Friday Five: August Beauty Favorites

September 8, 2017

Hey y’all! Long time, no chat. I’m trying to get back on the blogging wagon, and have a few things on the docket for next week. Today I wanted to share with you five things that I’ve been loving recently in the beauty realm! (There are affiliate links below. I may get a small amount based on your purchase but it won’t affect you in any way!)

1 – L’oreal Paris True Match Foundation

I have to thank Meg O. for re-introducing me to this foundation. I used it FOREVER ago, like in early college years, and didn’t realize how awesome it was. When they say “super-blendable,” they mean it. I just use my fingers to spread it across my face and then use a beauty blender to smooth it out. Amazon has it for $7.12 and I got it at Target for $8.99, so I’m definitely ordering it from Amazon next time!

2 – wet ‘n wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge lipstick person. I like a little color on my lips but nothing crazy. I also hate reapplying, so I want something that sticks around. Did I mention I’m also cheap? At $4.68 (on Amazon, I believe it was $4.99 at Target) you can’t say no to this lipstick! Although it’s not the longest lasting drugstore lipstick I’ve tried (that would be the Rimmel Provacalips) the color definitely holds for hours and only slightly transfers. I got it in the color Coral Corruption because that’s what Meg O. recommended but I definitely want to try it in other colors!

3 – Morgan Taylor Professional Nail Laquer

I’m not one to buy fancy nail polishes, but my good friend bought me a collection of Morgan Taylor polishes for my birthday and while they aren’t cheap ($9 for .5 oz) the quality is simply amazing. They rarely chip, they glide on perfectly, and the colors are so flattering. I’ve been wearing one called “Ice Queen Anyone?” and it’s the perfect shimmery rose gold for fall. I also love the Figure 8s and Heartbreaks, a deep purple/mauve.

4 – Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash

I first tried this body wash after Blissdom in 2013 because Johnson & Johnson was there giving out samples (and by samples I mean FULL SIZED BOTTLES.) Ever since then, this has been my go-to body wash. It’s not cheap, but my skin feels so super soft every time I use this. I’ve recently started using it again and I’m so glad I did. When the temperatures start to cool down and dry skin starts creeping back, this body wash makes sure that scaly feeling stays away.

5 – Eyekepper Vintage Anti-Reflective Computer Glasses

Okay, so these aren’t exactly a beauty product, but they have been saving my eyes over the past few weeks. Not only do they keep the headaches away, they look cute to boot!

Now I want to know, what have you been loving? Any fun products to share? Leave them in the comments below!

goals for 28

August 2, 2017

As I write this post, I have less than 24 hours until I turn 28 years old. I’ve always been the type of person who waits for their birthday in anticipation. Who starts posting months away with a countdown or does a blog wish list of all of the items I want for my birthday. But this year, things seem different.

I don’t know if it’s because of the current state of things or what, but my brain isn’t thinking about me for once. I’m all about taking the day to celebrate myself, but this year, I don’t have a long list of things I want or want to do. I’m content.

Despite the horror show that has been politics over the past year, personally it’s been fantastic. My husband and I bought our first home together. I got accepted into a masters program and start next week. We just took our first beach vacation in seven years. I’m working on a few exciting behind the scenes projects with some amazing women. My job is fantastic. Contentment in my personal life is exactly what I need at 28.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I have nothing else to learn or give. If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that thinking about people other than yourself is more important than anything else. So, for my 28th year, I’m setting some goals.

Number 1. Continue to seek out justice in the world. Educate others and support those who need it.

Number 2. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. But don’t be afraid to speak out.

Number 3. Take care of yourself. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually.

Number 4. Set goals and stick to them. Learn self control, but don’t get upset when you slip up.

Number 5. Have fun. Take risks. Don’t let fear hold you back.

I’m constantly learning how to improve myself as a human being. how to say “no” when it’s necessary. How to stay inspired without getting overwhelmed or overworked. In my 28th year, I hope that these goals can stay at the forefront of my mind and in everything I do.

And because it’s not a birthday post without a good GIF…

via GIPHY

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Start a Blog

June 6, 2017

Yesterday on the blog I shared five reasons why you should start a blog. I’m glad that I had such a great response to the post and loved hearing what got you into blogging! If you haven’t stopped over and shared your story, I would love to hear it.

While there are many reasons that you should start a blog, there are also many reasons you shouldn’t. I hope this post doesn’t ruffle too many feathers, but I would love to get your input!

Reason Why You Should not Start a Blog

1. You want to get “famous.” When I first started my blog, I had one loyal reader. They would comment almost every time. But other than that, I got maybe ten page views per blog post I did. It wasn’t exciting and kind of brought me down. But soon I realized that people needed to get to know me before they started to follow my blog consistently. If you want to start a blog to get “famous,” whether it be a traditional blog or microblogging like Instagram, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months (and sometimes years) of hard work to get to the point of Instagram queens like Ashley and Kate.

2. You want to make money. First of all, let me say: making money from your blog is an amazing thing and can even turn into a part-time or full-time job if you’re lucky. (Bloggers should never NEVER never work for free.) However, it should not be your sole intention from the get-go. In order to make money from your blog, you have to have some kind of following. It doesn’t have to be huge, but you do have to have some readership in order to market yourself as valuable to a company. Having worked on both sides of the business, as a brand and as a blogger, the brand needs to be able to see some kind of return-on-investment (or ROI) in order to invest in working with you. Bloggers don’t have to have 100k followers on Instagram or millions of page views to work with brands, but you do need to have a relationship with a loyal following in order for it to benefit the brand. Don’t expect to be raking in the dough immediately. Again, it takes a minute to get established. Don’t jump the gun!

3. You want to get free stuff. There are companies out there who will work with any and everyone on a blog post, no matter their social reach. That’s awesome! But don’t start your blog with the main intention of getting trips and clothes for free. Again, you need to establish yourself as a reputable brand with a loyal following before approaching companies for partnerships. I wasn’t approached for my first review until almost a year after I started blogging! It takes time, and that’s okay.

4. You don’t care about connecting with other bloggers. Making connections with others online is the first lesson in Blogging 101. When I first started my blog, I posted for weeks without getting any response. But once I started going to other blogs, leaving comments and forming connections, that’s when those bloggers came over and started getting to know me and my blog. Twitter may seem out of date but connecting with others on the platform is the best way (at least it was for me) to foster those connections and turn acquaintances into real relationships.

5. You want to bring others down. You know the kind of person I’m talking about: the person who feeds off of drama. If that’s your jam, please do us all a favor and just don’t get involved in the blogging world. We don’t need more of that!

Do you agree/disagree with these reasons? What’s something that you might caution new bloggers about?

5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog

June 5, 2017

I’ve been blogging for almost six years (this August is my “blog-a-versary”) and over the past half a decade or so, I’ve come to learn so many things. I’ve had a lot of people ask me for advice on how to start a blog, and while I won’t get into those details today, I wanted to share with you five reasons I’m glad I started my blog. Someone could start a blog for any variety of reasons, so these are just a sampling of some reasons. If you currently don’t have a blog, or have let yours go by the wayside, hopefully these will inspire you pick it up!

5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog

1. You need a creative outlet. For me, having a blog was a way that I could write stories and use my passion for the written (or typed) word to express myself. Graduation was merely months away and I knew that I would miss writing after I left college. But even if you’re still in college, a blog is a great way to write from a first-person perspective unlike many of those papers you’re probably writing in class.

2. You’re moving to a new city. Shortly after I graduated from college, I made the trek halfway across the country from South Carolina to Houston. I had only ever visited the city once and had no clue what to expect. Getting into blogging (and reading other blogs) helped me learn more about the city I was moving to. I connected with the blogging community in Houston and they helped give me advice and recommendations about the city.

3. You’re about to take a big step in life. Getting married? Having a child? Embarking on a weight loss journey? Buying a home? These are all great reasons to start a blog. It’s an easy way to document your progress and makes it easy to look back on later.

4. You want to meet new people. In moving to a new city, I also had no way to connect with people (other than my sorority alumnae chapter). Through blogging I connected with an established community of women who could relate to the blogging struggle (which is completely different nowadays). Blog friends turned into real friends, and my mid-twenties were shaped by these women. I’m all the better because I knew them! (I’m talking about you Meg O., Meg H., Lindsay, Michelle, Sarah S., Betsy,  Sarah H. and so many more!)

5. Because you just want to! Maybe you’ve been reading blogs for a while and have been inspired by those you’ve read. That definitely inspired me to start my blog. Not having a full time job definitely influenced the decision as well. It was a great way to occupy my mind in a new city, far away from my family. Whatever your reason may be, you should go for it!

Want to know 5 reasons NOT to start a blog? Check back tomorrow and find out!

If you have a blog, what inspired you to start it?

Behind the Scenes Look at Topgolf Charlotte

June 1, 2017

I’ve been waiting roughly two years to write this post – that’s when I first found out that Topgolf was planning to open a location in Charlotte. I discovered this was part of Topgolf’s plan when I attended VIP night for the opening of their location in Spring, TX. Little did I know that two years later, I would be living back in Charlotte when the big day came!

The opening of Topgolf has been the talk of the town here in Charlotte and people are itching to get inside and start playing. Thankfully, it’s almost here: Topgolf Charlotte opens June 9 at 9 a.m. (just in time for Father’s Day plans and summertime!)

When I arrived at Topgolf last night, I had the strangest experience: it felt a little like coming home. This is the third Topgolf location I’ve been to (including both Houston locations) and spent many nights out with friends and taken family there when they visited from the Carolinas. So many memories have been made there, and I can’t wait to make some memories at the new location!

Topgolf Charlotte View

So, let’s get down to business. If you have no idea what Topgolf is, props to you for hanging in this long! It’s a 65,000-square-foot entertainment complex with tons to do (yes, including golf). I describe Topgolf roughly as an “indoor driving range,” but it’s that and so much more. It’s not meant for golfers only. Anyone can take a play, clubs provided, or sit back and hang out with friends while they do their thing. It can be done any time of year thanks to the fans and heated bays, so you don’t have to worry about getting too hot or cold while taking a swing. If you’re younger or more energetic than I am, you’ll be happy to know that Topgolf has live DJs on the weekends until 1:30, so you really can do it all and have a great night out in one place.

Topgolf Charlotte Bays

Topgolf Charlotte Clubs

Topgolf Charlotte Targets

Personally, my favorite thing about Topgolf is the food, specifically the Mushi. If you’ve never had this stuff before, you need to get yourself to a Topgolf immediately and try it. Imagine a burrito done sushi style. There’s so much flavor packed into this tiny little bite and it’s essential for any visit to Topgolf.

We had the opportunity to try food from the event menu as well as the typical menu, and it was right on par with the delicious food I’ve had at other locations. I couldn’t even get a picture of my plate because I was so darn hungry, I dove right in to the seared scallops, prime rib, charred broccolini and wedge salad! They also have a huge bar with any beer, wine or liquor that you could possibly want. I enjoy a margarita (or two) while I was there and it did not disappoint.

Topgolf Charlotte Shrimp CocktailJPG

Topgolf Charlotte Injectable Donut Holes

Topgolf Charlotte Drinks

I think Topgolf is exactly what Charlotte needs. As someone who isn’t into beer, it seems like all there is for young people to do here at go to breweries. Unfortunately that doesn’t appeal to me, so Topgolf is a great place to get a variety of food, drinks, and spend an afternoon or evening with friends or even just as a couple. I can already see myself taking friends from out of town or celebrating special occasions with family here. If you’re in the Charlotte area, make sure you get over to Topgolf to check it out. And even if you aren’t, check out their website and find the location nearest you!

*I was invited to attend the Topgolf Media Night. All opinions expressed here are mine.*