2016 Goal Review

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I know I have a tendency to put the two together, but really that’s annoying long so enjoy the reflection the day before the goals this year!

So basically my goals for 2016 were fewer so I’d be more apt to complete them all, however, that was a bust and I don’t know if I completed any, but here we go anyway:

Take better care of myself- I feel like I am so weird about chemicals that I put on my body, so I need to be more careful about what chemicals I put into my body too. I eat crap. I care but I don’t. I put way too much processed foods in my body and I really do need to be better about it. 

Blog better and often- I want to blog as much as I can as often as I can. I want to be a better blogger. This is the only post besides LNBM that goes up past 7 pm. I want to utilize drafts and just be better with planning. I don’t want to be a daily blogger, but I want to be a frequent blogger. I don’t want to commit to a certain number of days, I just want it to be often. Lesson learned, I need a schedule. Without one, it won’t get done it becomes less of a priority for me because there is no pressure to do it. 

Find an internship- self-explanatory. I want to expand my professional horizons and make sure I know what I want to do. I found three! I worked at the Downtown Frederick Partnership last semester, have one at home over break, and I got one for next semester. 

Give 100% to everything- this ties in with biting off more than I can chew. I want to do a few things but put all of my effort into those few things that way I can give 100% to everything I’m doing. Well, my therapist tells me that I need to learn how to say no, and she’s right. I’m always biting off more than I can chew, it’s a real problem that I have and maybe I will get better at it, and maybe I won’t. 

Create more- I just want to be more creative, make sure I’m always expanding that part of my mind. Nope. Honestly, I would have to say that 2016 has been my least creative year. I’d like to blame it on something but I don’t know what to blame it on. 

Be more open to new ideas and things- I want to try more. I always do the same mundane things and I want to keep all of the new of 2015 going. I am proud to say that the last few months I have been really good at saying yes, and trying new things. They might also be mundane, but at least they’re new mundane. 

A year scrapbook- part of being creative and  part of keeping track of my life. I take so many pictures, I want to do something with them. I want it to be a yearly thing, so I will see how it goes during 2016. Back to the creativity thing, I didn’t take a lot of pictures this year. There is not enough to make a scrapbook out of, which is kind of sad. I guess it happens though. 

So maybe I wasn’t as successful, but I’m really looking to 2017 as a positive year. I think I do better with odd numbers and maybe that’s what I need. An odd year. How’d you do with your goals or resolutions?

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July Birchbox

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So I know this about the same time I posted the June Birchbox, however, I’ve had this and have been suing the products for quite sometime. I haven’t been good at keeping up with much of anything but here we go.

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So this month I actually had six items in my Birchbox, and I’m not sure if it’s because two of the items are like a duo or if because I chose which mascara I wanted. I guess I’ll find out next month because I did choose one of the items for that as well.

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The first thing in the July box is the amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo. It is supposed to have an Obilphica scent, to be honest, I don’t know what that means and I’m too lazy to Google it. However, I do think it smells slightly better than most dry shampoos. It says full size ranges from $10 to $24 and I don’t know how to do that conversion to how much this one is worth. It’s a good travel size and if I go anywhere it’ll be good for that. I already have a dry shampoo though so maybe it’s something I’ll consider in the future after that’s gone.

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This is  COOLA SPF 50 Sport sunscreen in the scent mango. It smells not like sunscreen, but I don’t know if it would be a mango scent. Anyway, it’s organic so that’s cool. I only used it once and not when I was at the beach because there isn’t enough for my whole body. So I’m going to say it works, but the full size is $32 for 5 oz, which in my opinion is not worth it for sunscreen, like Target brand is good enough for me at that cost.

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So I think these are meant to be like a duo, but I don’t know. The bottle on the left is the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate which is supposed to protect against signs of aging for a radiant complexion.  You only really need a very small amount of it so it really looks about the same as it does in the picture. I’m at the age where everyone says you need to start using anti-aging products because appearently women aren’t beautiful if they don’t look young so you have to start fighting when you are young. Anyway, it’s fine. I don’t have any strong feelings for or against it. The full size is $67 for 30 mL.

The other item is the Shiseido Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate which helps blur out wrinkles and dark circles and it really did help get rid of the dark circles, however the sample was so small and not good for multiple uses. I was really surprised. The full size is $65 for 15 mL. I will probably not purchase either of these items because they are just too far out of my price range.

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This was definitely one of my favorite items of the box and I did pick it. It is the Smashbox X-Rated Mascara. The mascara I have been using separates my eyelashes really well but this one adds so much volume that I didn’t even realize could improve my eyelashes. I’m always afraid of them being too long since I wear glasses everyday but this is perfect for me. The full size is $22 and I honestly might purchase it. I can use my Birchbox points so I will really consider it. My only complaint about the product is that it’s very liquidy but I think that helps it stay on better and even out over the lashes.

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This is the last product in the box and also one of my favorites. It is the Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35 in light medium. I’ve actually gotten so many uses out of this product.  The full size sells for $32 which is slightly above my price range for such products so we’ll see if I decide to buy it ever. It’s definitely like on the back burner for one day when I have money to spend on things like this. It has a lot more coverage than I would’ve thought.

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That’s what I got in my July Birchbox! What did you get in yours? I’m pretty sure I like this one more than June. Also, if you’re interested in subscribing for $10 a month for some great high quality products, check out this link https://www.birchbox.com/invite/marysavrgadventures!

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Lush Winter Haul/ Update

After the whole Lush debacle, I got my money back a month later after buying the products. As much as a headache the whole process was, I love the products I purchased.

I purchased the Santa’s lip scrub which I’ve always wanted to try, but the original price of $9.95 always seemed to be a bit much so with the BOGO sale I figured it was worth it. I find that it really works, however, you need to use it quite often, but I’ve still hardly made a dent in mine after over a month of uses so it’s worth it.

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The other Christmas product I purchased was the Salt and Peppermint Bark for $9.95. I have mixed feelings about it. It’s just for exfoliating, there’s nothing really for moisturizing in it, like the Buffy bar I have. It’s very hard to use when it’s dry. I find it much easier to use in the shower, however that means the size goes down a lot quicker. It does work very well at getting the dead skin off. It looks pretty gross in the picture because I don’t know what happened  I don’t know if I would repurchase it.

I also tried the Santa Baby lip tint for $8.95. It has a very nice red color; however, don’t get it on your skin unless you want some Miranda Sings lips. It has stained around my lips as I was leaving for work, which was not fun. I also find it hard to get to stay on my lips. I don’t know if it’s too cold or something and it just doesn’t go on smoothly. I think it’s like one of those things that you might want to use an actual make up brush with.

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I also got Fairy Dust for $6.95. It’s a sparkle powder for special occasions. I don’t know what special occasions I’ll use it for yet, but I love it and it smells amazing. I didn’t actually pay full price for the Christmas products, they were buy one get one free.

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I also tried the Soak and Float shampoo bar which I’m still trying to figure out my feelings on. I like the simplicity of it and the idea. However, my scalp is still very dry after a month or so of using it. I look forward to the summer when the air isn’t as dry and I can try one for curly hair. I think to get better results I need a better conditioner as well.

My favorite thing from this purchase has been the Cup O’ Coffee face mask. It’s the perfect exfoliating mask. I’m in love with it. I only use it once a week on Fridays or Saturdays 15 minutes before I get in the shower so it’s easier to take off. It makes my skin feel so soft. It’s probably one of the things I would most recommend from Lush.

So these were the purchases I made right after Christmas, I suppose it’s only time now to upload this. To be fair, it did take a while to get, return, try and develop my opinions on the things.

Did you get anything at their after Christmas sale?

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“Girl Online” Review

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With my leftover pounds in an airport in London, I decided to buy Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. Then I read it over the entire flight from London to Madrid. While I was anxious on the flight for some reason, I decided to distract myself by reading the whole entire book on the flight.

It was a book that as soon as I put it away, even for just a second, I wanted to pick it back up and finish it. I know there was this whole thing around when it first came out about it being ghost written, I don’t care. I don’t know why so many people care, Zoe had said since the beginning that she was getting help with it, so I don’t know why it was a surprise, I don’t understand why everyone made it to be this huge deal, but that’s besides the point. Whether it was ghost written or not, I thought it was a great book.

I’m a sucker for YA realistic fiction. I don’t like fantasy books so much, or even those super lovey, dovey books, I like to read books where it seems realistic within reason.

Penny- the main character of the book has anxiety and runs a blog, how relatable is that!? While she remains anonymous for the most part (I don’t want to give it away!) and I don’t, it was still something that I found to hit home with me.  While aspects of the story are not quite realistic, like for example meeting a super famous pop star, and not knowing he’s a super famous pop star (where can I find one?), the book is still very entertaining and quite the page turner. Penny’s family is highly likable, the mean girls at school are hardly mean girls besides the one, which is something that I found really interesting. At my school I didn’t think anyone was ever too mean, which is why I found it difficult sometimes to relate to movies and books that revolved around the idea of “Mean Girls”, this book however explores the idea that you’re friends with the mean girl. I never was, but I found that way more probable than the clique of them “ruling” the school.

I would say that overall Girl Online was an easy read, but I think that was intentional. It’s a book that Zoe intended girls of all ages to read. Her audience is nearly 10 million young girls, probably ranging from 8-28 if not even wider, it had to be something that everyone could get something out of. While the younger audience might not be able to relate to every single plot line yet, they can still read and enjoy the story, and the older audience can put themselves in Penny’s shoes, or maybe even a different character, and have an easy read.

I guess I would have to say that my favorite part of the book was how closely I identified with Penny.  For anyone with anxiety, read this book. It was amazing to see a book character who was going through similar things that I felt in high school but never knew how to describe. My senior year of high school, I left school so many times, went to the doctor several times, trying to figure why I felt so dizzy and shaky all the time, now that I better understand anxiety, I really think that’s what it was.

Any other opinions on the book? Overall I would definitely recommend it.

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Katie’s Guest Post: Throne of Glass Series Review (Books 1-4)

Today my good blogger friend Katie, wrote us a little book review. I wish I would have had enough time to at least try and find one of the books before heading off on my adventure. If you don’t follow her already, make sure you check out her blog! She is the menstrual cup guru (at least out of the bloggers I follow) but in addition to that she also writes book reviews, which I love. 

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Right before classes started, I began reading this YA fantasy series I discovered on tumblr: Throne of Glass. Boy, oh boy. Here’s the Goodreads description for the first novel:

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16034235-throne-of-glass)

Celeana is amazing. I love me a strong, fierce, and complex female character. Her back story and character development throughout the series (as published so far) is so enjoyable to read, though at times it can be hard, especially when a character is gravely injured.

This series also has a fair amount of intrigue and mystery. Why is the magic gone? How did the king get so powerful? How did Celeana become such a skilled assassin at such a young age? How did she get caught? Unfolding these plot points and many more that I can’t share without giving spoilers keeps me turning the pages faster than I could get the books. (I had to wait weeks before I could get my hands on the fourth book thanks to a library wait list that I eventually decided to bypass by buying the book.)

I also really appreciate the female friendships in this series. Often female-female friendships are ignored in the media, but there are several same gendered relationships. And guess what? They don’t revolve around a man!

Another aspect of the books that some people may not enjoy but is honestly a big factor for me when I read YA books is ships. Never in my reading history have I switched ships so many times in a series (though I think the one I ended with is a keeper). I went from Dorian to Chaol to no one to Rowan. Ahh Rowan. (You don’t meet him until the third book.)

Anyways, I feel that this series has a lot to offer and to a wide range of readers as well. There’s definitely action (I mean, how can you have a series about an assassin without action?), fantasy, character development, and romance (though don’t worry, I wouldn’t say these are primarily romance novels). It was a nice break from my school books and critical essays.

 

IHOP Cinnamon Sugar Double Dipped French Toast Review

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I had this around when it first came out, and of course I was blown away. However, I could not let my first opinion mislead me, I had to try it twice, and it was just as amazing, if not better than I imagined the second time. The Cinnamon Sugar Double Dipped French Toast has beat out every meal I have ever gotten there.

I have since referred to this as the Holy Grail of French Toast, it has beaten out my classic favorite (Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes) and is my now go to order. I didn’t even look at the menu today, I ordered two of these and some turkey bacon. This has quickly turned into my favorite meal.

It’s the brioche french toast double battered with corn flakes and oatmeal. YUM. It’s sweet, but not too sweet if you know what I mean. It’s the perfect balance.

So if you’re heading to IHOP any time soon, definitely try this, also if you weren’t planning on going soon, do go because it’s great.

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Etsy Review: Autumn and Indigo Leather Bracelet

As an avid Etsy shopper, I can honestly say that this is one of the best experiences I have ever had. It took two weeks to get here, but it was totally worth it and expected. When I think of etsy, I think cute, and usually that delivers. Like everything comes in cute little boxes, however, this one came in a cute little box, with a cute little pin, and business cards, one that has a discount.

I bought this for myself after I made it through the last of my group projects. I really, really like it. I don’t take it off. It’s not meant for that so it’s suffered some natural wear and tear. For example the clasp has since come off on both ends where it was attached to the bracelet, because when it’s together it’s very strong. So when it got caught on something it came off on one end, and then it happened again on the other side, but once I put superglue on it, it was fine. The silver on the clasp has also worn off a little bit,  but that’s because I wear it in the shower and literally everywhere so it’s kind of to be expected.

I paid #9.50 for it, it was $7 for the bracelet and then $2.50 for shipping and handling, which depends on where you live. I received it in a little less than three weeks. I love this product and it’s definitely part of my everyday wear now, it goes with everything!!

This was the last in this color (I think) but the shop will be liked here: Autumn and IndigoGo check it out! It’s a really cool shop and the prices aren’t bad. 

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*This is not a sponsored post

#100HappyDays Review

A few days I finished a summer of the 100 Happy Days instagram challenge thing, so I thought why not do a little review of it.

Basically if you don’t know what it is, you can read about it here but basically you post a hundred pictures over the course of one hundred days of something that made you happy that day. A good idea in theory.

For me it just didn’t work like that. On days that I had panic attacks or I was anxious and didn’t want to leave the house, obviously I’m not feeling very happy and it’s not because I’m busy or not making time for happiness it’s because my emotions are out of control and I’m trying to take care of that and honestly not very many things are going to be making me very happy. Sure I can find the little joys, but there are many times where I just want to shut off the world, especially social media so no I don’t really want to worry about posting a picture to Instagram.

The second problem I found with this was that when I was having fun or being happy I didn’t think to document. I was enjoying the memory, not trying to capture it so everyone else could see it. I would get home at like 10 on a work night and go to post a picture to see I had none and it wasn’t because I wasn’t happy it’s because I was busy enjoying the moment.

The point of the project is to make someone happy and I think the majority of the time I spent kind of stressed out about finding a picture or trying to get something posted, and that wasn’t supposed to be the point of the exercise. It felt like I had to post a picture everyday or I would be considered a failure, which again would make me anxious. It made me feel bad about myself.

I did notice a good thing, on an average day I took notice of the happy things in life. It was nice to see the good on a normal day, it’s easy to forget everything that’s good or even just forget that there are things to be happy about. In the hum drum of life things slip by and it’s easy just to be in neutral everyday forgetting all the little things that make life great.

Overall I wouldn’t do it again, but that’s just because of the pressure I felt that it put on me. If you don’t feel that things like that are pressured go for it, it will  help you find happiness in the ordinary and that’s beautiful. This is just my take on the challenge, I know Lindsay loved it all and she wants to keep it up, at least the last time we talked about it. It’s one of those things where it works for some people and not for others. It didn’t work for me. The coolest part about it, if you really get into it, you can get all the pictures made into a book or postcards from $15-$35 which is kinda cool. Has anyone else done this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

XOXO,

Mary.

Book Review: Wide Awake by Tom Levithan

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Since it’s summer break I finally feel like I can read for fun, especially this week since I’m on vacation this week I’ve already read two. Books for me are an escape to another world, very briefly, and I hardly remember them afterwards, however, this book really caught my attention and I thought more people should know about it since it’s not a New York Times Best Seller, and personally I had never heard of the author before so I thought maybe it deserved some more attention.

This book did actually freak me out a little bit for the future, I don’t think it’s as practical anymore since we have a Democratic president, but I think if our country was Republican run we would run into a lot of these problems. Levithan explored two ideas that really hit home with me: the Greater Depression, and the War to End all Wars. Both of these events took place post 9/11 and was due to the aftermath of the tragedy. I think the reason both of these were so frightening because they seem so practical, and if I would’ve read this book a few years ago, I think it would’ve seemed even more realistic. With the recession a few years back I was always waiting for something bad to happen. That’s what happens when you’re a little pessimistic.

The main character, Duncan, is born as he puts it decades after 9/11 and the fight he is fighting for is that the winner of the presidency is gay and Jewish, which had still never happened in the history of the country, but Duncan was also gay and Jewish. He goes through struggles with friends, people accepting him, and even some trouble with his boyfriend.

I really suggest this book for anyone, at least growing up where I did, I could see both sides when it came down to the argument. However, when it comes down to it, people are people and everyone should be treated with the same amount of respect. Everyone should be equal no matter what and I don’t know what this is still an argument. No matter what’s different about someone, they have something in common with you, they have a brain and a heart, and both will be affected by you negatively or positively and I think this book sends that message.

If you are interested you can buy the book here, or if you have an iPad you can download the app OverDrive which you can set your public library system up to and borrow books to read and you might be able to find it there. If you read it or have read it, let me know what you think!

 

“The Rules for Disappearing”: A Review

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My 12 year old sister has reached that age where kids books are too easy, but teen books can be risky. As someone who loves to read, I was ever so kind to take her to the bookstore and help her try and find something new. We found two books and decided that I would read them first to make sure it was okay. The first book is The Rules of Disappearing by Ashley Elston. With the exception of some swearing (which I told my parents about) I think she will enjoy the book. Anyway, even though it was a good book for her, I thought it was an easy read for just about anyone.

The basic premise is that the main girl, at first we know her as Meg, and that she’s in the witness protection program. The majority of the book is her trying to figure out why exactly her family had to enter while dealing with an alcoholic mother, a struggling relationship with her father, trying to care for her little sister, working and of course falling in love. I found Meg to be a strong character, but every time she talked about her original identity I felt annoyed by that character. If you asked me I think that the program made her a better person. The supporting characters like her sister Mary, Ethan, her manager Pearl, the parents, and the people she refers to as “suits” had very intricate relationships, not only with her but with each other.

I found that Elston, did an excellent job tying all of  Meg’s lives together. I’m not sure how accurate the information was on the witness protection program is, but if it’s not it certainly seems believable. The actual rules for a person who is in the witness protection program are located at the beginning of each chapter, which was interesting, but I did not always find that it tied in with the theme of the chapter.

Overall I found this to be a good easy read. It exposes a story I don’t think many of us ever really think about which always intrigues me. I would really suggest it as a good summer read to just about anyone. Happy reading!

XOXO,

Mary.

Side note- to all the mothers out there especially my  mom, and my nonni for being awesome, and my grandmother watching over me, Happy Mother’s Day!