Thursday, July 5, 2018

our first date


Nearly five years ago, on October 12th, 2013, I had my first date with a guy I'd met out at a bar.

We met on a Friday night, and we actually became Snapchat friends (I'd downloaded Snapchat that very day), then Facebook friends, then started Facebook messaging, then started texting by Saturday morning...but he didn't ask me on a date until that Wednesday.


"How about lunch on Saturday, since you work at night?" he'd asked me (I was a few months post-undergrad, and still serving at Carrabba's). I told him I could "probably pencil him in." Even though we'd only been texting back and forth for just a few days, I already felt something along the lines of "this is different." It felt like I'd known him forever; but of course, at the risk of sounding daft, I kept that to myself.

He was tall (like, really tall) so naturally I set off to DSW to find a new pair of wedges so I could be tall, too. As it turns out, wedges are really hard to come by in October, even though Florida has absolutely zero reason to break out the booties until February. Thus, I settled on my black version of Target's popular pair of braided summer sandals, and a black and cream striped high waisted skirt with a black crop top (obviously all on trend for 2013).

He lived in a neighboring city about 45 minutes away from my parents' place, where I was living at the time. I told him that if he drove to my parents' house, I would drive us to a restaurant in downtown St. Pete. He agreed, and off we went.

He was so shy that day, to the point where I even had to tell him, "you can look me in the eyes, you know." I'm very subtle, right? He ordered sausage and lentil soup, which I later learned was his favorite; something his dad had been making for years. I had spinach in my teeth for about a half an hour before he finally told me about it.

Nearly five years later, I can't remember much about what we talked about. Maybe past relationships, what we did in college, our viewpoints on first-date appropriate topics. What I do remember is just how easy it felt - and how easy it's been ever since (and now I get to marry this guy - turns out "when you know," you really do know, huh?).

Do you remember what your first date was like with your S.O.? 






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Monday, June 25, 2018

entering my late 20's

Yesterday, I made the subtle transition from "mid-20's" to "late-20's." I'm not entirely sure how I got to this point, because it feels like I abandoned my fake ID just a couple of years ago and took my first (and only) trip to Las Vegas as a fresh 21-year old. Alas, here we are at 27.



I learned a lot about myself in my 26th year, such as...

It's okay to change your mind, and to do it often.
It's okay to speak up about what you believe in, because "remaining neutral" is not a viable option.
It's okay to respect and value the opinion of the people you love, while simultaneously doing whatever feels the best for you.
It's okay to listen to your gut and choose the path that feels right for you, even if it means disappointing someone else.
It's okay to abandon ship on a book if you're just not feeling it (perhaps I should follow through on this, since I've been stuck on the same book for over a month!).

26 was a big year in the sense that 1) I passed the SLP Praxis examination, and 2) we got engaged! In my 27th year, I'll be re-entering the full-time working world in Clinical Fellowship position (wherever that may be), and planning a wedding (AH!).

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! I'm excited to see what's in store as I enter a few (!) new and exciting chapters in my life.







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Thursday, June 14, 2018

a BIG announcement...

...we're engaged!

After 4.5 years, Ryan proposed on Sunday, June 10th. Fun facts include the following:
  • It happened right around where we had our first kiss on October 12th, 2013.
  • I almost wore shorts and a tank top (thought we were going to a casual brunch), but decided to throw this on last minute (we stayed at my parents' place the night before and i almost didn't even pack it).
  • I had zero idea what was happening pretty much until he got down on one knee.
  • My gel manicure is about a month old (aka absurdly grown out) in this picture #selfcare.
  • My heart rate probably hovered around 170+ for the next 20 minutes.
  • I am the happiest clam!
Full story and plenty of details to come. I'm in the process of studying for the speech-language pathology Praxis exam (essentially a "boards" type of test), so the blog has been on the back burner for the last month or two during preparation. But I can't wait to dish out all the deets - where it happened, how it happened, and all of the other fun frivolities that came with it.

Thank you to everyone who has already sent along their congratulations and best wishes. I am so excited to start officially planning for our future...starting with a wedding! What?!?!

Also...probably a good time to let everyone know that the 'Rose' in Samantha Rose Says is actually my last name. Come next year, I'll be a Fredericks! (Unless I convince Ryan to become Ryan Rose, that is). 

Also alsoooo...here's a closer picture of the ring. He did SO WELL, and I can't stop looking at this thing. 



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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

unsolicited advice & helpful reminders for the week


You are a product of your environment and the people with whom you surround yourself. Surround yourself with the people who make you happiest, or inspire you to work harder, or to simply "be better." From your group of friends, to the co-workers you gravitate toward, to the company to work for; I've found that these simple factors make such a difference in my overall wellbeing.

Don't lock the doors of opportunity. A few semesters ago, I was absolutely convinced that I did not want to work with the pediatric population after graduating. Nope, nope, nope - not for me. Then I completed my externship at the outpatient rehab center of a hospital (primarily with adults), and while I absolutely loved it, I found myself missing kiddos. In SLP grad programs, I feel like there's a lot of pressure to decide which population you want to work with; like a test of your personality, your clinical capability, what you can handle, etc. Point: don't force yourself into a little career box, especially if you don't need to be there.

This, too, shall pass. Sometimes, when I'm in a particularly stressful situation (like a bad serving shift), or I'm getting anxious about some kind of interview or meeting, I take an extra moment to myself and recite the following in my head: "Samantha, regardless of today's outcome, you will be cozy in your bed by the end of the night." Literally, that is it. Meaning: whatever feels like a big deal right now (even if it is a big deal), the stress of the situation will eventually pass. My Taco Tuesday shift from hell will soon come to a close, and so will your grueling semester, or your impossible project with your least favorite coworker, or whatever it is that is currently driving you bananas.

Have any bits of quality advice you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments!

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Friday, May 18, 2018

things i don't mind spending money on


Quality skin care. I figure this is the only face I'll have for the rest of my life, so I may as well take care of it. I've gotten a lot of samples from Sephora (and my sweet friend who buys literally every high end skin care brand known to women), so I've been dabbling in some good stuff lately. This Origins serum is everything I never knew I needed, and this Tatcha cleanser makes me feel some type of way. Also a plus: both of these companies are cruelty-free, which is a big win.

Killer denim. There's definitely something to be said about a pair of jeans or cut off shorts that just make you feel like a hot little tomale. I'm still on the lookout for this kind of magic, so any recommendations, send them my way.

Experiences. Concerts, festivals, events, classes, spa days, you name it. I've spent an absurd amount of money on tickets for concerts this year (I've already seen Lorde & Justin Timberlake, with plans to see Taylor Swift in August), but every dollar was 100% worth it.

Traveling. Plane tickets, gas money, rental cars, Air BnB's, you name it.  I'll never regret spending money on visiting new cities and old friends. When I traveled to Bulgaria last summer, it put a lot of things into perspective for me. I constantly feel pressured to buy buy buy (and it's safe to say I love to shop shop shop, sooo...), but I realized how little I truly need to be a happy, fully functioning, healthy human. That's a realization that simply pays for itself.

Craft cocktails. Just being honest: I'll happily drop $13 on a well made, specially crafted beverage...especially if it's made with pears and tequila (note: would not do this every day obvi, but #treatyoself).

What kinds of things are you willing to spend your cash on?







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Monday, May 14, 2018

thinking about the future


Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what I want my life to look like in the near future. With graduation looming, I'm beginning to feel the pressure to apply for my first job in the field. I'm constantly trying to figure out what that might look like and how my everyday routines will change, from my wake up call time to when I'll carve out reading time, gym sessions, and date nights.

Other things I've been pondering about for the future:

Traveling. Ever since getting back from North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, we've been chatting with Ryan's sister about making a trip over to visit her in Los Angeles following my graduation. During our trip to NC, we talked to our friends about doing an Appalachian Trail "sectional" hike for 3 days. I desperately want to go to Yosemite, get back to Europe, visit Australia. While all of that feels a bit overwhelming to think of now (especially when I just made a whopping $17 on my takeout shift last week...), making plans gives me alllll the good feels.

Buying a house. Not yet, and probably not for another year or two. I think about where we live now, in the center of everything; close to the bay, walking distance to shops and restaurants, smack in the middle (well, to the right) of the bar scene. Do we buy what we can afford here solely for the location? Venture to family-friendly suburbs? Swap counties and hop over the bridge to get closer to the beach? Build a house exactly how we want it in BFE?

Weddings and marriage and babies. For one, I'm going to be a maid of honor in my good friend's wedding coming up next year. Two, I live with my boyfriend of 4.5 years, so obviously we talk about getting married...and you should see the man hold a baby because it's plainly obvious that he is meant to be a dad. It's inevitable that these life changes will likely take place sometime following graduation (here's hoping for a few more years before having my own personal nugget baby), so naturally I've been thinking about them more often than usual.










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Thursday, May 3, 2018

mid-week rambles


(Note: this post contains some affiliate links!)

Every time I visit the mountains, I think to myself: perhaps I'm really a mountain girl, after all. But then I come back home and hop over the bridge to the gulf and I totally rethink that statement.

I just got this one-piece in the mail today and it is fiiiiiire.

This one? Not so much. I just assumed reviewers were being a tad too conservative when they talked about how cheeky it was. Note: they were not. 

I got my first sunburn of the season, but only on one arm. Not entirely sure how that happened.

If you've been on my Instagram lately, you've probably seen me post about how my friend, Courtney, recently launched her own hand-made, organic bikini wash soap called Bikinis Over Everything. I'll be collaborating with her on a post soon, so look out for that!

My mom and I went back up to St. Augustine this past weekend to visit my grandparents, and we started listening to S-Town on the way there and back. I know I'm a little behind the times but...IT'S SO GOOD. I always forget how much I enjoy podcasts until I actually listen to them. Any other recs?

I got a spray tan two weeks ago and it's faded everywhere except my bikini line and my ankles. Why, body, why?

I just finished reading Forever Is The Worst Long Time by Camille Pagan and you absolutely must read it. Note: the Kindle version is free for Amazon Prime users!

I'm officially on my 12-day summer vacation and trying to make the most out of it while I can. To be honest, I have no idea what to do with all this free time. I've been trying to draft up some posts since my updates have been few and far between around these parts...but my well of inspiration has been feeling a tad dry (can't you tell by this random blurb of a post?).


How's everyone else been doing lately?



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Thursday, April 19, 2018

things i do right before vacation


Plan each outfit for the entire week. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this? I check the weather, anticipate every planned activity, and then lay out every outfit on my bed before trying each of them on. I have absolutely zero tolerance for my own personal freak out mode on vacation, so I feel like having an idea of what I'll be wearing each day keeps me zen. Fewer options = fewer freak outs.

Decide that I need 234985 new things. Like 3 new gray tank tops when I'm going some place where the highs are in the low 60's. You know..."for layering." Also, it's definitely time for me to replace all my makeup and get new shoes. My internal budget fairy takes her own little vacation just a few days before I take mine, so my brain is all #YOLO and #TREATYOSELF. 

Research every single restaurant for every single meal. Well, within reason. I'll make a running list for different types of meals and outings. I'm all about going with the flow, but it is my firm belief that if you're paying more than $10 for an entree or beverage, that shit better be worth it. I've had far too many experiences where we've picked a random place just because we were tired and hungry and it sucked and we still had to dish out $50+. Nah, man. I Yelp it UP!

Clean the entire apartment approximately 10 minutes before our departure. How am I supposed to be chill AF on vacation when I know that in just a few days I'll be coming home to an unmade bed?! A coffee mug in the sink?! Sweaters hanging from the doors?!?!?! Blasphemy. I don't need that kind of stress in my life upon returning from my five day life of luxury (kidding. Or am I?).

I feel like this post makes me sound like a bit of an organizational freak, which is laughable because in most everyday situations where I should absolutely be on top of things, I fall short. But give me a vacation where everything is supposed to be relaxing and I will 10000% make sure that a mental breakdown over "hating all my clothes" or "not being able to pick a restaurant" will absolutely not happen.

At any rate, I am so excited for this weekend. We will be in Almond, North Carolina to watch one of  my best friends since high school get married! Following three nights in a mountainside cabin, we'll stay one night and two full days in Asheville before heading home. It's been a solid four months at the hospital, and I haven't been on a trip since Europe in August, so I am pumped! I'm treating myself tonight and getting my nails done for the first time since January, followed by a spray tan for the first time in nearly three years! #YOLO and all that. Plus, I got a Groupon for the spray tan, so it's basically a financial investment. Our flight leaves at o'dark thirty tomorrow!

What do you absolutely have to do before leaving for vacation? And also - where are you heading next?!







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Monday, April 9, 2018

a long-winded life update

I won't bore you with the monotony of "why I haven't been posting" because I'm sure you know the drill - it's simply been a busy season of life. You know the drill: 32-40 hours a week at my externship, working two nights a week, schoolwork (ish), studying (ish), social life. For awhile there, I just hadn't felt inspired to write about anything going on...it happens!

Side note, this post is a whole lot of rambling, so bear with me.

(I may get hospital heavy here for a second, but I'll move on to other life topics, so just scroll on down if you aren't interested!)



I had the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30 this morning because we've recently discharged patients in our 9 a.m. & 9:45 a.m. MWF slots, which administration has yet to fill...which means I'm drinking coffee on my couch at 9:15 a.m. on a Wednesday. What a life, my friends. It's the little things.

Flash back about four years ago, and working at a hospital is an opportunity I never even knew I wanted to have...but here I am with less than a month left at my first externship, and what a whirlwind it has been.

  • I recently had a geriatric patient with aphasia (an acquired disease that causes an individual to lose the ability to express or understand speech from brain damage after a stroke) call me a smart ass. 
  • I've had a patient with a severe traumatic brain injury go from naming maybe 1-2 fruits when prompted to list 3 before naming off colors instead...now he's naming 5-6 all on his own without perseverations. 
  • I've had patient's husbands and family members cry in sessions when it truly hits that this version of their loved one is their new reality, whether it's their inability to naturally speak after a laryngectomy, or the fact that they can no longer enjoy thin liquids like coffee or regular water because they're silently aspirating (when food & liquid goes down "the wrong pipe" into your lungs, but your brain isn't giving you any semblance of alert...it's super serious and even deadly).
  • I shadowed inpatient and acute care for the first time the other day (I'm normally in outpatient rehab)...definitely a different can of worms than I'm used to. I always thought it was kind of cheesy and cliche to tell someone "be thankful for your health." I was naive enough to think that being healthy was simply the "baseline." I am here to tell you: BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR HEALTH, FRIENDS. 

Long story short, I see so much every day - inspiring things, depressing things, stuff that makes me laugh, stuff that disturbs me so deeply that I actually have nightmares about it. It has certainly given me a new perspective on so many things, and for that I am very grateful.

Moving on to not hospital-related items...


I've been reading a lot, and I think I'm starting to like my Kindle more than I like carrying around a real book. Well, to some extent. My little Kindle Paper White fits so perfectly into my scrub pockets, so reading on my lunch break or the shuttle to and from TGH has been my favorite way to pass the time. So far this year, I've read:
  1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - loved loved loved it.
  2. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella - cute story, light easy read.
  3. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen - even though I'm getting closer to 30 years old, I still have a place in my heart for young adult, especially Sarah Dessen. However, was not a big fan of this one.
  4. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld - entertaining enough, but kind of meh.
For some reason, I've been on a chick-lit kick lately. I think I was getting burnt out on murder mysteries and thrillers because a few months back, I felt so stressed out that I didn't want to add a complicated, mind-twisting fictional story to the mix. Now I'm starting to get a little burnt out "light reads," so we'll see where I end up next!


If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I finally met one of my first blog friends, Chelsea, from The Girl Who Loved To Write. Yes, she is just as superb in person, and I feel lucky to call her a friend! She's as kind and humorous as she comes across in her blog, with a little bit of good-hearted snark around the edges...aka my kinda girl. If you don't follow her already, you should definitely start!

Other things I've been doing/working on/thinking about/doing/getting ready for:

  • Tweaking my resume and starting to think about where I want to apply for jobs. Graduation is less than four months away!
  • Our upcoming trip to North Carolina for one of my best friends' wedding! I am in desperate need of a little vacation.
  • I'm finally caught up on This Is Us (brb, bawling my eyes out), and I just started Life Sentence (okay so far, we'll see if I stick to it). 
  • I've been practicing my jump roping every time I go to the gym and I'm starting to get kind of fancy with it. I finally learned how to do a double-under, and I can do three in a row now (sometimes).

What have you guys been up to lately? And if you're a loyal reader (or a new one!), is there anything you'd like to read about on here? Looking for a bit of inspiration around these parts!



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Monday, March 5, 2018

that overwhelming, scintillating feeling of change


I have an overwhelming feeling that everything is going to be changing very quickly, very soon.

At the beginning of a brand new year, we all toast to the idea of change, to better things, to new adventures. January 1st marks the commencement of new resolutions, and everything feels unknown, and the changes we anticipate, the trips we organize, the plans we make feel attainable...but they also feel far away.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

thoughts on gun control - it's time to wake up

Most days, I don't enjoy confrontational speaking. But I can't pretend like a story about Valentine's Day or my most recent shopping trip is relevant right now. Enough is enough, and sometimes "political" topics need to be addressed.

"Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

I'm going to cut the niceties and the exceptions to the rule here and call out the complete and utter bullshit that statement represents. Because that's exactly what it is: absolute bullshit.



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Monday, February 12, 2018

st. pete eats | review of MidiCi Neapolitan pizza


Last month, I was graciously invited to St. Pete's latest and greatest pizza place, MidiCi, an authentic Neapolitan pizza company from the one and only Los Angeles, California. Just a heads up, Los Angeles - finders keepers!

MidiCi is located right outside of Tyrone Square Mall (which, as a St. Petersburg native, can I just say how much I'm loving all the revamping they've been doing?!) but don't let that throw you - it sits alongside a couple of other fun shops and restaurants, so it gives off more of a local street vibe vs. a shopping mall. As you walk in, you're greeted by an open concept kitchen featuring wood burning ovens (for their delicious pizza, of course) and their fresh, non-GMO ingredients on display. The chefs and cooks are so friendly, so feel free to take an extra second to watch them work their culinary magic.




I'd been salivating over their craft cocktail menu since getting invited to the event, so I immediately took the opportunity to shimmy on up to their beautiful marble bar tops. The bartender was so knowledgable about every drink on the menu, and as soon as I mentioned that I was a giant fan of margaritas (because, hello, have you met me?), she recommended I try the Angel's Margarita, later to be followed up with the Devil's Margarita...because obviously you can't try one and not the other!

The Angel's Margarita was on the sweeter side, made with tequila, triple sec, blackberries, lime, and simple syrup - such a classic, crisp taste. Later on in the meal, I switched over to the Devil's, which simply swapped the blackberries for fresno chili peppers...talk about a game changer! I was a big fan of both margs, but I think the Angel's took the cake.




While the drinks were on point, the food was the real treat at MidiCi, especially (shocker!) the pizza. But before we dug into the pizza goodness, we nibbled on the house cheese board and the MidiCi House Salad: seasonal greens, baby arugula, grape tomatoes, parmigiano-reggiano, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Still dreaming about it.

I also feel like it should be noted that each meal was consumed in front of this gorgeous twinkly-light tree...in the middle of the restaurant. How cute?





And now for the main event - the pizza, of course. I was trying to save room for dessert later, otherwise I would have absolute gorged myself on every option. Our table was given the House Pesto: housemade pesto, fresh mozzarella, and parmesan. I normally go for pizzas with tomato sauce, but the housemade pesto absolutely made this dish and it didn't need any help...so good! Next time I go back, I definitely want to try out their double pepperoni and classic margherita pizza.



If you think I wasn't going for their dessert options next, clearly we aren't very close. Dessert = life. I try to fight my sweet tooth, but most times it gets the best of me (reason #2345982 I'll never have visible abs). MidiCi's dessert is 100% worth the price of admission, especially the Signature Nutella Calzone: Nutella strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, balsamic reduction (with the option to add ricotta cheese...um, yes). We also got to try their authentic Italian gelato and goooood lawd, guys, every flavor was a dream.



Not in the St. Pete area but still dying to try MidiCi? You're in luck - it's actually a chain! Check their website to find a location near you. In St. Petersburg, they're located at 2424 Tyrone Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33710. I live over in Tampa, but my parents live a whopping 10 minutes up the road from this little gem, so you better believe I will be back ASAP. If we didn't have plans for Valentine's Day already, I'd be making the trip sooner rather than later.

I had so much fun at this event - thanks again, MidiCi, for the invite! It was so fun to connect with other bloggers in the area, especially this babe from Keeping Up With Kahla:


Have you been to MidiCi before? Or if you're local, have you been to this location yet? Let me know what you think!




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Monday, February 5, 2018

do only what you love.

February is the month of love in all its forms. So this month, I challenge you to do only what you love, and ignore the rest...except paying bills and, you know, all the necessary other stuff that no one loves but you have to do, anyway. Let's stay within reason here.


(Background photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash)

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

what i tried in january.

I keep reading about how January dragged on and on for a lot of my friends, but it just flew by for me. Between starting up the new semester and working 35-40 hours a week at my externship (plus my actual paying job two nights a week...), I pretty much blink and it's the end of another week. With all that, I wanted to do a little round up of things I've tried this month:

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Monday, January 22, 2018

how we downsized to 650 square feet | sold, donated, trashed.

I don't know about you, but when a new year begins, I always have the urge to declutter my life in a multitude of ways. As I take down the Christmas tree and put away all of my holiday decor, I usually take some extra time to go through my closet, desk drawers, shelves, etc. to evaluate what should come with me into the fresh new year, and what shouldn't. 

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Monday, January 15, 2018

recap: my first week of externship!


Two years ago this month, I started volunteering at Tampa General Hospital, a major teaching hospital in my area. By "volunteering," I really mean observing, because aside from sanitizing a few toys here and there, I mostly just sat in the corner and intently watched therapy sessions. I was beginning my second semester of SLP pre-requisites with only a few hours of observation at an elementary school under my belt, so I was still super green in the field and an SLP's scope of practice. In fact, before volunteering at TGH,  I don't think I even realized all that a speech-language pathologist does, especially for adults. Long story short, the adult/geriatric side of SLP is crazy interesting (for me, anyway). From working with neurodegenerative diseases to traumatic brain injuries, head and neck cancer to stroke patients, no day or session is ever the same...and it was while I volunteered that I fell in love.

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Monday, January 8, 2018

current skincare favorites | winter 2018

Skincare, especially facial skincare, is something that's important to everyone. Helllooo, your face is the first thing someone notices about you, and you're likely going to have that same face for the rest of your life. Thus, it's important to take care of it.

Even though I'm still a broke-ish graduate student, I try my best to incorporate high quality products into my skincare regime. And by that I mean that I usually ask for the fancy stuff for holiday/birthday gifts. I use a little bit of high-end stuff mixed with drugstore purchases,

I rounded up a few of my current skincare go-to's, from serums to masks to peels and micellar water:
[note: this post contains affiliate links!]




Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - "A nighttime facial oil that visibly restores the appearance of skin" (kiehls.com). 
I requested this little nugget for Christmas after hearing a lot of positive reviews from other bloggers. I absolutely love the smell, and it definitely hydrates my skin without making me break out. Note: this is not an anti-aging product. When I first starting using it, I thought "visibly restoring the appearance of skin" meant it was going to get rid of my forehead wrinkles (it doesn't). According to Sephora's website, it's best for dryness and dull, uneven texture. I've seen a big difference in that regard, so I would recommend if you're in the market for that kind of serum!

GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment - "A skincare mask designed to visibly clear the complexion" (sephora.com). 
I know this mask isn't a giant revelation...nearly everyone I know has heard about GLAMGLOW masks, but I absolutely love this one! You can literally see the gunk being extracted from your pores as the mask dries...so oddly satisfying. I've had a couple of breakouts here and there, and this mask totally clears it up. It's a little pricier than I'd normally go for, but I have the mini version which is only $24! I rarely do a whole face mask - just problem areas - so it lasts a lot longer, too.

Silksence Blackhead Mask - In a nutshell, it's a peel-off blackhead remover/mask. Ryan randomly bought this peel-off mask for us from Amazon...ha! I've only used it once (similar to the mask above, I use these types of things pretty sparingly!) and it was kind of weird, but certainly did the trick! I will say that it left a little bit of residue after peeling, but a few blots of a damp washcloth cleared it up quickly. This one is definitely cost effective at around $11...but I wouldn't use it on your entire face the way they have it advertised. YOUCH.


Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Micellar Cleansing Water - "Removes makeup, cleans and moisturizes skin all-in-one, without rinsing" (ulta.com).
Prior to purchasing this, I'd been using Garnier's micellar water and was not a fan. A few friends suggested I try the Yes To brand's version, and I love anything charcoal related (hence my above products!) so I opted for this guy. The pump is unlike any other product I've ever used - you put your cotton ball or wipe on top of the bottle (without flipping it over) and just push twice, and voila! It's ready to use. I will say, I'm not sure I'd purchase the charcoal again, solely because I use it as a makeup remover, and while the charcoal doesn't stay on your skin, it does stay on the cotton ball. This made it tough for me to tell if I was actually removing eye makeup. I think next time I purchase it, I'll try the cucumber or coconut version.


Botanics Organic Toning Spritz with Rosewater (super cheap at Target right now!) - "Purifies and refreshes skin after cleansing. This toner delicately, yet effectively, removes traces of makeup, leaving the skin revitalized" (target.com).
Who doesn't love a good toning spritz, especially in the form of rosewater? I spray this on my face before I go to bed, and I feel instantly refreshed. It's about as simple as that! Plus, it's a cheap thrill, and you know I'm all about those.


Erno Lazslo White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel - "A powerful two-step peel packed with super nutrient vitamin C to exfoliate, brighten, and moisturize skin" (sephora.com).
On the subject of cheap thrills, this next product is certainly not that...but if you have extra $ to throw down on skincare, I highly recommend this little set. I received this complimentary from Influenster a few months back, and I am obsessed. The peel (step 1) smells divine, like pure oranges. After massaging that into your skin for a couple of minutes, you apply the activator (step 2) which smells not quite as divine. This nifty little combo jump-starts the natural collagen process while simultaneously reducing dark spots and zapping dullness aka everything I need. Again, it's pricy - but worth it!

Not pictured: Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release Repair Treatment with Retinol  "A two-in-one nighttime anti-aging treatment plus moisturizer featuring the power of retinol" (sephora.com). 
I make far too many funny/weird/ugly faces on a daily basis, and I have the wrinkles in my forehead to show for it (or am I just getting old? yikes!). While I'm a firm believer in the idea that wrinkles mean a life well lived (so long as they aren't sun damage related...), I prefer to keep them at bay. This little guy has helped reduce my fine lines on my forehead, doesn't have a heavy scent, and is super lightweight. 

What skincare products have you been loving lately? I'm in the market for an eye cream, so if you have a favorite, let me know!


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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 | the year of graduation + my goals.


Oddly enough, I'm actually thrilled to say goodbye to the holiday season. When October hits each year, I think to myself, "the best time of the year! pumpkins! halloween! ghouls!" Then November comes along, and I think to myself, "the best time of year! a great, big feast! thankfulness! friendsgiving!" Then December rolls around and I'm like "the best time of year! christmas, hanukkah, pretty trees, gift exchanges, all the treats!" By the end of that three month span, I am down for the count.


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