5 Ways to Destress After a Long Day

Work is hard, school is hard, being a parent is hard, some days are just really hard. When I come home after a long, stressful day, there's a few things I love to do to unwind.  It's so important to take care of yourself so you don't get too burned out on life. Me time is so important! Here are five super awesome ways to destress after a long day of school, work, or parenting.

1. Do a face mask. I can't quite figure out why face masks are so relaxing, but they are. There are so many great facemasks on the market. I love all of Lush's facemasks, all of Glamglow's facemasks, and Sephora and Ulta also have some great ones. If you're on a budget, Walmart has some inexpensive ones that are awesome too! Doing a facemask will make you feel fresh and ready for whatever life throws at you tomorrow.

2. Read a book. Reading is such a good way to unwind and center your thoughts. Not only is it relaxing, but it's free! I'm all for doing things on a budget or for free. Personally, I love self-improvement books and also personal finance books (I guess that's the finance major in me). Find a fun book to read that's not too serious and easy to page through and it will help melt away your stress!

3. Lay down and watch a movie. This is definitely my favorite way to relax. I love crawling into my cozy bed at the end of the day and watching a movie or a show on Netflix. I feel so refreshed after having that time to myself and I am recharged for the next day. There are so many awesome shows on Netflix. Some of my favorites are Grey's Anatomy, Jane the Virgin, Private Practice, Friends, and How to Get Away with Murder.

4. Take a bath. I know I don't have to tell you how relaxing baths are. They're 100 times more awesome when a bath bomb is involved. Lush makes the most amazing bath bombs and they are only like $4 each. Light a candle, run yourself a warm bath and throw a bathbomb in. You can even read a book or listen to a podcast or music while you are in the bath to step up the stress relief!

5. Treat yourself! I can't stress how important this is. Some of the small ways I treat myself are getting a coffee from Starbucks, going out for ice cream with my boyfriend, or buying some new home decor at Target. You don't have to spend a lot of money to treat yourself!

The key to making sure these activities actually destress you is to make sure you are not multitasking. Turn your phone off, close your laptop, and focus on the task at hand. You should be making yourself a priority!

What are your favorite ways to destress after a long day?

5 Ways to Buy High-End Makeup for Cheap

I'm super excited to write this post. I am obviously very passionate about makeup and most of the time I can't hold back when it comes to buying new stuff for my collection. No, I don't need 50 lipsticks, but I feel like a more well-rounded person when I have enough lip colors to wear a different one every week.
Okay, so I bet you're wondering how I can afford all of this makeup while paying for tuition, books, fuel, rent, and food. I have some super exciting ways you can nab some high-end makeup for your collection at a fraction of the cost!
1. Hautelook
I always find great deals on Hautelook, you just have to make sure you mark your calendar and get on the website as soon as the event goes live! Basically they have sales from popular brands like Stila and Tarte, and the products are on sale for almost 80% off. If you have never signed up for Hautelook, you definitely should, and you can do it here.
2. Nordstrom Rack
This is basically the same as Hautelook, but you might have an actual, physical store near you. I just recently discovered Nordstrom Rack, where I bought an $800 Alexander Wang purse last week for only $250 (!!!!). Basically they have major discounts on "designer" brands of clothes and makeup. I was so excited to find they have a makeup section with brands like Stila, Smashbox, Urban Decay, and Tarte. Most of this stuff is marked down almost 50%. If you don't really have a specific product in mind but are looking to add some high-end makeup to your makeup collection, I would definitely start here.

3. Shop Sales
This one is kind of obvious, but it's something a lot of people look past. If you are looking for a specific makeup product, wait a little while to see if it goes on sale. I know that Ulta always mails out coupons for members of their rewards program. I always get a $3.50 off of a $10 purchase one. These are generally only good on products that aren't high end, but if you don't care about the brand of your makeup, you can save quite a bit with these coupons. I know Ulta also runs their "21 Days of Beauty" promotion. During this promotion, every day they have a brand name, expensive makeup product on sale for half off. HALF OFF. This is another awesome way to score that lipstick you've been eyeing.


4. Join Rewards Programs
For example, I have a Sephora Beauty Insider card (which gives me points and a free birthday gift every year), Ulta Beauty rewards card (earn points with every purchase as well as a free birthday gift every year), and a Plenti card (this is not specifically for makeup stores, but it works at Macy's, which is where I buy all of my Mac products). These are all free to join, so what are you waiting for? Get 'em and start earning points that you can redeem for free makeup.My favorite makeup rewards program would definitely be Ulta. I am a Platinum Member, and I always get coupons for 20% off my total purchase and tons of e-mails for free sample products to try.

5. Get Samples
Okay, so this isn't really "buying high-end makeup for cheap" but it is a way to be able to add some high-end makeup to your collection without spending a dime. I didn't know this until recently, but you can get a sample of almost any product at Sephora to take home with you for FREE. I personally like to get samples of GlamGlow products because they are really expensive. Typically, you only get enough for one or two uses with each sample, but if you go there often like I do, you can really stock up on some great products! I know you can also get a few samples when you order online from Sephora, but you have to spend money to get those.
I love makeup so much and I love that I am able to still buy makeup without spending my entire paycheck on it. I hope I helped some fellow makeup addicts out there with these tips. Let me know your secrets for buying makeup on the cheap!

What's In My Bag: Intern Edition

I started an internship in May and I have already learned so much! This internship is totally new to me as I have never done anything like this. It is so exciting to have my first "big girl job" and to be using some of the things I have learned in my last four years of college. The first notable thing I have learned from this job is what to pack in my bag for work every day! The first day I found myself needing a bunch of things I forgot, so I thought making this post might help some of you guys out!
The bag I carry to work is this beautiful blue Kate Spade one. It holds tons of stuff and I love how structured it is and how professional it looks. Here's what I carry in my bag every day:

Planner. I take my planner absolutely everywhere so obviously I take it to work too! It's perfect to help plan my days and make sure I have my schedule all worked out. I have a bunch of posts on my planner that you can check out if you're interested!

Notebook. I have a weakness for cute notebooks. On the first day of my internship, I found myself taking a lot of notes on random pieces of paper. So on day two and beyond, I starting packing a notebook in my bag. I think my "Just Chill" notebook is from Cotton On. Some other places I buy cute notebooks from are Etsy, Target, and Urban Outfitters.

Phone Cord. I swear my phone has the shortest battery life in the world. A charger is necessary to survive the long work day.

Water bottle. Camelback waterbottles have been my number one essential since I started college. I have found that when I constantly have one by my side, I end up drinking wayyyy more water throughout the day. It is really important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during an internship!

Snacks. I find myself needing a snack a few hours after I get to work, so I make sure to bring some with me. I try to bring things that are on the healthier side. Some of my favorites are teddy grahams, larabars, goldfish, and fruit snacks.

Writing Utensils. This one pretty much goes without saying, but you wouldn't want to be caught off guard forgetting something so simple. Bring lots of different things to write with, because you will end up losing some of them!

Touch Up Makeup. The first week while I was on my lunch break, I found myself looking in the mirror and cringing at how bad my makeup looked. I have since learned the importance of bringing a few makeup essentials with me to work. Some of the things I bring are a setting powder, mascara, highlighter, and lip color.

Lip Products. One of my favorite things about having to dress professionally and do my makeup every day is experimenting with lip colors. I keep four or five in my bag in case I forget to put on a lip color in the morning. Some of my favorites are by NARS, Kat Von D, and Kylie Jenner.

Kleenex. This might be kind of an obvious one, but they are really nice to have when you need them!

Paper Tape. This is my favorite life hack ever. You can buy a roll of paper tape at the Dollar Tree and it literally is a lifesaver. I'm not really sure what the actual purpose of paper tape is, but I put it on my feet over a blister or somewhere my shoes are rubbing. Then when you put your shoes back on, the paper tape makes your feet feel completely better! It's amazing. It has saved me a few times during my long 12 hour shifts.

Wallet and Some Cash. I'm always sure to keep some cash with me at my desk for coffee and food runs. I like this little one that attaches to my keys so I have one less thing to worry about losing!

Oil Blotting Sheets. For some reason that I haven't quite figured out yet, by the middle of the work day my face looks like an oil slick. These oil blotting sheets have saved me. Now I won't leave the house without them.

The day before I started my internship, I googled what to pack in my intern bag so I didn't forget anything.  I didn't find what I was looking for, and I hope this post can provide some answers for you. Even if you aren't doing an internship, these essentials would work for any day in a normal job!


May 2017 Favorites

May was such a great month. I finished my semester during the first week and I started my first internship! More posts on that coming soon. Here's what I was loving in May:
Beauty
  • Naked Basics Palette. I have had this palette forever and I recently fell back in love with it. It's perfect for every day use and I love wearing it to my internship!
  • Fresh Vitamin Nectar Face Mask. I am a huge fan of face masks and this one is awesome! It smells so good and makes my face feel super refreshed.
  • Milkshake Leave-in Conditioner. I bought this at my hair salon when I got my hair cut this month and it seriously smells so good. It smells like butterscotch and makes my hair smell good all day and keeps it so healthy looking.
 Fashion
  • Urban Outfitters Fuzzy Pool Slides. These are literally my favorite shoes of all time. They are so extra, which is just like my personality.
  • Windsor Sunglasses. I got the most perfect pair of sunglasses this month and I haven't taken them off.
  • Windsor Lace Up Flats. I got these shoes in nude (and they were only $5!!) for my internship and they have been really comfortable during my long work days. I get so many complements when I wear these!
Miscellaneous
  • Cold by Maroon 5. This song has been my jam in May!
  • The Automatic Millionaire book. I am a finance major so I am super into reading books about money and finance. I haven't finished this book yet, bu so far I really like it.
  • Revenge on Netflix. I have been watching this show on Netflix all month long and I really like it. It has a lot of plot twists and keeps you on the edge of your seat. 
 Well, there you have it. That's what I loved in May! What were you loving this month?

Sephora Play! Box May 2017: My Thoughts

I am really excited about this month's box! The product I am most excited about is the Milk Pore Blur Stick. I have always wanted to try out Milk products and I am so excited to try this out! Here's what was in my May Play! Box:
Milk Pore Stick, Clean Perfume, Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, Grande Lip Plumper, Rahua Hair Mask, Trestique Highlight Stick.
Shop the box here:

April 2017 Favorites

April was a crazy busy month for me between finishing this semester and applying for internships. Here's what I loving this month:
 Beauty
Fashion
  • Target Black High Heels. These Merona brand heels from Target have been an essential lately. I have worn them to all of my job interviews and meetings this month!
  • Victoria's Secret Weekender Bag. A good weekender bag is a necessity and this is the perfect one! I love that it is slightly structured and fits tons of stuff in it.
  • Gold Name Necklace. I received a beautiful dainty gold bracelet as a gift this month and I love it. It is one of my favorite new accessories.
 Miscellaneous
  • Culver's Lemon Ice. This is my favorite sweet treat ever. It is lighter tasting than ice cream and really yummy with fruit!
  • Private Practice. This show is a spinoff of Grey's Anatomy and it is so good! It's on Netflix and I literally finished the whole series in a few months.
  • Target Easter Decor. I am in love with rabbits year round so I almost died when I saw Target's Easter decor this year! It is white and gold so it matches all of my decor perfectly. I bought almost every different bunny item they had.
That's what I was loving in April! What about you?

Travel Guide & Photo Diary: Grand Cayman

I have been thinking about the direction I want to take my blog lately, and I decided I definitely want to start doing more travel posts. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to take a lot of family vacations that sparked my love for travel. Now that I am an adult and live on my own, I take around 2 vacations a year. I save my pennies so I am able to do this for myself because travel is so important to me. I am going to start a new series on the places I visit; travel guides. I know that before I take a vacation, I do tons of research on what I want to do. Hopefully these travel guides can help some of you with your adventures.

To put things in perspective, I traveled to Grand Cayman from Wisconsin. I was there for 7 days (including travel days).  
Flight
I was so excited about the flight to Grand Cayman. The actual time spent on a plane was less than 4 hours!! It felt like I blinked and we were there. We had one layover in Atlanta. The airport in Grand Cayman is really tiny (like 3 gates total), but I heard they are about to undergo some major renovations. The security process on our way home in the Grand Cayman airport was an absolute nightmare.
Hotel
We stayed at Grand Cayman Margaritaville Beach Resort. The resort had literally opened for the first time only days before we arrived.  Only part of the resort was actually open. There were only guests staying on two floors of one building, and only one of the on-site restaurants was open. Overall, I still really enjoyed staying here.  The staff was so nice and approachable, and the atmosphere was amazing.  I loved the decor of the lobby and the rooms.  There are two giant pools and two bars.  The beach access is not what I expected.  It is a tiny half moon area that had a rock wall around it. When you walked down the beach to the left, it was very rocky.  When you walked down the beach to the right, it was rocky at first but then it was white sand beaches for as far as you can see. I felt like I was staying at a luxury resort, I loved every minute of it. The resort was not busy and most of the time it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.
Food
Okay, I'm just going to warn you in advance, I pretty much only eat American food. Also, food is EXPENSIVE here. Pretty much everything costs double what it did at home. Burger Shack is heaven if you're a burger lover like me. It is literally a shack but it is so good we ate there multiple times. I highly recommend. We also ate at Hard Rock Cafe a few times. Hard Rock is a personal favorite and I make it a point to visit one every time I travel somewhere. The restaurant at our resort was also really good. We also ate at Margaritaville, and that was okay. They did have margarita happy hour when we were there, which was nice. They had a really cool two story gift shop. I think that was pretty much all for places we ate meals. We snacked throughout the day and just went out for dinner. We went to two different smoothie places, Smoothie King and Jessie's Juice Bar. I liked them both a lot. Another place we loved was Gelato & Co. It was a gelato and dessert shop. Their pineapple gelato was amazing!
Beaches
Oh my god, the beaches on Grand Cayman were AMAZING! They were the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.  The water was unbelievably blue and clear. Every single inch of beach we saw was beautiful. Some of our favorite spots were found by chance while we were driving around. We loved Seven Mile Beach, but it was very busy and touristy. We also loved Smith's Cove for snorkeling and cliff jumping! It was pretty rocky underwater though so we had to be careful where we jumped. There is public beach access every mile or so, and you won't be disappointed if you stop at any one of them.
Activities
We did some really awesome activities while we were on the island.  This was one of the most amazing trips of my life.
  • Snorkeling: We did a lot of snorkeling, and the views were incredible.  The water was so clear that you could see the bottom even when it was 20 feet deep. We saw all sorts of marine life while snorkeling, like an eel, stingrays, fish, and sea turtles. 
  • Jet Ski Tour: We did a jet ski tour with Fat Fish Adventures and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever done in my life. I HIGHLY recommend. The tour was in a small group of my family of 4 and two other people. It was so fun to drive around the island on a jet ski. We made four stops on the tour, Stingray City, Starfish Point, a reef to snorkel, and a bar at the end. I would do this 100 times over. It is absolutely worth every penny.
  • Spott's Beach: We snorkeled here a few times on our trip. It was so amazing!
  • Cayman Turtle Centre: This was an interesting place. There were hundreds of sea turtles here in exhibits, touch tanks, and a man-made snorkel area. It was cool to hold a baby sea turtle, but it kind of made me sad to see these turtles in captivity.
  • Paddleboarding: My sister and I rented paddleboards from the Westin resort on Seven Mile Beach. I'm a whimp so I sat on my board most of the time instead of standing, but the views were awesome. Stingrays and fish swam under me and the water was so clear and you could see so many fish. I wouldn't need to do this again when I return to the island, but it was fun once.
  • Starfish Point: This was a beach area on a point of the island where tons of starfish can be found. The starfish were huge and were vibrant colors. It was really awesome to see them in their natural habitat and to be able to hold them for photos. Out jet ski tour (read above) stopped here, and we went back again because we thought it was so cool.
  • Stingray City: This was another stop on our jet ski tour. This was SO COOL. One of the coolest things I've ever done in my life. Swimming and holding wild stingrays with no nets or restrictions was definiely a bucket list item. It is a sandbar a little way off of shore where stingrays flock to eat. We saw at least 50 while we were there. Most of them were huge! It was kind of scary, but I am so glad I did it. They swam right next to me and brushed up against me. I even got to hold one of the huge ones! They are so much more gentle than I thought they would be.
  • Camana Bay Shopping Center: We didn't spend that much time here, but we did go to Jessie's Juice Bar and Gelato & Co. (see food section).
  • Island Drive: I am so glad we rented a car so we could drive around the island. We did this over the span of two days, though it could easily be done in one. We didn't really have a plan, we just stopped when we saw something cool. There were some really amazing mansions we passed on the way. We stopped by Hell (the city), Rum Point (there was a cool pier here), and some natural blowholes. I am so glad we did this.  
Transportation
We rented a car from Hertz. The steering wheel was on the wrong side and they drive on the other side of the road, so that was challenging.  We let my dad handle the driving, and by the end of the trip he was a pro.  The traffic was a little heavier than expected, and the roundabouts were sketchy. I am glad we rented a car because it gave us the freedom to explore the entire island on our own time.  I would definitely recommend renting a car if you visit the island.
Overall, it was a beyond amazing trip. I actually am considering moving to Grand Cayman. We are already planning our next trip back! I hope you enjoyed my first Travel Guide and are excited for many more to come!
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