Friday, April 20, 2012

Liebster Award


When I logged onto BlogSpot this afternoon, I was floored to find out that I had won my very first blog award! How humbling. I am truly so grateful to Keishy for choosing to my recommend my blog to her followers. She happens to have a wonderful blog herself and you can find it here. 

The Liebster Award, in a nut shell, is an award that one blogger can give to another if they feel as though the person should have a bigger following. From what I've read, the person you award this particular badge to must have 200 followers or less. Here are the ground rules.

1. Post the link of the giver.
2. Put your award on display! (On your blog, of course!)
3. Choose 5 blogs that you feel also deserve this award.
4. Share the great news with them by posting a message on their blog.

I put a lot of thought into who I wanted to give this award to, being sure to pick blogs that I enjoy reading myself, in hopes that you would all enjoy them as well. Without further ado, here are the winners of my Liebster Award (in no particular order)!

Please take the time to check all of these girls out. They all have wonderful blogs. (:

Monday, April 16, 2012

BEAUTY: Bath & Body Works, Rue21, CCO, Maurice's & Bare Escentuals Haul

I have been waiting for this trip to the outlet mall for months and I couldn't be happier with the deals that I got! While I did get quite a few clothing items, I decided to only post accessories and beauty products, as clothing is hard to photograph well. I am going to list original prices, along with what I paid so that you guys are able to see what truly awesome deals I got! That being said, let's jump right in!

Bath & Body Works

I went into Bath & Body Works with the intention of only buying "Sweet Pea" body mist. Now somebody please help me understand how I left the store with all of this, and no "Sweet Pea" body mist?! [I don't know if it's the blonde hair or the Polish heritage sometimes! Goodness.] However, as you can see, I did get two body mists--one in "Sea Island Cotton" and one in 'Pomegranate Citrus".  I prefer body mists to perfumes because they tend to have lighter smell, and they're often more affordable. These body mists originally retail for $12.50 each and I paid $3.00 for the "Sea Island Cotton," and $3.12 for the "Pomegranate Citrus." 

Also at Bath and Body Works, I picked up a shower gel in "Charmed Life." I've seen this scent at my local B&BW but never took the time to smell it. When I found it at the outlet in the 75% off bin, I decided to give it a try. It smells so great! The original price on this shower gel was $10.50 and I paid $2.62.

Sweet Pea is my favorite Bath and Body Works scent so I was super excited to find these pint sized body butters! They are the perfect size to toss in your purse or makeup bag, and even for traveling! The original price on these body butters was $6.00 and I got them both for $3.00 [$1.50 each!].

 The last thing I picked up at Bath and Body Works was this pink loofah. I was glad to find it because my loofah just fell apart and I needed a new one. Also, this shade of pink is so bright and fun! The original price on this loofah was $5.00 but I only paid $.99!


I haven't shopped at Rue21 since I was in high school. As far as I know, there isn't one close to where I live and a lot of the clothes that they sell are a bit young for me. [That makes it sound like I'm so old! I'll be 22 in May.] Anyhow, I'm glad we wandered in because I found the most ADORABLE sunglasses ever! They are technicolor cheetah print. Oh my goodness! If you know me, you know I have a rule about buying sunglasses. I will only buy sunglasses from the Dollar Tree because I am such an accident prone person. My sunglasses always get lost or broken, or both! So I quit buying expensive lens and have been opting for a $1 pair for years. That way, when I loose or break them I won't be so upset about it! This is the first time in years that I have broken that rule! I couldn't resist. While these weren't on sale, they were still a great deal at only $5.99.

Also from Rue 21, I picked up a new perfume! When we walking into the store we were given a sample of their new perfume "Etc!" I loved the scent so much that I just had to have it! It's such a light and fruity scent--perfect for Spring and Summer. Again, this item was not on sale but I only paid $9.99.


I have to admit, out of all of the stores at the outlet mall, I was the most excited to go to the CCO! I have never been, as this is the first CCO within driving distance of where I live. Because I have just started my makeup collection, I didn't have any high end items before this trip. I ended up leaving with all MAC products, though I was definitely tempted by Bobbi Brown & Clinique. ;) Here's a look at what I got!

The first item I got from the CCO was a Mineralized Blush in "Sakura" by MAC. It is from their Quite Cute line and is limited edition so I was really excited to find it. It is a gorgeous lavender color with cool undertones. I also love the heart detail, which is a dark pink color. When mixed together, you get a medium magenta pink color. Absolutely gorgeous. I LOVE it! This blush retails for $23.00 and I picked it up for $16.25.

 The next item I picked up was also from MAC and it is the Cremesheen Lipglass in "Geo Pink." When you look at it in the tube, it comes off as a coral or orange color but when it's on your lips, it's more pink. This lipglass retails for $18.50 but I lost my receipt so I'm not entirely sure what I paid for it. I want to say around $13.00? [Sorry about that!]

 The last couple of items I picked up at the CCO were MAC Metal Eyeshadows. I picked out "Peek At You," and "Prance." They are both in the neutral family, though they do both have a lot of shimmer. "Peek At You" is a light gold color with a metallic finish. "Prance" is more of a mauve color and would work well as a highlighter. They are both very silky and pigmented. They blend nicely. I would definitely repurchase these. They retail for $19.50 each and I paid $13.75 a piece.


The majority of the clothing I got on this trip was from Maurice's. The Maurice's in my area is pretty pricey but every time I go to the outlet, I get incredible deals and the staff is insanely helpful. It is one of my all-time favorite stores. If you don't have a Maurice's where you live, check out their website here

All of the accessories I got were 75% off,  including this adorable purse! As you can see, it's brown all over with really cute detailing on the outside pockets. The inside is lined with black. It has two separate main compartments for superb organization, as well as side pockets and a zipper pocket. While I don't typically care for tassels, I couldn't pass up this deal! The original price of this purse was $42 but I only paid $2.75!! Like I said, the purse was on sale for 75% off but they also let us stack two coupons on top of the sale. HOLYMOTHEROFGREATDEALS.

Also from Maurice's, I picked up this cute Accessory Travel Kit. I thought it would be really great for traveling with makeup. I have used it several times for overnighters since I got it, and it works perfectly. I'm able to fit everything I need, and then some, in this bag. It was originally $15.00, but was on sale for $4.99 and then an additional 75% off, plus our coupons...making it $0.75!! Unbelievable.

The last couple of items I picked up at Maurice's were these winter accessories. I was drawn to them because of the color and fabric. They are both so, so soft. I prefer mittens to gloves and headbands to ear muffs, so these were a great find. They were both originally $12.00, but were on sale for $4.99 each and then an additional 75% off, plus coupons, making them $0.75 each! I know Summer is coming, but for the price, I'll gladly store them until next Winter! 

Bare Escentuals  

I absolutely love Bare Escentuals. They were the first makeup brand that I started wearing when I was younger, and I've found that I much prefer the mineral feel over traditional liquid makeup. While the line can be a bit expensive [compared to drugstore brands], I find that it is entirely worth it. We just recently got a Bare Essentials store in our area, but the best deals can be found at the outlet mall, especially for kits, which is exactly what I got!

The first kit I got was the Champagne Toast Blendable Lip Collection. It came with a lipliner in "So Natural," a lipgloss in "Whimsy," and a lipstick in "Cat's Meow." I really like the idea behind these kits. They pair 3 lip products that will create a specific look but you have the ability to blend the colors to create multiple shades. This kit retails for $9.50 but I picked it up for $6.50.

The second kit I got was the Naturally Luminous Refreshing Color Collection. It came with a lipgloss in "Smoothie," a Big & Bright eyeliner in "Charbronze," a blush in "Miracle," a concealer brush and two eyeshadows in "Refresh" and "Restore." Finding this kit was kind of like hitting the jackpot for me because there were so many products in it that I either love, or was wanting to try. I adore the Bare Minerals lipglosses, so I was really happy to get a new shade to try. I've had been wanting to try their blushes, but hadn't gotten around to picking one up. Also, I have been wanting to try their eyeliners. I have blue eyes and they say that brown eyeliner compliments blue eyes the best, so this kit was really a great fit for me.   

I do apologize that it took me so long to post this. I know you guys have been waiting for it since I mentioned it last. I hope that you enjoyed this haul. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below! Also, I opted to not do swatches because there are so many products here. However, if you want anything swatched, just let me know and I'd be happy to do it!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

LIFE:A Change Is Coming

Just a note--If you are offended, in any way, by religion, skip this post. It is not meant to make anyone uncomfortable, or to offend anyone.

When I was in middle school my entire life was my friends, my family and my church. I spent at least 3 days a week participating in youth group, weekend services and volunteering. The majority of the meaningful relationships I had in my life at that time were friendships I had formed with people who were just as active in the church as I was. I remember feeling so loved and so welcome, no matter what was going on in my outside life, when I walked into the church. That all changed for me with a hateful rumor my sophomore year of high school. Looking back, it's hard to remember exactly what was said. I do, however, remember going to the pastor of my youth group looking for comfort. I was essentially told to "get over it." People who had been my friends for years were no longer talking to me, leaders were looking at me in, what seemed to be, a completely different light. The church went from a place of comfort and happiness to a place of rejection and hurt. I quit going to youth group, I let longtime friendships slip through my fingers without even trying to revive them, and I stopped serving and attending in every capacity. I was checked out. It took me months to even consider going back for regular weekend services. Even when I did decide to participate on the weekends, I wasn't allowing myself to get anything from the sermons. Attending every weekend eventually turned into attending "once in a while," which turned into not attending at all. It's been 7 years now and I find myself still struggling with everything I feel I've lost. 

Because Matt was scheduled to work on Easter, we made plans to have dinner with his Mom and Stepfather the night before to celebrate the holiday. Bruce and Lavon were planning on going to the 5pm Easter service at the church and asked if we wanted to attend with them. Reluctantly, I agreed. The day of the service, I found myself trying to think of any excuse I could use to back out. As the day wore on I would think of something, decide to use it, and then feel guilty and talk myself out of it. Finally, it was 4:30pm and they were at our house to pick us up. It was too late to back out. When we got to the church, I made a B line for the auditorium. We picked our seats and waited for the service to begin. The whole time we were sitting there, I felt awkward and uncomfortable. Once the service began, all of that seemed to fall to the wayside. I was overcome with emotion. It felt so good to be apart of of a place that had fundamentally changed my entire life, even at such a young age. I left the church that evening feeling so conflicted. I knew that God was calling me to be a part of his ministry, through my church. Yet, I felt weighed down by the fact that there were, and still are, so many people at the church that made me feel so useless and unworthy. I fought with those emotions for several days but ultimately decided that I was going to try to get involved again. 

Then, something came up today that was entirely unexpected. Yet again, I let my guard down and it came back to bite me in the ass. Yet again, the betrayal is coming from someone who I've considered a good friend for a lot of years--someone I know through the church. At first, I felt hurt and sad. Now, I see it for what it truly is. Childish. I refuse to let 2 or 3 people keep me from where I'm supposed to be. Some people will never grow up...and if they want to stay in a perpetual state of childish behavior, who am I to stop them? At some point, we have to allow the past to be just that, the past. I'm going to do my best to rise above it all and focus on what is right in front of family, my husband, my friends--and my future. If I can do that, the rest will fall into place. I'm not going to allow my past to define my future anymore, and neither should you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TAG: 19 Random Facts

Before we get into this tag, I just wanted to apologize for being MIA for the past several days. My husband and I have both been ill and I've haven't had the energy to do much of anything. Yesterday was so rough that I could hardly stand up without feeling like I was going to pass out. Luckily, my Mom is a nurse and she told me what medicine to pick up so I'm feeling quite a bit better today. Plus, my amazing sister brought me loads of medicine, soup, cough drops, ginger ale & chocolate last night. It's times like this that I am truly grateful for my family. (:

Anyhow, this tag is circulating YouTube right but I thought it would be fun to bring it to the blogging world. It was created by Liz [iheartmakeup92]. You can find her YT channel here. Let's jump right in!

High School
Wedding Day

1. I married my "high school sweetheart." Matt and I started dating my freshman year of high school [2004]. We actually broke up for about 6 months my junior year but, obviously, got back together. We got engaged on Christmas Eve of 2009, the year after I graduated, and got married on September 10, 2011. 

From L to R: Jessica, Me, Lindsay, Meghan
2. I have 3 sisters. I have always joked that I have one of each kind--1 full sister [Lindsay 24], 1 half sister [Meghan, 11]  and 1 step sister [Jessica, 22]. While I grew up with Lindsay and Meghan, Jessica lives in Washington and we don't get to see her as much as we'd like to. She flew in for my wedding and Lindsay and I are in talks of going to see her soon, hopefully this year!

3. I have a cat named Boston. I got him when I was 19. I lived alone at the time and I was really lonely. I wanted a dog but I was working full time at the hospital and wasn't home enough to care for a dog, so I ended up with Bos. He is seriously my little baby. I adore him! Fun fact--he is named after the Boston Redsox [a baseball team in the States]. My sister, Lindsay, picked the name.

4. I have always wanted to pursue social work. For as long as I can remember, I've felt a "calling" to help people. I went away to school in 2010 to pursue my degree but when Matt and I got engaged, I moved home to be closer to him. Unfortunately, there is only one college in my area that offers a social work program and it's a private school. The tuition is upwards of $30,000 per year and we can't afford it. I'm hoping that once we pay down our other student debt, I'll finally be able to go back to school.

5. I am insanely afraid of snakes. Even as a child, the sight of a snake made me want to vomit. I'm not sure what it is...I just cannot handle them. I have frequent nightmares about them and I even check the toilet before sitting down now because I saw a photo of a snake coming out of a toilet! My husband always jokes that he is going to put a rubber snake in the toilet to scare me...let's hope, for his sake, that he never tries it! ;) 

6. I still love, and frequently listen to, 90s music. I'll never forget my sister and I making up dance routines to N'SYNC in our garage. I have to say, though, that my all time favorite 90s band is the Spice Girls.

7. I missed my high school graduation. The high school that I went to was SO big. In fact, there were over 1,000 kids in my graduating class. I opted to not sit through graduation because I just felt overwhelmed by how may kids there were. Also, I transferred in my sophomore year. I had a hard time adjusting and never felt like I had good friends at my new school.  I know my parents wish I would have walked with my class, but all that mattered to me was actually graduating and moving on with my life. To this day I do not regret missing graduation.

8. Speaking of high school--I had some serious health scares while in high school. My sophomore year I suffered from persistent migraines. I was in and out of the ER for pain control and I saw several specialists. Doctors were throwing around things like Lupus or Multiple Sclerosis. I eventually ended up at the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago after suffering from a continuous migraine over the span of a month or so. I was admitted to DHC for about a week. They were able to get my headaches under control and put me on preventative meds to keep them from coming back but we never did figure out exactly what caused them. While I do still suffer from migraines, they are easier to control now. My junior year I had a 3rd degree facial burn. My Mom and younger sister were baking cookies and had stacked two pots together to make a double boiler. Because the pots weren't made for that, and they had no way to ventilate, pressure built up and they exploded. It just so happens that I had come downstairs to ask for help with my homework and I was standing right over the pots when they blew up. I was instantly blinded. I blacked out after that--but to make a long story short, I ended up at a burn clinic for close to 2 weeks. I was completely blind the entire time and they weren't sure if I would regain my sight. Thank God, I did and I have minimal scarring. My senior year I had kidney stones. They were too large to pass so I had to have them surgically broken up. High school was not a fun time for me, obviously!

9. I am a Taurus. My personality is pretty consistent with everything you read about Taurus', too! For example, I tend to be a home-body, I am pretty level headed until you make me which point, I become insanely stubborn, I have a hard time seeing things from the point of view of others, but I tend to follow the rules.

10. My favorite color is purple. It has changed a lot over the years but now I love purple. When Matt & I rented our first house, my crafting room was purple and zebra print. Now, my makeup desk is in our bedroom but I still have some of my purple and zebra print items out.

11. My celebrity crush is Jake Gyllenhaal...for obvious reasons.

12. I love Spring! I live in the midwest so the seasons change pretty frequently. I don't mind the snow in Winter, but the ice freaks me out and driving is too difficult! Summers here are unbearably hot and humid. Fall is gorgeous, too! However, I love watching the flowers bloom in Spring and the temperature is just right. I'll take 60's-70's and thunderstorms any day!

13. I don't like coffee. I know that may really surprise some of you. I have never really been a fan. I do love the smell of coffee beans, though. Is that odd? Yeah, I thought so.

14. My Dad picked my name. My Mom wanted to name me Jordan...I am so glad that never happened! I'm not a fan of names that are suited for a boy and/or a girl! I much prefer gender specific names and while Lorin is the masculine spelling of my name, there aren't many men with that name in the States.

15. I've never broken a bone. I'm probably jinxing myself by saying this, but it's true! I have sprained both of my ankles more times than I can count, but I have yet to break anything.

16. I don't have any tattoos. It's not because I am against them, I just haven't mustered up the courage to actually go have one done. I would like a small peace sign on the upper right hand corner of my right foot. I think when tattoos have meaning, they're beautiful. I don't understand people that have them all over their bodies, but they don't mean anything significant. If I am going to do something permanent to my body, you best believe it's going to mean something important to me!

17. I have had 5 piercings in my life. Two holes in each ear, and a nose ring. I went to job interview several months after having my nose pierced and decided to take it out. I was in the interview for about 3-4 hours and by the time I came out, the hole had closed. I was so upset. I haven't had it redone yet, but I plan to soon.

18. I love chinese food! I am super picky and only like certain items, but it's still one of my favorite cuisines. My favorites are egg rolls, pot stickers, and beef with broccoli. 

19. I want 3 or 4 children. I know this is going to sound so corny but I have always felt like my main purpose in life is to be a Mom. I have known that I wanted kids since I was a kid myself and that feeling has never left me. It's been a struggle for me watching several of my friends have babies. I have often felt jealous or envious of them. However, Matt and I have always been adamant about making sure we're 100% ready for children before we have them. There are things about each of our childhoods that we wouldn't want for our kids, so we're working extra hard now to make sure those things don't happen. We would like to buy a house that our children can grow up in, feel safe in and know that it's "home." Also, we want to be more financially stable so that we're able to provide our children with everything they want and need. I know that we'll have children one day, hopefully soon. All in time, right?

I hope that you guys enjoyed this post and I tag each and every one of you! If you do this tag, make sure to comment below with a link to your blog so I can check it out!