To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: September 15


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

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

plus random chicken  

And Frankie:


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

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



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


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

A reasonable question.

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



Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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Outfits of the month (August 2017)


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

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

Enter Instagram.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linking up with Laura for Confident Twosday!

High Five for Friday: September 8


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

  • Remember how I planted flowers on the 4th of July and realized that I hate gardening? Well, the poor plants had been looking pretty beat for awhile and I was convinced I had killed them. BUT LO AND BEHOLD:  

So beautiful! So not dead! In fact, there are several other blooms in progress! I feel like such a proud plant mom!


  • THREE cats visited us this week!! First up is Cinny, who fled from me even though I called her "Tina." 😿

Then we had Blackie, who sat outside our window meowing, but hid in the hedges when I came out to smother him with affection. Why are you meowing if you don't want to make friends?!


And lastly we had...


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


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

"To bday or not to bday" 😂 

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

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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August 2017 Budget


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

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

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

Not pictured:

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

TOTAL: $205

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

High Five for Friday: September 1


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

  • I guess the biggest thing we did was celebrate my birthday (Monday 8/28) at Disneyland! 

This wasn't the reason we went to CA, but once we started looking at potential dates at the end of August, I was like, "If we're going to be there on my birthday, we're definitely going to Disney!" So we did! And I even got a birthday button!


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

  • While in Cali, I also treated myself to a manicure because my chipping nails were driving me nuts. Because I rarely get my nails done, I decided to go with SNS, aka Tif's nail polish of choice! It's so crazy that they use colored powder and it turns out like this:

Best of all, it hasn't chipped! It still looks the same, one week later! 💯


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

Tidal pools!

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

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

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

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


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

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High Five for Friday: August 18


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

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


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

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

  • I bought this ridiculous contraption on Amazon and BY GOD IT WORKS!

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



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


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


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

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Why I'm kind of obsessed with Lipsense


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

Here are some reasons why I <3 Lipsense:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before and after!

Before and after!

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

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


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

High Five for Friday: August 11


Let's see what brought the sparkle this week!

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


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

#basic 💁🏼

He loves me or he loves me not??

He loves me or he loves me not??

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


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


Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: August 4


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

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

 Hope you have a great weekend! xo 

August 2017 goals


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: July 28


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

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


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

She's not a kitten anymore! 😭😭😭

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

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

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

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

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

July 2017 budget


Oh boy. Cue Marshall/Beercules:

Yep. Even worse than last month, actually!

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

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

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

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

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

Not pictured:

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

TOTAL: $269

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

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

Now onto the less necessary purchases! 

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

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

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

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

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

High Five for Friday: July 21


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

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

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

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

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


Hope you have a great weekend! xo

2017 goals check-in


Now that we're more than halfway through the year (YIKES), it seems like a good time to revisit my 2017 goals! Or, more accurately, to remind myself what they are because I am really good at setting goals and then forgetting about them (or just blowing them off altogether). 

Goal 1: Work a more normal schedule

This is one that I've actually attempted but found to be disappointing. As appealing as a more normal (i.e. not 11-7) schedule sounds, it also means that I'm commuting at the same time as more people and end up sitting in traffic. I'd rather just stay later at work and breeze home than deal with that.

Goal 2: Stop living paycheck to paycheck

Weeellll... I did not forget about this goal, but it's probably been the hardest one for me. I actually started talking about it in therapy this week because my impulse spending has been way out of control lately. I pay my bills on time and I make a budget, but I end up ultimately blowing off said budget and YNAB. (I like YNAB in theory but can't seem to consistently use it.) I'm starting to realize that I am just not a future-oriented person (in more ways than one), so the idea of putting money aside for next month's bills is kind of unfathomable to me. I'm going to really have to work at it and be more disciplined.

Goal 3: Get new glasses

CHECK! I crossed this one off in early 2017 and can finally see again!

Goal 4: Switch to a fee-free bank

Well, no, but thanks to my tax return, I have enough money in my bank account to negate the fee. So I achieved this goal (for now at least), just without the method I had envisioned.

Goal 5: Have a $1,000 emergency fund

CHECK again thanks to my tax return! The hardest part will be maintaining it because having a safety net makes it easier to do stupid, impulsive things.

Goal 6: Take a vacation

No, but Pops and I are trying to figure something out before the end of the summer.


Phrase of the Year

I knew that "out of hiding" would give me a challenge, but it's been even harder than I anticipated, mainly because I thought making it an ongoing goal would push me to actually do it. But no. Doing new things makes me anxious, and being around (most) people makes me anxious, and those are real deterrents for trying to step out of your comfort zone! Feeling self-conscious is a huge obstacle for me too, especially out in public. I have a much easier time doing things with other people because they act sort of like an invisibility shield and also make me feel safer/less vulnerable. So I guess I've learned a lot from having this as a goal, even though the action part of it has been a bit of a fail. 


Year to Date Spending (from budget posts): $694

I don't know why, but I always feel like little bits of money being saved or spent don't add up. Of course, that's not true, and I don't "need" the majority of the things that I buy. I know that and yet... here we are. Plus, the above total does not include July, and I've completely lost my damn mind this month. In 2016, I spent $1,142 in my budget posts, and I don't want to exceed that this year... but there's still five months to go! Eep!

High Five for Friday: July 14


It's the freakin' weekend!! So let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • On Sunday, I had brunch with a few grad school pals I hadn't seen in awhile, which was delightful! Then I spotted this flower mural on the walk back to my car and obviously had to take a picture! (Because I can't resist flowers in any form.)
  • After brunch, it pretty much became self-care Sunday, during which I literally sat in my backyard journaling and reading magazines while listening to ocean sounds, haha! And then I put on Grey's and took a nap! 👌


  • No cats have been around lately, but we do have a (usually) friendly bunny who hangs around our yard. On this day, however, he was not interested in company! 
  • This week, I had the opportunity to help two friends with mental health-related issues, and being able to do so really warmed my heart and made me feel purposeful. It also ended up making me feel even more confident in my own treatment path to keep my suicidality in check. 
I saw this ridiculously beautiful sunset (and also a rainbow!) after leaving one friend, which seemed poetic.

I saw this ridiculously beautiful sunset (and also a rainbow!) after leaving one friend, which seemed poetic.

  • And lastly, July 13 was my third blogiversary! Holy moly! I can never remember when I started this blog, so I never paid attention to the fact that it was the 13th. Thirteen is a strangely positive number for me. (Maybe because Pavel Datsyuk was a mainstay on my old fantasy hockey team? Lol) I often win at carnival games when I bet on 13, and 2013 was a year that dramatically changed my life (as it included inpatient, meeting B, starting the perfect job for an English major, moving into the city, meeting one of my current wonderful therapists...). AND something else I had forgotten (thank you, radio DJ, for reminding me!)  is that Live Aid happened on July 13, 1985! Forget April 25--July 13 is the perfect date! 😂💜


Hope you have a great weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: July 7


This lovely week featured dental work, a trip to the DMV, and a giant bug in our basement. (I'm not sure which of those scenarios is most terrifying...) So I definitely had to look below the surface for the sparkle, but it was there!


  • On Saturday, I went shopping for plants and promptly fell in love with all the dahlias!

My goal was to buy a few flowers to plant, particularly a zinnia because they look like dahlias but allegedly attract less bugs, buuut that was a fail once I saw all of these guys! 😍


  • So I ended up getting a zinnia and a dahlia, and Pops and I planted them on the Fourth of July. And I learned that I don't like gardening! Womp! (Although this really should not be a huge surprise given my feelings about dirt and bugs.) If I plant flowers again, perennials seem to be the way to go for maximum prettiness and one-time effort!
Hi friends! 👋

Hi friends! 👋

  • As if you couldn't tell, Pops and I had a low-key Fourth, complete with planting said flowers and watching the Storage Wars marathon! Just as our forefathers intended! 😂 That show is so ridiculous. We especially love all the corny puns that are featured in the recap at the end.


  • In case there was any doubt that our neighborhood is full of free-range cats, I looked up from my meditation one evening and saw this fellow stroll on by!
Who the heck are you?!

Who the heck are you?!

  •  And lastly, here is a wacky gif that my bffl and I currently can't get enough of:

We both had to work on Monday, so we said that everyone who had off was getting pinched by this guy... including Pops, who is retired! (Poor Pops.) 


Hope you have a great weekend! xo

July 2017 goals


How is it July already? Good. Lord. Here's what's on the white board for this month that I can't believe is already here:


1. Remember how I mentioned in my June budget post that I tend to just avoid looking at my bank account so that I can keep spending irresponsibly? YEAH...

2. Trying to consciously do one thing that makes me happy each day was really helpful for my mood in June, so I want to try to keep that going.

3. I keep feeling the impulse to work on this one story of mine and always shoot it down. So I hope that this goal will allow my mind to be like "Oh, this is legit now. You may proceed." 

4. I've stuck with the Calm app more than any other meditation app or method I've tried, so let's see if I can keep that going too.

5. My screen time, especially on weekends, has gotten way out of hand. And there is no reason to be looking at stupid social media so much... although I do have a problem with wanting immediate answers to every question under the sun, and I don't see that changing! 

But actually...

But actually...

And let's see how my June goals went:

1. Put aside money for July bills: CHECK! Even with me being totally reckless with my spending! The fact that I used to pay my car insurance at the end of the month and am now with a company that charges at the beginning of the month definitely helped.

2. No online shopping: 3/4 CHECK! I did make one Amazon impulse purchase, so that was a fail, but going the rest of the month without succumbing to temptation is not bad at all. And I even talked myself out of a few online purchases by reminding myself of this goal!

3. One happy thing/day: CHECK? I definitely crushed this goal during the second-half of the month but can't remember how exactly it went at the beginning. I think well? (As a result, I've started jotting down my happy things on my bedroom calendar so that I can track them!)

4. Lavendaire's vision exercises: 3/4 CHECK (which is apparently now a thing) I did answer quite a few of these questions but had a bit of a breakdown during question 3 when I realized that I have a total negativity mind block that won't even let me consider my "dream life." We are working on this negativity in therapy now, but for that reason, I didn't go further with the questions. I did get some useful insights before hitting that wall, though.


Oh, I almost forgot about my phrase of the year ("out of hiding")! How promising! 😂 I did get out of the house much more, even if it was just to our porch or backyard, so that's good! And I've spent the past two Fridays with a friend, which is unheard of for this homebody!

What are you working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: June 30


Let's see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • First of all:

I found out Cinnamon's real name! And her home!

I accidentally stumbled upon Cinnamon, her owner, and Brindle Pinky (apparently Cinny's housemate!) on Tuesday night and couldn't resist the chance to finally get some answers! 

Cinnamon's real name is... Tina. TINA! I'm definitely going to try calling her that the next time she's snoozing at our house and see if that makes her love me. (For the record, she did come a-runnin' when she heard her owner's call!)



  • All of that happened on Tuesday after I found out that I have my first cavity in 15 years! Wah! But I was determined not to wallow and went on a cat-and-flower recon walk after getting home from the dentist. There was a time not that long ago when I wallowed over EVERYTHING because everything felt like the end of the world. But it's not, thank goodness. And there's always plants and cats (or whatever YOU like lol) around to help you through it. ❤️



  • Ok, let's backtrack now. On Saturday morning, I did my daily Calm meditation (!!) outside and then decided that I wanted go check out this pretty plant around the corner that I'd noticed the night before. So I just went! In my pajamas! (Which included the neon pink shorts at the bottom of this post, no less!) And I saw the pretty flowers and the world didn't end! I talk myself out of even the littlest things so easily, so this was 👌👌👌.
Phlox, said pretty flower! 

Phlox, said pretty flower! 

  • Speaking of flowers, our Rose of Sharon is starting to bloom! But note the location of the bloom. Yeah, the bush is right by our driveway, so I inevitably knock off a few side blooms every time I park. Smart plant.
  • I was practically dozing off on my drive to Reading on Sunday, so I wanted to stop at Starbucks before driving home. I also ideally wanted to stop at Target for some drugstore-type things I had run out of. But I don't know where anything is in Reading (besides the Sheetz, natch #notDelco). Much to my delight, I discovered that there was a Target WITH A STARBUCKS ten minutes away! AND they had these sandals in my size (which I hadn't been able to find anywhere near me). Total win.


Hope you have a great weekend! xo

June 2017 budget


In February, I had the realization that I often shop to keep myself stuck, as not having money is a legitimate excuse not to do things. 

I had hoped that revelation would inspire me to get my spending under control, but this month, much like Marshall/Beercules:


It always starts out so well: I make a budget, and I "give every dollar a job" in YNAB like I'm supposed to, but I don't take that budget or those jobs seriously. I just can't seem to stop myself from spending "extra" money, even if I've earmarked it for something else important (like next month's bills). I also just won't check my bank account for days at a time, so that I can go on being irresponsible. COME ON GIRL.

While the damage is actually not as bad as I'd anticipated, the above mindset worries me.

ANYWAY, here's what I got in June: 

  1. Bandolino Collindy flat (Marshalls): $22 on sale (It seems that they retail around $50, so 🙌.)
  2. Tony Moly Gold Black Sugar Scrub Mask (Ulta): $10 on sale for $9
  3. Well Worn Babe Pullover (Target): $6
  4. Mad Love Keava Sandal (Target)--and currently on sale!: $23
  5. Lanolips 101 Ointment Balm in strawberry (Ulta): $14 on sale for $12


Not pictured:

  1. Always Keep Fighting "Love Yourself First" tee: $30 including shipping 
  2. Striped Aerie tee (Plato's Closet):  $5
  3. Purple Silence + Noise tee (Plato's Closet): $6


TOTAL: $113 - $20 that I got back for returning the Glossier Priming Moisturizer, my least favorite part of the Phase 1 Kit I bought last month


(I'm only changing the total so that I have an accurate number when I add up my spending at the end of the year, and I don't want to go back and change the May post.)


I'd been looking for new black flats (because my go-to ones are from 2008 nbd), and this was a whole saga because I have really narrow feet and often walk out of flats. So the elastic ankle straps on the Collindy flat are 👌. Bonus that I get to look like a ballerina, which is pretty much always my goal. 

The Keava sandal is not nearly as cute, but it's basically a walking boot in sandal form, what with the tighten-able straps and the rocker sole. The Birkenstock look may be trendy these days, but I definitely bought these to serve an orthopedic function. I'm officially 80 years old.

In that same vein, I got the Babe shirt solely to rock the Miss Arlene Francis and Miss Kitty Carlisle fashion vibe from What's My Line?  

Did anyone else watch these old reruns on Game Show Network as a kid?!

Did anyone else watch these old reruns on Game Show Network as a kid?!

Lanolips is something that I'd always coveted but had never been able to find in the States. So naturally I pounced when I saw it at Ulta!

And finally, the Always Keep Fighting shirt. I feel like a huge poser getting a Supernatural shirt (given that I doubt I've watched a full season of it), but finding out about Jared Padalecki's experiences with suicide and depression, and how much he and the cast have done to normalize mental health issues are truly what keeps me interested in the show. 



How do you avoid blowing off your budget? Any suggestions? 😬

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

High Five for Friday: June 23


Oh, what a week it's been! Let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • Last Friday, I didn't feel like going straight home after work, so I found the Home Goods near work and hung out there! (I never go to Home Goods, so I don't know what got into me!) I somehow did not buy unicorn + donut wrapping paper but could not resist this little box with what is clearly my spirit animal on it:
Pink and purple! Sparkles! Unicorn! 💯

Pink and purple! Sparkles! Unicorn! 💯

I also bought this sparkly amethyst-y rock from the sale rack because I'd been wanting something like it for awhile! (Also, purple sparkles. Need I say more?)

Casual Thursday sparkles 👌💜✨

A post shared by Jess (@jessie_face4) on




  • Father's Day was super chill and included watching the US Open (😴) and getting ice cream from Pops' fave place. I have to say, Pops is truly the best. When I was a kid, he totally embraced the both-mom-and-dad role that opens up following a divorce (as I lived with him most of the time) and is just the kindest, most optimistic person there is. I can very easily be a Negative Nelly, so I really hope to be more like him one day. 
Rocking a fine sun hat, like a true fashion blogger in the making 😂 

Rocking a fine sun hat, like a true fashion blogger in the making 😂 

  • On Monday, I had a great textversation with one of my dear grad school friends, which was much appreciated after a real Come to Jesus therapy session earlier in the day. Ashley's positivity and commiseration were just what I needed. 💖 


  • And lastly, a Weird-Ass Movie of the Week! St. Elmo's Fire was randomly on on Saturday, and it's so dumb but somehow way more engaging than I remember. And this line will never get old (as I've texted it to my poor friend Kristin almost every day since): 
Chris Traeger would never approve of this behavior!

Chris Traeger would never approve of this behavior!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo