To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: January 20

JessComment

For some reason, I decided to tackle ALLTHETHINGS I want to work on in 2017 this past week! In spite of that madness, there are still some things that put the sparkle into my week:

  • On Friday, I got to catch up with a few friends over some delish pizza in South Philly! Not only was it great to see these gals and be back in the old 'hood, I also successfully drove there from work, so I crossed another route off my New Driver Bingo! (The thought of taking a newish highway route at night did have me making the sign of the cross in the parking lot before I left work, not gonna lie!)

 

  • So I hate cooking. I hate that lunch is a thing that exists, and I certainly hate the idea of "meal prep." But I was able to overcome that this week and make a big batch of pasta for myself on Sunday to then dole out during the week for various lunches! (I really need to scale back on my all carb diet, but let's tackle one unpleasant thing at a time here!)  

 

  • Thanks to an H54Fer (ack, I can't remember who!), I read this morning routine post by Sammi Harvey and got some great ideas for how to make my morning less frenzied! I totally feel like I spend my mornings just catching up on social media and then feeling overwhelmed and perpetually behind. So this week, I really tried to limit my phone time when I first wake up, and Sammi's old-school alarm clock tip has really helped with that! (If I don't have to grab my phone first thing to turn off the alarm, then I'm less apt to start playing on it right away, you know?)
Bonus if your clock is as awesome as this $10 one from Amazon!

Bonus if your clock is as awesome as this $10 one from Amazon!

  • Somehow, it's been awhile since I got super emotional over a stranger's pet on Instagram! But watching one of Beth Stern's recent adult fosters hide and then slowly warm up to her new mama just hit me right in the feels. "Out of hiding": a 2017 resolution for shy adults and cats alike!
And she's a calico like my girl Calico Pinky! <3 <3

And she's a calico like my girl Calico Pinky! <3 <3

  • I ended the week by coming out of hiding a bit myself and doing something spontaneous--going to Target after work! Gasp! I hardly ever deviate from the work-to-home plan, but after reading Tif's $10 at Target post this week and seeing all the adorable Valentinesy things she found, I just couldn't resist! Valentine's, in all its pink/purple heart-and-glitter covered glory, was basically made for me, and the Target near work is usually way less picked over than the one near my house. Clearly, it was a successful trip: 
Hooray for gift cards!

Hooray for gift cards!

As nbd as going to Target after work probably sounds, for me--someone who often finds the outside world very scary--being able to do a fun, impromptu thing by myself and still get home safely was EXHILARATING. :)

Hope you have a good weekend! xo

She's a rainbow

JessComment

I have never been as enthusiastic about the start of a new year as I am now. I didn't quite realize it at the time, but I was feeling really blah in the waning months of 2016. And I should have known, because the evidence was right there in front of me: my unpainted nails.

As dumb as it sounds, the state of my nails often reflects my mental/emotional state. If I'm not painting my nails at all OR they're painted a barely-there color, I'm probably feeling scared or sad. I may really want to blend in and hide. My bffl (an even bigger nail polish enthusiast than me!) actually called me out on this tendency in college when I was taking a class that terrified me and, as a result, only painted my nails a pale opalescent pink the whole semester. (2017 must be off to a good start because my nails are currently this awesome shade of blue!)

So one of my fun self-care resolutions for 2017 is to try to paint my nails every week because having pretty nails just makes me happy! (And happy people don't shoot their husbands! Er, among other things...) And I have quite a collection of polishes, so I might as well use them!

This is as close to minimalist as I can get! 

This is as close to minimalist as I can get! 

If you too love painting your nails, then you know that the struggle to find a good color AND formula is realer than real. So here are my go-to polishes, the tried and true ones I know will look good without 47 coats (and assorted expletives):

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Essie "Splash of Grenadine"

Zoya Pixie Dust "Tomoko"

Sally Hansen Triple Shine "Red Snapper"

Illamasqua "Jo'mina"

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Maybelline Color Show "Porcelain Party"

Essie "Where's My Chauffeur"

Ginger + Liz Rock and Ice Collection "Is It Friday Yet"

 

None of these colors is particularly "quiet," which is a good sign! Jo'mina is probably my favorite color in my whole collection (hello, purple 💜). It's just such a pretty, vibrant lavender. I actually get compliments on it every time I wear it! A close second fave is "Red Snapper"--I wear it seriously all.the.time. Such a good cherry red. And the brushes on the Sally Hansen Triple Shines make applying a breeze!

I didn't include it in the pictures, but Poshe top coat is the only one I've used for the last four+ years. (Props to my pal Piper for introducing this magical potion to me!) It dries really fast, makes your nails super shiny, and lasts for days. What else could a gal want? 💯

The matte glitter polishes (like Zoya Pixie Dust, Ginger + Liz's Rock and Ice Collection, and also OPI's Liquid Sand line) are my go-tos when I need my nails to look perfect for an event or a vacation (when I won't be able to immediately change polishes or fix a mistake). They just don't seem to chip as fast as "normal" polishes. Bonus that they usually look great in just two coats and don't need a top coat! (The sandpapery texture is a little weird, but I can overlook it because, above all, I am LAZY with my beauty products.)

What are your go-to nail polishes that I need to try?

High Five for Friday: January 13

JessComment

 

After a 65 degree Thursday in January, I am cartwheeling into the weekend! (Which has snow in the forecast for Saturday, boo.) Here's what else put the sparkle into my week:

  • I had a follow-up doctor's appointment last Friday and got a clean bill of health, hooray!

 

  • I finally wore these sweet raccoon pjs that I got for Christmas! I bought the same exact ones for my bffl, and then Pops got them for me LOL. (They're from Target, but apparently they're sold out online 😞.) They are so comfy!! And these purple sheets were a Christmas gift from my mom and make getting out of bed for a 9 AM therapy appointment REALLY CHALLENGING. 
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  • I hopped on the Gratitude Jar train for 2017 after reading Ashley's post! I used to keep a gratitude journal and really enjoyed it... except that I would sometimes forget to update it and then feel guilty and that became a drag. So I like that the Gratitude Jar allows me to still note and remind myself of the good things going on, in a less structured way.

 

I already had this decorative bottle (?) from the Target Dollar Spot and threw it together with some cute Post-Its I wasn't using. DONE!

I already had this decorative bottle (?) from the Target Dollar Spot and threw it together with some cute Post-Its I wasn't using. DONE!

  • If you're a fan of cats and/or cuteness and you're not following Beth O. Stern on Instagram, here's Exhibit A why you should change that:
A tiny kitten using coasters as steps to climb into a vase. GAHHH I CAN'T EVEN WITCHU. 💖💖💖

A tiny kitten using coasters as steps to climb into a vase. GAHHH I CAN'T EVEN WITCHU. 💖💖💖

  • And finally, this cracked me up:
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Along with my general spaz-ness behind the wheel, this is why I'm reluctant to have passengers: because I know that not everyone wants to hear "Sundown" 27 times in a row (which may or may not have happened on my Tuesday commute...)!

 

Hope you have a lovely weekend! xo

2017 and January Goals

JessComment
How fantastic is this confetti thrower that Timmi got me for Christmas?!

How fantastic is this confetti thrower that Timmi got me for Christmas?!

I don't think I ever talked about my goals for 2016 ~the year~ on here, which is fitting because I ignored them! Well, except for "buy a car," but I wasn't talking to anyone in advance about that! Aside from that terrifying goal, the others didn't interest me much, so they were easy to ignore. My 2017 goals aren't exactly thrilling, but I have enough energy around them to WANT to do them on some level, so that seems promising:

Plus "out of hiding," which I plan to acknowledge in future goal updates. 💜

Plus "out of hiding," which I plan to acknowledge in future goal updates. 💜

Like, "Hey, not being broke after I pay my bills would be awesome." And "It would be sweet to get home from work before 8 PM." Seeing tangible benefits like that seems to really motivate me. That was certainly the case when I attempted driving again. When I got my license (reluctantly, of course) at 19, driving was easy to avoid because I was in college and living on campus. Driving only intrigued me ten years later when I clearly had something to gain from it--like a greatly reduced commute. So now we'll see if this motivation theory holds true for my 2017 goals!

My two goals for January are both related to my bigger goals for the year:

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1.) Switching to a bank that doesn't charge those annoying monthly fees would be one way to save a little money--getting closer to my "Stop living paycheck to paycheck" goal. I've also been trying to find a budgeting app or program that I don't hate, but the search has been unsuccessful thus far. I can never stick with Mint, and I found YNAB super-frustrating to set up. Any suggestions? (Maybe the problem is that I don't know what I'm really looking to gain from one of those apps, since I already track my bills and spending on paper.)

2.) Getting to work before 11 is a start towards working more normal hours. Anxiety usually keeps me from leaving the house earlier, and, as I mentioned here, my anxiety typically only signs off on obligations, so by making getting to work earlier an obligation--in baby steps--there's a prayer that I might actually do it. I usually get to work between like 10:50 and 11:10, so my thought process here is to nudge that time back. Like, if I am able to get to work consistently before 11 this month, then I want to try to get in by 10:45 next month, etc., until I'm sort of naturally on a better schedule.

Pro tip: Understanding how to trick yourself into doing things is key. 😝

What are you working on this month, or in 2017 as a whole?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: January 6

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this first week of the new year!

  • Last Friday, Pops and I finally got our act together to go the Macy's Christmas Light Show! It's so crazy how there's this whole Light Brite-esque display just in the middle of a huge department store, all nbd. 
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  • My lovely, lazy Christmas vacation is sadly over. But basically wearing a blanket with sleeves made the transition back to work a little better!
So cozy! 

So cozy! 

  • I got my first-ever Christmas card from Australia this week! How cute are these sunbathing penguins?! (I wish it were still summer here!) Thank you Mica! Your card and message were so sweet and really made my day! 💖
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  • In keeping with the blogger love theme, the lovely Nicole at Writes Like a Girl really helped me to push through some anxiety this week and get my "Phrase of the Year" post up on Wednesday! Her positivity and pretty pictures definitely energize me and make me want to write/post more! 
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  • Lastly, I ended the week with an impromptu reunion with some old work pals, which was just delightful! My initial reaction to the last-minute invite was going to be "no," of course (I'm not the most spontaneous person--surprise!), but then I remembered my mantra for 2017 and my resolution to just consider saying yes to things. So I considered it. And I realized that, under my reflexive anxiety, I actually did want to go! So I did! And it was great! HUZZAH! 

Happy first weekend of 2017 to you! xo

The "Phrase of the Year" that chose me

JessComment
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Have you guys heard about this "Word of the Year" thing? The idea is easy enough: you pick a word that resonates with you to use as inspiration and motivation throughout the new year.

My initial reaction to that lovely concept was BLEH. (Although, to be fair, BLEH is my initial reaction to most things.) 

That is, until a word chose me. Or rather, a whole phrase chose me. It came to me out of the blue sometime in December, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. It just struck me as the perfect theme for how I'd like to grow in 2017:

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Because, confession: I feel scared most of the time. And when I feel scared, I retreat into hiding. 

My knee-jerk reaction to most invitations or opportunities is "NO" (or "BLEH"), and I have a hard time getting out of the house for anything other than work or appointments. My anxiety seems to only sign off on obligations (particularly those that ward off conflict); it dismisses everything else as optional or frivolous. According to my anxiety, not much is worth the risk of venturing out into the dangerous, unpredictable world... so that leaves my house as the only safe place. Hiding also takes the form of silence, as my anxiety often causes me to second-guess myself, killing my enthusiasm for blogging and other forms of expression. None of this is new for me--I'm just able to see it now. To see that being a slave to anxiety makes for a pretty dull life. It doesn't rejuvenate or inspire me, and that's not good enough anymore. (Even though just writing that sentence spooks me!) I plan to use "out of hiding" as a reminder to question my anxiety and consider doing the scary thing, rather than automatically avoiding it.

As much as I also BLEH at New Year's resolutions, I can't deny that I need to do some things differently in 2017, so I bought myself the Commit 30 planner as a Christmas gift. My hope is that its focus on weekly and monthly goals will keep me from becoming a routine robot. (In 2016, I felt like I numbed out on routine a lot and hardly noticed the days, weeks, and months flying by.) 

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Am I absolutely petrified to attempt to come "out of hiding"? Uh, YEAH. Especially because the first thing I want to do when I'm scared is to go INTO hiding! But my life in hiding is not very fulfilling, so I guess it's time to try something different. 💜

What do you hope to do differently in 2017?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl

High Five for Friday: December 30

JessComment

Here we go, the last week of the year. (YIKES.) What put the sparkle into my lazy holiday week?

  • Even though I think I'm allergic to it (wah), I've been loving our Christmas tree! As soon as I step into the living room, I just have to turn on the lights for maximum festiveness! 
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  • Christmas Day was pretty low-key (aside from mourning George Michael 😩), complete with some Love Actually and comfy Christmas leggings! 
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I got some awesome gifts, including cat slippers, cozy (purple!) sheets, and a Neko Atsume plushie of my own! 

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  • On Monday, I was reunited with Timmi for copious snacking, puppy-snuggling, and movie-watching! (I successfully coerced her into watching the The Mighty Ducks for the first time and can only hope that "cake eater" factors into her future snaps of The Great British Bake Off.) How freakin' cute are these lapel pins she got me for Christmas?! I still can't get over the Polly Pocket one! 
  • I celebrated the most important holiday of them all this week: Catsmas! I got some more bumps and rubs from Calico Pinky aka Edie on Friday! Just looking at her sweet little face makes me want to squeal incoherently.
I'm sexy and I know it.

I'm sexy and I know it.

Then on Christmas, I got to hang out with my aunt's two crazy cats! One had a grand time trying invade a giant gift bag, while the other went bonkers for the catnip carrots I got them!

Before annnd after the bag fell on her.

Before annnd after the bag fell on her.

RAWR.

RAWR.

  • Since I've been off all week, I've gotten to do some out-of-the-ordinary things, like going to TJ Maxx on a Tuesday afternoon and finding the decorative tiered organizer of my dreams!
😍

😍

I usually dread New Year's Eve, but I am so ready to say goodbye to 2016. Here's to a sparkly start to 2017! xo

December 2016 budget

JessComment

Last December, I was totally horrified to add up my spending and see just how much I had spent on clothing and accessories in 2015. This December, I'm not horrified at all... because I cut my 2015 total IN HALF (actually, more than half!)! I spent $2,768 in 2015 and $1,142 in 2016, a difference of $1,626! That's crazy!!

If you're looking to cut back on your spending, here are two things that helped me:

  1. Reprioritizing. Getting a car (and all of the expenses that go with it) sort of forced me into this, but you simply can't shop as much if most of your disposable income has been reallocated.
  2. Keeping last year's spending total posted where I could see it (like on my white board and on my computer), as a reminder of what I was trying to avoid doing this year.

I'm so proud of myself! High-five, 2016 Jess! 🎉

As for this month (which is included in the 2016 total above), here's what I bought: 

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  1. SOLO Mio Sonic Face Cleaner and Massager Brush (Amazon): $38
  2. LuLaRoe leggings: $25
  3. LipSense Lip Balm: $20
  4. DevaCurl Travel Size Ultra Hold Gel (Ulta): $10 - coupon = $8

TOTAL: $91

I had been toying with the idea of getting a sonic cleanser for awhile. For some reason, the idea of a cleansing brush like the Clarisonic kind of weirds me out, so I was drawn to a silicone device like the Foreo Luna. But that's $100+ (oy), so I was hesitant to pull the trigger... until I stumbled upon a similar one with great reviews on Amazon for less than $40! Sold! I've never used a device like this before, so I'm curious to see how my skin reacts to it.

After my initial LuLaRoe binge in September, I hadn't been too excited by any pattern I'd seen since. But I legit freaked over these leggings. Yellow umbrellas?! "One ticket to Farhampton, please!" 💛

The LipSense Lip Balm was finally back in stock this month, and I'm loving it! It makes my lips feel so soft and is a great alternative for days when I just can't be bothered to put on lipstick.

And the DevaCurl gel was just something I needed to get more of. 😴

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

High Five for Friday: December 23

JessComment

Bah humbug, but that's too strong 'cause there are things that brought the sparkle to this last week before Christmas! It was truly an opportunity to sparkle punch, as another emergency sort of threw all holiday plans out the window. But luckily, I was off from work starting on Wednesday, so I was able to pitch in with cleaning and decorating... and also belt out Christmas songs and just try to enjoy the season. Even though nothing was going according to plan, I was able to keep a positive attitude, which is huge for someone who used to pout and panic about everything! I just kept reminding myself that the situation was unpredictable and all I could do was "go with the flow" (barf) and try to be supportive and helpful, you know? ANYWAY, here's what brought the sparkle this week:

  • "Christmas Wrapping" and "Step into Christmas," two of my favorite Christmas songs since childhood, were in heavy rotation to set a cheerful holiday mood!

As that screenshot suggests, this video is 👌👌.

 

  • I tackled a few driving challenges this week! First, I drove in the "snow" (ok, so it was really more like slush by the time I got out there, but I was still able--and willing!--to drive in it)! And then it was insanely foggy when I had to drive back home, so I got to cross that off my New Driver Bingo too!

 

  • Reading the Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange posts last Friday night was so delightful! I loved seeing the gifts that everyone got, while also "meeting" some new blogger friends! Appropriately enough, an adorable card from Bri (my Secret Santa) arrived last Friday too!
Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a sparkly penguin in a hat!

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a sparkly penguin in a hat!

Also, if you want to see what I got my Secret Santa Audrey, you can check out her post here!

 

  • In the "What the What" files, I went to a meditation gathering on Sunday. (All together now: "What the what?!") Until a few weeks ago, I was totally terrified at the thought of sitting still and focusing on my breathing. But I've actually been willing to try it lately, so I went to this meditation event, where not only did I have to sit quietly and focus on my breathing, but I also didn't know that many people. Eek! But I had a great time! Meditating AND socializing?! In one day? Truly a major   accomplishment. :)

 

  • Our Christmas tree and decorations are up, thanks in part to the cleaning and decorating binge on Thursday! The tree smells so amazing, and all the decorations and lights bring so much cheer to our little house. 💕
Truly a sparkle punch Christmas! 

Truly a sparkle punch Christmas! 

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(Clearly, we inherited a ton of awesome decorations from my grandmother!)

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and are able to find the good even when things go awry (which can be so frustrating at this time of year). xoxo

High Five for Friday: December 16

JessComment

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

  • Last Saturday was a banner mail day! First, I got a package from Becky at byBMG because the LipSense Lip Balm was finally back in stock, hooray! 
What a festive little baggie! 

What a festive little baggie! 

  • Then FOUR packages arrived from Amazon that night! I had gotten a message that my Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange gift was supposed to arrive on Saturday, so I was like "BOY, she really went all out!"
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Turns out that two packages were indeed from my blogger Secret Santa, and the other two were Christmas gifts from my bffl! Ok, that makes more sense! Great minds order from Amazon!

The lovely Bri from North Star Girl, Lone Star World was my Secret Santa! (Somehow, I had a hunch that it might be her, I have no idea why!) She sent me Scrappy Little Nobody (ooh!) and a cute mug! Thanks, Bri! :)

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  • And then the surprise gifts from my bffl were cat socks and the Mighty Ducks trilogy (probably because she was recently shocked to learn that I didn't have it on DVD--only VHS!). Bri also likes the Mighty Ducks, so it really tied the Saturday gift extravaganza together!
This was in the first package I opened, and I was like, "How did my secret santa know?! This wasn't on my list!" haha

This was in the first package I opened, and I was like, "How did my secret santa know?! This wasn't on my list!" haha

  •  I found this adorably festive washi tape at Target recently and finally used it in my planner this week!
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  • And finally, as we get ready for Christmas, don't forget to catch a falling star and put it in your pocket:   

Have a great weekend! xo

As always, I'm linking up with Katie, Tif, and Della for High Five for Friday!

This week, I'm also linking up with Mattie (Northwest Native) and Olya (The Siberian American) for the Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange!

Northwest Native Blog

Best buys of 2016

JessComment
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With the year coming to an end, it's time to reflect on the important things... like 🎶the best buys of the year🎶 (sung like Tom Haverford and Donna).

I feel like there was a big shift in my relationship with shopping this year. Shopping had always been a fun distraction from anxiety or a quick pick-me-up. But this year, I began to notice how much of a crapshoot it is. When you buy something, it's impossible to know if you'll really love it and use it as much as you think you will. You buy something because it seems perfect, like the exact item your life has been missing. Sometimes, that does turn out to be the case, and you use or wear the item all the time. And then there are things that you buy and barely use or wear and then end up donating. At least for me, it doesn't seem to matter whether it's an impulse buy or a well-researched purchase, perhaps because you can never know just how much you'll use or love something until, well, you have it.

I guess this is ultimately an argument for shopping less--the less you buy, the less you spend money things that might not work out. My 2016 budget posts have shown this trend, as I've been shopping way less than I did last year. (Ok, having less of a disposable income due to a life-changing purchase--#1 on the list below--has also helped to curtail my shopping!)

With no further adieu, here are the six things that I bought in 2016 and now can't live without:

1. A car: Let's get the biggest, most life-changing purchase out of the way first! Sure, it's bleeding me dry compared to a monthly transpass, but it has given me the freedom to actually have a life, instead of just riding trains and buses all the time, or not being able to go certain places at all because Septa just doesn't travel there. My cute li'l car has become my safe haven, and I love getting to control the temperature, music, and passengers that comprise my daily commute, for a change! ;) Plus, being able to practice driving every day keeps my fears of driving from becoming overwhelming again. (I'd rather not have to revisit exposure if I can help it!)

2. Extra-long iPhone cord. If you too are sick of having to leave your phone across the room to charge, or are constantly pulling it out of the socket by accident, this guy has been a game-changer. (And is under $10 too!)

3. Hera UV Mist Cushion Compact. I had serious reservations about ordering this $40+ compact without being able to test it in a store first. (When you have the same coloring as Casper the Friendly Ghost, finding a matching shade of makeup is a challenge.) Fortunately, it's worked out great! The shade "N21" matches my fair skin really well with a decent amount of coverage (even though the "N" indicates a more "natural" finish), and the cushion + sponge make it really easy to apply. It's still-my go-to foundation, nine months later

4. Netflix. I had actually never had my own Netflix account before this summer, but after sharing B's for a few years, I couldn't live without it. I mean, it has all the seasons of Grey's on it, as well as D2: The Mighty Ducks, soooo... #blessed

5. Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. This oil has been great at cleaning/moisturizing my skin without leaving it all greasy. Honestly, I like it better than that K Beauty holy grail, Banila Clean It Zero. *gasp*

6. Now Aromatherapy Diffuser. I had been debating getting a diffuser for awhile before finally pulling the trigger in March... and I've used it to diffuse lavender oil at bedtime pretty much every night since. This particular diffuser also lights up in different colors (as in the picture at the top of this post), but I usually turn that feature off, so as to not have a bedtime discotheque! 

What things have you bought and loved this year?

High Five for Friday: December 9

JessComment

What a crazy week. I know I say that a lot, but it was legit last week, as there was a sudden death in my extended family. Ugh. So there's a real need to sparkle punch here and find the good things that happened in the past week!

  • Last Saturday was a banner Caturday because I saw Calico Pinky and finally learned her real name: EDIE! What a precious old lady name! I thought I had seen it on her collar, and then a little girl came running up shrieking "Edie! Edie!" for confirmation.
Official Cat Review: 100/10 for adorableness and friendliness. 0/10 for chill. (She literally just walked circles around me the entire time.) 

Official Cat Review: 100/10 for adorableness and friendliness. 0/10 for chill. (She literally just walked circles around me the entire time.) 

  • Also on Saturday was our family Christmas party, which is usually stressful because I'm an antisocial nut. But we had it at a hall this year, which meant that the weeks leading up to it weren't crammed with cleaning and decorating, HOORAY! The dessert spread also helped:  
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  • You know what song I've been listening to lately? "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. (Thank you for reminding me of it, Comcast commercial!) It's cute AF and pretty appropriate for the holidays, without being a "holiday" song. (I've been all about the home-y songs lately... My icy heart must be thawing a bit!)
  • On Monday, I got my first oil change, like a real adult! (Ok, I did shriek when the little wrench light first came on, so maybe not totally adult-like.) Afterwards, I stopped at the mall and found out that Hot Topic (yeah, I'm confused why I went in there too) has Neko Atsume plushies! #blessed
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  • Since I'm apparently re-obsessed with The Mighty Ducks at the moment, I found this amazing article (ok, it's practically a novella) with behind-the-scenes stories about the movies. I also stumbled upon the hilarious Quack Attack podcast, which is basically three dudes quoting/analyzing the movies and even interviewing actors from the movies! Aside from the shocking revelation that a different kid originally played Adam Banks (!!), I think the best thing I've learned so far is that Paula Abdul was on the set of D1 (she was dating Emilio Estevez at the time), and she refused to watch them film the scene where her man smooches Charlie's mom. Like WHAT?! 

Hope y'all have a great weekend! xo

As always, linking up with Katie, Tif, and Della for High Five for Friday!

December goals

JessComment
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Sorry, this is a bit of a fake-out because I'm not setting any goals for December! The holidays (and being out of my normal routine) are stressful enough--I don't want to add to it. In fact, I want to try to enjoy the holidays (how novel!).

Anyway, here's how November's goals went:

1. Christmas cards: CHECK! Not only did I come up with an idea for them, I actually executed it and filled out/mailed them! (Thank goodness because it is December now lol.)

2. Christmas gifts: CHECK! I still have a few to get, but I made some good progress and totally finished two people's gifts!

3. AM Facebook fast: Half-check. I would still mess around on fb (and my phone in general) in the morning, but I've been better about limiting it, so, progress. 

Are you setting goals this month?

PS- Blogger friends, let me know if you want to exchange Christmas cards! :)

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: December 2

JessComment

What a whirlwind week! Let's see what put the sparkle into it:

  • I'm not super psyched about Christmas, but I did get really into taking artsy shots of all the pretty decorations at the mall last Saturday!
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  • For some reason, I really felt like playing video games over the holiday weekend, so I was thrilled to find one of my favorite childhood games in the App Store: Harvest Moon! In which you build your own farm and take care of animals and hang out with townspeople. SUPER EXCITING, I know. But look at my precious sleepy cow: 
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  • Mica sent me this delightful link in which people review the cats they meet on the street! MY PEOPLE!! (Coincidentally, I was late getting home on Sunday night because I'd spotted Calico Pinky and just had to see if she would come up to me. Spoiler: SHE DID, and I got lots of meows and bumps. <3)

 

  • My most recent allergy attack made me really curious about what exactly I'm allergic to, since I've only ever been told that I have "seasonal allergies." So on Thursday, I got allergy tested, and yes, it was a highlight of the week because I thought it was so cool! (Also, I'm insane!) I got a skin test, so I was pricked with 40 different allergens (not fun, but fascinating), and it turns out I'm allergic to a bunch of "typical" stuff (birch, dust, etc.)... and dogs! But not cats! Oh happy day! Since I've had allergic symptoms around cats before, though, the doctor actually encouraged me to pet cats and monitor my symptoms! DON'T MIND IF I DO. I also learned that certain raw fruits and veggies make my throat super itchy because they trigger my birch allergy! (So, not a food allergy in its own right, but related to my "seasonal" allergies.) How wild!
  • The Mighty Ducks (one and two!) were on again this week, and I could not resist watching... and trying to make sense of my childhood love of Adam Banks. I'm usually all about the dark-haired losers over the blonde rich kids (Jess > Logan, for instance), so this is a real conundrum. Maybe I was wooed by his insecurities in D2 (stressed about scouts! wanting to impress his dad! playing through pain!). He's not just a rich kid, he's a rich kid with problems. And he legit cries a single tear when Gordon won't let him play through his injury. Such emotional depth! What's not to love? ❤️😂 
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

November 2016 Budget

JessComment

Well, this is a first... I only bought ONE clothing or accessory item this month! WOW. That would have been unfathomable a year ago! (Last November, I spent $173, so yeahhh.) I think I bought so little this month because I stayed out of stores and didn't do much online browsing. I seem to be most responsible when I don't tempt myself in any way. (In that regard, not having to kill time while waiting for Septa has definitely helped. Going into a store puts me 50% closer to buying something than if I didn't go into that store, you know?) Having to spend money on more responsible things this month (like Christmas gifts and a dentist appointment) also kept me in line! (Ugh, adulting.) ANYWAY, here's the one thing I got this month:

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  1. Rose Gold Fidget Ring (Etsy): $25

TOTAL: $25

I had been wanting this ring for awhile and finally committed in November! Not only is it pretty, but it's also like a wearable coping skill, since I tend to fidget with my hands when I'm anxious. The artisan (LoveDawne) has a bunch of different styles of fidget rings to choose from and is very nice to work with! (I had seen this ring on her page awhile ago and was super disappointed that it was no longer available when I finally went to buy. Fortunately, she was happy to make me one when I inquired about it!)

Full disclosure: I did also pay for a LipSense Lip Balm in November, but it's still not in stock, so I'm not counting it in my budget until it arrives. (It's just easiest to count things once I get them or commit to keeping them.)

So what did you get this month? Any great Black Friday deals I can vicariously live through? :)

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers

High Five for Friday: November 25

JessComment

I actually didn't think I'd get a H54F post done this week, so woo hoo! (Has anyone else been feeling super meh lately? OY--with or without the poodles already.) Let's see what put the sparkle into this holiday week:

  • Thanksgiving, of course! It's long been one of my favorite holidays. Look at this awesome card from my mom. Anyone else love canned cranberries?!
  • In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm so thankful for YOU, readers of this blog! Thank you so much for your support over the past 2 years, it really warms my icy heart! <3

 

  • TV was really at the top of its game on Thanksgiving. First, the parades, then the National Dog Show (I was totally cooing over the dogs! WUT?!), Some Kind of Wonderful, and the piece de resistance: a Mighty Ducks marathon! YASSSSS. #QuackQuackQuackMrDucksworth #GoodVorkCaptainDuck #AdamBanksEdinaMinnesota
  • Fellow Thanksgiving dinner guests included my aunt's two cats, so I was very thankful indeed! :D One of them acted totally aloof all day, but then waited outside the bathroom to meow at me! Once I sat on the floor to pet her, she proceeded to curl up in my lap, purring. I WAS DYING. <3 <3 I guess she'll be your secret bff, as long as everyone else (including her cat sister) is downstairs.
Her cat sister, meanwhile, made an adorable decoration.

Her cat sister, meanwhile, made an adorable decoration.

  • Finally, last Saturday, I actually acted my age and stayed out til 1 AM! Whoa! I went to a surprise party for one of my besties from high school, and it had an 80s-90s theme. This was my contribution:
You know where you are? You're in the jungle, baby!

You know where you are? You're in the jungle, baby!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: November 18

JessComment

All week long, I've had no clue what day it is. At least today I won't have the disappointing realization that it's not Friday! :) Let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • Last Friday, I finally graduated from physical therapy! (It only took five months nbd.) My foot still hurts sometimes, but now I actually have the strength to resist someone pushing on my legs/feet, so yay? I was also given the terrible news that I need to keep exercising for the rest of my life. UGH ADULTHOOD.
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  • To celebrate, I stopped at Starbucks on my way to work, and when I got to the register, I was told that the person ahead of me had paid for me! What the what?! I was so thrown off that I just left, like a total jerk! But what a sweet gesture in a week that so needed it! Thank you, complete stranger! (I am determined to pay it forward the next time I'm at Starbs. I need to plan to be spontaneous, ha!)
Holiday cups <3

Holiday cups <3

  • When I texted my bffl about finishing physical therapy, she wrote back "congrats!" ...and confetti fell on our texts! And thus began 20 minutes of us trying to figure out how to replicate it. iOS 10 is too fancy for us. (But sending confetti with unexciting texts is my new favorite thing to do!)
Oh yeah, we discovered the drawing feature too. 🎨 

Oh yeah, we discovered the drawing feature too. 🎨 

  • On Saturday, I went to a birthday party for one of my oldest friends! (Gosh, have we been friends since second grade? Maybe?) I also got to see her lovely fam and eat a Swedish fish jello "shot" with them! What a time to be alive!
Put a plate of cupcakes in front of me and I will photograph it. (I didn't actually have one, but only because Funfetti cake was another option. 💯)

Put a plate of cupcakes in front of me and I will photograph it. (I didn't actually have one, but only because Funfetti cake was another option. 💯)

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  • So I've followed the Flyers and Phillies in the past, but never the Sixers. The Sixers are like the red-headed stepchild of Philly sports. They're pretty consistently terrible, but for some reason, Pops and I happened to be watching last week when they won their first game of the year (only going 0-7!). And we were thus introduced to our new favorite song: 

It's so darn catchy, like Billy Preston meets Sesame Street, and dare I say the most entertaining thing to happen to the Sixers since AI's "practice" rant! With jams like this, I'm totally on board!

 

  • Lastly, I had my physical this week and got a clean bill of health! Yahoo! And my arm has finally stopped hurting from my flu shot! (UGH ADULTHOOD.) 

Wishing you all a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving weekend! (Eek, how did that get here so fast?!)

High Five for Friday: November 11

JessComment

I really struggled with the idea of doing a H54F post during such a painful, tumultuous week. But the goal of these posts is finding the good, and for those of us who are reeling, this week definitely needs some good.

In the wake of this election, there is real shock. There is real grief. There is real fear. We must move forward together, but in order to do that, people have to feel their emotions and be able to cope with them. Here are a few things that have been helping me:

  • Talking to someone. Be it a therapist, friend, teacher, counselor (college counseling centers are often free!), suicide hotline (1-800-273-8255), etc. Journaling is a good alternative.

 

  • Keeping up my normal routine. In general, routine helps to lessen my anxiety, but my therapist suggested that it might be particularly comforting in this time of change and uncertainty.

 

  • Admiring the beauty of nature.
Such a lovely surprise in fall!

Such a lovely surprise in fall!

This tree is right around the corner from my house, and I never even noticed it before. 😍

This tree is right around the corner from my house, and I never even noticed it before. 😍

"Nature's first green is gold..." 

"Nature's first green is gold..." 

  • Making some new cat friends. (#cattherapy)
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  • Smiling at nuts like this guy:
Busted.

Busted.

And, hey, pot became legal in several more states this week, so HIGH Five for Friday has a whole new meaning!! 😂😂

Have a good weekend. Be kind to each other out there. xo

High Five for Friday: November 4

JessComment

Holy November Batman! Let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • Donuts were the theme on Friday night! 
So seasonally appropriate.

So seasonally appropriate.

In addition to bringing actual donuts with her, my mom found me this Christmas-y donut blanket at TJ Maxx! How cute!! It's super soft too!

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  • My mom also gave me this adorable pin! It's basically Ike, in pin form! Eeee!
I need to figure out how to wear these fancy pins like all the cool kids! 

I need to figure out how to wear these fancy pins like all the cool kids! 

  • Speaking of cats (because when am I not speaking of cats?)... On Friday night, I thought I'd spotted Calico Pinky, but when I got close, she darted away. :( But before I could be too disappointed, a SECOND CAT came out of nowhere, ran right for my legs, and rubbed up on me, meowing! Turns out cat #2 was Calico Pinky, and cat #1 was Skinny Tabby, a very skittish and lesser-seen neighborhood cat who may in fact be Calico Pinky's reluctant housemate. What a bunch of nuts. And I'm including myself in that. 
My buddy 💕 

My buddy 💕 

  • Did you ever have a shirt that you super randomly just LOVE? This is that shirt for me these days:
I got it secondhand in exchange for clothes I was selling, and I have no idea what brand it is! 

I got it secondhand in exchange for clothes I was selling, and I have no idea what brand it is! 

Purple with a subtle pattern?! Perfect. Not to mention that it's a bit boxy, so I layer it with a tank top and then kind of feel like an off-duty ballerina! (#goals #wut) 

 

  • And finally, hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today! (Or tomorrow, since that game ended at like 1 AM.) Who else stayed up to watch? I was actually starting to root for Cleveland, just because the focus was so lopsided on the Cubs and their fans, but I am thrilled for Chicago. I can't believe that I went to a Cubs game just before their first championship in 108 years! Like WHAT? I've been to Chicago four other times, and THIS is the year I get to a game?! Pure magic. 🦄

Here's to a great weekend! xo

November goals

JessComment
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It's never a good sign when the goals post sneaks up on you! I'm actually not setting too many goals for November because I know there's a good chance they'll be totally forgotten in the holiday chaos!

That does say "Christmas cards," although all I see now is "Christmas carols"!

That does say "Christmas cards," although all I see now is "Christmas carols"!

1. I like to send out Christmas cards, and I usually make them through Snapfish. But my creativity is currently at a zero. I need to get those creative Christmas card juices flowing! 

2. Christmas gifts. Because I need to spread that expense out over two months so as to not go broke! 

3. I tend to start messing around on my phone (particularly with Facebook) as soon as I wake up... which means that I basically disconnect from my body and emotions as soon as I possibly can. That's typical for me (I'm a constant motion, constant stimuli kind of person), but it's not healthy. I tend to feel stressed before I even get out the door in the morning. (Probably because I get sucked into the fb vortex and then am running behind, but a million posts and articles about the election can't help either.) Instead, I could focus on my breathing, do yoga, journal, read posts by my blog friends, blog myself... There are so many brighter ways to start my day. So I want to try them on days that I don't have a new blog post (because I do post those to fb in the morning--that's legit!).

 

So, how did October's goals go? (If not for one very productive day, this recap would be sad!)

1. Put away spring/summer clothes and shoes and get out fall/winter clothes and shoes: CHECK!

2. Frame two posters: HALF-CHECK! But I'm ok with this because I realized that I really need to commit to custom framing or trim the mat on poster #2 (there are just no frames in its current size).

3. Leave for work earlier: No. Just no. 

4. Choose two adventures from my list: CHECK! Ok, I did choose two adventures, but only one from my list. I'm going to count the M83 concert as adventure #2 because I had really wanted to go (I bought the tickets in August!), but I had massive anxiety the day of the concert. Pushing through that and getting out of my comfort zone would constitute an adventure, I think! 😊

5. Those dang blog info pages: No. Just no. That goal may never happen!