Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Favorites

I seriously cannot believe that another month has flown by and it's time for another monthly favorites. I have been able to try a few new products, so I am happy to share all of my loves for the month with y'all!

I'll tell you now, this month is going to be filled with a lot of random favorites. Since I get up at 5:40 for work, I tend to stick to what I know and use the same makeup products every morning to avoid running late. The only thing I have been really switching up are the blushes and highlighters I use.
1. Jordana 12 Hour Made to Last Eyeliner in Black Point
I discovered this towards the end of the month, but I decided to add it to my favorites because I literally have used it everyday since I have gotten it. This eyeliner works just as good as any high-end eyeliner pencil I have used.

I will say that during the day I have to give the ends of my eyes a good swipe because the eyeliner will run off my waterline and onto the outside corners underneath my eye. I don't know why my eyes do this, but it does this with multiple brands of eyeliners.

Regardless, I love his product. The pencil is a dark black, the eyeliner stays in my waterline (besides the tiny transfer on my below my eyes), and it's extremely affordable. I will never buy an expensive eyeliner again now that I know about this.

2. Physicians Formula Translucent Pearls
This month I have been all about the highlighters. I never used to use highlighters, but now I've become an addict. I don't know why I was so afraid to use them before, but I love the look they give off.

Out of the two highlighters I have been using this month, this one is more on the dramatic side. It comes off as a white/silver highlighter, which sounds terrible, but it really does look pretty on the skin.

3. Wet n Wild Rose Champagne Glow
This highlighter is a pinky champagne color that is so pretty on the skin. I feel like you can go really natural with this or you can go really dramatic. It's crazy that you get so much product for such a little amount of money you spend.  This thing will last me forever!
L to R: Rose Champagne Glow and Translucent Pearls 
4. Kate Spade Agenda
As you all know, I started my job a month ago. One of the first things I had on my list to buy was an agenda. When I was in school, my agenda was my best friend! My Lilly Pulitzer planner kept me organized and on top of all my assignments and tasks for my classes and organizations.

Well, this time around I decided to be different and buy a Kate Spade one. I'll admit at first I didn't like the layout of it. The spaces to write are extremely tiny, but then I came to the conclusion that I really don't need an agenda to write down tasks and assignments.
Basically I use this agenda to manage my finances. Since I am paid weekly, I write down a lists of where my money needs to go for the weekend and the following week. Right now I'm trying to manage some credit cards, buy a new retainer for my teeth and fix my car. This helps me stay organize and calculate when I will have each task paid off.

5. Kate Spade Tumbler
I bought this little baby during the same time I bought my agenda. I didn't need a new tumbler, but I just thought this one was too darn cute. Since I was making an order anyways with standard shipping being over 10 dollars, I decided to just add this in as well. I'm so happy I purchased this tumbler. I use it for work when I'm not using my Camelback. I love this tumbler because it's huge!
Kate Spade Tumbler compared to a regular tumbler
6. Lilly Pulitzer Elsa in First Impression
This has been my favorite piece of clothing since I got it. I have literally worn this every week since it arrived. I cannot express it enough how versatile this top is. I've worn it out on a date, to catch up with some friends and to work. It looks amazing with white pants and it also looks fabulous with dark blue jeans.

I hate to say this because these tops are so expensive, but I want at least two more of these in other prints.
Mad Men
YES! Mad Men is back. I have missed this show so much. I started watching the seasons in January and I became so obsessed with it. It was kind of ridiculous.
As you all know I was a PR major in school. At UT, a lot of the PR and advertising classes were integrated. So with taking a lot of advertising courses, we had a lot of class examples using Mad Men episodes. When we would watch it in class, I wasn't too impressed with it even though everyone raved about the show.

I don't know what made me decide to start watching the episodes online, but after the first episode I was hooked. I love this show because I reminds me so much of college and all the things I learned about advertising and PR. It makes me love PR and advertising so much more. Then you add juicy and scandalous drama to the mix! Its just perfection. I'm just so sad this will be the last season.

Two Broke Girls
This month I finally started watching Two Broke Girls and I am actually caught up with the new season. I don't remember exactly what series I was watching before this, but I knew I wanted to watch it because my friend recommended it and because it was something light and funny. I love this show!
New Girl
After I finished up Two Broke Girls, I wanted to continue watching a funny TV series. I was torn on watching this show. I didn't think I would like it, but boy I was wrong! I started binge watching it on my day off two weeks ago and now I'm already on season three.
Lean Cuisines
I used to eat these things all the time during college. They have been my saviors this month. This was my first full month at work and I took these for lunch the majority of the time. There was a few times I would bring leftovers my mom had cooked, but these added variety to my life.
I don't know how heathy they are, but I like them for portion control. I also love how the options they have are limitless. To name a few, I've had their pepperoni pizza, fajita spring rolls and sesame chicken. I don't think I have come across one that I just didn't like.

Sweet Potatoes
Okay. This is probably my most random favorite, but I just had to add this in. I've been loving eating sweet potatoes. I love potatoes, but I always stick to regular ones. When I've gone out to eat this month and I had the option of french fries, I substituted them for sweet potato fries.

I always thought it was weird to have savory sweet potatoes, but now I love them. I even made my mom make me some spicy sweet potato cubes from a recipe I found online for Easter. They were BOMB!

That's it for my monthly favorites! I told you all it would be a lot of random things.

What have you all been loving this month?

Love and desserts,

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Physicans Formula Haul

HAPPY WEDNESDAY! Two weekends ago I strolled over to my local CVS to pick up some Physicians Formula products. I found out via Nouveau Cheap that they were having a B2G1 free. My whole reason for going out and buying products I didn't need was because I had originally read her post wrong. I actually thought it was B1G1 Free (that was way to good to be true). So I pranced my tail into CVS having what I wanted in my head already picked out.

I wanted a Nude Wear blush, the Translucent Pearls, a Cashmere blush, and a Happy Booster highlighter. Well, I got two out of the four things I wanted.

Swatches without flash from L to R: Translucent Pearls, Blush, Bronzer
Swatches with flash
I've been using these products consistently for a week now and I wanted to give you my honest first impression on them.

Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent Pearls
I love this. I had heard so many people rave about this product via Youtube, so I knew I had to try this. I was a little weary when one of my favorite Youtubers said she wasn't a fan of this product recently because it came off as a silver highlighter, but because so many other people loved it, I bought it.

I don't have many highlighters, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I think this is my favorite highlighter I own. I like that you can tell there's a little brightening on the high points of my cheeks. The other highlighters I own come off more natural, which I think is a good thing, but I like this when I feel like my faces needs a little more oomph.
I'll be honest with you I do not like any of the Nude Wear products. I have been trying both the bronzer and the blush all last week and I just can't get with it. When Physicians Formula says Nude Wear, they definitely mean it. I was told via Youtube these products show up very light, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. From the swatches, I thought I would be able to pull it off, but it didn't. Let me be more specific by talking about the blush and bronzer individually.

Nude Wear Bronzer
When I looked at the bronzer, I just knew the darker shade in the box would show up on my skin. I was so wrong. When I swirled my brush in the product and transferred it to my skin, I saw absolutely nothing. So I went in again and repeated the process. I repeated the process a good three times and I still felt like I couldn't see diddly squat.

Also, I don't know if I'm using the wrong type of brush or if it's just the formulation, but it kicked up a lot of product.
Nude Wear Blush in Natural 
Well this was much like the bronzer, a total disappointment. I swirled my brush in the product a good three times and I barely see anything on my cheeks. It shows up more on my cheeks than the bronzer, but it's no where near the kind of pigmentation I like. I know, I know, "It has nude in the name, what do you expect Ashley?" I don't know what I expected, but I know it wasn't this. Much like the bronzer my brush kicked up a lot of product.
I think part of my problem is that I'm not fair skinned. I feel like these would work good on much lighter skin tones than mine, but if you're around my skin tone, I'll tell you now, you will not be impressed with these. I do love the packaging though. It's too darn adorable. I'm all about anything pink and anything with bows.

Even though I am not a fan with the bronzer or the blush, I am determined to make them work for me. I'm going to play around the with bronzer more and I might try using it as a blush in the summer to give me glowy cheeks. We'll see.

Have you tried any of these products for Physicians Formula?

Love and desserts,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Want it Wednesday - Lilly Pulitzer Edition

My obsession with Lilly Pulitzer is too real. I remember the first time I laid eyes on Lilly. I was looking for an agenda for college my sophomore year and I ran into a Lilly one online. It was love at first sight. I bought the planner and have used a Lilly planner ever since. (I did skip this year, because no job equals no money, which also equals no planner.)

I bought a few small items here and there. A koozie, a mini wallet key fob, a tumbler, a mug, and I even had my cooler custom-made with with prints and quotes. I also graduated in style by having my grad cap decorated in Lilly and wearing LP dresses for my graduations, but I have never actually bought anything from their website. Mainly because their clothes are too dang expensive!

Now that I am officially a working woman (thank you jesus!), I feel like every once in a while I can splurge on the things I want. These items from Lilly Pulitzer are ones I'm obsessing over and would love to have in my wardrobe.

1. Elsa Top in First Impression
LORD DO I LOVE THEIR ELSA TOPS! This Elsa top in the print First Impression is literally the love of my life. Because it was the Elsa of the Month for February, I was terrified I wouldn't be able to get my hands on it. If it's still in stock in my size by the time I get my first paycheck, IT'S MINE!

I just think this top has multiple purposes. I've written about this top before, so I don't need to ramble about it any further. Just know I'm obsessed and need it in my life. (Spoiler alert, I literally just bought this bad boy and I am obsessed with it already.)

2. Buttercup Scallop Hem Shorts
Obviously all of these things I want are not necessary, but they would be nice to have. I think the Buttercup Scallop Hem Shorts would be a great piece to have in my wardrobe. Spring is here and summer will eventually be approaching.

I can't wear these to work, but I think they would be a good staple for the weekends. It's a gorgeous print. I can pair it with a white shirt and be casual, but cute because of the print on the shorts.

3. Nigella Boatneck Maxi Dress
What can I saw about the Nigella Boatneck Maxi Dress? Well, it's definitely dramatic, but I'm dramatic so it's perfect! I really don't know when I could really wear this. Maybe for a date or day out? Who knows. I just honestly think it's a very pretty maxi dress and since I only have one maxi dress, why not add another one to my collection?

4. Whitaker Wrap Dress
Originally I wanted the Whitaker Wrap Dress for work. Now I realize wearing a dress to work is not as practical as I thought. Sure, I can still wear it, but sometimes I have to bend and pick up boxes. It's a lot easier to just wear dress pants and a nice top. I'd mainly wear this for a day or night out.

I think this is the next Lilly purchase I will be making because I think it would be a perfect dress to wear for upcoming graduations.

5. Delia Shift Dress
The Delia Shift Dress is to die for! I mean look at it. It's simply gorgeous. I really don't have a place to wear it to. Maybe buy it as a birthday dress? Although I want it, it may be a little impractical.

I found this print in the Iona Shell and I think it would fit my needs better. I can wear it on a night out or I can wear it to work, just like the Elsa.
1. Metallic Bow Tie Belt
I'm not going to lie, I mainly want the Metallic Bow Tie Belt because I saw it paired with the Whitaker Wrap Dress and I feel like it's necessary with the dress. HA

2. Cha Ching Leather Wallet
I have been needing a new wallet since the beginning of time. I have been using a mix between my Lilly Pulitzer mini wallet key chain fob that's falling apart and a faux leather cream wallet I got from Ebay a while ago.

Don't get me wrong, I loved my wallet from Ebay, but the quality is poor. I want to invest in a nice wallet that I will have for a long time! I was looking at the Tory Burch wallets, but I really don't want to spend too much.

When I saw LP had a wallet in a color that would practically match with everything and it was for a reasonable price, I put it on my shopping wishlist. Unfortunately, this puppy is no longer on the Lilly Pulitzer website. Now I either have to keep an eye out for it on Ebay when I have extra money to spend or I can buy it off of a website that carries Lilly products. (Spoiler alert, I got his baby too! Bought it on Ebay for only $50.)

Words cannot express how happy I was when I got my first Lilly Pulitzer purchase in the mail. I don't mean that in a materialistic way, but it was my first purchase I made with my first big girl paycheck. I think being able to buy things that I want with my own money is so rewarding. I will probably always associate my new Elsa with my first paycheck at my first big girl job.

Are you a fan of Lilly Pulitzer?

Love and desserts,

Monday, April 14, 2014

Manicure Monday - Butter London's No More Waity Katie

Happy Monday girls! This week I decided to wear a nail polish I never use. I knew there was a reason why I never pulled it out. Before I talk about the polish, let me give you a little background on why I bought it.

As many of us are obsessed with Youtube on here, I'm sure there has been a time, or two, or twenty where you bought something you probably didn't need because of a beauty blogger. It literally happens to me all the time.

It was the spring semester of my sophomore year in college. The two biggest topics in the media that I can remember from that time were Charlie Sheen and the royal wedding. I was watching a video by Ingrid aka missglamorazzi and she mentioned this polish by Butter London.

Before then, I had never heard of Butter London polishes. When Ingrid showed the polish, I knew I had to have it. Why? Because it looked so pretty in the bottle, it was a perfect color for spring and most importantly it was inspired by Kate Middleton.
No More Waity Katie in the flesh
 I don't know about you all but I go crazy over limited edition beauty products. It's like feeding an addiction to know you have something that everyone else is looking for! So the hoarder in me bought the polish.

When it came in the mail, I was so excited. My excitement was quickly short-lived because once I tried the polish on I was not a fan at all. I'm still not a fan. Here's my pros and cons of the polish.
1. I love the color. It's spring polish, but it's not your typical spring color. When I think spring polishes, I usually think of pastels.This is a nice twist on the traditional colors.

2. It's 3-Free. Butter London polishes don't have formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP in their formula. I'm pretty sure I don't own any other 3-Free nail polishes, so kudos to Butter London.

1. Formula. I don't like the formula whatsoever. When I bought this, I knew it was a jelly polish, but I had no idea it would be so hard to work with. I don't know how other Butter London polishes are, but this one is not about the right. The polish is too goopey for my liking.

I just feel really indifferent about this color. I love it in the bottle and I love the swatches for it online. It looks stunning on other peoples nails, but I don't feel like it looks all that great on me. I kind of feel like my nails look sloppy.

We'll see how long the polish hold up on my nails though.

What do you think of this color?

Love and desserts,

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Recap: The Sass, Class & Compassion Tour

Good evening everyone. I hope y'all had a fabulous Monday and a wonderful weekend. This weekend was extremely rejuvenating. I did only one thing, but that one thing was absolutely amazing.

Friday I had an early dinner with one of my good friends/sorority sisters at one of my favorite restaurants in Houston, Grand Lux Cafe. They have the most amazing Sicilian pasta a girl could ask for. After that I dragged her to an event I was dying to go to called The Sass, Class & Compassion Tour.
The tour involved the creator of The Single Woman, Mandy Hale, and the creator of Modest is Hottest, Jaime Jamgochian. Before the event, I had never heard of Jaime Jamgochian. My whole reason for wanting to go was to see Mandy, but after the event was over, I had a complete love for Jaime, as well.

If you have never heard of Mandy Hale, you need to. The Single Woman brand is absolutely amazing. She is a blogger turned writer who is so inspiring. I first encountered The Single Woman through Twitter. A lot of my friends would retweet a lot of her posts, which I would read and relate to. Now my timeline on Twitter is full of The Single Woman quotes.

Shortly after I discovered her twitter, her first book, "Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass" came out. I bought it and that was all she wrote. That book is perfection. I don't care if you're single, taken, boy or girl. I think anyone can relate to her message and I believe everyone should read it. Her message is inspiring and it also has Christian undertones in it, without being too preachy.
This book is EVERYTHING!
This book came out around the time my ex-boyfriend and I broke up and it honestly got me through the rough time I was having. My spirits were broken and reading that book made a world of a difference. (Book review coming soon.)

So when I heard she was coming to Houston, you know I had to go. The event was everything I could have ever wanted, even though I didn't really know what to expect. For some reason, I thought the event would be small. It was hosted at Lakewood Church and I forgot how many people attend that church. Everything was so cute. They even had a free candy and cupcake bar!

Once the event started the hosts did a welcome and also prayed over us. The prayer alone made me almost cry, but I held it together. Once the prayer was over, Jaime and Mandy were standing on stage, as gorgeous as they could be. They introduced themselves and told us what the purpose of their tour was. Once they gave their introductions, Jaime starting singing. They girl is not only beautiful, but she sings wonderfully.

After the singing, they each told us their own personal testimonies. If I didn't say it enough, these girls are so inspiring, it's unreal. They are role models anyone could look up to. They are woman of God and they are not settling for anything short of what they deserve in a man.

This event was all about praising single women and praising God. I feel like if these two gorgeous, fabulous and classy women in their 30's can be single and strong, there is no reason why I can't either.

Basically what I got out of this event was to focus on my relationship with God and everything else will fall into place. Despite feeling down on myself at times, God is right there with me. I can name numerous things in my life that have not gone as I would have hoped them to go, but God has a plan and I just have to trust in it.

At the end of the event they said a prayer for all of us girls and it was a prayer that I truly needed. It lifted my spirits.

At the end of the event Jaime was selling her CD and Mandy was selling her book. I had no plans of buying anything because I was short on money, but I just couldn't help myself. I went ahead and bought Mandy's new book, "I've Never Been to Vegas, but My Luggage Has." The best part of the whole experience was having Mandy sign my book and getting a picture with both women. I cannot express it enough how beautiful these women are, inside and out.
My friend and I taking a picture with Jaime and Mandy. Aren't they just fabulous? 

I look forward to reading Mandy's second book and I highly recommend looking her up via Twitter and reading her first book. She's awesome in every single way.
Have you heard of either Mandy Hale or Jaime Jamgochian?

Love and desserts,

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Big Girl Job and My Experience on Job Hunting

Happy Thursday! So by the title you can probably guess what this post is about. I got a big girl job! After 7+ months of job searching, this one landed right into my arms, literally. This is going to be one very long post, so brace yourself. I just had to share my experiences with you all.

My job hunting experience has not been the easiest. Actually,  it was hell and it was quite miserable, to be honest. I had been applying to jobs since June, while also trying to finish up summer school. At first I had every intention of staying in Austin. My friends were there, I had become accustomed to my life, and I felt independent.

I actually received a few offers, even one for my ideal dream job, which is combining makeup with PR/social media. Needless to say, the company showed their true colors and rescinded my offer because I asked about negotiating the salary.

Once I officially finished up my classes at UT, I moved from the place I had grown to love so much to under my parents roof in Houston. I was miserable to say the least! I had little to no friends back at home and I missed living in my apartment dearly.

Even though I had moved back home, I had every intention of being back in Austin again, so I continued looking for jobs out there. I went on a few interviews in Austin, until I hit another breaking point. I ended up receiving an offer that I wasn't completely excited about and also received an interview for a media company I was dying to join.

So what did I do? The media company sounded promising enough, so I took my chances and went on the interview in hopes that I could wait to tell the other company if I would accept their offer or not. My decision to accept their offer was all contingent on if I received an offer from the media company.

Well that didn't go too well. I ended up not getting the offer from the media company and the lady from the company I received an offer from decided to look for someone else because she didn't see "my enthusiasm" about the offer.

So there I was again back at square one. After I didn't receive the offer from the media company I really wanted to work for, I'm pretty sure I went into a mild depression. When most of your friends have jobs in their fields and are doing well for themselves, it's hard not to compare your journey with theirs. I stopped looking for jobs for a few weeks and I didn't feel like doing much of anything.
When classmates post pics of their new workplace on Facebook (via Buzzfeed)
After I got out of my slump I started my focus on jobs in Houston instead of Austin. I felt like my time to move back out to Austin came and went and I needed to think realistically about my future. My parent and student loans were over 100,000 dollars (yes, five 0's), my student loans were going to be coming my way in a few months and I needed to save as much money as I could.
When someone tells you: " I don't understand how you can end up unemployed with all of the money you spent on your degree!" (via Buzzfeed)
Although I hate living with my parents, I am very fortunate. I don't have to pay for anything (besides my half of the phone bill now). I wouldn't have to worry about rent, utilities, food or any other expenses that goes with living on your own.

When I started applying to jobs in Houston, I had no luck. Like none. After a while of applying I ended up getting an interview at a PR company and eventually landed the job. YAY, right? No. Lets just say they didn't have their stuff together.

I went in on the first day to find out they were going through a transition. The people who had hired me decided to split from the company and go their separate ways. So the owner who was now fully in charge had no idea what I was hired for. She asked me to leave for the day because it was the middle of the week and she was thrown off. She also asked if I could send her my resume and if I didn't hear from her in a few days to call her. WHAT? I was done.
This was me on my first and last day at the PR company
About a month and a half ago I applied for a social media position. I went through the phone interview and was asked to come in for an in-person interview. I was so excited about this interview and the company. I had really good vibes about it. After my interview I was told that they should have their decision within a few weeks. So I waited, waited and waited.
When you're waiting to hear from a potential employer (via Buzzfeed)
While waiting I got a phone call from my cousin, who works for an oil and gas company. She said they were looking for someone to be in the mailroom and that she thought it would be good for me. She sent over my resume and hours later I got a call saying I received an offer for the mailroom position.

My immediate thoughts were that I didn't want it and I wanted to wait to hear back from the social media position. So I asked if I could have a few days to decide. I was so conflicted.

The mailroom position came with a decent pay and benefits. Two things that I desperately needed, but it wasn't in my field. I'm a PR major who loves it dearly, especially the social media aspect of it. With PR jobs, they want to see experience, specifically in PR and mainly at agencies. I was afraid of taking the mailroom job because I didn't want it to hold me back from reaching my dreams and goals of one day working for a PR/advertising agency.

Well as you can see I was pretty conflicted, so what did I do? I prayed. I asked for God to guide me to the decision. I am a very indecisive person, so I need a little push in the right direction sometimes. Well my push came because the next morning my cousin called me and told me they wanted to know ASAP if I wanted the job or not and she basically told them yes for me.

At first I was mad about it, but then I thought long and hard and decided that that was the push I needed and asked for. She chatted with me and told me she started in the mailroom and moved up in the company. She also told me about her sister who also tried to find things in her field right away and how that didn't work out for her. She started with an oil and gas company too and now she is happy.

I know everyone's path is different and some people get the job of their dreams right away, but that hasn't worked for me.

Although I'm not where I want to be right now, I'm willing to see where this journey takes me. I would love to work my way up and eventually make it into their PR department here, but we'll see. I can't see the future and this is only the beginning.

For now I'm getting adjusted to my job and working 10 hour days. It's different from staying in bed for most of the day and being on Youtube, but I'm liking getting up with a purpose each day. I have my own little station with a desk and computer and I can't wait to spruce my area up!

Have you ever had a rough job search or are you job searching currently? Let me know your stories!

P.S. All the GIFs come from an article on Buzzfeed. If you are going through a journey of job hunting, this will make you feel so much better. I have went through every struggle this article talks about!

Love and desserts,