Poor libraries. I feel like they’re being forgotten these days when they’re really one of the greatest assets we still have access to. So an ode to the public library was in order. Since we’ve moved to our new home I’ve fully realized just how awesome libraries are. Here are a few reasons why you need to go check yours out.
- They’re free. Which seems like a no brainer, but free access to books is a big deal. I joined a book club a few months back and after spending $15 a piece on the first couple of books it became obvious that I couldn’t keep that up. Sure I love owning books, but book club was going to get expensive and fast. Libraries have said books, for free.
- They’ll have what you need or will find a way to get it for you. Sometimes they may not have the book I need for the next book club, but they can easily get it from another branch. I’m a huge fan of placing holds. It’s so easy to go online, search what book I need, place a hold, and pick it up a few days later.
- There are contests that get you free stuff. My library is currently doing a reading challenge that if you read five books in different genres then you can get coffee free from Dunkin’ Donuts for a year. What?! Plus they have drawings for iPads and other awesome stuff every few months. My library also had a gingerbread building contest around Christmas.
- There are book sales for children’s books and novels if you happen to like owning books. You’ll get them at a seriously reduced price while helping out your library with funds.
- Want to get your kid out of the house and doing something? They have events constantly. Libraries are a fantastic place to find community events that are engaging but also focus on reading and education.
- Video games. Tons of them. Love playing games or have kids that constantly want new ones? You can check them out from your library, play them all the way through, and not have to spend a penny.
Libraries are freakin’ amazing. I basically have about three books checked out at any given time and am constantly finding more ways to use the library system. So go. Check yours out. See what they have to offer and get a library card. You won’t regret it.
I’m a creature of habit without a doubt. At restaurants once I find a meal I like, I’ll order that religiously until they take it off the menu. The same has definitely become true with makeup these days as I streamline my collection and focus on quality over quantity. If I could only use ten products for the rest of my life, it would be easy to pick which ones.
The Stila One Step Correct
is the primer to rule all primers for me. It’s lightweight, works a lot like a moisturizer, and blends in quickly to leave a smooth surface to apply my base. Although I still absolutely love the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue
, in the winter I just can’t seem to get along with it as well. IT Cosmetic’s Your Skin But Better CC Cream
has been winning lately since I can mix and match different shades to get the perfect pale-but-not-too-pale finish. It’s medium coverage without feeling heavy and still lets natural skin shine through. Plus it does an amazing job at sticking around for a huge chunk of the day.
For concealer I’ve have probably three or four that are all incredibly similar but the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer
wins out if I’m letting my subconscious pick. It’s lightweight but still covers my under eye circles and any blemishes that pop up. It also doesn’t fade too badly throughout the day and I only need to touch up if I’m going out for the evening. Which literally never happens.
I’m still head over heels smitten with the IT Cosmetic’s Brow Power
. The pencil is bigger than the Anastasia Brow Wiz, but I prefer the larger nib for a quicker brow application. The spoolie on the other end is a must too. It’s a no fuss product that has lasted me a lot longer than most brow products I’ve used.
Blush isn’t something I’m too picky about. It’s probably the only item I couldn’t give two figs over. But if I had to choose one to use for the rest of my life I’d likely pick theBalm’s Frat Boy Blush
. It’s a fantastic peachy pink shade that shows up like a nice flush on the skin without being too far one way or another. It’s pigmented and stays on the cheeks all day. It isn’t going to take the world by storm with its revolutionary color or anything, but it’s a solid blush that has lasted many a makeup clear out.
Eye shadow proved the most difficult to decide, but I surprised myself by deciding on the LORAC Pro Palette
. It’s all I’ve been wearing lately and I find the entire palette to be filled with great, compatible shades that are buttery and pigmented. Sure an eye shadow primer always helps, but this palette makes it a lot easier to skip that step and leave room for another product in my ten product lineup.
To finish off the eye I’ll usually tight line with the Stila Smudge Stick in “Damsel.”
The dark brown isn’t as piercing as a black but I prefer it for a more natural, yet bold pop. This is by far the best eye liner I’ve ever used as it doesn’t disappear from the tight line and lasts for ages. I’ve been stumbling upon some really great mascaras lately that could have easily been included, but I’m currently using Urban Decay’s Perversion Mascara
so it’s all I can think about. It’s great at thickening the lashes while lengthening and separating. Holds a curl without any issue. Everything you could want.
For lips anything I own by MAC would do, but “Twig
” has replaced a lot of my old favorites lately. It’s a fantastic, everyday brownish mauve that adds just the right amount of color to the lips without being high maintenance. I can’t handle high maintenance with my makeup. The laziness is just too real.
I can’t live without a finishing spray to end off a look. It’s an obsession I know, but it feels so refreshing and my makeup does last longer with it. So win win. My favorite is without a doubt the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
. It’s so solid of a product I don’t find myself straying or looking anywhere else for an alternative.
I’m pretty sure this post could have also been titled “My Everyday Makeup Routine,” but I thought this one was more dramatic. Plus if I could only use ten products it wouldn’t be hard to pick these gems out of a lineup any day.
What products make your top ten?
Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been collecting things. It started out with erasers. In kindergarten I stole some fast food shaped erasers from the classroom to start off my collection. Years later I would have thousands of different types, sizes, and shapes. Although my eraser collection has been since divided, donated, and used for Oh, Hello purposes, I’m still a collecting nut. These aren’t even all of my collections represented. Let’s not forget enamel pins and squishes shall we?
There’s something so satisfying about collecting. About working towards a goal just for the sake of the process rather than the end result. Collections are glimpses into a person’s passions, interests, and pasts. A lot of my collections I’ve had for years while a few are recent additions. I’m finally saying ‘hello’ to Hello Kitty.
I’ve started as many collections as I’ve quit, but the passion and love for the process hasn’t left. I never feel in a hurry to collect more things either. I’m not out buying the newest Pez dispensers or scouring EBay for anything Rugrats themed. I’m more into an organic acquisition. If I stumble upon something that’ll fit, I may pick it up. I’m not eager to ‘complete’ collections. After that then what’s the point?
My favorite of all my little collections has to be my children’s books. These were my favorites growing up and of course I stole them away to start my own collection. No good collection doesn’t start with some innocent thievery right?
I’m definitely in the business of collecting collections. I’m curious to know what sort of things you collect!
I learned pretty quickly when I started working at home that a desk just isn’t my preferred work space. Honestly I don’t know how I managed for the years I worked in an office. I’m the queen of the “bed desk” and find myself being more productive lounging. On any given day you can find my hanging out in our guest bedroom, working on a couch somewhere, or planted in our bed with my pajamas still on. One thing that always goes with me is my work bin.
Since I don’t have a designated work space, my supplies have to travel with me. I carry this structured bin around everywhere like a security blanket. It contains anything I could possibly need on a regular basis.
Planners are a must to keep track of what I’m doing that particular day. I have my Erin Condren Life Planner
and my to do list book from Rifle Paper Co
. I occasionally keep my sticker accordion in the bin as well if I plan on updating my ECLP at any point during the day. I also tend to carry around the Erin Condren Monthly Planner
that I use to keep track of mileage for Oh, Hello. When I return from running errands or any travel related to work I’ll write down the details and mileage before getting back to bed desk-ing.
I also like to have some extra pens and sticky notes on hand for any random notes I may need to take. I’m currently using these adorable breakfast food shaped ones
. There’s also a book tucked into the bin if I need to take a break. Right now I’m reading The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
for my neighborhood book club. If I’m moving from place to place I’ll also pop in my laptop, charger, and mouse just to be able to carry things all at once.
Depending on what I’m working on any given week, the contents of the bin vary. But I’ve found this a huge help to keep me from having to get up and locate things I may need around the house. It’s a portable office that can travel wherever I feel like working on a particular day. I love the freedom, and my business loves how productive I am because of it.
I’m in the process of really investing in this blog. For years it’s been just a casual place to come to when I felt like writing. I don’t want the passion behind the blog to change, but it feels like time to give it a true purpose. So I’ve been taking it more serious. I created a media kit, I’ve started to put value in what I’m doing, and projecting that outward.
My resolve to take my blog seriously has already been tested. I wouldn’t necessarily say it went badly, but it definitely forced me once and for all to stand by my guns and not get pushed around just because in my head I consider my blog to be small. Brands contact me occasionally to send PR samples for consideration. More often than not they understand that it’s just for consideration, not necessarily for a dedicated blog post unless we discuss that. I also have a disclaimer page made public so anyone interested in working together or anyone who reads my blog knows how I deal with partnerships.
I decided with this particular brand that it was time to start taking myself seriously. I had already agreed to consider their products, but I decided to send along my media kit for their records and to mention that I now offer sponsored posts. They somewhat coldly declined a larger collaboration stating that the products they sent meant a review was expected. Not how I had hoped it would go in my efforts to put substantial growth behind my blog. Rather than caving like I probably would have in the past to appease them, I responded thoughtfully that I’d be giving my honest review regardless (just like my disclaimer states) of whether or not they wanted to sponsor a post and kindly hoped they would save my media kit for future reference.
So sure it didn’t go exactly how I would have hoped and they probably won’t consider me in the future as I’m not an “easy PR bump”, but I didn’t let a brand push me around. In the future I’ll be sure to send my media kit and a clear link to my disclaimer at the beginning of a discussion. Although this relationship didn’t work out, at least I can learn from the experience to work on a more professional level next time.
That’s one thing about blogging that no one ever talks about. It’s always about getting big enough to get brands to notice you and send you free stuff, but people rarely talk about how to deal with brands on a professional level once they do notice. If you don’t take what you’re doing seriously, no one else will. At the end of the day, it’s your name on the blog and your credibility. Sure to you it may feel like you’re just sitting in your bed typing up your thoughts, but behind that act is a brand with followers and a reach brands value.
Although it’s off to a somewhat rocky start, I’m making an honest effort to stop seeing this blog as a silly little hobby and more of a force to be reckoned with. All thanks to you guys reading and supporting me I feel confident enough to continue to not be swayed to post positive reviews just because a company sent me something.