Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas is coming!!!

Hey guys!

I can't believe that November is almost over! Just a few short weeks and then Christmas day is here! Today I wanted to talk about a few things I love to do to get me in the Christmas mood just in time for December!

If you know me you will know that Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year and there is no better way to get into the spirit of the holiday than with some Christmas music!

I listen to Christmas music all year round but if you're not like me and you can only handle a few little doses of Christmas then now is the time to whip out those old favorites and also find some new ones to get you feeling holly and jolly! I have a few amazing albums I would recommend:

The first one is the brand new Pentatonix Christmas album A Pentatonix Christmas! Pentatonix have released Christmas albums for the last few years and they are always one of my favorites to listen to and this year's album does not disappoint! It has a favorite of mine from N*SYNC's Christmas album  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and I no lie have jammed to that EVERY time I've gotten into the car! There are also other amazing classic holiday songs they have covered such as I'll be home for Christmas, O Come all ye faithful, and White Christmas just to name a few! If you haven't ever listened to their other Christmas albums I highly suggest giving all of them a listen!  Here is the link to their newest album if you want to preview a few of the songs or buy it! (it's only $7 on iTunes!) A Pentatonix Christmas Album

The other album that is guaranteed to get me in the holiday spirit is Michael Bubl├ęs' Christmas album! I love listening to his music all year round but there is just something about listening to his smooth jazz influenced music during the holidays! It is always sure to get me in the mood for Christmas!

If you have burnt yourself out on Christmas music another way to get yourself feeling ready for the holidays is watching vloggers around the holidays. I like to do this  year round also but especially to get me in the mood for Christmas. If it is not quite December yet I like to watch Christmas vlogs/videos on YouTube from the previous year. Most of the vloggers I follow do what is called Vlogmas where they vlog every day in December leading up to Christmas and they all do such festive things like getting their Christmas trees and decorating them, going to look at Christmas lights, wrapping presents, talking about their favorite Christmas films and doing things with friends like making gingerbread cookies, ect ect. It is just something that REALLY gets me in the festive mood! Besides vloggers looking up videos on YouTube from people who travel to Disney World during the holidays is also one of my favorite things to do. I love watching videos of the Holiday Wishes fireworks show and the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party parades and just seeing the parks decked out in all of ther Christmas best really set the holiday mood for me. It makes me want to grab a hot chocolate, put on my most Christmassy pajamas, and snuggle on the couch while watching Christmas films!

A few of the people I love to watch around Christmas are Zoe aka Zoella (her main and vlogging channels), Tanya BurrSacconeJolys, and Gabbie. These are a few of my favorite vloggers all year round but their Christmas/December vlogs are my favorite and I love re-watching their vlogmas ones whenever I want to feel Christmassy!

If Christmas music and watching vloggers aren't your cup of tea to get yourself ready for the holidays then there really is only one thing left to do. Full Immersion. One of the things I like to do to get me in the holiday mood  when it is nearing the end of November is to decorate! There is NOTHING more Christmassy than putting up your own tree and setting out all of your festive dish towels and candle stands and decorating the mantel. Along with decorating your house it is also important to don your most festive holiday wears. I like to start wearing my Christmas hair bows and Christmas themed sweaters/apparel as well as use all of my fun Christmas mugs and cups and just surround myself with 24/7 Christmas.

There is something about the holiday season that just puts me in a good mood pretty much all the time and whenever I feel a little down I love doing these things to put me right back in the best of moods. I hope you have enjoyed reading about what I like to do to get me in the holiday spirit and if you are trying to find your holiday cheer I hope one of these things can help you!

Happy Holidays!! :)

xoxo Jess

Monday, November 21, 2016

New seasons in life

Hey guys!

So today I want to talk about something exciting and also scary! Starting a new season in your life.

I am 26 going on 27 in January and as I have hit my mid to late 20's so many things have changed in this new season of my life. Friends have come and gone, I have figured out more of who I am and I have also recently switched from a part time retail management job into what some would label a "real world" job at a local hospital working as a manager for their IT support desk (I know it sounds super fancy right?). Through all of this transitional time I have learned so much about who I am as a person and who I want to be when I grow up (because let's face it I still don't consider myself to be an adult quite yet). So I wanted to share some of the things I have learned in the past few months to a year in the hopes of helping one of you who may also be going through a transition in your life.

I have learned transitions are NOT EASY! There are a lot of "growing pains" when you are moving from one season of your life to the next and through a lot of these growing pains you learn so much more about who you are.

The transition from going full force in graduate school to graduating and also no longer being labeled as a student was a huge growing moment for me. I had to learn who I was without that label. Our entire childhood and young adult lives we are in school and we are a part of that type of environment and it becomes a huge part of who we are and how we label ourselves. Being in an academic environment is like being in a different world (especially graduate school). When you're in graduate school you are around the same small group of people for two years and you grow accustomed to that environment so when you graduate and none of that is the same anymore it can be difficult. I know I really struggled with it post grad because most of my friends went back to their hometowns or moved away to new jobs and new cities and we all separated. Thankfully I had a community of friends through theater who were all still right here with me but that didn't make the separation from those other people any easier. I have learned through life that a big part of growing up is learning to move with the ever changing tide of friends who come and go from your life. In this time of my life I learned the hard way that even though we may want friends to be in our lives closely forever they aren't all going to be that way and it is just a part of life that helps us grow.

Through this transition more concentrated on myself. In my experience of my mid twenties so far I have learned that though you may have people around you who care and love you the most important person who should care and love you is yourself. In most of my adolescent and young adult life I struggled heavily with loving myself as I was. Being confident in myself is something I have really had to work on (especially over the past year) and I have learned so much about myself and I have put in so much more love and time for myself that it has really had an impact on my life. I had a very hard realization of my self worth and how others around me were treating me and I had to make some really tough choices and let some people who had been in my life for my entire adulthood go because I realized I deserved better than what I was getting. That was a hard realization to come to and it is still a sore spot for me even today but I know that in the long run it was the right decision to make. Through this realization I also had to slowwwww down. I realized that I was constantly going and doing things and not giving myself enough time to just sit and be alone with myself because I was scared of what I would find when left to my own devices. That was just a part of self discovery that I had to go through. I had to learn to be at peace with myself and learn to enjoy doing things alone. I always depended on other people to pull out my personality and to feed off of and when I actually sat down and thought about it I realized I needed to be building those things up within myself and not relying on others.

Starting a new season can be so difficult because as humans we don't really like change. I know I for one used to hate when anything changed because it meant I had to get out of my comfort zone. Learning to accept changes and start again are some of the biggest challenges in adulthood and I think it's something that never goes away and people who are good with change have learned from their previous seasons of life and friendships and have managed to learn how to accept the changes and keep living their best lives. If there was any advice I could give to you if you are going through the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another it would be to roll with the punches. Life will 100% never go to plan. There will always be curve balls thrown your way and learning how to deal with that is so important to ensuring you stay the happiest you can be.

I hope that this has helped some of you who may need a kick to end a certain chapter that you know needs to end or if you have already ended that and are trying to figure out how to move on to the next. Just remember without these moments in life there would never be growth. You can do anything you set your mind to.

xoxo Jess.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fall Favorites

*It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrr*

It's fall and finally starting to get cold in the deep south and I couldn't be more excited! I have been obsessed with so many things over the past few months so let's just get right to it!

Let's kick this off with beauty favorites:

Sigma Brushes
Like almost every other beauty blogger/vlogger out there I have fallen in love with the Sigma brand brushes. I was shopping a few weeks ago in my local Sephora and noticed they carried Sigma brushes (have they always and I've just never noticed?)! Some of my favorite beauty gurus have been raving about these brushes for months/years and I hadn't really seen any around in any of the stores in my area so I was ecstatic!  I bought the angled contour brush first and OH MY GOD! that brush gives the best contour definition I have ever had and it blends the contour shade out so beautifully it is definitely a must have! If you are looking for a new brand of brushes to use then I would definitely spend the money and get a set of these brushes to use because they will not disappoint! A set of those brushes is definitely going on my Christmas list to Santa this year :)

Beauty Blenders
I know I know. You're thinking to yourself  "Jessica, where have you been, under a rock??" Well the answer is yes and no. I have been using the Real Techniques brand blender sponges for months and loved them because originally I didn't want to fork out the $20 for one of the original Beauty Blenders. Well, as I was in my Sephora I decided to bite the bullet and not only get the original Beauty Blender sponge but also the mini Beauty Blender sponges for concealer. Y'ALL. When I tell you there is a DIFFERENCE in the quality of blending I get from my Beauty Blender.... it is unreal! The Real Techniques blender sponges work great as a cheaper alternative however the quality of the blending and distribution of foundation/concealer product that I get with the Beauty Blender is crazy amazing! I could rave about them night and day! I highly suggest if you have always been a strictly brush user for application (like I once was) give these a try!!! You will fall in love with the ease and overall perfect look you get when you use these!

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip color
I have been on the hunt for great lipstick for my entire life and the search is never ending so it should come as no surprise that I am constantly finding new favorite lipsticks! I have fallen in love with the new formulation that most brands have picked up called the liquid matte lipsticks. They are just so easy to apply and they last FOREVER on my lips and never seem to smudge or crack which I also like. I have recently bought about 4 different new lipsticks of various brands and formulations to try out and this one has been a stand out favorite! The color I went with was number 635 Passion. The applicator is flat on both sides which really makes the application process super easy and the color payoff is fantastic! I want to go back and buy numerous shades in this particular type of lipstick because I love it so much. I would 10/10 recommend if you are looking for a new lipstick to try. As always with liquid lipstick if you're new to using it just take your time and remember no one is perfect at applying liquid lipstick!

So, those are probably the biggest beauty favorites I have currently but I am planning on trying a few new and fun products that will be released for the holidays so get excited for a post all about reviewing new products!

Beyond makeup favorites I have just been loving a ton of broad stuff under what I would dub the "lifestyle" section of my life and boy have they really been something I have been obsessing over!

Erin Condren Life Planner
The BIGGEST favorite I have for lifestyle is definitely my Erin Condren Life Planner. If you have never used one of these before and you are someone like me who loves planners and organization you are in for a TREAT! This planner is 100% worth the money. I have been looking into getting one of these planners for months but due to my previous job I really didn't need one so I couldn't justify paying the $70 for one but now I have a new job (which I will post about in another blog soon I promise) and so it has really come in handy! If you have never heard of these planners they can be customized which is why I think everyone can enjoy and utilize it. You can choose whether you like your weeks to be horizontal day by day or vertical and you can choose if you want it to be put into tasking sections or strictly by day so it really works for everyone no matter how much stuff you have going on. If you are thinking about getting a new planner since this year is almost over I really recommend these! You can go to her website and check them out and if you decide to get something you can use this coupon code I was given! The code is WELCOME10 for $10 off your purchase!

Heathers the Musical
I am a huge musical buff and anyone that knows me can tell you that one of my passions in life is performing and specifically performing on stage in musicals so this I'm sure comes as no surprise. I have listened to this musical since it first came out in 2008 but the University I graduated from put on a production of Heather's the Musical in September and one of my friends was the choreographer and it rekindled my love for the musical. Whenever I get in the car I always put the cast album on and when I'm getting ready in the mornings I listen to it and I have basically had it on repeat for a month. The musical is based off of the cult classic movie from the 80's and if you have never seen the movie you definitely should watch it. Mean Girls was heavily influenced by this movie so you know it's worth the watch. I know for the original off-Broadway cast of Heather's there are some versions of it on YouTube if you wanted to search it and watch a few of the scenes but I am in love with the 80's aesthetic and it brings all of that together for me.

Fall Fashion
Okay so I know this is the broadest topic to have a favorite on but it IS something I have been loving! I have been LOVING the deep hues and tones of fall. I always love this time of year because all of the deep burgundy and hunter greens and winter grey and burnt orange colors of the fall begin populating clothing stores again. It is just now becoming cool enough in the deep south to start wearing layers and truly start enjoying the fashions of the season and I couldn't be more excited! I have been pulling out my boots and rummaging through my scarf drawer in anticipation of the weather getting cooler since August. If you have any new fall trends you are loving and you think I would love too please send them my way!

Needless to say I have been REALLY loving stuff and it honestly is probably because I love everything about fall weather and the season and time of year. Tell me something that you have been loving recently!

xoxo Jess

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why I Took A Blogging Hiatus

Hello my lovely readers!

Wow! It has been a while since I have written any blog posts! LIFE HAS BEEN NUTS! I have neglected this space for the better part of 7 months and I am happy to say that will not be the case any longer!

Sometimes as a blogger the pressure to post amazing content week after week becomes overwhelming with life and that's what happened with me. I was making lists of blog post ideas just to keep up content but none of them "spoke" to me. When I write a blog post I always want it to be something I want to share with you guys and not just a post I'm making to keep my content streaming. Being honest with y'all has always been my number one priority while giving you guys something interesting and fun to read while being true to myself which is why I decided to not post anything when my creativity well ran dry.

I am happy to say that I have really missed blogging and interacting with you lovely readers and I cannot wait to jump back in especially during the most festive time of the year!

I have so many wonderful things I want to share with you all and so manyof the products and activities that I have discovered over the last few months I feel are worth noting so my next post will be a favorites of sorts but instead of a monthly favorites it will be a "summer to fall transition" favorites so get excited!

Let me know something great that has happened in your life since summer in the comments!

xoxo Jess