cool kids. There’s also an aux input so I can connect my phone and use the speakers as is. OBSESSED isn’t even the word for how much I love it.


My mother went on the more practical route and bought me clothing for work. At my job, we have to wear all black all the time. I used to work retail before Ayden’s diagnosis and spent a year of my life convincing myself that I needed to move away from black clothing (because it became a shopping habit) and go for more color. Now I have the total opposite problem and struggle to come up with outfits for every day I go to work that’s all black because I want to wear color and sometimes sneakers. My mother bought me a few shirts, a few cardigans, and a light jacket that she swears is sooo “me”. In her defense, it really is me, lol.


My boyfriends sister’s mother-in-law and her kids gave me a satchel that says “smile if you’re naughty” which of course I smiled because I’m a truthful person. Inside the satchel was a Godiva Hot Cocoa kit that included a huge mug (which you know how I feel about my mugs), a bag of Godiva cocoa powder mix, a bag of mini marshmallows, cinnamon powder, and a peppermint stick to stir it all in. Keep in mind, I already tried the hot cocoa by now and I wasn’t a big fan of the taste but the mug is one of my favorites because of the amount of liquid it holds. Also in the naughty bag was a red Uniglo scarf that has heat tech. Basically with every drop of moisture that falls on the scarf, the warmer it gets. Winter Essentials.

My boyfriends youngest sister got me this cool handbag charm that has a usb cord, iphone charger, and android charger so I can charge all my devices where ever I am. I’m notorious for forgetting my charger so I was so excited to just clip this on my bag and just leave a charging cube in my purse and a portable battery. My boyfriends mother actually bought me a gift that didn’t show up until Tuesday. She got me these amazing knee-high olive-green suede boots that I am absolutely obsessed with. They’re from Lola’s Shoetique which is my all time favorite shoe store so best believe I was excited to get these gorgeous beauties.

The biggest thing I got for Christmas was a gut. My mother and I made rice, lasagna, pernil, and potato salad. Stocking were also a big deal for me. I went out of my way getting these cute stockings and having everyone’s name embroidered on theirs. Of course I couldn’t stuff my own stocking so I told the only person who stuffs my stocking on the regular, which is my boyfriend. My stocking stuffer included a thermos that keeps warm for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. I also got aloe infused fuzzy socks which is amazing because I love cozy fuzzy socks during the winter. My favorite thing is this POP! Jillian Holtzman figurine. On our way home from Cancun we watched the Ghostbusters reboot and I fell in love with Holtzman. I couldn’t stop laughing at her and I just love this little figurine. I wanted to start collection POP! figurines so hopefully this is the start of my collection.

My greatest gift of all though was to be able to throw a Christmas get together with family that I love and hold so dear to me. It was definitely an accomplishment that was filled with laughter and happiness. Honestly, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about Christmas this year. The holidays are so stressful and honestly I was beyond stressed for a month but I’m so glad that this was the result I got. I would host Christmas every year of my life if this Christmas was the sneak peek of every other one to come. I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and holiday. Let me know what was your favorite gift this season, don’t worry, I wont judge.

 

Beauty

Mask Mondays ?!?!?!

THE HOLIDAYS ARE OVER! PRAISE JESUS ITS OVER! I love the holidays but I can’t schedule shit when they’re around. I’m sorry I’m such a failure. Like I have so many blog posts on hold and in my drafts because I was too busy celebrating but here we go!!!

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With last weeks mask, the Freeman’s cucumber peeling mask, at first I felt like their was no difference. I had a slight redness after the mask but that was from the tugging on my skin I suppose. After 4 uses, I started to notice a subtle difference in my skin. The tiny random bumps on my skin started to slowly disappear. I still don’t know what they are because they aren’t pimples but they’re was definitely more of them than the ones I still have. I am kind of obsessed with this mask, more for pleasure (because the peel is so satisfying) rather than results. I saw no difference around my nose which is where my blackheads have their meetings.

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My new mask that I’ve already used once is the Farmacy  and it’s their hydrating coconut gel mask. I got this one months ago in a BoxyCharm but never used it because honestly, sheet masks freak me out.Just the way everyone looks in them…. you guys look like condoms. Not only is this mask hydrating but it’s also a brightening mask. My skin tone is pretty even so I don’t really need it for that but hydrating is always a plus in my book. Apparently its activated by antizyme-rich purple broccoli extract. I have no clue what that means but according to the back of the box there’s antioxidants that helps protect and firm skin . I’m down for that.


The instructions are pretty simple and is written on each packet (the box came with three) with pictures. You’re suppose to cleanse and tone your skin because this mask will be your moisturizer. The actual mask is in between two pieces of protective mesh. You peel one side, place the mask on your face and then peel the other side. I looked like the greasiest hot dog New York had to offer,I left the mask on, as instructed, for 25 minutes (the max time). I have pro’s and con’s for this mask already. I don’t know if the mask is naturally cold or it’s just cold in my bathroom but this mask was cold to the touch. I actually found it refreshing and a burst of energy I needed for a mid afternoon kick. It was really moist (duh it’s a gel mask) which made me confident in its ability to moisturize my face. After I took off the mask, you’re supposed to rub in the excess product. After doing so, I can honestly say that my face feels so nice and smooth and hydrated. I don’t feel the need to moisturize. The usual dry patches on my face feels so nice and smooth which is all I ask for.


What I didn’t like so much was that there was so much product that certain parts of the masks kept sliding down. I don’t know if my eyes are too big but I just couldn’t get it to fit my eyes properly. The little spot above my lips kept sliding down onto my lip and the mouth part was so wide that I had to lift up the bottom part to get it on to my chin which kept falling. Finally around the bridge of my nose kept lifting whenever I moved my face. Also, when you roll the mask up to throw away, it looks like a used condom. Not really that much of a con but my family almost flipped out when they saw it. I’m going to continue using this (I obviously have two more) and see if I can adjust it to a place where I can comfortably wear this. Until next time!

 

**PS I WILL get better about posting posts on time.

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Beauty

Mask mondays? 

I know it’s Wednesday (actually Thursday because I’m posting at 12:03 am but shut up) but with Christmas passing and New Years approaching, time got away from me. Don’t worry I still have my review!

I actually did the Charcoal and Black Sugar mud mask four days in the past week and honestly? I’m not really feeling it. My face felt so clean and nice afterwards BUT I didn’t see any changes in my skin.

I don’t have the worse skin to begin with but lately I’ve been getting these little bumps (not pimples) and some pimples. I was hoping this  I’ll clear some oil in my skin and just overall give me some nice hydrated skin but I still felt dry AF. My skin felt thirsty and my bumps went nowhere even though the body literally says “smooths, purifies, & moisturize”. Also, even though I didn’t put this mask near my eyes, the fragrance from this mask traveled toward my eyes and irritated the shit out of them. I wasn’t really that impressed with this mud mask and I’m sure there’s better ones out there. It is interesting to put on but semi offensive if you get offended easily.

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**Not very close to the eyes yet the fragrance stung my eyes.

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** New Mask I’ve already used on Monday

My new mask this week is another Freeman mask. I promise next week will be a different brand but I got this with the mud mask as a buy one get one half off promotion at Ulta. The cucumber peel off mask intrigued me because hellooooo it’s a peel off. It’s a clear mask that is supposed to clarify and renew skin. My first impression is that it looks like you’ve rubbed cum all over your face you little skank (just kidding, do as you please….skank).

It definitely reminds me of when you were in school and put Elmer’s glue on your hand then peeled it off when it dried. So yes, it’s so freakin’ satisfying to remove. You do have to kind of roll the edges a bit to get a part to grab but honestly it’s not the worst (view crappy off-center video because I had no where else to place my camera). It kind of pinches when you’re peeling it off but nothing too painful. My skin was a little red after I peeled it off BUT baby smooth. I also liked that you can see the lines on your face on the peel. It makes me feel like it’s definitely in there doing its job. Let’s give it a week before I make my final decision. Let me know if some masks to try next week guys! I always welcome suggestions!

 

 

**The bumpy skin I was telling you about and my peeled off reptile skin otherwise known as the peeling mask. Also my face was a little red after the mask but nothing crazy.

Time Out

It takes a village

I wish I took the advice of others when Ayden was first diagnosed. People told me to look for mommy groups and to bond with others who are in the same situation. But I took his diagnoses logically. I kept thinking “okay he’s been diagnosed. Now what’s the next step?” I then proceeded to follow every step, attend every meeting, and schedule every appointment. Until one day, I burst into tears because my child was crying. He was as crying because he  wanted something but I couldn’t guess what. He kept shrieking and pointing but nothing I was picking up was what he wanted. I cried because my own flesh and blood couldn’t talk to me and tell me how to help him. Of course he stopped crying, but my god, once that faucet opened for me, I became an emotional wreck.

I began to lose hope in everything. Nothing was ever going to get better. People kept telling me “God blessed you with this child because children like this need strong mothers.” I say mothers because 1. That’s what they said and 2. that’s the word that pertains to this specific situations. I just wanted to clarify because there are some amazing fathers and single fathers in this community that do just as much as a mother does and I don’t want anyone to be offended. Anyways, I kept repeating, to no one in particular “but I’ve been through enough! When will enough be enough?” I let my depression get the best of me and just wallowed in my bed. I did what was necessary but never anything that was optional. I cooked and cleaned and cared for my child but never tried to exceed past that. I was in this black hole and shut out everyone. To me, no one could possibly understand me.

I remember getting exasperated because yet another service coordinator of mine was leaving on maternity leave and didn’t do their job efficiently so while Ayden was supposed to start school awkwardly in January of 2016, when he turned three (and aged out of early intervention), he was stuck with at home therapy. I HATED our ABA therapist at this point. At first she was very helpful but after a while, I saw her true colors. She was the only therapist who thought that my son was mentally retarded. While every other therapist and teacher said they see so much intelligence out of him everyday, she wanted him to wear a helmet and to diagnose him as mentally retarded with ADD. If he was actually those that things, then fine but if you ever met my son, you’d know it’s not true. I didn’t want to renew my contract with her, so we went without aba for a month. We transitioned into a center based program.

Touring All About Kids was a defining moment for me. While I still felt judging eyes on me, I had this gut feeling (and you know I always follow it), that things will change here for the better. At the center, you must attend with your child and wait for two hours until their sessions are over. Ayden also started to take speech therapy over there so some days we were there for several hours. AJ was so distracted by all the toys, he didn’t even notice that I was gone. But this isn’t about his progression/regression. This is about the village I found.

You always hear “it takes a village to raise a child” and usually you hear it from family. Well my family was (and even when they say other wise, is) in denial of Ayden’s diagnoses. In a Hispanic/Latino household, you’d only hear “but he’s just a baby, give him time or even better “your uncle didn’t talk until he was five.” Just because he didn’t talk until he was five doesn’t mean it’s okay. I never felt the amount of support from my family that I needed as a single mother of a special needs child. I was always told “if you need a break, let me know and I’ll watch him” but the offer hardly ever followed through. I accepted the fact that Ayden was MY child and MY responsibility a long thing ago, before his diagnosis. I didn’t want anyone’s help nor did I need it. I always made it work, but my mental health said otherwise.

I bought so much material to read on my first day without needing it because the mothers of the 9:30 am group were so welcoming to me. I began to find the village. Now, it wasn’t like they were babysitting or helping buy clothes. I was in charge of that 24/7 without a problem. They helped ME. They assured me that everything isn’t so bad as long as you have those who do understand how bad it is. There were mothers who were crying because their child didn’t eat or because their child didn’t touch certain things because of the feel of it. We all had our own mountain to climb. It was good to see other people go through the same problem as I was and realize, it could be worse. I was reading a blog post from Squeeze the Spaceman’s Taco on one of my darkest days. This post literally made my days brighter because it was all about “some people have it worse.” Now, I’m not happy people have these problems or conditions. Never. But I am glad that my child is getting the attention he deserves. He’s getting the help he needs, he’s clothed, fed, and most of all happy.

I think we all seem to forget what we have in front of us. We make such high goals that we forget the little goals that we have accomplished because they aren’t acknowledged as much as getting a house or car. A lot of people say “well these are things you’re supposed to do” but fail to realize that there are people who are horrible “parents”, starving their children on purpose or keeping all child support for themselves rather than their child. No one is SUPPOSED to do anything but rather WANT to do something. I want to be a great parent so I feed my child, play with my child, educate my child, dress my child. That’s what we call Love and yes, a lot of people take advantage of love. I see what I do for my child and autism or not, we truly are blessed and I am proud of my hard work. Whether you have a child with a disability or not, never forget to pat yourself on the back for doing the laundry or getting groceries, or reading them a bedtime story. Who knows, maybe those will be the memories that they’ll cherish. Those nights doing laundry with mom, grocery shopping with dad, the bed time stories with their parents. Everyday your child smiles, you’ve accomplished something. You’ll know you’ve found your village when those people applaude your “tiny” accomplishments.

Beauty

Mask Mondays

When you use make up, you have to take care of your skin. You should use make-up that’s healthy for you skin but also wash your face with great products that removes dirt and cleans your pores. I decided to dedicate my Monday’s to face masks. So this is how it’ll go from here on out: I’ll try a new face mask every Monday, I’ll try it every other day until the next Monday and then give you my one week review with a preview of the next face mask. I have a bit of an obsession for face masks and I’m always in the market for a good one.

If you read my previous skin care routine then you’d know that I’ve used the Freeman’s Charcoal and Black Sugar polishing mask and loved it. Since then, I discovered that Freeman’s makes a mud mask version of this one and decided to see if it’s just as good, if not better than the polishing mask. While both extract oils and impurities, the polishing mask also exfoliates your dead skin cells. I always use a toner anyways, which wipes off your dead skin cells as well, so I’m not concerned about that as much.

When I wipe off my make up, I go straight into a mask. I leave the mask on for the maximum amount of time (usually 20 minutes) and then wash/peel it off. Afterwards, I use a cleanser, wipe my face with a cotton round that has toner on it, if I am using a serum, I would go in with that and then moisturize. This mud mask requires me to apply an even layer on my face (avoiding my eyes and mouth) and wait 15-20 minutes until dry to then rinse it off. My first impression after using this is that it’s better than the scrub. The mask already feels slightly more powerful than the scrub. My skin looked glowy and moisturized without having to put moisturizer on yet ( I still did). Also, like most mud masks, I could already see my pores as the mask dried which always clues me in that it’s working. Come back next Monday so I can clue you guys in on this offensive looking mask.

Interior Cravings

Mini homegoods haul

I hardly go to HomeGoods because I always have to buy something so I try to stay away from temptation. It’s extremely hard when I work two doors down from a HomeGoods and some of my clients work there. Always telling me to come in, HA! Not today, Satan! If you don’t know, let me give you the privilege of knowledge. HomeGoods is in the name. It’s a store that sells home goods. Everything a home needs as decor, it’s there. Pillows, and art and lamps oh my! My house is made out of HomeGoods products. It’s all designer things sold at low prices. It’s the Marshalls or TJMaxx home section but giant. Which makes sense because they’re all from the same company. The one things about HomeGoods is that you can’t put something back on the shelf and say you’ll get it later. It’ll be gone later because someone else with taste bought it. It’s the devastating truth. Leaving with one or two things is always a win for me. Like this stuff:


I was in desperate need of a new picture frame because I only had one that contained a picture of my son. I wanted one for a picture of my boyfriend and I. HomeGoods has a whole aisle (both sides) dedicated to beautiful picture frames in all different shapes and sizes (my regular HomeGoods that is). They have intricate ones and simple ones for pictures of all sizes. I fell in love with this rectangular thick gold frame that has a chevron pattern all around it because of the texture of it. This frame was originally designed by Sheffield Homes and retailed at $10.00 but bought for $6.99. Not the biggest savings but savings none the less.

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I’ve recently become obsessed with candles. I don’t feel like my room has been completely cleaned until a candle has been lit and the room smells like some tropical island or fruit. My favorite candle being the Burt’s Bees Papaya Guava. So I would just buy a candle and light it but when you have an (almost) four years old, you can light a candle without them blowing it out. So I started buying these candle domes? I know they’re called candle holders but I always think of candlesticks and then Friends when Rachel and Monica keep packing and unpacking and then I get distracted and don’t do anything because I’m binge watching my favorite show ever. ANYWAYS!! I already had a candle dome from Target that I bought during the summer but this one is so winter theme. I love the wooden bottom and the carved out snowflake and the winter baby in me is so satisfied. I cannot for the life of me remember the original or sold price. I do know that I paid less than ten dollars. SO WIN!


This mini Christmas tree was a gem that I found that my mother and I fell in love with. Our original goal when we made our way to HomeGoods was to get some Christmas decor to place on the random tables in our house. Our routine is to go up and down each aisle and when we go through all the aisles once, we go through it again but separately so we can focus. I found this beauty in one of the aisles we already passed but I guess we over looked it. I grabbed it and went out in this crazy HomeGoods world looking for my mother. When I presented her this cute medium-sized tree, she fell in love with it. There was a few chipped parts but I like character so I was fine with it. We actually encountered a woman on our way to the checkout who had a similar one in her cart but the leaves (I guess) were more scalloped while ours were pointed. She gave it that look like she wanted it but I don’t play games when it comes to my purchases. Again, I don’t remember the original price but we paid $40 for this gorgeous tree that is now sitting on our radiator cover in our dining room.

My mom actually came back from her solo mission with a “believe” sign. After I finished singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop believing” I began to think of ideas to make the sign more Christmas-ey. I didn’t care for it because it looked so bland so be prepared for an upcoming DIY post possibly this week or next week. I’ve learned from my past posts to not make a deadline. The picture of the “love” sign is just to give you a comparison of the gold the “believe” sign had before.I think we paid $15.00 for this sign. I promise next time I will keep a record of the items original prices so we can have a comparison.
Last minute items my mom bought while we were leaving the store was this vase with fake water and flowers that we’re saving for spring time decorations (yes we plan ahead and change by seasons) and these cute little golden trees. They were the cutest things I saw and only cost $12 I believe (seriously I wish I had the prices.The flowers in a vase cost my mother (because I refused to have any part in this basic purchase)$45.00 which was on clearance apparently. This plant is apparently from the brand NDI which specializes in silk flower arrangements (didn’t even know this was a thing), faux greenery, trees and even faux produce. I do not know what these fruits and vegetables are made of but they can cost $200 or more. Our yellow kinda orange rose arrangement originally (we kept the sticker on) costs $186.00 but HomeGoods was selling it for $129.99. I guess because the season changed and it was still there, my mother got it for $45.00. Still wouldn’t have bought it but it’s her money. Also, can’t show you guys a picture because guess what! It’s out of season so my mother immediately put it in storage. Ah Nuts!

 

 


Now, I can NEVER EVER go to HomeGoods without two things happening. I lose my mother ALWAYS which makes me scream out “MAAAAAAA” after twenty minutes of looking for her. But the other thing that always happens is that I ALWAYS buy a new mug because I’m a weirdo. I have over ten mugs that are specifically mine in this household, all from HomeGoods with exception of two. One is my Deadpool mug from Hot Topic and my custom-made “I’m not a princess, I’m a Khalessi” mug. This specific mug is a pretty round mug that says “undercover Unicorn” which is basically a description of myself. It’s one of my new favorite mugs and Holds so much tea (12 ounces without overflowing). My Khalessis’ mug was also bought with a mug for my boyfriend that says “I’m not a Prince, I’m a Khal“. We like cute shit like that soooooo obviously I had to buy these adorable wine glasses. My boyfriend isn’t a wine drinker like I am, but he still sits next to me with a glass of Coca-Cola and pretends he’s drinking. These two stemless goblets by Fifth Avenue Crystal were originally $10.00 but I paid $6.00.The Unicorn mug, which was made by a brand called “Clay Art” retails at $6.00 but I paid $3.99. Ahhh, so much savings.

Anytime I leave HomeGoods with something, I can say it was a good day. I’m known to be very picky with my shopping and honestly if it wasn’t for my job, I wouldn’t have as much make up as I have today. I save so much with my discount that I just take the money with me to HomeGoods because I KNOW at least I’d leave there with a mug. I’m not an interior design expert but I am a HomeGoods expert. At least I think so.