New Favorite Products from Thrive Causemetics

I’ve recently been introduced to a line of makeup I have not used before called Thrive Causemetics and can I just say that I’m in love!  The two products I’ve picked up from Thrive Causemetics have soared up to all-time favorites in my collection!  I definitely will be trying more from their range, but let me tell you about my awesome finds and why I’m so impressed with this brand!

Infinity Waterproof Eyebrow Liner, $23

This product literally blew my socks off!  I’ve been a long-time user of the Anastasia Brow Wiz but this liner is now the one I’m using every day!  It gives a very natural look and the packaging is a bit more durable than the Brow Wiz (the spoolies always break off on me and I don’t like how the caps crack.)  It boasts “Buildable Smart Pigments” that adjust to the right shade for your brow and ingredients that encourage brow growth, which I certainly need.  I’ve been using this for about a month now and absolutely love it!  I feel the shade is a better match to my brow than some of the other products I have tried, it has great wear time and looks natural!  Also I like the packaging.  They have a clear cap over the spoolie vs. the pencil itself which other products I’ve used do not have and the overall packaging is very sturdy.

Thrive Causemetics brow pencil and mascara
This brow pencil and mascara are my current favs.

Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara, $24

If you’ve read some previous posts, then you know that a few months ago I tried lash extensions.  I liked how they looked, but the long-term maintenance and cost made me decide to not continue to use them.  Also, once all the extensions came off, I noticed that my natural lashes were not as long and strong as they were before.  I had heard some good things about this mascara and decided to give it a try and I was NOT disappointed!  Something about this wand literally finds every lash, even ones you didn’t even know you had and looks so nice with no clumps or flakes.  It also has an ingredient called Orchid Stem Cell complex that is supposed to help lashes grow and stay strong.  I absolutely LOVE it!

About the Brand

There are so many great makeup brands out there, but what touched me as unique and special about this one is that for every product that is purchased, Thrive Causemetics donates one to a woman in need.  Women fighting cancer or victims of domestic abuse are some that are helped by this brand and I love that they have a greater purpose than just the makeup.  Their slogan of “Beauty with a Purpose” is something that they truly bring to life.  Some of their products are even named after some of the courageous women that they have helped!  The brand is vegan and 100% cruelty free, which is another quality I like to see in makeup!


How to Tackle Challenging Tasks

tackle challenging tasks
No matter what the task you are up for the challenge!

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the thought of doing something that you just avoided it or gave up altogether?  That definitely has been me many times.  Recently though, I was able to accomplish something that I never thought I’d finish, and it felt euphoric once it was done!  I figured I’d share how I tackled things to maybe inspire you to revisit something that has you pretty anxious and GET IT DONE!

The task I had to do was clean out my garage to make room for my car.  I had just sold my mom’s house (after cleaning that out and planning an Estate Sale) and was storing many items from that house in the garage so my car could no longer fit (note that I already had a storage unit full as well, so that was not an option).  Imagine staring at a huge pile of stuff filling your ENTIRE garage.  Typically, I’d meltdown and ignore things because it was so overwhelming to me.  Plus I was already exhausted from all the steps I had to take to get the house sold in the first place.  And at first, melt down was what I did.  However, the main thing I did NEXT that was the key to completing this task was to BREAK IT DOWN into smaller, manageable steps.

I thought, what little things do I need to do in order to clear out the space?  I needed to inventory what was there and decide if I was keeping it or not and if keeping, where should it go? I decided that spending a little time each week doing this instead of trying to do it in one shot was the best way to approach it as it did not seem so impossible that way.  I also set some mini-deadlines for myself to make sure I stayed on track, because it was easy to prioritize something else I had to do above this each week to avoid an unpleasant task.  (I know you do that too!)

Celebrate your small victories.  The world was not built in a day, and this task was not done in a day.  It actually took me 7 months, but it was done!  Each time I saw a little more space in that garage, it motivated me to keep going.  It’s like dieting:  in the beginning it’s the hardest, but once you start seeing those results, it keeps you going because you know your efforts are working!

There were several things I had to donate or dispose of and others that I had a chance to find room for in my house, but it all started coming together.  I originally had targeted the end of October to complete the task, but some things came up and it ended up being done in December.  My main motivator at that point was getting it done before the weather turned really cold (which would make spending time in the garage that much more unpleasant!)  But the takeaway here is that it did GET DONE.

So to sum it up:

Break it down.  Take that task and separate it into smaller, more manageable steps.

Set deadlines.  Make mini-deadlines along the way and hold yourself accountable!  If curveballs come your way (they often do), just make the appropriate adjustments and keep going.  The worst thing you can do is let a setback frustrate you so much that you give up trying.  Did I mention that my project took 7 MONTHS to finish?

Celebrate those victories!  When you meet one of those deadlines, celebrate getting a little closer to tackling that task.

Remember, no matter how overwhelming something feels, it is not impossible.  Just focus on one task at a time and it will slowly come together.  Make 2018 the year you tackle those challenges – trust me, you’ll feel so much better that you did!

How to Make Resolutions You Will Actually Achieve

New Year's resolutions
Make goals you can achieve in 2018!

I really hate New Year’s and always have.  There’s always pressure on making these amazing plans and the whole thought of starting new and making resolutions that last a month (if that) feels like a joke to me.  However, I DO believe that reflecting on where you are and what you want to achieve and setting goals (I prefer using goals instead of resolutions) for yourself is a good thing if it’s done the right way and not just because January 1 is approaching.  When I look at what I set out to do in 2017 , for the first time, I actually feel accomplished!  In years’ past,  I have looked at an overly ambitious list of things that I never even attempted to do past January or forgot about.  So I’m going to share with you the techniques I used that helped me achieve my goals for 2017:

Come up with a theme.  This was so key to my 2017.  Instead of making a random list of things you want to do, like lose 5 lbs., create your own theme, mantra or mission for 2018.  For example, my 2017 theme was “Rebuild.”  I had lost my mom toward the latter half of 2016 and left my job, so my goal was to focus on settling my mom’s estate and just figuring out what my life looked like without her and without working full time.  I had some other goals, but all seemed to fit the overall theme I had.  For this year, my theme is “Explore.”  Now that I’ve rebuilt my foundation in 2017, I want to try some new things, continue to grow this blog and remodel my house so I think this is a good theme for 2018.

Be realistic.  It’s good to have some challenging goals, but they also need to be realistic or all you are doing is setting yourself up to fail and feel really crappy about it.  If you need to lose 20 lbs, don’t make your goal-“To have a body like Britney Spears in 6 months.” (Total sidebar but did you guys see her perform on New Year’s Eve – she has got it going on!)

Less is more!  You don’t need to have a list of 20 things you want to accomplish in the new year.  Focus on 3-5 key things you really want to commit to work on and focus on those.  You will be more likely to have them in the front of your mind because there won’t be too many and it makes it easier to focus and reach them, as they will be the key things you are passionate about doing.  Write them out with a few bullet points and put it somewhere that you can physically see them every day.  Out of sight is out of mind and we want your goals to be a part of your daily life!

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  The goals you set in January don’t need to be achieved by February.  If you have a long term goal, that’s ok, but you may want to break it down into smaller, milestone goals to keep you motivated and prevent you from feeling so overwhelmed that you give up altogether.

Don’t be hard on yourself.  Sometimes things come up that are not expected and some of your goals may need to be re-prioritized but it’s ok.  As long as you are moving in the right direction and doing the best  you can do, you should be proud of yourself.

Cheers to you and may 2018 be a great year for you to accomplish your goals!!!


5 Great Red Lipsticks

The countdown to Christmas is on!  This is the time of year that I rock my red lips and nails!  I’ve gathered up five of my favorite red lipsticks to share and hopefully get you in a festive mood!

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Cruella” $27- The NARS lip pencils are awesome because you have a liner and lipstick all in one.  And, with red, staying neat around the edges of your lips can be a challenge, and with a bold color like this, it has to look right!  This is a deeper red, with more brown/burgundy in it.  NARS describes it as a scarlet red.  It has a matte finish and is long-wearing, which is a plus.  I don’t find this formula to be drying, as can happen with some matte shades.  If you really like this formula, they do have some other shades in the red family to choose from as well.

red lipstick swatches
It’s raining red! Colors from top to bottom: Tarte Pride, Maybelline Crimson Crush, Colorur Pop Trust Me, Bite Beauty Gazpacho and NARS Cruella.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in “Gazpacho” $26- Bite Beauty is a brand known for using natural, edible ingredients in their products, so I feel good putting their lipsticks and balms on my lips.  The Amuse Bouche line is very popular and has tons of different shades but the Gazpacho is a beautiful bright bluish red.  This lipstick will absolutely light up your face and give you a festive look.  The formula is extremely moisturizing and has a slight sheen to it.

Colour Pop Lippie Stix in “Trust Me” $5- If you’ve read my other posts, then you know I love the Colour Pop brand!  It’s priced along a drug store brand but available online.  Hey for $5, this is actually a better price than some drugstore lipsticks!  Recently Sephora has started carrying their line as well, but this shade is not available there.  The lippie stix are small, longer shaped lipsticks that look like a fat pencil, which I like for throwing in my bag.  Also, the small tip allows for more control when applying, because, as I mentioned earlier, red is a color that needs to be applied precisely to your lips to look its best.  Of all the reds, I think this shade is the truest red – again this is a VERY matte formula, so if you don’t care for matte formulas, that’s ok, the next two I am sharing are very shiny!

Maybelline “Crimson Rush” $5.59- I love this formula and you can get this right in the drugstore.  It has a satin finish but does wear well.  The red shade has a slight pink undertone.  This exact shade was a limited edition but there are a couple of new red shades in this collection that are worth checking out!

Tarte Lip Sculptor in “Pride” (set $34)- This was part of a lip sculptor gift set I bought from tarte and I was so pleasantly surprised that such a gorgeous holiday red was included!  If you aren’t familiar with the lip sculptor, it is a dual -sided lipstick – one side the lipstick, the other a colored gloss.  This color is gorgeous with just the lipstick side, but when you add the gloss – BAMM!  Your lips are so plump and shiny looking you will be party-ready in a snap.  Plus the packaging on this (a Moroccan-themed pattern is on the lipstick) is so beautiful!  Unfortunately this shade is not sold individually, but I can tell you the set has four other shades that are beautiful and wearable.

What kind of makeup/ red lipsticks do you like to wear around the holidays?  I would love to read your comments!  Happy Holidays everyone.

Best Eyeliners for Hazel/Green Eyes

Do you know that feeling when you buy an eyeliner and it just flatters you in a special way?  Well, that’s how I feel about these five eyeliners.  I have hazel eyes, so, for me, colors in the burgundy family really make them pop.  Do you remember learning the color wheel in school?  Well, basically you look for colors opposite each other on the color wheel to determine what best complements your eye color.  Blue eyes usually look great with shadows/liners in the gold or copper family, for example.  Have brown eyes?  Well, you’re in luck because most colors look great on brown eyes!

Everyone’s eyes are so unique that even two people with hazel eyes might not experience the same result but I can tell you that these liners  are awesome!

For your flattering shade, just look across the color wheel.


MAC Costa Riche – This liner is in the brown family but is just warm enough to give those eyes a pop!  I use it in the upper water line also to intensify the effect.

Tarte Amazonian clay Smolder Eyes in Aztec Gold – I was not sure if this liner would work on me since it is an olive greenish color and usually using a similar color as your eyes actually washes out your look.  However, I think the flecks of gold in this color are what do the trick as I have some gold in my eyes.  It is definitely a smoother formula than the MAC pencil.  I use this in my lower water line and smudge under my lash line as well. Unfortunately Tarte doesn’t have this on their website any more, but I did find it on Amazon.

eye liners
The colors! From top to bottom: MAC Costa Riche, Tarte Aztec Gold, Estee Edit Bordeaux, Urban Decay Alkaline and Maybelline Striking Copper.

Estee Edit Eye Kajal in Bold Bordeaux – This is a gorgeous deep wine color and has the added benefit of a dual sided pencil with a  nude color on the other side.  I use the nude color to brighten the inner rims of my eyes and the bottom waterline (this makes you look so awake even on days you really aren’t) and I smudge the Bordeaux color on my lower lash line and upper water line.  This used to be available on Sephora but is not any more.  I want to order a few as back ups I love it so much!

Urban Decay 24/7 in Alkaline – This is in the burgundy family but has a stronger reddish undertone, so it’s less subtle than the other shades.  It can give a slightly reddish look which to some would be unflattering (no one wants to look like they have pink eye) but I like the effect it gives.  (BTW, the Urban Decay lip liners are bomb dot com  too, but that’s a whole different blog post!)

Maybelline Lasting Drama in Striking Copper – this is a beautiful shimmery copper that is so nice for the holidays!  I usually line it under something matte to give the eyes a more festive look.  I think it’s a bit too light to use on it’s own but it is a unique color that I was excited to find in the drugstore!  I think this color would also look stunning on blue eyes!

What eye liners are your favorites?

Great Books to Read and Gift

I have always loved to read, but with adult responsibilities it is sometimes challenging to find the time to enjoy a book.  I have been making time lately and have some great reads to share with you!  If you are getting stressed from the holidays, taking a few minutes to get lost in a book is a great way to relax.  Many, if not all of these books can be found in your local library, or downloaded to an e-reader (I enjoy my books both ways).

good books
Who doesn’t love to curl up with a great book?

Option B – This is by Sheryl Sandberg, who also wrote the awesome book “Lean In,” which focuses on how women can make new opportunities for themselves in business.  Sheryl is the COO of Facebook, and if you follow her in the news, a few years ago her husband, Dave Goldberg, who was CEO at Survey Monkey, died of a heart attack while they were on vacation in Mexico.  He was in his 40s.  Option B talks about how she dealt with this family tragedy, both in her personal life and at work, and how she has found the path to her Option B.  This is a great read for anyone, but especially someone who has experienced something traumatic in their lives, or is struggling with a setback, or struggling with their faith.

Mirror Sisters trilogy by V.C. Andrews- I started getting into V.C.  Andrews last year (no, I never read Flowers in the Attic in high school) and got into this series “The Mirror Sisters.”  Without any spoilers, it explores the lives of two identical twins who were raised to be identical in every way, not just in their appearance.  It’s a pretty juicy psychological thriller – just think what you would do if you were forced to not be an individual in any way!

It’s Always the Husband  by Michele Campbell -This book explores the lives of three best friends who meet in college and the lives they lead after graduating.  There’s a murder…. and lots of twists and turns to see who did it.  This is a great page turner that will have you guessing….is it the husband?!

Dead Woman Walking  by Sharon Bolton – Two sisters go on a hot air balloon ride, witness a crime on the ground and are in an accident…. more danger awaits them once they are on the ground.  This book had me on the edge of my seat with a lot of unexpected twists and turns!  Who committed the crime?  Will the sisters survive the crash?

Gone Without a Trace   by Mary Torjussen – A woman comes home one night, excited to share her promotion news with her live-in boyfriend.  However, when she gets home, there is no sign of him having ever lived in the house.  Is this guy a major douchebag?  I’ll just tell you that things are not as they seem.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena – Two couples who are neighbors get together for dinner, but after that night no one’s lives are the same again.  What happens?  What I can tell you without any spoilers is that everyone’s got a secret in this story!!

I hope something here has piqued your interest.  As you can tell I’m really into thrillers or murder mysteries lately.  I used to read all the chic lit there was years ago, but my interests have definitely changed.

Remember that books also make great GIFTS so if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, this could be a great idea for the reader in your life!  Or, buy all your friends a copy and start a book club!   I do have some gift guides I put together that you can also check out here and here.

What books have you been loving lately?  Leave a comment!


Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to buy any of these books!

Lash Extensions – Are they worth it?

I’ve been hearing about lash extensions for so long now and literally have thought about getting them for years.  Well, I finally decided to try it and see if it lives up to the hype.  I wouldn’t say I have short lashes but I absolutely would not leave the house without mascara on.  I have larger, deep set eyes so it looks much more balanced when my lashes are noticeable.  I put off getting this done because from researching the process, I think it is not only expensive, but a big time commitment to maintain them long-term.  I’m already anxious about the 2 hour time I was quoted on the phone for the initial appointment.  This is why back in the day I stopped doing acrylics on my nails – I got fidgety sitting there for the fill-ins at the salon.  I decided to download an audio book to listen to because I didn’t think I would take a nap during the appointment.

lash extensions
Top picture of my lashes before the extensions; bottom is the after.

The application process did take the full two hours and having the book on audio to listen to is what got me through.  The tape that they used on the bottom of my eye (see before photo) was initially a little uncomfortable, but the process itself was not painful.  I’ve read some other articles about lash extensions and most people say they are addictive and once you see the results you will want to keep going.  When I first saw the final product, I did like it but was not “blown away.”  You could see that my lashes were more noticeable but I thought the shape of them was off – they were long in the middle but not on the outer corner.  I asked about that and my natural lashes in the outer corner were not long enough to apply the extensions was the reply I got.  I wanted to get used to them before I rendered a final opinion and really see how it was to live with them on a daily basis.  I was sold the benefits to “membership” where you can maintain the lashes for a fee of $69.99/mo (initial application was $89.99).  While pricey, if you research lash extensions, it actually is a competitive rate.  I decided to go ahead, even if I just maintained the lashes through the holidays.


lash extension
Here’s another angle on the extensions – see how long they go – almost to my eyebrow!

As time went on I really began to love the lashes.  Waking up and looking like I already applied mascara is a big advantage!  It makes those days when you aren’t wearing makeup much easier and gives me more confidence not having makeup on.  Not dealing with mascara removal in the evening was a nice benefit also.  Not needing mascara also shaves off some time getting ready in the morning which I enjoy as well.  And, the best pro is that they just look beautiful!  I chose the natural lash, so with makeup on, it just looks like I have a couple of coats of mascara on.  I didn’t want anything too dramatic, but there are lashes available that can accommodate someone who wants full on glam lashes.


I noticed after the second week wearing them that the glue can look a little clumpy at times.  Following the instructions so that the adhesive can dry was a bit inconvenient also (no water on the eye, no steam, sweat or rubbing eyes for 48 hours after initial application.)  I still apply mascara to the bottom lashes. so you aren’t really saving $ by not having to purchase mascara anymore, but it is a lot faster than doing the whole eye.

I wore the initial set of lash extensions for 3 weeks before returning to get them filled.  They still looked pretty good but after the 2 week mark I definitely started to see more lashes coming out each day.  Filling in the lashes was a much more pleasant experience and only took 45 minutes.  The shorter time span and also knowing what to expect is what made this more pleasant the second time around.  I was pleased with how they came out and this time my lashes on the outer corner grew so she was able to get some extensions there which improved the overall appearance.  I have, however, noticed more shedding of the lashes in the week since getting the lashes filled in.  Not sure if this is due to the natural growth cycle of my lashes or if the adhesive is not working as well this time.


Overall, I was glad that I gave this a try.  I am enjoying them and plan to continue to maintain them for now.  Although an investment, I think Amazing Lash Studio allows them to be more affordable than a lot of other places in my area.  The staff is very friendly and helpful so it is a pleasure to go there.  The decision to get them is really a personal one.  I think they are great if you have a special event or are going on vacation.  They are expensive to maintain, so if you are looking for more of a long term investment in lashes, I think using a place like Amazing Lash Studio is a way to enjoy the benefits while defraying the cost.

Gift Guide – $50 and under

Welcome to my second post of my holiday gift guide series.  The last post had some great gift ideas in the $25 and under price range.  This guide contains ideas in the $50 and under range.  I hope this will give you some inspiration for all the special people you are shopping for this season.


swell water bottle

Swell Water bottle – $35 This is not just any old water bottle.  Swell keeps liquid hot for 12 hours and cold for 24.  They are available in lots of cool designs and as an added bonus this fits in your car cup holder!  This gift idea is great for anyone on the go or for fitness buffs who are constantly drinking water!





kindle e readerKindle e-reader, $49.99 – This is a great deal for anyone who loves to read.  You can be anywhere and instantly download a book or magazine, without leaving your house!  Give the gift of hours of entertainment with this device. Plus, this is a great tech gift when you don’t have the budget to buy an iPad!



container store mirrored power bank

Mirrored power bank $29.99 – This is a mirrored compact for your purse plus it charges your phone on the go!  This can be a great gift for someone who travels a lot or works from their car.




A rose that lasts a year!Venus et Fleur – Mini round  $39- How would you love a rose that can stay beautiful and fragrant without watering or maintaining for a whole YEAR?  Here is the answer!  Venus et Fleur has some gorgeous arrangements and I feel better giving a gift of a flower when I know that it will last longer than a couple of weeks.  There are some really pricey options, but this single rose is beautiful and would look beautiful on any desk or nightstand to enjoy!


Bauble Bar earring setEar Adornment Trio gift set $48 – This boxed earring set from Bauble Bar with three beautiful earrings in a lovely gift box is a great gift for the jewelry lover in your life.  I bought a similar set for myself last year and I am still wearing and loving the earrings.  It’s great quality!




kl polish lips and tips

KL Polish Lips and Tips $45 – If you’ve read my post about my favorite nail polishes, then you already know that I LOVE this brand!  The colors are really unique and they just don’t chip!  KL Polish just released a new limited edition boxed set containing 6 bottles of their new nudes polish, which coordinate with lippies, that were created by Kathleen Lights with ColourPOP.  (Kathleen is the creator of KL Polish and a YouTuber with a huge following.)  The set also comes with a free lipstick, which makes it a great value and an awesome gift for someone who loves to do their nails, or is just a beauty junkie in general!  If you are new to the brand, you can join their newsletter and get 10% off your purchase!

tarte blush bazaarTarte Blush Bazaar $44 I bought this as a gift for myself and think it’s a great value.  First, I own a couple of the Amazonian Clay blushes and love the colors and how they perform.  This set comes with 8 blushes and 2 highlighters in a beautiful circle compact packaging.  I LOVE this – the blushes and highlighters are a good size, the packaging is not only beautiful but great for travel and there are a great variety of shades in the set.


martha stewart pom pom throwPom Pom Throw $35 – This is a great gift either for a hostess or someone who really likes interesting home accents.  The little pom poms on the end of this throw are adorable!  This is from the Martha Stewart collection and this price reflects a Black Friday special.  The original price is listed as $120 – yikes!



Sephora Ready Set StyleSephora Ready Set Style $32- This is a great gift for someone who is always on the hunt for a good volumizing hair product.  I know I am!  This allows you to try out several products in a travel size and see which ones are your favorites before committing to a full size!

Monogrammed Black Leather Snap Valet $43.50- This is a great gift for the guy who travels a lot, or it looks really nice on a dresser to hold keys, money or jewelry.

Holiday Gift Guide – $25 and under

It seems like, once again, the holidays have just snuck up on us out of nowhere!  If you’re like me, you haven’t done any shopping yet – but don’t panic!  With a targeted plan of who you need to buy for and what you want to spend, you can get this done with time to spare!  This is the first in a series of gift guides and I hope I can inspire you with some ideas for the special people in your life!  This guide has gifts that are $25 or less and can be great for grab bags, co-workers, or stocking stuffers!  Read on to see what I’ve rounded up for you!

jewelry pyramid organizer Stackers Jewelry Pyramids (Small $9.99 / Large $14.99)  This is a great stocking stuffer or teacher gift  available at the Container Store.  I like that it is different than the typical dish-looking jewelry holders out there.  I feel like this is more decorative to keep on a nightstand or dresser and hold your jewelry.


jewelry roll organizer

Jewelry Roll $15– You can combine this gift with the one above for the jewelry-lover in your life so they can have somewhere to store jewelry at home and when traveling.  These come in a variety of colors and textures at Target but I am LOVING this leopard print!



corkcicleCorkcicle $24.95 – I first saw this idea on Shark Tank  and was blown away.  I’m not sure if this is the same company, but these travel, spill-proof wine glasses make it great to have wine on the go (think tailgating, kids soccer games) without using a plastic cup.  Plus no need to worry about spills and staining your clothes.  Rather have coffee?  It’s good for that too!


Angry mama microwave cleaner$9.99  I love The Container Store’s quirky and unique gifts – another great stocking stuffer for the clean-freak in your life!





kelvin multi tool

Kelvin.17 Multi-tool$19.99  Everyone has a guy in their life who loves gadgets or likes to tinker with things.  This multi-tool is for that guy in your life – 17 tools in one.  I don’t even like tools and think this is pretty cool!




Stila Big Shots Stay All Day Liquid Liner and HUGE Mascara Duo $25 – I can’t have a gift guide without some awesome beauty sets for the makeup lover in your life!  Ulta has great gift sets at all price points, but this is a great value!   I personally use and love the liquid liner (it is my all-time favorite) and the full size mascara makes this an awesome set to achieve a festive holiday eye!




too faced under the kissletoeToo Faced Under the Kissletoe $25 – This gift set has four of the brand’s popular liquefied lipsticks in a great variety of wearable shades.  Who wouldn’t love trying out some new colors on their lips for the holiday!?  And the packaging is so cute your wrapping is done!





Mini-emergency kits $17.95 – I gave these out one year and they were a hit!  You can keep this in your car or purse and you will be prepared for literally anything! And it comes in an adorable mini-case. You won’t believe what they fit in there:  earring backs, clear nail polish, safety pins, bandages (just to name a few)!

thought a day notebook


A great thought a day notebook $14.99 This is a  great inspirational gift recommended by Oprah for our friends and family that love daily inspiration or need some encouragement.




Tagalong charger caseMYTAGALONGS charger case $16 – This is great gift for a teen, college student or really any techie lover, or someone who travels frequently.  Keeping all those charging cords for phones, laptops, etc. can be tricky!

Happy shopping everyone!


Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

Tartelette Toasted Palette Review

Tartelette toasted palette
Ta Da! My new favorite palette of life!!

There have been so many new palette releases lately that can make it confusing to select one that best suits you, but I bought the Tartelette Toasted palette and feel like I have hit the jackpot on palettes!  This is not the first product I have purchased and loved from Tarte.  If you are not familiar with the brand, Tarte is a cosmetics company that is cruelty-free and vegan friendly.  Their products are formulated without harmful ingredients such as parabens, mineral oil, phthalates and sodium laurel sulfate.  This is an added bonus in my book!

Similar to many other palettes that have been released lately, this one provides 12 warm-toned shades, with a blend of shimmers and mattes.  I personally love warmer shades as they tend to best complement my hazel eyes.  However, I think these colors would really enhance blue, green or brown eyes as well.  This is the first palette I’ve ever owned where I can say that I have used and loved every single shade!  I start out with the best of intentions every time I buy a palette, but always end up having a shade or two that I really don’t like or that isn’t wearable for me on a day-to-day basis.  Also, I love that I can achieve a complete eye look using just this palette.  I hate when I have to jump from palette to palette to hunt for different colors to complete an eye look.  I don’t have the time or the patience for that!

The packaging of this palette is amazing!  It is a great size for travel, has a generous sized mirror and is very sturdy.  The front looks like a warm, cozy fire with gold letters, and when you open it up, there is a faint yummy fragrance that makes it even more delicious!

Look at these scrumptious shades!

As for the quality of the shadows, Tarte does not disappoint.  They use their Amazonian clay formula which is long-lasting and the shadows blend nicely.  Some of the shades are a little powdery but I have not experienced any issues with fallout on my face as I apply them.  I’ve had this palette over a month now and have used it almost every day that I’ve worn makeup.    There is no black shade with could be a con for some, but I use the color “Fireside” as an eye liner and it has worked great for me. Also, there is a rich chocolate brown shade called “Crackle” that might look a bit intimidating as it has gold flecks of sparkle in it, but I find that it is still a very wearable color on the eye.  The sparkles don’t translate like the other shimmer shadows so it can be daytime appropriate.

The palette retails for $46, which is in range for a lot of the newer palettes out there, but for me, it is worth the splurge because the shades are wearable, versatile and flattering.  Yes, you can achieve more dramatic looks as well as daytime looks, but for me, daily looks are what I most use in my lifestyle and this palette has been such a treat to use!  Let me know if you’ve tried this and what you think.