Enduring All Things: June 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

10 Tips for YOUR Perfect Date Night

I know I've said it a million times, but continuing to date your spouse after you get married and as you live your life together is so important! You have to continue connecting, having fun, learning about each other, and making each other a priority. It's essential for your marriage to endure! Plus it's fun, right?
So I want to give you a few pointers to help you plan your perfect date night. Notice I didn't say THE perfect date night or A perfect date night. Perfect is unattainable and I think people spend too much time trying to attain it these days and put it on social media and get approval from others. But I want you to have a date night that's perfect for you.

ONE || Be flexible. My husband works irregular hours and often I don't even know when he'll be home until he calls me from his car on the way home. So our date night plans have to be flexible. I used to get very disappointed when things didn't go as planned and when our plans fell through, but I've changed my mindset and now I can enjoy date night even at the last minute.

TWO || Keep a bucket list. I made a date night bucket list for the last two years. Last year, we only did 3 out of the 10 on our list. It was a bad year. But this year, we're doing so much better!

THREE || Plan. Plan. Plan. At the beginning of the year, I take out my planner and write down when movies come out that I know we want to see and when things are going on like concerts and the Ohio State Fair. Then, when we're trying to decide what to do for date night, I just look at my planner. For me, planning like this makes it easier to be flexible, as weird as that sounds.

FOUR || Try Date Box. We get a box in the mail every month with an entire date inside. That way we're guaranteed to have one fun and unique date every month. And it takes the planning out of it. We've loved every date so far. They're always so fun!

FIVE || Take turns planning. This takes the stress off of each of you. We don't exactly take turns every time, but sometimes he plans date night and sometimes I do. It's never fun when only one person is doing all the work. Besides, this way you know you're both getting to do things you want to do.

SIX || It's okay to stay home. I think we often get it in our head that a date night is only successful or only romantic or only counts if we go out to some fancy place and include dinner and entertainment. No. That's not true. A date night could very well be ordering take out and watching Netflix. Or it could be an ice cream run in the middle of the afternoon.

SEVEN || Try new things. Pearson and I have lived in Columbus for almost 4 years now and we keep finding new things to do. There's not much better than exploring and experiencing new things with my husband. And this way we don't get bored with the typical dinner and a movie.

EIGHT || Put effort into your appearance. I'm sure your man doesn't care all that much about your looks. He loves you just the way you are. But putting a little extra effort in for date night shows him you care enough to look good for him and it will boost your confidence at the same time!

NINE || Wear something comfortable and stylish. I almost always bring a cardigan wherever we go for date night. I'm always cold and it's important for me to be comfortable when we finally get away for that date. I also try to wear comfortable shoes. Often our dates turn into walking dates even if we weren't planning on that from the beginning.

TEN || Pack your purse. Load up your bag with these date night essentials. I try to prepare for anything on date night because I want to enjoy my time with my husband without worrying about anything going wrong.

So what do you say? Are you ready to have your perfect date night this weekend? What tips would you add to my list?
Thanks for reading!

This post originally appeared on Love, Pasta and a Tool Belt here.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Life Lately

I'm not even sure what this post is going to be about. I just know I want to write. I haven't blogged in awhile and I think it's because of several reasons.

Every idea I have for a blog post lately just seems silly.

And I'm trying be be healthier. And to keep our apartment cleaner and more organized. And to focus on Pearson and our marriage. And to do fun things with friends this summer. And blogging just isn't high up on the priority list.

Work takes up so much of my time. Yes I was working full time before, but I was working at home. I didn't have a commute. I exercised on my lunch break. I didn't have to put as much energy into meal planning and prepping, or a chore schedule etc.

When I got this job, I promised myself that I wasn't going to be one of those people who stopped blogging when life got busier. But it's happening. And I hate it.

Sigh. Again, I don't really know what this post is about.

I'm not going to be too hard on myself though. Because that's what I'm working on. Remember this post?

So I'm going to keep reminding myself that I can't do it all. And that it's okay if I am not blogging that much in this stage of life. And that one day, I might be able to blog more again. Especially once Pearson graduates and EVERYTHING CHANGES for the better!

Maybe I'll consider this summer a break from blogging. When I think about what I've been doing this month/year, I have gotten quite a bit accomplished. It's just my goals and priorities are different right now.

Maybe since I'm not feeling very inspired to actually write, I'll focus on other blog tasks this summer. Like updating old posts. Or building my social media followers. Or sharing old posts like crazy. Yeah I think that's what I'll do.

With all that said, I want to say thank you so much for reading this blog. Whoever you are. You are awesome.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A 30 Days of Love Challenge

This post contains affiliate links. Also all photos are property of The Dating Divas.

As of Sunday (2 days ago), Pearson and I have been a couple for 11 years. Well, besides two terrible weeks in February 2009 when we weren't together. Those were the worst two weeks ever, but I digress.

Anyway, on June 11, 2006, Pearson finally got up enough courage to ask me on our first date! The rest is history! We've always considered June 11th our dating anniversary because we never really had a DTR (define the relationship) conversation. We were "talking" and then we were "dating."

So yes. As of Sunday, we've been a couple for 11 years. And in about a month, on July 14th, we will have been married for 5 years!

Since this year will be our 5th anniversary, I've been wanting to do something special. Then, I came across The Dating Divas' 30 Day Love Challenge!
I was buying some of their Father's Day stuff over the weekend and I decided to look in the anniversary section since ours is coming up. When I saw the 30 Day Love Challenge I thought it would be perfect! Even though the Dating Divas originally hosted the challenge leading up to Valentine's Day last year, I thought we could start it on our dating anniversary and finish on our marriage anniversary with a few extra days in case we get behind! (and... We technically already missed Sunday and yesterday. We were busy decluttering the entire apartment!!!)
The first day of the challenge consists of filling out questionnaires to get to know each other better. I always think I know Pearson pretty well and then I learn something I never knew and I'm so surprised. I think these questionnaires will be perfect in helping us pick out anniversary gifts for each other!
Anyway, I wanted to let you know that Pearson and I are taking the 30 Day Love Challenge! I will be updating through the process, though probably more on social media more than the blog (as always, you can follow me using the buttons below my signature).

I challenge you to join us!

How do you celebrate your anniversary? Do you still acknowledge your dating anniversary?

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Current Beauty Favorites (and a few not-so-favorites)

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For whatever reason, I've been watching a lot of beauty YouTubers lately. Well I mean it probably started when The Dating Divas had a MaskCara Beauty party and convinced me to buy a HAC Pack. I will say, they only convinced me with the promise of a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Actually, maybe it started with LipSense.

Anyway, I bought both of those products from multi-level marketing consultants and then bought a bunch of other products suggested by beauty YouTubers. So I've been buying and trying a lot of makeup lately and I thought I'd share my thoughts. Because I didn't love all of it. Even stuff everybody on YouTube seems to love.

So let's get to it...

FIRST, Beauty Products I've Liked Lately:


W7 Feather Light Foundation

You guys. This stuff is awesome. It's like Younique's Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation, which I love, but much cheaper! W7 is a British cosmetic company that tries to dupe high-end products. I haven't tried anything else, but they certainly succeeded with this one. I found it by literally googling "Younique Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation dupe" and found a bunch of British beauty YouTubers raving about it.

Anyway, it has a dropper and it's a really thin watery formula that dries matte and has great coverage even though it feels like you're wearing nothing. I love it!

Since it started in the UK, it isn't in stores in the US yet. At least I haven't found it. But I've already ordered it twice from Amazon (the link on the heading). You can also order from their website here but I didn't want to pay the shipping.

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer Mist

I bought this two days ago from Walmart and I already love it. I sort of found it by accident and it was a combination of a couple reasons. One, because I was looking for a silicone free primer to go with my MaskCara Beauty foundation (more on that below). And two, because ELF came out with a new Aqua Beauty line recently which includes a primer mist and a lot of people compared it to this saying this one was much better.

Anyway, I've been wanting to try a setting spray and I love that this can be used as a setting spray and primer. It definitely felt hydrating and made my makeup last longer.

I didn't link it because I couldn't find a good option on Amazon. But you can find it at Walmart.

ELF Eyebrow Duo Brush

I've been using eye shadow to fill in my brows for a long time. It's just so easy with just an angled brush and no other product. But lately I've noticed, especially when I'm in a hurry, my eyebrows look really messy. So I searched for a better brush and this is what I found. It's pretty great and was like $3.

I linked to Amazon but you can also find it at Walmart and Target.

Coconut Oil

Yes I know I'm late to the party on this one. I've been using it to take my makeup off and while it may not be as easy as makeup remover or wipes, it feels so much better. It hydrates my skin and I love that it's a natural organic oil. It's hard to explain but it feels so good that taking my makeup off and washing my face has quickly become one of my favorite activities. I'm not joking.

I didn't link it because you can find it pretty much anywhere.

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant

I got this in a recent VoxBox from Influenster and it's pretty great! I have used Certain Dri since college, back when it was the only clinical strength out there. Secret's is so much better! It smells better. It doesn't sting when I put it on. It's easier to use. Now I just need to remember to put it on before bed! I always forget!

I linked to Amazon but I think you can also find it at any drugstore or grocery store etc.
So this really is just another tinted lip balm. There's nothing too special about it except that it feels amazing! It doesn't contain wax which means it won't break down anything that you put on your lips first (staines, liner etc). I personally think it feels better and has a better color payoff than both Maybelline Baby Lips, and at least feels better than Mary Kay @ Play Triple Layer Tinted Balm. I believe those are the only other tinted balms I have tried.

I linked to Amazon but I think you can also find it at any drugstore or grocery store etc.

My Usual (not new) Products:


NEXT, Beauty Products I've NOT Liked Lately:


Lipsense

I might get sacrificed for this. Or at least ridiculed. I've tried really hard to like it. But it just doesn't stay on me all day. And when it wears off, it wears off the inside of my lips first so then it just looks like messy lip liner. I do everything they say. I clean and dry my lips first, I only use their gloss on top, I apply three thin layers letting them dry in between while holding my lips tight and apart. Yes it lasts a long time. But not all day. To me, it's not worth the cost or the effort.

I actually found some buying options on Amazon (the link on the heading) but you're really supposed to go through a consultant. If you're really interested, here is my cousin-in-law's Lipsense Facebook page

ELF Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Stain

Ok. I really wanted to like this stain. As I mentioned earlier, ELF came out with a new Aqua Beauty line and I was really excited about it. Seeing as I haven't enjoyed my lipsense and this stuff was only $4, I thought I'd try it. It is way too watery. Like I can't even get it to go on my lips evenly because it pools at the edges of the applicator. It reminds me of the Younique Moodstruck Minerals Stiff Upper Lip Lip Stain which I also hated. A couple YouTubers claimed it goes on smooth and feels great. LIES! Another YouTuber said when it fades it at least fades evenly. LIES! Okay I'm not really calling them liars. Maybe it just doesn't work on my lips. Or maybe I'm still doing something wrong.

Anyway, I won't be repurchasing. I think I'll stick with just liner and the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm I talked about earlier. This combination transfers to coffee cups and straws but the liner shows color all day and it feels amazing. Or I may try Maybelline Super Stay 24 Longwear Lip Color for a lip stain again. It doesn't stay all day and fades sort of awkwardly but at least it goes on easily and evenly and doesn't break the bank.

I linked to Amazon but you can also find the ELF stain at Walmart and Target.

MaskCara Beauty HAC Pack

Y'all, I really wanted to like this too. So I've followed Cara of MaskCara basically since I started blogging almost five years ago. I watched her go from beauty blogger and YouTuber, to famous makeup artist backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, to developing her own line of highlighting-and-contouring (HAC) foundation, to turning that line into a multi-level-marketing (MLM) company! I short of stopped keeping up with her lately so I didn't even know it was a MLM company until the Dating Divas hosted a MaskCara party!

Anyway, long story short, they convinced me to try the HAC Pack. They color matched me and promised a 30-day, money-back guarantee. So I got a highlight color, a contour color, a blush color, and an illuminator. Getting 4 tins gets you a free compact. This stuff is supposed to replace your foundation so it supposedly covers and highlights/contours at the same time.

I really like the concept. I really like the packaging. I really like Cara. I really like the Dating Divas. I don't like the product. It's a cream foundation so maybe I'm just not used to it. I don't know. But I don't think it has good coverage. It's difficult to apply. It doesn't last all day. It makes my skin look really dry. I have tried different things with different primers and brushes and techniques. I will continue to try different things for a little longer before sending it back because I really want to like it. Any tips?

I linked to the MaskCara website. You can order directly there or go through an independent artist. Here is the Dating Divas' MaskCara Facebook group.

Wet Brush Pro Detangle Hair Brush 

So I watched a hair tutorial on YouTube and this girl made a throw away comment about how much she loves the Wet Brush. I'd heard about it before and since I was buying a bunch of other beauty products that YouTubers like, I thought "Why not?" The paddle brush I use is probably 10 years old. No exaggeration. Actually it might even be older than that. So I thought it might be time for a new brush. Now, I'll admit, this brush does feel nice on my head. It doesn't scratch my scalp like my other paddle brush. But to be honest, before using this one, I never even noticed the other one hurting. Anyway, I'm not sure the wet brush's bristles do enough to really detangle my hair. I feel like my hair just bends them and they don't go through it. They claim that their bendable bristles detangle without hurting your head but I think I'll just stick with my other brush.

I linked to Amazon but you can find them at Target too.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

You Can't Do It All

I've been going to counseling for about 3 months now. Wow! I can't believe it's been that long! I only go every other week to help with cost. It's been very eye opening for sure. I thought I was going to go in there and be able to tell you everything the counselor was going to say before she said it. But there have been some surprises for sure.

We mostly talk about social anxiety, but we've discussed some other topics too. Some topics we've touched on are how my opinions matter, my self-worth, and overworking myself.

Now, lately I feel like I haven't overworked myself at all. In fact, I feel quite the opposite. I used to be a yes girl and I'd fill up my schedule so much in college that I literally had no time to relax, sleep, or even watch TV or read. Now, I do nothing but watch TV, read, and sleep. Oh I work too. But I haven't been blogging much and I feel like I never get enough housework done. I've been pretty depressed for a while and have no energy and just don't ever what to do anything.

But, as we talked about in my last session, sometimes when we put too much on our own plate, we feel like it's all or nothing. When I have a to-do list a mile long (read: everyday), it's easier to just shut down and not do anything rather than try to tackle the list and not be able to finish it.

That's my problem. My planner is FULL of stuff I need to do. And I put it all on one day and simply move the things that I don't get done to the next day. Which is usually all of it. When I get home from work, instead of pulling out my planner and going down the list, I just turn on the TV and relax. There's really nothing wrong with that, to an extent, but the problem is when I don't accomplish my "goals" for the day, I get really down on myself. Like, really down.

Here is an example of a to-do list from my planner. Yes this was all on one Monday a few weeks ago.
  • go grocery shopping
  • walk the dog
  • workout
  • do the dishes
  • make dinner
  • write a blog post
  • apply for sponsored posts
  • manage our budget
  • unpack our suitcases
  • do laundry
  • charge my fitbit
Oh and I should add that I don't like to do any of these types of things when Pearson is home because I like to spend time with him. And he's been getting home earlier lately. So on this particular day, I was wanting to get all that done between 5:30 when I got home and 7:00 when Pearson got home.

Now, as I mentioned above, I knew realistically that I wouldn't get all that done in one night. I usually number my to do list with the intention of doing things in that order. But I think the sheer number of things on the list just subconsciously makes me want to abandon the whole thing. 

Oh and also, I always set way too many monthly goals. And then I never even look at my goals throughout the month and most of them I just forget about. Then when I write my goals post for the next month, I get all down on myself again.

So, this month I set fewer goals. I let go of some that I just don't really care to accomplish. They just weren't that important to me. And I feel much better about that.

Likewise, I've been scheduling my to-dos better and using weekends more.

It's ultimately a mindset change. I need to know that I'm not going to accomplish everything. I can't do it all. And I need to be okay with that. Oh and I need to prioritize self-care and me time too.

Do you try to do it all? How have you stopped expecting so much of yourself and being so hard on yourself?
Thanks for reading!


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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Monthly Goals for June {2017}

This post contains affiliate links.

You guys, I'm severely cutting back on my goals this month. Like, almost cutting the number of goals I set in half. I'm tired of setting myself up for failure. I always do this. I always expect way too much of myself and then get super disappointed when I don't finish everything. But that's a post for another time.

So let's move on to my goals for this month. Oh and can you believe it's already June? Sorry. I feel weird writing a goals post and not mentioning how I can't believe it's already X month. But seriously though. This year is almost halfway over. Summer starts this month. Where has 2017 gone?

Okay now that that's out of the way...

May:


Word of the Year (confidence):

  • Journal every night before bed and include daily personal affirmations.

Spiritual:

Physical:

  • Walk for at least 20 minutes, 4 times per week. Whether it's at lunch or around the park with Pip in the evenings.
  • Eat at least one helping of veggies per day.
  • On weeknights: Be in bed by 10:30 pm to journal and read. Lights out by 11:00.
  • Get out of bed by 7:00 am on work days.

Reading:

  • Read at least 2 fiction books

Marriage:

Blog:

  • Post at least 3 times per week
  • Land at least one sponsored post
  • Update pictures in old posts (I have a list of posts I want to update)
  • Reach 3,000 Instagram followers
    • I actually reached more than 4,000 and then MassPlanner's Instagram services got shut down...

Work:

  • Take initiative and look for work when there isn't anything instead of wasting time.

Home:

  • Keep our home relatively clean (especially the dishes)

30x30:

  • Stay within our budget.
  • Only eat out on weekends (for $ sake).
  • Get back into our German lessons on DuoLingo.
  • We will be visiting the Pacific North West! I will be able to cross that off my 30x30 list!

Bonus:

  • I wrote letters to all my college friends who I haven't talked to in forever!
  • I deep cleaned the bathroom.

June:


Word of the Year (confidence):

  • Not work myself so hard. Spread out my to-do lists and schedule my tasks (including self-care).

Spiritual:

  • Attend Church every Sunday and Wednesday this month.

Physical:

  • Continue to work through the 21 Day Fix program. I got a new coach and I'm loving it!
  • Get out of bed by 7:00 am for work at least 3 times per week.

Reading:

  • Read at least two fiction books
  • Read No More Perfect Marriages by Mark & Jill Savage (I'm part of the blog tour for this)

Marriage:

  • One date night every week.

Blog:

  • Land at least one sponsored post
  • Update pictures and SEO in old posts (I have a list of posts I want to update)
  • Reach 5,000 Instagram followers
  • Reach 2,000 Twitter followers

Home:

  • Keep our home relatively clean (especially the dishes)

30x30:

  • Stay within our budget.
Those are my goals! I think they're doable. What are your goals for the month? Thanks for reading!

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