To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: October 20

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this week!

  • Saturday was a very social day for this hermit! First up was a lovely brunch with Deena, my South Philly roommate and Sasha's owner!

 

  • Then former roommate #2, Paulina (my college roommate), came over and took me to The Cheesecake Factory for a belated birthday dinner! Yay for redhead reunions!

 

  • For Disney Week on DWTS, Val and Victoria danced to music from Steamboat Willie!! It's no exaggeration to say that Pops and I were hype AF (unlike probably everyone else haha).

Mickey's whistling while steering the boat has always cracked Pops up, so now this movie has become synonymous with him. I actually have Mickey's whistling set as Pops's ringtone on my phone!

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  • I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday feeling super nauseous, bleh. So I sought medical attention in the form of Scrubs at 2:30 in the morning and used that to distract me into feeling better. And it actually worked! Hooray!

 

  • And lastly, when your worlds collide!
I did actually have Grey's on when Yoga Anatomy arrived in the mail! If only Ellen Pompeo narrated that too...

I did actually have Grey's on when Yoga Anatomy arrived in the mail! If only Ellen Pompeo narrated that too...

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: October 13

JessComment

Let's see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • On Saturday, I got my car washed (HOORAY) and went to Marshalls. I was in search of a birthday gift, so of course, I found two Christmas gifts for other people. Oh, and UNICORN + DONUT WRAPPING PAPER:
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I had spotted this at HomeGoods months ago, didn't buy it, cracked and went back to get it, and then couldn't find it. So I pounced when it turned up at Marshalls!

 

  • On Sunday, I spent most of the day cleaning/organizing my room and could not have been happier. (The things that you end up doing when you sit down to read!) In case there was any doubt that I'd lost my mind, I had "Everybody Dance Now" playing on repeat for hours on end as I cleaned. 👌
My desk has managed to stay this clean! 🎉

My desk has managed to stay this clean! 🎉

  • On Tuesday, I found some pretty sunflower friends near therapy!
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  • After my flower creep, I was reunited with my dear Timmi before she jetted off to London!
Legit ride or die--she's the second friend passenger I've had in my car!

Legit ride or die--she's the second friend passenger I've had in my car!

It was so good to see her, even if it was just for chicken fingers (#SHAlife) and an hour of deliberation about where to eat while her pups used us as a jungle gym.

Wherein Mieze and I both act as Biene's ottoman.

Wherein Mieze and I both act as Biene's ottoman.

  • Lastly, I've put out my one fall decoration! 👏😂
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: October 6

JessComment

Oh sparkle, where art thou? We need you this week. 

  • My jam this week (even before the Vegas tragedy) has been George Harrison's "Hear Me Lord." What a gorgeously powerful song. Leave it to George to make a plea to God catchy. My bffl got super into the Beatles in college and took me along with her, so we listened to all Beatles albums and solo albums in their entirety. When we got to All Things Must Pass, this song immediately drew me in--such a depth of pain and longing. Definitely where I've been this past week (although I also have the jaunty "Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp" on my phone now too, to balance things out! You might know that one from HIMYM.).
  • Because I was away at yoga TT on Saturday, I missed the chance to reunite with one of my dear high school pals and go to homecoming (or more accurately, Heartcoming!). Our school recently changed names, and we were plotting to snag some discounted swag. Well, it pays to have friends in high places like Kate--because she's that person that everyone knows and loves, one of her friends (who conveniently works at the school) was able to hook me up with two sweatshirts! SWEET!

 

  • The thrill of moving around my therapy appointments to avoid Center City was short-lived when I remembered that I had a psychiatrist appointment in Center City on Monday. Curses! But I managed to find a (PULL-IN!) parking space for $3!! Ok, so it was a half mile walk from the doctor's office, but who cares! THE THRILL OF VICTORY! 🎉


 

So I decided to bury the heavy a bit in this post, so that you can just skip on over it if you don't need more heavy in your life this week!

  • As I mentioned in my October goals post, I got pretty emotional during yoga last weekend. But afterward, I spent all of maybe four minutes talking about it to one of the facilitators (who is also a therapist), and it made me feel SO MUCH better. My default reaction to feelings is to immediately try to bury them, but giving them voice in this instance really helped me to let them go--and make room for new feelings, if that makes sense. Carrie had assured me that my feelings of sadness were welcome (like that I didn't have to be fake happy to be there), but once I talked about them, that was enough. They just sort of fizzled. Interesting.
     
  • In the same vein, my regular therapist and I talked this week about how feelings come and go. That is something I get stuck on--panic and fear that my feelings won't change. But they do. And talking about them can help. ❤️

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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October 2017 goals

JessComment
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Soooo I fell behind with my August budget post thanks to vacation, and since I hadn't done any of my August goals anyway, I just rolled them into September and skipped the posting part. Now that it's October, and I've kind of done one of my August goals, I'm ready to admit defeat on the others and set some new ones!

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1. Get 8 hours sleep: This one is still a work in progress, but it's getting better. I've started getting into bed earlier, which certainly helps!

2. Try envelope system (and stick to the amounts I budget!): I start out with the best of budgeting intentions, but at some point during the month, that usually goes off the rails and then I get all negative and spend more freely than I should. So I'm (sort of) trying the enevlope system--but rather than actual envelopes, I found some dividers on Etsy that I've cut out and put in my wallet, and I plan to use cash for these spending categories, to see if that helps me. (I never usually have cash on me, but it's just so easy to lose track of my spending when using a debit or credit card.)

3. Just show up: Last Saturday (the last day of September), I cried my way through a yoga class and felt old feelings of hopelessness. So this goal is just a reminder to keep showing up in my life, to keep trying, and to keep questioning feelings of despair. And also to just try things (yoga, writing, etc.) with the awareness that it's okay to be mediocre, as my therapist tries to tell me!

 

I decided to pick a Healing with the Angels Oracle card for the month, and this was the one I got:

"Your angels are trying to get your attention--please notice!!" 

"Your angels are trying to get your attention--please notice!!" 

You might recall that Signs was the first Angel card I ever picked, before I even had a deck of my own! Signs definitely fits with my interest in developing my intuition and with my discussion with the tarot card reader.

 

And how about "out of hiding," my Phrase of the Year? Well, I went on vacation and pranced around Disneyland with a birthday pin! 😊 And I started yoga teacher training and went back to the yoga studio near work! 

 

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: September 29

JessComment

Oh boy, let's see what put the sparkle into this week! 

  • This has not been an easy week. Feelings of hopelessness and the desire to give up creep into my life a lot. (I'm not talking about suicide here, but about more benign things, like making healthy changes in my life.) Some weeks, I am more able to fight that impulse. This was not one of those weeks. (I swear, the sparkle is coming!) 

My reflexive reaction to things is giving up. I'm not proud of it, but I often feel powerless against it. If I'm not perfect at something, I don't want to do it. Just showing up doesn't feel acceptable to me. I have to be great, or else, why bother? Which (surprise!) is SO limiting.

So my therapist encouraged me to try to embrace being mediocre at things.

For instance, instead of focusing on how bad I am at yoga, and how annoyed that makes me, just keep showing up. Just keep trying. (Conveniently, I do have Yoga Teacher Training this weekend!) 

Just keep staying alive. I get annoyed with myself for not having done more in the 4.5 years since inpatient. Like, I'm actually working on my shit now! Hello, Mental Health Gods, it's me, Jess--make me better already!

Buuut that's not how it works. I still have to keep showing up in my everyday life as much as anywhere else. And get okay with the fact that I'm more able to sparkle punch some weeks than others. There's a lot of grey that gets lost amid the black and white. And THAT'S where the sparkle can come in.

 

  • MOVING ON! I went to a tarot card reading on Friday night, and it was so freaking cool! I'm so curious about connecting with the spirits/universe and discovering my intuition. I think it might help me to feel less lost and negative about my life.

 

  • So many things the tarot card reader and I talked about related to what had been coming up for me in therapy. She urged me to remember that "I'm in the process" and encouraged me to keep my eye out for synchronicities in life. So when I was at TJ Maxx on Sunday, this picture jumped right out at me. 
Huh. How about that.

Huh. How about that.

  • This has been my jam this week. (You might also recognize it from Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day," which is what sent me down this rabbit hole in the first place!)
  • This chick is back eeee! I don't have a ton of interest in current Grey's, but I was pumped about Teddy's return and literally shrieked when I saw her. 
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I was so sad when she left at the end of season 8, and she didn't even die! (Such a rarity on Grey's!) 

😂❤️ 

😂❤️ 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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September 2017 budget

JessComment

Well, it happened. I finally started to talk about my spending in therapy. Because I'm not happy with my financial situation, and not talking about it isn't helping, so why not? 

I've definitely shopped more in the past (like, all of 2015?), but it just feels different now. I want to be able to also save money and do bigger and better things than just go to Target. I need to get better at letting that impulsive "You totally need this!!1!" rationalization pass and focus instead on my bigger financial goals.

So that's a work in progress. 

I actually spent less this month than last month (🎉), and let's see what I got:

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  1. Super Pure Serum (Glossier): $28
  2. Geometric ring (Baubles By Bets): $19
  3. LashSense with UnderSense (Lips that Last by Becky): $20
  4. Milky Jelly Cleanser (Glossier): $18

Not pictured:

  1. ShadowSense in Sandstone Pearl (Lips that Last by Becky): $22 - 10% off = $20
  2. Embrace High-Waist Laser-Cut Legging (Target): $35 on sale for $10 - gift card = $0
  3. Lipsense freebies! Fly Girl and Matte Gloss

TOTAL: $105

The Super Pure Serum has been underwhelming thus far. It just feels like water, and it doesn't seem to have had any effect on my skin (which is prone to redness, the problem Super Pure is supposed to target). With that said, I know that it's only been a few weeks, so I'm curious to see if it does anything going forward. 

I do, however, LOVE the Milky Jelly Cleanser, which feels lovely on the skin! This was actually a repurchase (bottle #2!). PS - If you want to try out Glossier, you can get 10% off your first purchase with my link!

I think geometric rings are so pretty, but I always seem to have a hard time finding them--or, at least, finding them in a small enough size (I'm a 4-5) and in rose gold (❤️). So discovering this ring on Etsy was a total win! It's exactly what I've been looking for!

I don't have much feedback on the LashSense + UnderSense because it only just came a few days ago! I've only tried the LashSense part so far and was impressed with how fully it coated my lashes in 1-2 coats. I had to rewatch one of Becky's videos to remember how to apply the UnderSense, though (😂), so I'll give that a whirl next time! The fact that you can get both products for $20, as opposed to paying $21 for Urban Decay's similar under-lash booster (which I've done in the past!) definitely intrigued me! Plus, LashSense comes in brown--hooray!

I'm actually going to exchange the Sandstone Pearl ShadowSense for Candlelight because I want to use it as a concealer, and the Sandstone Pearl was a bit too yellow for me.

The Target leggings are awesome. I have no idea why they were on the sale rack, since they are apparently full-price online, but hey! They are comfy with those snazzy on-trend cut-outs/mesh PLUS a pocket that can fit my iPhone 7!! (I'm so glad leggings with pockets are a thing that exists now, you don't even know. 🙌) Oh, and I only have like two pairs of leggings that are made out of a wicking material (it's not like I work out normally lol), hence picking up this pair, since I will be doing yoga regularly for at least the next seven months!

And lastly, two LipSense freebies that I had earned! Although other colors and glosses appealed to me, I wanted to go with classics that I wasn't sure I'd use enough to justify paying for. Enter Fly Girl and Matte Gloss!

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Fly Girl legitimately terrifies me, but a red felt like a make-up bag essential. As did the Matte Gloss, which I had previously wished I'd had when I was using First Love more! 

High Five for Friday: September 22

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this week!

  • So I started something new last Friday... yoga teacher training! Eek! You might recall that I don't love yoga and certainly don't have a consistent yoga practice, so this is a bit of a strange choice for me. But I have worked with one of the teachers for years and love her, and I figured that the structure would force me to stick with yoga instead of just taking a class every few months. Even though it's only been one weekend, I've already learned so much, especially about myself because I am not good at yoga, and I usually only do things that I feel good (or at least competent) at. Feeling like the "worst" one in a group and experiencing that vulnerability is really tough for me, so just going back each day has been a big accomplishment so far, instead of being one and done (or one and run!).
This is generally how I feel during yoga. 😂

This is generally how I feel during yoga. 😂

 

  • I stayed over at yoga teacher training last weekend so as to not have to drive back and forth every day, and it was like a wonderful mini vacation! On Saturday night, I did all of my favorite things: went to Target (where I found an awesome pair of leggings on sale for $10), stopped at Sheetz for some popcorn chicken (chicken nuggets and fries are 100% my guilty pleasure), came back to Netflix and chill by myself, and went to bed at 11. It was GREAT!
Don't look so surprised, cast of Haven!

Don't look so surprised, cast of Haven!

  • I also found this iPhone case at Target, and I love it! So pretty, so purple--it's perfect for me! (Rose gold and purple?! It's like Compton and Long Beach together--now you know you're in trouble! If you're my wallet, that is! 💸)
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  • For the past five years, I've seen therapists in Center City, which was a lot more convenient when I lived in South Philly or took Septa to work (which meant coming through the city every day). But since I started driving, the act of physically getting to therapy has been a giant pain in my ass. Besides the Paperboy nature of city driving in general, you also have to search for parking, which can cost up to $30 for ONE HOUR. ☹️ Considering my driving phobias, I didn't want to wuss out, but just how much do I have to make myself suffer? So this week, I finally asked my boss if he was okay with me switching my work from home day to Tuesdays so that I can see my therapist at a different office that's WAY WAY less annoying to drive to and always has free, non-parallel street parking. I have a hard time cutting myself some slack, as well as asking for things, so this was a major accomplishment on two counts. HOORAY!

 

  • Lastly, if you're a grammar nerd like me, you'll appreciate this Buzzfeed article. ("COMMA AS YOU ARE" OMG.) That comma cupcake makes my English major heart sing with joy.
I might have made cupcakes quoting a line from Faulkner before, so the person who made the comma cupcake is basically my soulmate. 

I might have made cupcakes quoting a line from Faulkner before, so the person who made the comma cupcake is basically my soulmate. 

  • Bonus because I'm OBSESSED with my dahlia! Look at how bright it is when it first blooms and then how the color fades so beautifully after a few days. 😍(As you might have gathered from Instagram, I take more pictures of this beauty every day haha.)
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: September 15

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this blur of a week!

  • On Saturday, I made some goat friends!! Pops took me to the nearby animal sanctuary (the one he'd taken the injured bird to), and I got to meet Spike:
plus random chicken  

plus random chicken  

And Frankie:

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I fed them crackers, which made them love me for a few seconds (❤️), and I also got to gawk at some chickens. I was really living my best Little House on the Prairie life!

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  • I very nearly had a cat-free week, but then a miracle happened: one showed up at work! A gingy cat! Hanging around where the groundhogs usually are! I'm sure the ladies lunching at the restaurant under our office appreciated me frockling through the grass making kissy noises for a cat who was like "Maybe if I don't move, she won't see me..." Needless to say, he was not my biggest fan, but I got my cat fix after all!

 

 

  • My bffl is now rewatching Haven too (in which characters have "troubles" aka bizarre problems ranging from not feeling pain to causing physical structures to crack nbd), and we made this sad realization:
SAD BUT TRUE

SAD BUT TRUE

  • I've been in a real Lucky and Liz circa 1998 spiral this past week. (Luckily, there are people who have done God's work and compiled the whole storyline in playlists on YouTube 🙌🙌.) Bonus that I get to hear fine, greeting-card-worthy soap lines like this:
A reasonable question.

A reasonable question.

  • And finally, there's more blooms on my dahlia!! 🎉💖🎉

 

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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Outfits of the month (August 2017)

JessComment

You know, I used to post more than just H54F. But for whatever reason, this year, I just haven't been able to motivate myself to blog much.

For instance, I've enjoyed documenting my daily outfits on here for the past two Augusts, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to get myself to edit and post pictures in weekly batches, as I had in the past.

Enter Instagram.

I was actually energized at the thought of posting my outfits on there every day (rather than letting the pictures pile up), so I decided to do that instead. Sometimes, you just need to find an alternative, instead trying to force yourself to do something you're not super interested in (which usually ends in not doing it at all).

An unforseen bonus to using IG was being able to talk to y'all in real time! I so loved seeing all of your likes and comments, and getting to talk about clothes and girly things on work days! (I have two coworkers, and they're both dudes, sooo...)

Here are a few of my favorite outfits from August! My job doesn't have a dress code, so most of my outfits consisted of jeans or leggings plus tees. Nothing too exciting. But the Lindsay kimono helped me to break up the monotony! 

Lindsay kimono: LulaRoe by Dre Lydon (2017) | Tank: Gap (thrifted 2011) | Jeans: Gap (2014) | Sandals: Target (2017) | Belt: Loft (2014) | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Poshmark 2017)

Lindsay kimono: LulaRoe by Dre Lydon (2017) | Tank: Gap (thrifted 2011) | Jeans: Gap (2014) | Sandals: Target (2017) | Belt: Loft (2014) | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Poshmark 2017)

I would never normally pair a kimono with dressy shorts, but I LOVED this look! I felt so sassy in SoCal!

Lindsay kimono: LulaRoe by Dre Lydon (2017) | Tank: Gap (thrifted 2011) | Shorts: Sans Souci (thrifted 2017) | Sandals: Target (2017)

Lindsay kimono: LulaRoe by Dre Lydon (2017) | Tank: Gap (thrifted 2011) | Shorts: Sans Souci (thrifted 2017) | Sandals: Target (2017)

I love a boxy shirt and skinny jeans, and this thrifted Aerie tee has been one of my faves lately!

Tee: Aerie (thrifted 2017) | Sandals: Target (2017) | Crossbody: Francesca's (2017)

Tee: Aerie (thrifted 2017) | Sandals: Target (2017) | Crossbody: Francesca's (2017)

I wouldn't normally pay $55 for, well, any clothing item, but this Carly is so cute and comfy! I just love it! (Accessorizing with an earhat optional.)

Carly dress: LulaRoe by Serena McCullough (2017) | Sandals: Target (2017)

Carly dress: LulaRoe by Serena McCullough (2017) | Sandals: Target (2017)

Carly dress: LulaRoe by Serena McCullough (2017) | Sneakers: DSW (2016) | Longchamp Le Pliage: eBay (2015)

Carly dress: LulaRoe by Serena McCullough (2017) | Sneakers: DSW (2016) | Longchamp Le Pliage: eBay (2015)

I tend to wear things I love to death, and this romper from 2015 is still a summertime staple. Such a great, comfy piece! (Also, one of my friends recently suggested wearing a bralette under a romper, to avoid that pesky bathroom nudity issue, which is GENIUS.)

Romper: Old Navy (2015) | Sandals: White Mountain (2015) | Sunglasses: Kate Spade (2012)

Romper: Old Navy (2015) | Sandals: White Mountain (2015) | Sunglasses: Kate Spade (2012)

Linking up with Laura for Confident Twosday!

High Five for Friday: September 8

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this week!

  • Remember how I planted flowers on the 4th of July and realized that I hate gardening? Well, the poor plants had been looking pretty beat for awhile and I was convinced I had killed them. BUT LO AND BEHOLD:  
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So beautiful! So not dead! In fact, there are several other blooms in progress! I feel like such a proud plant mom!

 

  • THREE cats visited us this week!! First up is Cinny, who fled from me even though I called her "Tina." 😿
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Then we had Blackie, who sat outside our window meowing, but hid in the hedges when I came out to smother him with affection. Why are you meowing if you don't want to make friends?!

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And lastly we had...

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I think this might be Brindle Pinky, Cinny/Tina's housemate who rarely comes to our side of the block. And probably will not be back anytime soon, as she was the most terrified of me. Womp.

 

  • Over the weekend, I had a little family birthday party! I recently discovered that Wegman's cake is AMAZING (I usually hate store bought cake), so I drove all the way there to get the delicious chocolate buttercream/yellow cake of my dreams! My aunt was teasing me about doing all the work for my own party, but how else are you going to get what you want?! 🎂
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  • And among the awesome cards and gifts from the fam were William Shakespurr, a cat water bottle, and PUSHEEN IN A DONUT FLOAT.
"To bday or not to bday" 😂 

"To bday or not to bday" 😂 

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  • Lastly, a Weird-Ass Show of the Week! Has anyone watched the Syfy show Haven? Despite my occasional love of Supernatural, I really don't love the supernatural--it's all about the pretty boys... and the same was/is true for Haven, which stars the foxy gent below, Lucas Bryant. (My bffl and I first fell in love with him when he starred in the Canadian hockey soap opera MVP, which is seriously a real show.) Haven is as weird as I remember, but I'm enjoying it a lot more on my second viewing. (I only got through a handful of episodes the first time around.) This season one moment killed me in 2010 and still does now. ❤️
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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August 2017 Budget

JessComment

I know we're now in September, but I didn't get my act together to post this before vacation, so here's some August shopping retrospection for you!

Ok, I spent more than I wanted to last month, but I've already worn/used all of these items multiple times, so I'm ok with it. As much as I still don't feel in control of my spending, I am getting better at buying things I know I'll actually use--and returning things I don't. (More on that in a minute.)

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  1. Blue LulaRoe Lindsay (LulaRoe by Dre Lydon): $48- $10 off = $38
  2. Tori Whipstitch Camera Crossbody (Francesca's) $38 on sale for $20
  3. Makesense Color Correcting Tinted Moisturizer (Lips that Last with Becky): $48
  4. Black faux leather backpack (Primark): $15

Not pictured:

  1. Lavender LulaRoe Irma (LulaRoe by Dre Lydon): $34
  2. Merona Relaxed Scoop T-Shirt (Target): $8 on sale for $6
  3. Super Stretch Skinny Jeans (Primark): $15
  4. Drape Collar Grey Cardigan (Primark): $14
  5. Solid Brush Cleaner (Sephora): $15

TOTAL: $205

Buuut because I bought the Makesense CC cream, I returned the Sephora Airbrush Foundation I got in May, which takes $28 out of my overall spending for the year.

So $205 - $28 = $177 = Only $7 over my $170 monthly budget, but I still feel somewhat guilty because I know I can do better and spend less on clothes, accessories, etc. Sigh.

 

MOVING ON! If you follow me on Instagram (@jessie_face4), then you've already seen some of these pieces in action while I documented my OOTDs in August! I LOVE the lavender Irma, it's so darn soft (oh and PURPLE!). And although I was on the fence about the Lindsay, I love that too! And it was part of one of my favorite August outfits:

This tank top is from 2011. When I do find something I love, I wear the heck out of it.

This tank top is from 2011. When I do find something I love, I wear the heck out of it.

I was also iffy on the Primark jeans, but I really wanted another pair of jeans to take on my trip, and these are AWESOME. Super skinny without being tight, great wash, and best of all, SO SOFT! For $15?! I definitely want to go back and pick up another pair.

The Primark backpack is super cute and very roomy. I used it as my carry-on for my trip, and it was great! I kept my baggie of liquids in the front zip pocket for easy access, attached my pillow with a carabiner, and fit all of my tech stuff, snacks, and magazines in the big compartment. Plus, it looks way more expensive than $15. I'm not a huge backpack person, but for $15, you can't go wrong. And the Francesca's camera bag, which also came on our trip, is the small tan crossbody of my dreams (conveniently, something I'd been looking for).

And my love affair with the Makesense tinted moisturizer (previously discussed here) is still going strong, don't worry!

 

What did you buy this month? How have you been able to control your spending/stick to a budget?

High Five for Friday: September 1

JessComment

Happy Friday, everyone! I missed you last week! My trip to SoCal definitely put the sparkle into the past week+, so let's see what I can remember despite post-trip delirium!

  • I guess the biggest thing we did was celebrate my birthday (Monday 8/28) at Disneyland! 
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This wasn't the reason we went to CA, but once we started looking at potential dates at the end of August, I was like, "If we're going to be there on my birthday, we're definitely going to Disney!" So we did! And I even got a birthday button!

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I used to be crippled by birthday anxiety, but now, I just try to embrace the love and attention that comes with that one special day. Pops and I had a great time wandering around Disney and California Adventure, tracking down the Dole Whip, and going on a few tame rides. (I am so not a rides person.) Even though it was 90+ degrees and I legitimately got prickly heat, it was a wonderfully fun birthday!

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  • While in Cali, I also treated myself to a manicure because my chipping nails were driving me nuts. Because I rarely get my nails done, I decided to go with SNS, aka Tif's nail polish of choice! It's so crazy that they use colored powder and it turns out like this:
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Best of all, it hasn't chipped! It still looks the same, one week later! 💯

 

  • Pops and I got to spend two days at Crystal Cove, which is both a beach and a state park! Friday was grey and kind of chilly, so we just wandered around taking in the beautiful scenery.
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Tidal pools!

Tidal pools!

We only encountered one cat in California but so.many.birds.

We only encountered one cat in California but so.many.birds.

And then Anaheim entered a ridiculous heat wave (see prickly heat above), so we went back to the beach on Tuesday and actually took advantage of it! I finally got to sit on the beach with a trashy magazine, which is all I'd wanted to do all summer!

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  • We also managed to squeeze in a Dodgers game, which was a blast, even though getting to Chavez Ravine was hell on earth. (Once we got close, it took roughly 30 minutes to crawl three miles.) Luckily, the game and "Friday Night Fireworks" (almost) made us forget about all that!
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  • On our last day, we went to Downtown Disney, and I finally found an ear hat that I like! A pink bedazzled bow always helps.
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  • Amid all that activity, we also got a few nice moments of normalcy/relaxation, like when I discovered that Grey's was on in the hotel! 
👌 

👌 

Whew, what a whirlwind two weeks! Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: August 18

JessComment

Here's where I found the sparkle despite being generally disheartened this week:

  • I went to the mall near work on Saturday, which was a major accomplishment because a.) I left the house! b.) I went on a "frivolous" outing that included highway driving and nothing bad happened! and c.) I was able to keep in mind the things I've actually been looking to buy, rather than just buying everything in sight! I also discovered the joys of Primark (anybody else love it?!) and made the very important purchase below. (For the record, I had been looking for a key cap for awhile!)

 

As Timmi put it, "Pusheen with a Stormy hat!" 💯

As Timmi put it, "Pusheen with a Stormy hat!" 💯

  • I bought this ridiculous contraption on Amazon and BY GOD IT WORKS!
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The last few times I've been to the hairdresser, I've marveled at how well their fancy salon dryers preserve my curls (not to mention that they dry my mane in a MUCH shorter amount of time than usual!), so I finally decided to get a bonnet hair dryer attachment. And I'm quite impressed! (Although I think I'll clip my hair at the roots next time to see if I can get more volume.)

CURLS 🙌

CURLS 🙌

  • This week's Weird-Ass Song of the Week is more morose than usual... not to mention that it's by Bon Iver, who I hate myself for sort of liking. (But this song is in Grey's, so that explains a lot, haha!)
  • This time next week, I'll be in sunny California! I can't believe our trip is here already! Conveniently, Pops and I will also be out there for my birthday (8/28)! :)

 

  • And finally, my Lipsense party with Becky ends TODAY, friends! So join the fb group and come party with us! ("Come party with us"--there's a phrase I've never said in my life! 😂) You can also learn more about why I love Lipsense here!

 

Hope you have a great weekend and a great next week (in case I don't get my act together enough for H54F next week!)! xo

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Why I'm kind of obsessed with Lipsense

JessComment
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I've teamed up with the lovely Becky from ByBMG for a Lipsense party this week! Won't you come join us? :)

Here are some reasons why I <3 Lipsense:

Because I'm lazy. Lipsense seriously lasts all day. After I put the color on in the morning, all I have to do throughout the day is apply the clear gloss if my lips start feeling dry. Clear gloss? I can handle that!

Because I used to bite my lips all.the.time. It's kind of a nervous habit, I guess. Once my lip product of choice would wear off, I would start biting my lips. But Lipsense takes forever to wear off--so minimal lip biting!

Because it's saved me from buying every drugstore and high-end lip gloss in sight! (Seriously, I used to be the lip gloss-buying QUEEN. It was a problem.)

Because I know I'll get my money's worth. The starter kit for Lipsense is a bit pricey, but since I use my Lipsense a minimum of four days a week, it's money well spent. I've actually gone through a tube of Glossy Gloss and a tube of Bombshell (my favorite color)! Who uses up an entire tube of lip gloss?!

Because you can mix and match colors and glosses to get the shade and finish of your dreams. (Or just tone down the nude colors, like I do!)

Because there are more options than just lip gloss. The MakeSense Color Correcting Tinted Moisturizer has been a godsend for my naturally ruddy complexion. 🙌

Before and after!

Before and after!

If you want to see what all the hype is about, you can join my party here!

And if you do decide to buy something, guess what? Shipping is FREE! :)

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(Btw this is not a sponsored post. Tif and Becky simply introduced me to Lipsense last fall, and it's been all downhill from there!)

High Five for Friday: August 11

JessComment

Let's see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • On Saturday, I was reunited with one my grade school friends that I hadn't seen in eons for her LulaRoe launch party, and it was delightful! I didn't foresee buying a kimono, but hey, wonders never cease! 
😍😍😍 

😍😍😍 

  • We got our back door replaced last week, and all of our usual woodland visitors had since been MIA, so I was starting to worry that we had traumatized them. I was very relieved, then, when this little guy showed up!!
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  • Pops had me accompany him on a walk on Sunday, which is always a mistake because Pops likes to, you know, WALK, and I like to stop and gawk at every flower, cat, and bun we meet along the way. But there was a very necessary intermission when we stumbled upon these awesome sunflowers! 
#basic 💁🏼

#basic 💁🏼

He loves me or he loves me not??

He loves me or he loves me not??

  • My therapist had me take the Myers-Briggs test this week, which is always a fascinating thing #nerdalert. (Although I've taken it before at least three times and can never remember my results!) This time around, I'm an ISFJ (Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging), which seemed pretty darn accurate. And I came up 96% introverted, surprise! 😂

 

  • Lastly, if you're all caught up on Game of Thrones, then you might enjoy these hilarious reactions to Sunday's episode! 

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: August 4

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into the first week of August!

  • As I did in August 2015 and 2016, I decided to document my daily outfits again! But because I knew I wouldn't get my act together enough to track and post a batch of them on here once a week, I'm uploading them daily to Instagram! If you want to follow along, I'm @jessie_face4 (I really struggled with the grammar of that sentence: at @jessie_face4?? #Englishmajorprobs)
  • In an attempt to do something fun before work on Monday (in keeping with my "one happy thing a day" goal from last month), I started working on my August goals post at the Starbucks near work! I enjoy working in coffee shops, so naturally I never do it. 💯
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  • Deena sent me this meme that FINALLY combines two of my loves:
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  • My friend Kristin sent me this "Which badass Game of Thrones woman are you?" quiz, and apparently I'm "gorgeous and a total badass," thank goodness. 
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  • Lastly, today is H54F friendship day! I can't focus on just one friend that I've made, though, because it's more like who HAVEN'T I met through H54F?! Tif, Becky, Katie, Della, Nicole, Ashley, Crystal, just to name a few... And some of those friendships extend beyond the blogosphere--Nicole and I have exchanged Christmas cards, Becky is my go-to make-up gal, and Ashley and Tif are some of my biggest cheerleaders. I was really nervous about joining the link-up initially (as I was posting very infrequently back then), and it has changed my life in so many great ways. (Not just the friendship aspect, but also by forcing me to post more frequently and to notice the good things that happen during the week.) Love you ladies! 💖

 Hope you have a great weekend! xo 

August 2017 goals

JessComment
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I'm revamping the goals a bit this month! I'm going to try to focus on one bigger goal that's geared toward healthier living and then a few smaller but clearly actionable goals that I just keep forgetting to do. When I try to make a bunch of big changes (eat better! no caffeine!) at once, I usually get frustrated quickly and abandon them all. So maybe this method will help

So this month's big goal is *drumroll please*... get 8 hours of sleep a night!

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I don't know about you, but I exist in a state of near-constant sleep deprivation. And I don't even have a kid or anything! Back in high school, I started prioritizing schoolwork or other obligations over sleep and have just never stopped. I try to catch up on weekends, which is not great, and I rely on caffeine to get me through the day (especially on weekdays). But trying to go to bed earlier usually makes me anxious because sleep deprivation makes going through the motions so easy--I just have no energy to do anything different. And going to bed before 11:30-12 makes me feel guilty, like I'm not being productive enough. So as easy as this goal may sound, it's going to be a serious challenge for me. I mean, in the last three weeks, I've only gotten 8 hours of sleep THREE TIMES, all on weekends. Yikes. (Thank you, Fitbit, for making this horrifying information available to me!)

So that's this month's main goal. The other two are calling my insurance company to see if I can get one stupidly expensive prescription by mail, and trying to figure out if I can get my gmail associated with my iTunes account. Yippee.

 

Let's see how last month's goals went:

1. Check bank account daily: CHECK! Okay, so I didn't do it every day, but I'm giving myself a pass for doing it 90% of the time, which is a big improvement for me. I set a daily reminder on my phone, and that has been a huge help. I've also been writing down my balance and subtracting transactions every time I check my bank account, which has really brought my bad spending habits to my attention. 😒

2. Do one thing that makes me happy every day: CHECK! I still have a hard time remembering to do it (how sad), but I'm getting better, especially at making time for fun things before work. (In fact, I'm currently working on this post in a Starbucks before going to work!)

3. Creative writing: Hmm. I maybe worked on my story once, but I'm giving myself a HALF-CHECK because I signed up and started doing Shonda Rhimes's (!!) online Master Class. I'm still in the early stages of the course (so analyzing TV shows rather than writing myself), but just signing up is a step toward taking my creative writing more seriously.

4. Keep using the Calm app: HALF-CHECK because I used it faithfully through the first half of the month and then things fell off a cliff. Which is disappointing, since I do like the app and usually feel calmer when I use it. I just have such revulsion toward sitting still and/or meditating that it's easy to talk myself out of doing it.  

5. Less screen time: Meh? I don't know how to grade this because some days I was better about it than usual and some days I wasn't.

 

This was a pretty darn good month for my Phrase of the Year ("out of hiding"): I went to a Fourth of July party that I was invited to at the last minute (last-minute invites are usually the easiest for me to wiggle out of), I brunched with my grad school friends, had an especially social Saturday in which I had lunch with Deena and then saw another friend later that same day (!!), and oh yeah, I drove to the freakin' SHORE! Not too shabby.

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: July 28

JessComment

Happy Friday! Although this week wasn't bad or anything, it seems like most of the fun/excitement got crammed into Saturday, so let's see what put the sparkle into that day!

  • First of all, I got a much-needed haircut, thank the lord! I was so desperate I actually took a 9:15 appointment on Saturday morning BLEH. But at least now I don't have to put my hair up immediately because I don't know what else to do with it. 🙌
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  • After that, I met my friend Deena for lunch and miraculously managed to parallel parking in the city!!! (Unassisted for only the second time!) I was so excited that I took a picture of my car and sent it to Pops with a text comprised entirely of exclamation points!  

 

  • In addition to a lovely reunion with Deena, I was also reunited with Sasha, who was not nearly as excited about it as I was!
She's not a kitten anymore! 😭😭😭

She's not a kitten anymore! 😭😭😭

And then, to make it a full-on Caturday, I also stopped at the pet shop in Deena's 'hood and had a grey and white kitten climb all over me. 😭😭😭 

Pops is real lucky that I didn't come home with this girl and her Ike of a brother! I mean, SHE PAWED AT MY ARM WHEN I CLOSED THE GATE. 😩😩😩

Pops is real lucky that I didn't come home with this girl and her Ike of a brother! I mean, SHE PAWED AT MY ARM WHEN I CLOSED THE GATE. 😩😩😩

  • Actually, it's a wonder I ever made it to Deena because I kept stopping and taking pictures of pretty flowers on my walk to the restaurant! 
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  • And lastly, something not from Saturday! It's been a strange week of rain and clouds, but this threatening sky on Monday night was just gorgeous.
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

July 2017 budget

JessComment

Oh boy. Cue Marshall/Beercules:

Yep. Even worse than last month, actually!

Because I'd been on a roll of responsibility before May 2017, I've been trying to figure what caused me to become so out of control, starting about late April. And I think I've finally got it. In mid-April, I stopped taking a medication that significantly bolstered my mood and boosted my impulse control but had worrisome side effects. I'd started taking this type of drug in April 2016--a month in which I ended up spending an "all-time low." Coincidence? 

With that realization, at least I can now expect my impulses to run wild in a way I haven't experienced in a year, and know that feeling lower in mood will make me want to shop all the time again... and make me more willing to ignore my shopping budget.

Information is not transformation, but it can't hurt.

With that said, let's move on to the many many things I bought this month:

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  1. Old Navy shorts (Plato's Closet): $6 on sale for $3
  2. Bow belt (Plato's Closet): $4
  3. Sans Souci scallop-hem shorts (Plato's Closet): $6 on sale for $3
  4. Lipsense Climate Control (Lips that Last by Becky): $60 on sale for $51
  5. Lularoe leggings: $25 on sale for $11
  6. Magnolia Quarter-Strap Sandals (Target): $20 on sale for $15
  7. Stella & Dot Ever After necklace (Poshmark): $25 + $6 shipping: $31

Not pictured:

  1. Lipsense Lip Color in Bombshell (Lips that Last by Becky): $27
  2. Striped Lularoe Carly: $55 + $2 S&H = $57
  3. Solid grey Lularoe Carly: on sale for $30 + $7 shipping (for both Carly and leggings) = $37
  4. Black belt (Plato's Closet): $3
  5. Innersense Pure Harmony Hairbath shampoo (hair salon): $27

TOTAL: $269

Welp, one of my goals for next month is going to be no online shopping because HELLO. 

This was the first month in a long time that I felt like I just couldn't control myself and just bought everything in sight regardless of having surpassed my budget looong ago. I definitely fell into the trap of thinking that I needed something RIGHT NOW, or that buying something in particular was going to solve some "problem." Although I will say that I did legitimately run out my beloved Bombshell (seriously my ideal MLBB color), was in need of a pair (or two) of not-so-short shorts, and was running low on shampoo. 

Now onto the less necessary purchases! 

I had been intrigued by Climate Control, as it has great reviews and my skin needs some help. (I'm prone to redness and feel fairly self-conscious unless I wear make-up. 😞) But it sold out before I decided to commit to it! Wah! Luckily, Becky is the absolute BEST and tracked it down for me in about 24 hours, meaning that I could also still take advantage of her "Christmas in July" sale! If you're thinking of trying Lipsense (which I love, despite not branching out from the nudes!) or the Senegence skin care products, she's your girl!

I was skeptical of the Target sandals, even though they had great reviews, and it turns out I love them! I'm thinking of getting the black pair too! They go with everything and are surprisingly padded for such a flat sandal. And even at full-price, they're a great deal. I've been wearing them like four days a week minimum, although I am a bit concerned because they can't be ideal for my injured foot...

The Ever After necklace (which I actually got in gold) is something that I'd been searching for forever because one of my besties at my last job (hi Piper!) had it and I fell in love... but it was like $50, and I hemmed and hawed, and then Stella & Dot stopped selling it. So I would check periodically on eBay and Poshmark to no avail (or it was too expensive), until now! I love me a good dainty heart necklace!

As insane as my spending was this month, I still hesitated before buying a $55 nightgown-esque Carly dress, but it was the thing I liked the most at a fundraiser, so here we are. And I must say, it is sooo comfy, and its nightgown-esque silhouette allows you to move freely while still staying covered. PERFECTION. Hence snagging a second Carly when another LLR seller friend of mine had a summer sale! I rarely belt dresses, but the Carlies showed me how few belts I have, so when I found two I liked for $3 and $4 each at Plato's, I decided to stock up.

Here's hoping I can rein in it more next month!

High Five for Friday: July 21

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • You guys... I DROVE DOWN THE SHORE (#Phillygrammar) ON SATURDAY!!! This meant driving a new, multiple highway route that is 90 minutes one way. And I survived!! The drive itself was actually pretty easy; I can get on a highway and go straight for 30 miles no prob haha. And it was so great to see and hear the ocean. I would walk about five steps and then stop to take a scenic picture, so it's a good thing I went by myself! I'd been wanting to do a day trip to the beach and blowing it off (👋 anxiety), but when I finally got up the nerve to go at 4:30 in the afternoon, I capitalized on it, even though that made for a short trip. My dream is to one day just go and sit on the beach and read a magazine, and now the driving part of that is less daunting!
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  • Despite my love of self-help books, I haven't read any Marianne Williamson, but I was recently acquainted with this quote that so completely captures a lot of my fears and anxieties. I definitely hide and keep myself small to avoid seeing how much I could actually do in the world, beyond my bubble of control.
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  • I wasn't remotely interested in Game of Thrones coming back until Sunday afternoon and then it was like MUSTWATCH. Except that I apparently don't remember a darn thing from the previous seasons and I missed the "Previously on," and my (night's) watch buddy Pops has only seen about four other episodes in the entire series. So it was def the blind leading the blind.
At least I can identify these two people... and Luda.

At least I can identify these two people... and Luda.

  • The latest Weird-Ass Song of the Week is Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," which I downloaded before driving back from the shore and have had on repeat basically ever since. Speaking of... does anyone remember the "Rebel L" spoof on Sesame Street? (If not, well, you're welcome.) "Rebel L" is definitely on a VHS tape somewhere in our house, probably mixed in with scenes from Patch and Kayla's wedding because it was the late '80s after all.
  • Lastly, a comical thing that happened. I've never gotten an iOS News alert in my life, but I think I accidentally opened the app this week, and so on Thursday, I got my first alert ever... and it was about OJ being paroled. And, as you might remember, I'm super fascinated by the OJ case and was all in for The People v. OJ Simpson. So, well-played, News app. Well-played. 👏👏
Don't mind all my Amazon pillow orders, I'm just 90. 👵🏻✌️    Hope you have a great weekend! xo

Don't mind all my Amazon pillow orders, I'm just 90. 👵🏻✌️ 

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo