To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: July 19

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • On Saturday, I lost my mind and started tearing my room apart, specifically my closet and bookcase, which were complete disasters. I just put on some Samantha Ravndahl vids and went to town purging stuff, re-organizing, and dusting. Now, being in my room actually feels almost relaxing!

This is an “after” pic of the closet and a “before” pic of everything else!

This is an “after” pic of the closet and a “before” pic of everything else!

  • One of the other things I organized over the weekend was an overflowing accordion folder of photos. Not only did it look frustratingly disorganized, but it was also bending my photos! Not cool!

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I had already sorted and categorized the pictures, so I didn’t want to just dump them in a box. Enter this colorful organizer from Michael’s! Cute and functional? Sign me up! It worked out perfectly!

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  • I’ve inadvertently been working through my collection of Zoya Pixe Dust polishes, and I can’t recommend them highly enough, especially if you think you’re “bad” at painting your nails. Since they’re textured, you don’t even need a top coat—just slap on two coats of the Pixie Dust, give it a little time to dry, and then it looks amazing for a solid week. Also, Pixie Dusts aren’t at all hard to remove, unlike typical glitter polishes. “Tomoko” is a forever fave, but now I’m in loooove with “Stevie.” Lavender glitter?! Could there be a better Sparkle Punch color?! I can’t believe it took me so long to finally wear it!

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  • On Tuesday, I went out on a school night (*gasp*) when Pops and I went to the Phillies-Dodgers game! Baseball really isn’t my jam, but Pops loves the Dodgers (and all things California), so here we are. The game was sort of dull (aside from the Phanatic, of course) until a brief rain delay + lead change in the ninth inning. At least it’s always nice to soak up the ambience at CBP!

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  • Lastly, ICYMI Saturday was my FIFTH BLOGIVERSARY!! Time flies when you’re having fun! :)

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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FIFTH Blogiversary!

JessComment
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CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE?! How has it been five years?!

It’s also hard to believe how much my life has changed since July of 2014. Back then, I was still living in South Philly with Deena and limping around in a walking boot because I had somehow broken my foot. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Walking boot, but make it fashion?

Walking boot, but make it fashion?

I had been in a relationship for almost a year (and would go on to date B for another year and a half!). I was a year removed from inpatient and thus had only been in therapy for that long. Seeing a male therapist was laughably unrealistic. Yoga was in no way an important part of my life (although I had already met the woman who would become one of my YTT teachers, as well as my sometimes therapist). I didn’t drive at all.

What a difference five years makes!

Sometimes, it feels like inpatient is when my life actually began. Which I guess is somewhat accurate—inpatient forced me to finally be honest with myself and others about how I was feeling. So that tends to be the starting point when I reflect on the recent past. And when I look back over the past six years, the only “accomplishments” that stand out are driving/getting my car and completing yoga teacher training. Of course they stand out—they’re fairly momentous.

Interestingly, they’re both developments that 2014 Jess never would have seen coming.

Something else about 2014 Jess? She was not psyched about starting a blog to talk about ~feelings~ and deep stuff. Even after creating this space, it took her a good two months to actually, you know, post something.

My one therapist likes to remind me that fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. Her theory is that, if you’re afraid of something, you actually have an interest in it, because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t react so strongly to it… with some caveats, of course. (Like, my absolute terror of bees does not mean that I actually have a deep desire to be a beekeeper.) But with the blog, I think her theory applies. Expressing myself creatively in this space ultimately excites me and leaves me feeling fulfilled in a way that few things do… even if publishing this post in August 2014 initially made me go, “Oh my god, I’VE MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE.”

But I didn’t. Posts like that need to be published. We as a society need to talk openly and honestly about mental health issues, and with my experiences + interest in writing, I guess I need to be one of the ones to do it!

I am so thankful for the supportive community that has welcomed me and formed in response to my writing. Mica, Bri, Lisa (my dear blog mom), Nicole, Tif, Becky, Crystal, Ashley (a true OG!), knowing all of you has brightened my life immeasurably. And for anyone who reads my blog anonymously or cheers me on via Facebook or Instagram, thank you. It warms my heart so much knowing that you are out there.

Let’s keep finding the sparkle! xoxo

High Five for Friday: July 12

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle!

  • Last Friday was my last day with Pudge. 😭How am I supposed to leave this precious angel?! At least we got to nap together one last time before I left!

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Although Pudge has no trouble napping by herself!

Although Pudge has no trouble napping by herself!

  • After I woke up from my nap, Karuna and I went on a Target run! Having company at Target for a change was just delightful! Bonus that we pregamed with some delish truffle fries at a nearby restaurant!

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  • On Saturday, I taught restorative yoga for the first time, and it went really well! Restorative intimidates me so much as a teacher since you need to use a bazillion props and be able to help your student if their body doesn’t feel great in the cookie-cutter prop set-up (which is forever me). But I did some research the night before and was totally fine in the moment! Also, before getting all zen and chill, we danced it out to “Sheer Heart Attack” by Queen, so I was clearly living my best life, haha!

  • True confessions time: my shopping has been WAY out of control this month. I’ve definitely been relying on that dopamine rush and then getting frustrated with myself for spending more money; it’s a vicious circle. I have an idea why this is happening (which I’ll maybe talk about on here at some point), but it still feels totally out of my control. In light of this, I decided to talk to the teacher who subbed for our yoga class on Sunday. I knew that she does workshops applying principles of addiction to other issues, like procrastination, so I thought, Why not shopping? She was so sympathetic and sweet and knowledgable, and she encouraged me to be kind to myself during this rough patch, which is so hard for me to do. But ultimately, I really needed someone to talk to, and I’m so appreciative that she was willing to chat after class!

  • Lastly, when Karuna and I celebrated the Fourth of July at Whole Foods (just like George Washington himself), I picked up this peppermint-scented hand sanitizer, and I am IN LOVE. It smells amazing and is so refreshing in the summer heat that I was basically spritzing myself with it all the way home from Reading on Saturday. And I pretty much used it like smelling salts on my terrifying drive home in a monsoon last night! What more could you want?!

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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: July 5

JessComment

How was this simultaneously the longest and shortest week ever? Oh, holidays, never change. Let’s see what brought the sparkle!

  • If you couldn’t tell from my one million Insta Stories about her, I’ve been watching Maggie’s cat Pudge, aka living my best life! After my first post, Timmi said, “Very excited for all this Perf Velvet Loaf Content™️ that you’ll be providing us with during this visit,” which is how you all should feel, FYI. 😂😂 JUST LOOK AT THIS PRECIOUS ANGEL:

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SPOONING MY BEAR I CAN’T

SPOONING MY BEAR I CAN’T

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It’s actually been an emotional rollercoaster of a week, so having Pudge’s companionship has really been a godsend. No matter what I’m doing, she just wants to be snoozing next to me or aggressively head-butting me for pets (#bless), and it has really helped me to feel less alone amid the craziness of life. IS THIS WHY PEOPLE HAVE PETS?! 🤯😂

  • Maggie lives with Karuna, one of the other gals from yoga teacher training, so I’ve been able to spend time with her, which has been a delight. Karuna is so hilarious and insightful, but she also sees me (moi?!) in that way, which is so sweet and life-affirming.

  • I did my first pull with my Philly Tarot Deck over the weekend when I picked a card for July! As you can see, I got the Eight of Pentacles. Even with three years of car ownership under my belt now, I guess I can never be rid of Septa, haha

  • Oh yes, here is my latest accidental haul, the Ulta one I alluded to in my June Budget post. I went to get my eyebrows waxed, mentioned my biggest skin concerns (redness and dark circles), discovered that they had the Kylie High Glosses in stock (and in non-glittery shades!!), so it was all downhill for me! At least I had a coupon for 20% off my entire purchase?

  • Lastly, my all-time fave beauty YouTuber Allana Davison has introduced me to the magic that is Samantha Ravndahl, and I’ve spent the week bingeing Sam’s videos! She’s so funny and honest and relatable and quite a lot different from the stereotypical “beauty influencer.” I think her “What’s in my bag?” vid has been my favorite so far. (I mean, I love those kinds of videos/posts anyway, but hers is pretty hilar.)

“Everyone watching this is like, ‘Okay, cool, so I could have gone through my own bag for the same experience.’ Oh, here we go! Okay, I have thirteen crumpled receipts!”

Hope y’all have a great weekend! xoxo

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June 2019 Budget

JessComment

How is 2019 HALF OVER already?! My goodness.

Well, let’s see what I picked up in June!

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  1. Earth Tones Clay Mask (Asarai): $37 (includes discount and shipping)

  2. Nike H86 Futura Classic Baseball Hat (Urban Outfitters): $18

  3. Gourmand Le Gloss Superfruit Lip Gloss (Urban Outfitters): $8

  4. Virgo Zodiac Sign Constellation Pendant Necklace (Lucky Feather): $20

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  1. Amelie Enamel Clip Set (Urban Outfitters): $10

  2. Ohii Lip Jelly (Urban Outfitters): $8

  3. Ultrabland Cleansing Cream (Lush): $20

TOTAL: $121

The Asarai mask marks the first time I succumbed to the targeted ads on Instagram. *sad trombone for me* I mean, it’s a mask that’s supposed to magically cure my redness, HOW COULD I RESIST?!?! Buuut naturally, that hasn’t happened, and this mask is sooo annoying to take off because it basically stains your face orangey-red? (Maybe it heals your redness by turning you a different shade of red?) On the plus side, it has effectively zapped a few zits-in-progress that I had!

I couldn’t even tell you the last time I was at Urban Outfitters, but I went HAM there this month! (I also picked up a few things that I don’t typically count in my clothes/beauty budget posts, like this purple tie-dyed bra and my accidental ashtray!) Although I liked the Ohii gloss originally, I’m pretty meh on both lip glosses now. They feel a bit filmy and as such have not unseated my beloved Frank Body Lip Tint. And a baseball hat is def off-brand for me, but hear me out: I always seem to be looking for a cute baseball hat when I’m already away on vacation, and then I can’t find anything I like. So I POUNCED when I spotted a relatively plain hat in a gorgeous mauvey-lavender!

Lastly, I’m liking both Ultrabland and Let the Good Times Roll (which, you may recall, I got a sample of). I think they work nicely in tandem because using more than the tiniest dab of Ultrabland can be a bit greasy for summertime, while Let the Good Times Roll is exfoliating and makes your face smell like cornbread (which I am apparently into nbd).

Oh, I might have ended the month with an accidental Ulta haul (🤦🏼‍♀️), which will be counted in July in case I return anything!

What did you buy this month?

High Five for Friday: June 28

JessComment

It was a pretty slow week around these parts, so here’s the randomness that brought the sparkle!

  • When I visited Kristin on Sunday, we (and her mom—hi Sue!) were trying to figure out what our most played songs are in iTunes. Apparently, this is mine! I don’t know why I’m surprised, since my love of “You’re My Best Friend” long predates BoRhap fever!

Aww, check out Deaky on the piano! ❤️

  • I wasn’t feeling great on Sunday, but eating about half a sleeve of saltines (WHY ARE THEY SO DELICIOUS?!) and going to yoga restored my health, and I had a sudden craving for a smoothie after yoga. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Luckily, the studio isn’t far from a Robek’s, and I happen to know that their Polar Pineapple is delicious!
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  • That night, I took Pops out for part three of his Father’s Day gift—a trip to Handel’s, his faaaavorite ice cream place! (In case you’re wondering, part one of his gift was a Van Halen mix, and part two was a white towel to replace one I accidentally stained with a face mask WHOOPS.)
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  • Here’s a funny moment from work. For some reason, when my computer goes into “hibernate” mode, it seems to fall into a coma. This happened on Wednesday while I was working with my co-worker to figure out an app-related mystery. As I tried to resuscitate my computer afterward (the tower was still on, but it kept telling me “Monitor going to sleep” AHHH), all I could think of was this classic Sesame Street sketch wherein two (stoner-sounding) kids try to “wake up” a plant, and hijinks ensue:

Plants need water, maaan!

 

  • Lastly, buckle up for PUDGEPALOOZA next week because I’m going to be spending the next week with the world’s greatest emotional support cat/velvet loaf! 😍❤️😫
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WHY IS SHE AN ACTUAL ANGEL THO?!? 😫😫😫

WHY IS SHE AN ACTUAL ANGEL THO?!? 😫😫😫

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: June 21

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • Inspired by my drive to Delaware, I drove to another state on Saturday! Granted, it was only New Jersey, which I’ve driven to before, but I still got to experience the thrill of the Google Maps lady saying, “Welcome to New Jersey!” 😂 ANYWAY, my ultimate destination was Occasionette to pick up the Philly Tarot deck! (Timmi has it, and it is perfection.) So I got that, along with a few cards, and walked around for awhile, swooning over the cute wares!
😍😍 

😍😍 

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  • I also spent a little time outside after I got back home on Saturday night, and while I was reading more of my Nicky Hopkins book, who came running out from under our porch but THIS SCAREDY CAT! Whoooo are you? (who who, who who)
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  • On Sunday, I was the only person who signed up for yoga, so I got to pick what we did. I was like, “Umm, can we have a random restorative class?” which was delightful. I’ve been sooo tired lately, so just laying around in different supported poses was 💯.

  • On Tuesday, I went on an accidental flower tour of Philly! (This is the upside of parking a mile from my psychiatric nurse practitioner’s office, haha.) LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES!
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Timmi thinks these are delphiniums, which seems like it might be accurate? Any thoughts? All I know for sure is that I’m in love with them!

Timmi thinks these are delphiniums, which seems like it might be accurate? Any thoughts? All I know for sure is that I’m in love with them!

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This was a lovely prelude to meeting with my psych NP, because she is a dream come true. A patient, compassionate practitioner of psychiatry has, sadly, been hard for me to find! (I’ve had much better luck with therapists!)

  • Lastly, I had a LOOONG overdue reunion with my dear Maggie (aka Pudge’s mama!) on Thursday! This gal is a true gem. Whenever I’m with her, I feel less crazy and alone because she just gets everything I’m going through. I know the phrase “(someone/something) gives me life” is so overused, but being with Maggie truly does give me life! Our level of genuine, authentic connection is something I really treasure. Bonus that, when we were leaving, Maggie invited me to come visit with her and Pudge over the summer, and I yelled (across the parking lot, no less), “I’LL BRING MY TAROT CARDS!”, to which her immediate response was “YASSSS!” ❤️👯‍♀️

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: June 14

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • On Saturday, I had a long overdue haircut (which you got a play-by-play of if you follow me on IG!)! I swear I got some length taken off! 😂 It takes a good hour of sitting under the dryer to get my hair... somewhat dry (#thickhairprobs), but I really relish the time to chill and read trashy magazines! My hairstylist asked me what kind of magazines I’d like to read, and I was like, “The dumber, the better!” 😂👍🏻
New hair, who dis?

New hair, who dis?

  • I also went on an accidental shopping spree! 😬 There’s just too many good stores near the salon!

Okay, the face mask was actually something I ordered two weeks ago, but it arrived last  Friday, so yolo. And I definitely didn’t realize that what I thought was a little trinket dish was actually an ashtray! Oops! But it’s super cute and obviously on brand with my moon-and-stars obsession, so, perfect! It makes a fine ring dish, I must say!

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Other initial reactions: The cute Empress sticker went right on my laptop, I love the simplicity of the little Virgo medallion, and the Ohaii lip gloss is pretty thick and great!

  • I saw some other fun sign-related thangs that I miraculously didn’t buy! I’m a Virgo, duh, and Timmi is an Aries. Apparently, those two signs are totally incompatible, but STARS BE DAMNED—we’ve been going strong since 2001, baby! 👯‍♀️
Okay, but Timmi only does ride shotgun tho….

Okay, but Timmi only does ride shotgun tho….

I COUGHED NOW I’M DEAD #tooreal

I COUGHED NOW I’M DEAD #tooreal

  • On Sunday, I hung out at Kristin’s and was the fifth wheel for dinner (since her parents and bf were there too). When I said that, though, Kristin’s mom—sweet angel that she is—replied, “Oh, you’re family!” just very matter-of-factly! I could have cried! How adorable! I do regularly beat Kristin and her bf’s ears about Nicky Hopkins, and what is family for if not to semi-tolerate your weird interests?! 😂😂

  • Lastly, this quote got through to me more than encouragement about being positive seems to. All the bright colors probably helped too!
View this post on Instagram

break up with your negativity, i’m bored 😑

A post shared by Dani DiPirro (@positivelypresent) on

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: June 7

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • Last Friday marked THREE YEARS with my lil’ babydoll car! (Can you even believeeee?! Especially if you’ve been around since the exposure therapy days!) And on Saturday, I drove to my second state ever: Delaware! HOW EXCITING, RIGHT?! 😂😂 Okay, yes, Delaware really isn’t far at all (this trip was like 50 minutes total), but there’s something about the idea of driving to a DIFFERENT STATE that feels very momentous, haha. Bonus that we were going to a grad party, so I got to be all dolled up! (Although this dress obviously qualifies as Secret Pajamas™️ because you know that’s how I roll.)

I would link to my dress and sandals, but they are both sooo old! Like, from 2013 and 2015 respectively!

I would link to my dress and sandals, but they are both sooo old! Like, from 2013 and 2015 respectively!

  • On Sunday, I had a bit of a “treat yo self” trip to Lush! Timmi and I stopped there when I was in Chicago, and I picked up the Sleepy Face cleansing bar, which I really like. But it’s a pretty small bar, so I wanted to see what else Lush had to offer. Enter Ultrabland and (a sample of) Let the Good Times Roll!

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Ultrabland is a cleansing cream, so it feels very luxurious and is also really moisturizing… like, to the point that I don’t have use a separate moisturizer. Anything that allows me to be lazy is 💯. Let the Good Times Roll is a bit odd—it has a Play-Doh-like consistency until you mix it with water. But it smells amazing (kind of like cake?!), and it’s exfoliating, so I like the idea of using it intermittently. And they gave me quite a generous sample, so thanks, ladies of Lush!

  • Oh yeah, another car breakthrough: I went to the car wash on Tuesday after putting it off for months! 👏🏻 Does the car wash give anyone else anxiety? I mean, there’s usually a crowd, and you have to squeeze your car into the line, and people are yelling at you and telling you where to go, and ultimately I JUST FEEL OUT OF CONTROL AND I DON’T LIKE IT. But I survived! Pro tip: Go on a Tuesday at noon!

  • Buckle up for a musical geek-out moment! You might not know Nicky Hopkins by name, but you probably know his gorgeous piano-playing on songs like “Angie,” “She’s a Rainbow,” and “You Are So Beautiful.” I am a total nerd who loves finding out which session musicians played on songs, and Nicky is my fave of faves. So I’m currently reading this book!

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I could never quite understand why Nicky, with his immense talent, was only a session man. I had heard he’d had health issues (possibly Crohn’s Disease, which was a definite YOKES back in the ‘60s), but the book has put it all into perspective: when Nicky was 19, his health issues landed him in the hospital, were he was bedridden for almost TWO YEARS! He had 14 surgeries in that time! Like, Keith Richards was amazed he even survived… KEITH RICHARDS!! (And how is he still alive?!) Uh yeah, now I can see why being a session musician and not traveling with a band would have been super ideal!

 

  • Lastly, here’s the Positively Present illustration I picked for my phone background this month:

I seriously love how her images are always so bright and cheery! It’s almost enough to make the idea of change palatable! 😂😂

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: May 31

JessComment

This week was much better than last week (WHEW), and having that extra day off for the holiday was splendid! That seriously brought the sparkle!

  • On Saturday, I made yet another stop at Ulta (SEND HELP) and then dropped by Kristin’s for Caturday night with Schitt’s Creek + this guy! (Sharkey is really the star of To Sparkle Punch, let’s be real.)

just casually touching me with his tail 😭😭

just casually touching me with his tail 😭😭

  • On Sunday, I got to pick up this lovely Om bracelet after yoga! (As I mentioned in my Budget post, I tried to buy it last week but didn’t have enough cash oops.) I think it’s a fine addition to my “arm party”! (Is that still a thing??)

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  • I also got to spend some time outside over the weekend, first with an impromptu nature walk through our neighborhood, and then with some writing time!

What is this?? 😍 I need to start walking around with a field guide!

What is this?? 😍 I need to start walking around with a field guide!

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  • The caption says it all! 😂 YAY (almost) SUMMER!

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This was my get-up for the ol’ saltines-and-soup Target run after I randomly got sick on Monday. (This also explains the Gatorade above. #blessed)

  • I had been flitting around the house tidying things up on Monday, but in an attempt to slow down after getting sick, I parked myself on the couch and watched some Sex Education. I finished season one awhile ago, but I’m still in love with Connor Swindells… and Maeve’s hair. 😍😍

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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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May 2019 Budget

JessComment

Buckle up for some Ulta buys! I ended up going to Ulta three times this month and, as you can see, I never left empty-handed! (First, I went to get my brows done, then I went for the emergency lip balm, and then I went armed with a gift card that was my “payment” for being locked out upon delivering said emergency lip balm, haha!).

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  1. Kylie Cosmetics Mini Liquid Lipstick Set (Ulta): $12

  2. Benefit Gimme Brow Mini (Ulta): $12 - coupon = $11

  3. Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover (Ulta): $10 - coupon = $9

  4. Amazonite Om Bracelet: $28

Not pictured:

  1. Kylie Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Koko K (Ulta): $15 - gift card = $0

  2. Frank Body Lip Balm (Ulta): $10 - gift card = $0 This was the emergency lip balm I got for Kristin, so now we’re twins 👯‍♀️😂

  3. Tie dye tank top (Plato’s Closet): $8 - clothes I traded in = $0

  4. Real Techniques Travel Sponge Case (Ulta): $4

TOTAL: $64

I am seriously SO impressed with the matte Kylie lipsticks. I’m not a big matte lippie girl because they can feel so drying, but the Kylie ones are ridiculously comfortable! Honestly, I forget I have them on, which is a big big compliment for a matte! Plus, they smell like cupcakes (!!), and the two colors in the set are great nudes.

Glosses are really more my thang, hence picking up Koko K, which is a really pretty, surprisingly subtle nude (considering how pigmented it seems in the bottle). The downside is that it’s a bit too sticky, and the applicator is a total fail. (It’s like a brush that’s somehow only one bristle?? The matte minis don’t have this problem!) I actually like Kylie’s matte lipsticks more than her gloss, which I never expected!

I’ve had the Benefit Gimme Brow in the past (like way back when the packaging was different!), and I’m kind of meh about it this time around. I think I had it in a different shade before? I also have the Glossier Boy Brow, and I think I need to use that for a few days and see if I like it more than the Gimme Brow. (I don’t usually do my eyebrows every day, but I have been with the Gimme Brow, so yolo.)

GUYS. If you want a dream nail polish remover, get the Zoya Remove+. I tried to save some $$$ by just getting some cheapo nail polish remover from Target, and it took forever to get the polish off. So annoying. The Zoya Remove+ seriously takes polish off in two seconds, which is about how long my patience lasts!

Lastly, the om bracelet! Isn’t it so cute?! Even though purple is my ride or die color, I loved the mix of light blues, and I def need some more calming om-ness in my life. 😂 It’s from the yoga studio I go to on Sundays, and I actually attempted to buy it when I got my Lemongrass candle, but the bracelets are cash only (and I never have much cash on me), so I had to wait until this week to pick it up. (Luckily, the girl at the desk was kind enough to put it aside for me!)

What did you guys buy this month?

 

High Five for Friday: May 24

JessComment

True confessions: this has not been a very sparkly week, friends. A lot got stirred up in therapy on Saturday, and it kind of sent me spiraling. To the point that I was walking around in an utter daze and having very dark thoughts… which only added to my angst as I was like, “AH! WHAT IS GOING ON? I THOUGHT I HAD A HANDLE ON THIS!!”

Luckily, this intense, emotional period only lasted about three days.

I’m starting to think that, at least for me, as much as my tendency toward dark, suicidal thoughts can go into a sort of “remission” as I develop other coping skills, because suicide-as-a-way-out is how I’ve coped in the past, my mind sometimes leaps back there if I become very scared and overwhelmed. So I’m trying not to beat myself up too much for it, or wring my hands like “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AHHHH.” I felt a lot all at once, I really hate feeling, and I had a brief period of darkness. That progression makes sense. THANK GOD I have enough awareness now to know that dark thoughts can and will pull me under very quickly, but that they’re ultimately just thoughts—I don’t have to listen to them. And my emotions will stabilize in time. Stormy days pass.

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ANYWAY, here are a few specific things that got me through:

 

  • Connection. Text with a friend about the “Lido Shuffle” and Tim Tams. (True story 😂) Go to therapy. Help a friend with a lip balm emergency. (Unfortunately, said friend had taken a nap by the time I got to her house with the lip balm, but she woke up while I was there chatting with her bf, so I got an “Are you in my house??” text—a hilarious first.) All of these things helped me to feel infinitely less alone in my whirling thoughts. And when I have darker thoughts, I’m usually feeling very alone, so this was clutch.

 

  • Go to yoga. Although I go to yoga every Sunday, I was not psyched this week because we had a sub, and I always feel weird about that when I’m in an emotionally raw state. (I feel so awkward crying in class when I don’t really know the teacher!) So I tried to “warn” her about this possibility beforehand, and she reassured me that it was totally fine, welcome even—setting the tone for a really great, calming class.

  • Pet an animal friend. This actually happened pre-therapy meltdown, but the video sure made me smile afterwards! This lil guy was even friendlier than the cat I saw a few weeks ago! What a cutie! He literally ran up to me, rubbed up on me, rolled around, and then bolted, ignoring everyone else in the parking lot! Considering the emotional meltdown I proceeded to have in therapy, it got me wondering if he sensed that I needed him, almost like how those trained dogs can recognize when their owner is about to have a seizure. In any case, there’s like 80% chance I’m gonna come home with a cat one of these days! Or that my therapist, who has never seen any of these cats, is making notes like, “Ok, Jess is seeing cats now…” 😂😂
  • Journaling and therapy. You guys know these are just a *chef’s kiss* as far as I’m concerned! An hour of journaling was honestly the only thing that calmed me down on Saturday night! My writing was, at times, more negative and spiraly than I would have liked, but for the most part, it helped me to make sense of my feelings and, as a result, I felt calmer and less crazy! And even though therapy is what started this whole episode, and led to me being very withdrawn in Tuesday’s session, when we met again on Thursday, I was finally able to speak to the vulnerability under all the darkness and reflexive pushing-away. Considering this all played out with my male therapist (who thankfully has the patience of a saint), it was a real breakthrough for me.


  • A small treat. I’ve gotten much more disciplined with my shopping habits over the past five years of budget posts, so I was shocked by how impulsive I was over the weekend—it was like the pleasure centers in my brain were screaming to be fed! WILD. As a result, I couldn’t talk myself out of a few unnecessary purchases, one of which was a candle at the yoga studio. However, lighting my candle has given me something to look forward to every day, and the lemon scent has helped to ground me in the present. (Plus, the whole experience convinced me to steer clear of stores for the rest of the week!)
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  • BONUS SIXTH THING: The triumphant return of Self-Care Nails! Not only is it just fun to have pretty nails, but it takes a good 30-45 minutes for me to paint my nails, and you have to have some degree of presence and focus to do it without being sloppy. So it was almost like a meditative act, in the sense that it pulled me out of my thoughts for a bit.
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So that’s how I got through a rough week. What do you do in these stormy times?

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: May 17

JessComment

TGIF! Let’s see what brought the sparkle! ✨

  • On Friday night, Russell (Inspector Gadget) came over to jam with Pops (they both play guitar), and I got roped into the action! Who cares that I can barely hold the ol’ emergency bass, let alone play it! 😂🤟🏻 But we all played a song of Russell’s together, and I actually contributed a few notes! What a delight! It seems like you don’t have to do a lot to add something with the bass… which is perfect when you have no idea what you’re doing! 😂
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  • I addressed the “ergonomics” part of my wrist issue with some cute desk accessories from Amazon! (Definitely cheaper than X-rays and physical therapy!)
Ergonomics, but make it fashion:  Wrist support and mouse pad  (“Crystal-2”) |  Wireless mouse

Ergonomics, but make it fashion: Wrist support and mouse pad (“Crystal-2”) | Wireless mouse

wrist support  (“floral leaves”)

wrist support (“floral leaves”)

And what do you know—MY WRIST DOESN’T HURT ANYMORE! It’s almost like my doctor knows what she’s talking about! 😂😂 These changes + avoiding weight-bearing yoga poses seem to have been the key, just like she said!

  • On Monday night, I came home to an empty house and took full advantage, watching old Days in my comfy cat pjs! (I’ve finally resumed the original WilSon storyline… and already, multiple people have been kidnapped and held at gunpoint! Aka a normal day in Salem.)
HI WILL. #restingcryface

HI WILL. #restingcryface

  • Speaking of Days, even though I barely know Ciara as a character, I follow Victoria Konefal on IG, and she posted this total gem this week:
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I tend to choose numbness, so when I do feel, it’s often overwhelming, and I’m not always sure where the feelings are coming from. Hence finding this little chart helpful! Knowing my assorted inner children definitely helps with this too. When I’m feeling something that doesn’t necessarily make sense to the 32-year-old me, I can usually trace it back to an inner child who’s scared or not getting her needs met. Which is pretty darn cool to discover, honestly. 💖

  • Lastly, who’s suffering through watching Game of Thrones with me? UGH, SUNDAY’S EPISODE. I have no problem with that turn of events, but it could have been 1000x better. Ever since GoT moved past the books, it’s felt maddeningly plot-driven to me. ANYWAY, if you too are struggling with season 8, you might enjoy this GENIUS retooling of Sunday’s ep as an ‘80s movie. Actually, if you’ve never watched GoT but don’t mind some spoilers (that you’ve probably already heard anyway), you might also enjoy this because it’s set to “Love Is a Battlefield” and features tons of ridiculously longing looks. 💯

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: May 10

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • On Friday night, I went to ecstatic dance for the first time in months! It wasn’t totally ecstatic, though…  I know I’ve been going the 🎶conceal don’t feel🎶 route lately, so I guess I needed a safe space to let myself feel some things, and that’s what happened. There’s this one song that the facilitator often plays, and it just cracked me wide open. I cried some perfect mascara tears and got to release some of the fears I’d been pushing down. 💖

 

  • I went to Kristin’s on Saturday, and look who jumped directly into my lap!
#BLESSED

#BLESSED

As if that weren’t exciting enough, Kristin’s bf recently went to the Instruments of Rock ‘n Roll exhibit at the MET and had a million pictures to show us, so major classic rock geeking out ensued. 👌🏻

  • On the topic of music, this week’s totally random musical deep dive has been Van Halen, thanks to Pops’s total guitarist crush on Eddie Van Halen. “Dance the Night Away” has never been one of my faves, but that might have changed now that I’ve listened to it like 87 times this week! Especially this live version:
  • It’s been an excellent week for flower creeping! Look at these beauties I found on Monday morning! What a delightful way to start the week! 😍
  • So my wrist started bothering me out of nowhere about a month ago. I’ve had tendinitis in the past, but it didn’t feel quite like that and has been getting increasingly painful, so I was starting to worry that it was something more serious (like carpal tunnel EEK). On top of that, I was getting increasingly uneasy about this weird skin discoloration/rash that’s been on my arm for literally a year. DOUBLE EEK. Well, I finally made a doctor’s appointment this week, and she told me that my wrist issue is likely just overuse (typing, yoga with my frail little arms, etc.), and my rash is not a big deal at all. (I actually correctly Google diagnosed it, so just call me Meredith Grey!) THANK GOODNESS!! I hate making doctor’s appointments for things that aren’t capital I Issues, but it feels pretty good to have some peace of mind now.
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Hope you have a great weekend!

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High Five For Friday: May 3

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • I don’t know what got into me on Saturday, but I was craving some nature in my life, so after therapy, I went to a nearby state park and just wandered around! I hoped to see some flowers, which didn’t pan out, BUT I did get to hang out with some horses! I really loved this brown pony with the white face. I kept a safe distance, so as to not spook them (they were just chilling in a field), but this guy kept inching closer and closer to me! 😍😭
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  • Also, because I know you’ve all been DYING for a fanny pack update (😂😂):
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  • Here’s another animal friend I made this week:
 😍😭😍

 😍😭😍

I had just gotten to therapy on Tuesday and was standing outside my car, texting Kristin assorted rants about GoT (insert her eye-roll here), when I saw a CAT’S reflection in my car window! What the what?! He totally came out of nowhere and just ran right up to me and started rubbing up on my ankles! What a cute smooshy gingy boi!! Sadly, he was not interested in coming to therapy with me, but I did see him hanging out in a sunny garden when I was walking back to my car afterwards, so he was clearly living his best life!

  • Here’s the Positively Present illustration that I chose as my May phone background! I love this one so much—I think it’s the first one I saved! As I mentioned in my Rebirthday post, I struggle so so much with what I’m doing (or not doing) at 32. So this picture is a great reminder. I need all the reassurance I can get that I’m okay and right where I’m supposed to be!
  • Lastly, if you’re looking to create a chill vibe in your life, may I suggest the Petit Biscuit mix on YouTube? So I follow the gorgeous and adorable Priya Blackburn on Instagram (she played Freddie’s sister Kash in Bohemian Rhapsody), and she used a Petit Biscuit song in one of her IG Stories last week, and I loved its mellow electronic sound, so now I’m hooked! I find his music especially nice to play in the background as I go through my nighttime routine. Apparently, this genre of music is called “tropical house.” Who knew that was a.) a thing and b.) my jam?!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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April 2019 Budget

JessComment

I didn’t buy too much in April, because all of my money went to either annoying adulty things (like my car ugh), or therapy, or fun in Chicago! (And I don’t count things I buy on vacation against my shopping budget since I don’t travel all that much.) So here’s what I did pick up:

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  1. Zoe + Liv Moon Phases t-shirt (Target): $15

  2. La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense serum (Target): $40

Not pictured:

  1. Zip-Up Sweatshirt (Primark): $9

- $14 because I did end up returning the NARS concealer I bought last month

TOTAL: $50

I already mentioned the moon tee here, but again, isn’t it so cute?! I love the vintage tarot card vibes.

Of course, when I’m stressed about my life, I start picking my skin apart, so this month, I’m back to obsessing about facial redness! I don’t think I’ve tried anything by La Roche-Posay before, so I’m curious to see how this works! It feels nice on the skin and doesn’t have a fragrance, so I’m happy about those things already!

And the Primark hoodie is just cute and comfy. I really wanted to find a plain gray zip-up hoodie, since I somehow don’t have one and can wear hoodies to work, but there wasn’t one in my size at Primark, so I got a pretty blue-gray color instead. Full disclosure: Primark’s sizing can be kind of weird. Like, I had to get a 2XS in this hoodie because an XS was way too baggy and long. Weeeeird.

What did you buy this month?

High Five for Friday: April 26

JessComment

What put the sparkle into this week?!

  • Let’s start with what is clearly the most exciting thing that will ever happen to me on social media (aside from chatting with soap actors obvs): being regrammed by A CAT CAFE!! 😮😻

THANK MEW 😻😽

THANK MEW 😻😽

Yes, I bought a shirt from the Windy Kitty Cat Cafe when Timmi and I were there because HOW COULD I NOT?! That’s only the best name ever, and the logo riffing on the Chicago flag? GENIUS.

 

  • Friday was a rough anxiety day for me. Trying to do things differently than I normally would led to an avalanche of anxiety—surprise! As much as I love using music to self-soothe, it doesn’t always work when I’m really anxious. Chatter seems better in these situations, so enter the Freddie and Alyssa Show podcast! I’ve mentioned them before on here—he’s on Days, she’s his fiancee, and they talk a lot about ways to create a happy life. I also follow them on IG, and I find Alyssa’s IG Stories to be particularly helpful when I’m down—she’s always so bubbly and cheerful! She also survived a horrific car accident a few years ago—like, she had to relearn how to walk and almost lost an eye—so I really admire her ability to be so positive!

 

  • Kristin and I joked about doing a “Cobra Kai and crystals” day on Saturday, and whaddya know?

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We only watched the first ep and a half before being derailed by GOT, but it was pretty good! With my love of The Karate Kid, I miiiight be the target audience, but Kristin liked it too!

 

  • If you celebrate Easter or Passover, I hope you had a wonderful day last week! It was absolutely gorgeous here, sunny and 60s, so I was living my best cat-in-a-sunbeam life! (Actually, “cat-adjacent-to-a-sunbeam” because sunburn, yo.)

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We went to Easter brunch at some family friends’ house, and they had THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PURPLE TULIPS I’VE EVER SEEN. I seriously made a beeline for them. If there aren’t cat friends available, I guess flower friends will do! ☺️

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  • Lastly, check out this cute shirt I found at Target a few weeks ago! All I really want to wear anymore are moon/mystical-related clothes, so this is perfect, haha!

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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: April 19

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • Saturday was totally gorgeous here. Sunny and ‘70s! Therapy + a stop at a mystical shop made for a lovely day!

 

  • On Sunday, I accidentally went a bit nuts at Five Below and ended up with this haul! Yes, it does include a fanny pack! 😬🤦🏼‍♀️ I guess I finally got one after all!
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Later on, I put on some KUWTK and had a grand old time dusting/Swiffering/tidying up my room! #lit

  • I love me a delightfully cheesy ‘80s bop, and this week, we’ve been building this city on rock n’ roll! Starship, man. I just can’t resist.

This video is a REAL TREAT. Somehow, I didn’t see dancing Abe Lincoln coming!


  • I don’t even know how I found this IG account (ok, let’s be real, it was probably via Alana, as she is a goddess of positivity!), but I love it! I just love the artist’s style and sentiment. This pic is actually my home screen background on my phone right now because I def need to accept this idea!
View this post on Instagram

All that noise keeps me quiet. 🤐

A post shared by Dani DiPirro (@positivelypresent) on

  • I’ve been trying to insert little fun things into my life in lieu of creeping on/obsessing over social media. The current fun thing? A beloved video game of my childhood: Final Fantasy VII! (Yes, you can get it on iOS!) It’s been fun to jump into a fantasy world for a little while instead of hopping on IG or Facebook and constantly comparing myself to others. If you’ve been able cut back on social media use, how did you do it?
PUT A CAT ON IT 🙌🏻

PUT A CAT ON IT 🙌🏻

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: April 12

JessComment

I had an absolute blast visiting Timmi in Chicago last weekend, so let’s recap some of that sparkle!✨

  • Day one combined three of my fave things: my dear Timbertoes, donuts, and cats! We pregamed with old-fashioneds at Stan’s and then headed over to the Windy Kitty Cat Cafe (best name ever?!?) for quality time with some precious kitties! So I basically died and went to heaven right off the bat!

Cherry for me, double chocolate for Timmi!

Cherry for me, double chocolate for Timmi!

This precious tuxedo kitty was trying to nurse and knead everything in sight, including me. 😭

This precious tuxedo kitty was trying to nurse and knead everything in sight, including me. 😭

Such fancy paws 😭😭

Such fancy paws 😭😭

Discovering the treat dispenser helped us to make MANY friends!

Discovering the treat dispenser helped us to make MANY friends!

  • Day two started out with a stop at a mystical shop near Timmi’s apartment. After stocking up on some books and crystals, we planned to go to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, but whoops, we got hungry, so we ended up lunching and shopping more in Andersonville instead!

💸SPOILS💸

💸SPOILS💸

That night, we met up with a few of Timmi’s friends for a belated birthday dinner and then drinks at The Violet Hour, a speakeasy in Wicker Park. Out of doors at 11 PM… and at a BAR?! WHO EVEN AM I?! (I did get a mocktail, so that’s on brand at least.) We did some tarot readings in the speakeasy with Timmi’s BALLER new Philly Tarot deck!

🎶Life of the club, arrogant like yeah🎶 Seriously, though, how hawt is Timmi in that smoking jacket? 😍

🎶Life of the club, arrogant like yeah🎶 Seriously, though, how hawt is Timmi in that smoking jacket? 😍

Yes, I got the Ten of Cheesesteaks! 😂😬

Yes, I got the Ten of Cheesesteaks! 😂😬

  • Day 3 started off with brunch with Timmi’s friends (they are seriously the nicest!), and then a few of us went to the Chicago Wolves’ game with some of her teammates. (Timmi just took up ice hockey last year, and her team recently won the championship! 🙌🏻) I used to be super into hockey, so I had a blast! Bonus that the Wolves’ goal song is “Kickstart My Heart” by none other than Motley Crue! 😂

 

 

  • Day 4 was the most beautiful weather day—60s and sunny—so we walked down to the lake for a quick tarot reading and photo shoot. 😂😂 It was so unbelievably gorgeous there!

🎶It started when we were younger, you were mine, my boooo🎶

🎶It started when we were younger, you were mine, my boooo🎶

SERIOUSLY HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE. And repping the Tigercorns, Timmi’s hockey team!

SERIOUSLY HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE. And repping the Tigercorns, Timmi’s hockey team!

Then, Timmi’s friend Nora picked us up and whisked us off to the Blackhawks’ practice facility for ice skating! (Ugh, I really wish Chicago had a different NHL team. How can a Philly girl ever not hate them for 2010?!) Timmi and Nora are such good skaters now—they can even skate BACKWARDS, which is basically magic as far as I’m concerned! They inspired me to try skating backwards too, and I was able to get a nice wiggle going! 😂 After that, it was time for one last trip to Stan’s and then back to the airport. 😭😭 On the plus side, my flight wasn’t full (!!), so I got to sit and play Final Fantasy VII in a row by myself! #blessed

🎶Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down🎶

🎶Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down🎶

  • What more can I say? It was such a wonderful, life-affirming, mood-boosting trip. I really needed a break from my daily life and the endless drone of paralyzing anxiety. Timmi is so good at gently showing me how fun life outside of my anxiety bubble can be.💖💖

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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March 2019 Budget

JessComment

Let’s see what I bought in March!

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  1. Morphe Lip Gloss in Freebird (Ulta): $8 - coupon = $7

  2. Alex Steinherr x Primark Plump and Glow Facial in a Stick (Primark): $7

  3. Electra Backpack (The North Face): $55

  4. Blue Cropped T-Shirt (Primark): $6

  5. ColourPop No Filter Matte Concealer (Ulta): $6

Not pictured:

  1. PS Strobe Cream (Primark): $5 on sale for $2

  2. Lavender Cropped T-Shirt (Primark): $6

  3. Mini NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (Sephora): $14

  4. Brushed Ribbed Hat (Primark): $3 on sale for $1

  5. Marble Claw Hair Clip (Forever 21): $3

  6. Hair Clip (Forever 21, can’t find online): $3

  7. ColourPop Creme Lux Lipstick in Lay Over (Ulta): $7 - coupon = $6

TOTAL: $116

Can you tell I love Primark? I really need to stay away, although I did show remarkable restraint since they sell 8 million inexpensive things! Obviously, my lewk of the moment is a cropped tee, and I love the two I got from Primark. And apparently, I need all of my skincare to come in a stick, so I’m loving the Facial in a Stick! The first time I put it on, I felt like it noticeably toned down my redness, but now, I’m mainly obsessed with the stick component! And it does seem quite hydrating too.

Holy concealers Batman! So the NARS one is my go-to in terms of being a good match for my skin tone, but I never feel like it fully covers my dark circles… hence picking up the ColourPop one. (PS How did I not know that some Ultas carry ColourPop now?!) So I might return the NARS one if I end up loving the ColourPop one more.

The backpack was a bit of a splurge, but I was looking for a smallish, comfy, cute backpack for when I travel, and Kristin recommended this one. Its maiden voyage will be this weekend’s Chicago trip!

What did you buy this month?