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Reigniting an Old Love Affair

Lightening the Load and Reigniting my Love Affair with Minimalism

For ages I had boxes and baskets overflowing with junk. I knew I didn’t need this junk. I knew that I didn’t want this junk. I planned on planning a plan to get rid of—this junk.

Finally, a week ago I kicked this crap out of my life. It feels so good getting rid of the stuff that’s been cluttering up my world. Without big boxes of crap in the way, I can actually make use of and enjoy the floor space in my room.

And that’s not all.

I finally cut my hair.

It was gross; it was lacking in any shape or style. I was cutting it myself. Let me repeat that. I, Marianne, not a professional or even someone marginally trained or skilled, was cutting my own hair. I wasn’t even using the right scissors. I was using a small pair of pink children’s scissors to haphazardly cut layers into my hair because I wasn’t ready to part with the length but I knew the dead ends had to go. And honestly, that was not the first time.

pink scissors

Hey, at least they don’t have a safety guard…

Why was I being so stubborn about letting a professional tackle my top mop?

A few reasons, I suppose. For one, I was afraid I would miss my hair and regret it. But I’ve had short hair that I really liked before and it’s not like constant ponytails and messy buns were really doing anything marvelous for my big round face. Another big reason I refused to let go of my locks is my curling irons. They’re lovely. I’ve loved them since the day they arrived on my door step.

I just knew that if I cut my hair I’d have to resign my irons to the sad dark drawers of my bathroom, not to be seen until after the length of time it takes to regrow several inches of hair.

lustrum nume

Couldn’t you just die? They’re so convenient, 5 interchangeable barrels of varying sizes and shapes, and I got a great deal thanks to a handy coupon code.

My possessions were possessing me. I wasn’t doing what I wanted and really needed to do for the sake of healthy (and let’s just admit it) reasonably attractive looking hair.

The ironic thing is, I think I’m using my curling irons more now with short hair than I was when it was long. With less to curl, the process is much quicker and since my hair finally has some shape to it, it actually looks good when it’s styled. I might decide to let it back some time, and that’s fine, but for now I’m happy with it. I should have done it sooner.

The other minimalist push I’ve made recently was to reduce my internet social circle. This was a super easy and yet such a delayed move. I was holding on to many acquaintances whom I never interact with out of a half-baked idea of networking and not burning bridges. However, I’ll probably never need to cross these bridges and a network implies that there is actual association, or at least similar interests among connected people, not just an arbitrary invitation to look at each other’s vacation photos—and who wants to see that crap anyway?

And so I deleted many people from my Facebook account. I really doubt they’ll notice and if they do, I really don’t think they will mind. It’s not like we were close friends anyway and there are other social media platforms on which to connect that are less personal than a site like Facebook.

Doing these things just feels right. I know minimalism isn’t for everyone. A lot of my friends don’t understand or don’t even like the idea of it. To each their own, I suppose, but it is my guess that everyone probably has this kind of clutter in their life and most people would benefit from trimming the fat.

And even though I’m a lousy girlfriend, this is the best relationship I’ve had in years, so I’m letting all of you know right now: Minimalism is bae.

Jewels and Junk: July Favorites and Unfavorites

july favs 

You know what this is about, let me get started:
Dive, dive, dive!

💎The Jewels 💎

Anastasia Contour Kit

contour kit

Hello, Gorgeous!

I was slightly heartbroken when I wanted to swatch this palette at Sephora and a sales associate told me that I was too late, that they were gone forever. Perhaps she was misinformed (or maybe I misunderstood her) when she said that is was a limited edition item and that no more were available. I don’t know but I had no problem ordering it from the Anastasia Beverly Hills website (with free shipping, no less!).
As you can see from the pic, there are 3 matte contour shades 2 matte highlight shades and 1shimmery highlight. I use all of them but the contour shade, Java, on the bottom left is my favorite. The shimmer shade, Sand, top right, is really nice too. Even though it is richly pigmented the sparkle is super fine, almost pearlescent. No big chunks of glitter, here. Its consistency is comparable to the Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer but without the yellow undertone.
I love using this kit to beat my face; it is so good. I find myself using it even on [so-called] light make-up days.

Bite Beauty Luminous Créme Lipstick Duo in Musk and Lychee

bite duo
…meanwhile back at Sephora…
On that same shopping trip mentioned above, I stumble across this double-ended Bite sample size product. After a little swatchy-swatchy, I’m intrigued. I don’t own any shades quite like Musk but I’m not quite convinced. As my friend and I bounce around from Tarte to Kat Von D to Urban Decay (and all the while she’s encouraging me to go for it) I am falling in love!
My lips feel like Kylie Jenner when I wear this lippie.
***don’t judge me, that girl has mad lip game***

Musk is a fab pinky-brown-mauve.

musk lip pic

Lychee is a super neutral “your-lips-but-better” pink.

lychee lip pic

Not only are they free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates but they have wrinkle-fighting properties to prevent and reduce fine lines. And creamy? You bet your life, it’s creamy!

L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

miss manga

I am pretty hard to please when it comes to mascara. I need volume, lengthening, thickening, and a big ‘ole brush to deliver the formula. Miss Manga meets these requirements. I was skeptical, as I always am of trendy mascara, but I am feeling this one.
The cone shaped wand works well for hitting those tiny inner lashes and I can build up the product with several coats before it gets too clumpy.
The formula is on the dry side, my preference, so keep that in mind if like a wet mascara formula.

The Simpson’s Tapped Out

tapped out screenshot

here’s part of my tiny little town, so far

 I have never been much of a gamer, aside from Candy Crush, Sudoku, and the occasional game of Tetris, I just don’t play games.
Enter the Simpson’s game.
I don’t know what it is about this silly game but I am IN!
The gist is you are rebuilding virtual Springfield after the town gets destroyed. You gradually accrue characters and build houses, roads, the Kwik-I-Mart, etc. The characters do different tasks to earn money towards new decorations buildings and to level up. I guess this game is similar to the Sims but I never played that so I wouldn’t know.
It’s free to download and there is a big online community so you can find people to be neighbors with and there are even a few cheats and Easter eggs out there.
For example, a onetime gift of a statue and 10 doughnuts is unlocked when you open Homer’s task list and quickly click on him 10 times. ***this totally works!***

Gran Gala

gran gala

This Triple Orange Liqueur is similar to Grand Marnier but it is cheaper. I use mine to make sangria and cosmos but triple sec is extra handy you can use it to make margaritas and several other kinds of cocktails and martinis. A person with a more sophisticated palette than I have might say that Grand Marnier is sweeter, and thus Gran Gala more bitter (I’m sorry but I refuse to say “bitterer”). However, I wouldn’t drink any kind of triple sec straight and you can’t tell when it is mixed in a cocktail, so… big deal! Since I only use a splash of Grand Gala per drink this bottle will last a long time but I will definitely repurchase when the time comes.

Torrid Gold Chain Necklacegold chain necklace

 

I always seem to miss out on redeeming my Torrid Haute Cash and my coupons expire (if you’re a Torrid shopper, you know what I’m talking about) but I happened to be at the mall during redemption time in July. I picked up a few things, among which was this piece of jewelry. It was meant to be! I have wanted a chunky gold chain necklace for what feels like a long time and now I have one 😄🏬😍
I like to pair it with a messy bun or a high pony and a vibrant lip color like hot pink or radiant orchid. Too cool for school!

Speaking of school, my next favorite of July has been:
 

Watching BTS videos on Youtube

Be it school supply hauls, organization tips, or locker décor DIYs, I have been all about some back to school vlogs and blogs. Okay, I know I’m in college, not grade school, I don’t have a locker, and I never even used them when I was actually in high school but I can’t get enough!
Even when I was out of school I loved this time of year. To me, school supplies are some of the most delightful and simple pleasures in life and I am not ashamed to indulge myself.

***hit the like button or let me know if you’d like me to post about how I get organized for college***

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

the here and now
After waiting on my local library’s hold list for about 2 months my turn to borrow the ebook version finally came.
Ann Brashares is best known for writing the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series but I didn’t know that until after I finished The Here and Now. Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed this book. It has everything, time travel, murder, star-crossed love. This book is probably intended for young adults but that just makes it an easy read. If I can be considered one, adults will enjoy this book as a well-developed and satisfying quickie.

🚫 The Junk 🚽

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

kardash game

As you know from reading about my new obsession with Tapped Out, I have branched out and tried a new game. I also tried this new app. And it sucks. I’ve heard how Kim K’s new game is raking in the big bucks and that is disappointing because of how lame this game actually is. Once you create an avatar you send your character around Hollywood and Beverly hills doing photoshoots and rubbing virtual elbows, the mission is to reach A-list status. The biggest problem with this game (despite the vapidity, which I could overlook, it is just a game) is that to play the game for any significant length of time requires spending actual dollars. I declare bologna! Real bills for virtual fame and celebrity? You’ve got to be joking. Not this B.
But no shade, Kim. I heard you’re making beaucoup bucks on this app. You’re no dummy.

Herbal Essences Naked Shine Shampoo and Conditioner 

 
herbal shine

Yes, I was suckered in by the promise of a cheap shampoo that is paraben-free and dye-free. I also feel like my hair isn’t shiny enough (this notion can surely be blamed on advertising and the media but it is present in my brain). I gave this system a couple of tried but I did not enjoy. Not only did I not see any change in shine but my hair felt damaged and dry after each use. So, thanks but no thanks, H.E. I’ll be switching back to…. ANY other ‘poo.

Not that you asked but…

  • Georgia weather is crazy. This afternoon, when the sirens went off and my phone chirped to alert me of a Tornado warning, I grabbed the only cat I could wrangle and, much to Sampson’s irritation, hid in the laundry room for 15 minutes.
  • My birthday is in less 4 weeks. I think I might want to have an adult slumber party, complete with cocktails, nail polish, face masks, and cupcakes. Several of my friends already have other plans which is a bummer but you only turn 26 once and time and tide wait for no man so why should I?
  • I have been chewing this gum since I started writing this post and it has long since lost its flavor. YUM!
  • I woke up early this morning (8am). I enjoy starting my day before noon but I can’t seem to live like that on the regular.
Thanks for reading!

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Rad or Rude: June Favorites and the Products that Missed the Mark

   June was a very busy month for me, filled with travel, parties, and way too much money spent. Now it’s July which means that even though summer has just begun, it will be over far too quickly.

THE RAD

1 Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

2265607

After reading a rave review I picked this sucker up at Kohls for $5.99. What a delight this little sponge is. I may never buy a Beauty Blender sponge again! Similar to that one, the RT sponge has a pointed tip, to target blemishes, with rounded sides. Unlike the Beauty Blender, this sponge has an angled flat top instead of a rounded bottom. I like to use the flat plane to blend my concealer all the way up to my lower eyelids.

2. Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung-Galaxy-S5-White

Yay for my new phone! I was more than ready to trade up from my S3 and thanks to the great customer service I received at my local Verizon Wireless store I was able to upgrade almost a year early. I love my phone, it’s got some great new features and a bad-ass camera. Also I got a sparkly phone case (below) to house it and the LG Bluetooth headset which is pretty freaking cool, and a must have for people who do a lot of driving (especially helpful to me on my roadtrip to D.C.)

casemate s5lg hbs 750

3. Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence

UltraviolenceLDR

I couldn’t wait to pick up copy of Lana Del Rey’s newest album Ultraviolence, which dropped just two weeks ago. The title track Ultraviolence has quickly become my favorite. So far, I am really enjoying the new album; I knew I would since I love her music.

4. RelaxshacksDOTcom

As per usual, I virtually live on YouTube. I came across Derek “Deek” Diedricksen’s channel a few weeks ago while searching for minimalist housing videos. I quickly subscribed after watching a few video tours of tiny homes in various parts of the country. I really love to watch house tours and, as I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, minimalism so this channel just feeds my fascination with both

5. EnKoreMakeup

In addition to binge watching tiny house videos, I have been brushing up on some unique tricks and basic makeup application tips on this YouTube Channel. Even though makeup artist Koren hasn’t posted a new vid in a year, there is a wealth of information available in his old videos and I just love the way he says “sooo”.

6. Bigelow Red Raspberry Herbal Tea

LOW-00037-2

When the weather gets boiling hot, there is nothing better than a cold glass of iced tea. Raspberry is one of my favorite flavors and I can’t get enough of this kind. I add a little sweetener, pour over ice, and enjoy!

7. Proactiv Toner

proactiv toner

All-but-forgotten in a bathroom drawer, live about a half dozen unopened Proactive toner bottles that I never seemed to get to when I was a pimply teenager. Mid-month when I had a few visiting (unwelcome) face demons I tackled them head-on. Meaning, I did what I always do except that between cleansing and moisturizing, I used a cotton swab to apply toner to my problem areas.

8. Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter

watts up highlight

I swear, I get the very slightest hint of a tan and in my head I am transformed into some kind a of bronzed beach goddess. Stop laughing! I’m tan!

Yeah…. No.

I may not be tan but I can fake it to some degree with bronzer which I have been applying liberally to my cheekbones and temples. A soft highlight is a must have to offset my “tan”. All month I have been reaching for my Benefit Watt’s Up highlight sample. I really appreciate the stick formula which makes it easy to pinpoint exactly where I want to apply. The pigmentation is a smooth shimmery champagne that blends easily with the pat of my ring finger. I like to wear it under my brow bone, on the top of my cheekbones and to highlight my cupid’s bow

THE RUDE

1. OPI Polka.com

polka

This nail polish has disappointed me over and over again. You know that old adage, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”? Well that saying is bullcrap because I accept none of the blame for this failure of a nail polish.

Truth time: I bought this polish in March. Of last year. I thought that I returned it! But I discovered that I had not. I remembered that I was initially disappointed in the application (instead of looking how it does in the bottle, the glitter applies sparsely and looks more like a glittery top coat) but, ever the optimist, I decided to give it another go. Even though I was using a dapping motion to try to build up the glitter and even though I applied FOUR freaking coats, the glitter still wasn’t opaque and it was coming off in whole sheets.

    Luckily, I still have the receipt and even though I am waaaay past the 60 day return window, I will still get store credit. Back to Ulta you go!

2. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray

healthy-sexy-hair

I really tried to make this work. I used it on damp hair hair, dry hair, already wavy hair. I sprayed it on over and over again to no avail. The makers claim that spraying this on your hair will create a conditioned, beachy texture. Lies, all lies! It doesn’t work. Period.

3. Eylure Naturals 020

eyelure

These are not a rude as the other two items listed above but they do not have enough pizazz to satisfy me. If I go through the trouble of gluing a furry little creature to my eyeball then I want them to pack a punch or at least brush against the lenses of my shades. I’m sure that somebody with naturally sparse eyelashes would like these for a subtle boost but I can get the same effect with an extra coat of mascara and well curled lashes. Their most redeeming quality is their light weight feel.


 Not that you asked but…

  • As I write, I’m sitting around watching Sex and the City and wearing a face mask #singlegirllife
  • I’m starving but if I eat now I won’t be hungry when I go to trivia tonight
  • Friday I actually paid for a manicure and yesterday it started chipping 😦

Thanks for reading!

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