25 Days of Christmas, Beauty, Lifestyle, My Life

QTT: My Beauty Ban Year Experiment

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

I have decided to devote QTT (Quick Tip Thursday) to my new beauty experiment: a beauty buy ban. I am not going to be buying any excessive beauty products for a whole YEAR. Yes, a whole year!!! QTT will be about resisting the temptation of buying products that you don’t need or not yet need. I knew that I could only do this type of ban if it was ll or nothing. A year is also a good experiment length of time and I know that it will be a trying time as well. I have decided that I needed a few rules to get started and that I can create more as I go along. Feel free to join me in my year beauty ban and let me know if you do in the comments! Okay…..so, here are the general rules of thumb:

  • No buying anything beauty related if you already have it at home.
    • Love that new soap? NEED IT NOW!
      • Nope, you still have a bar at home and you just bought two from your biyearly Lush haul.
        • Money Saved!
  • Finishing off a beauty product gives you a credit to buy another one of the same product.
    • Finished off a lip gloss and now I have a credit for a lip gloss.
      • SPARKLY! And, I can have it. SCORE!
  • Finishing off body wash does not qualify you for a credit if you already have bottles of it on your beauty shelf.
    • Same goes with lotion and body mist and body scrub.
  • I cannot buy any beauty product if I already have something like it.
    • No primer…you can buy one.
      • Night time lotion? You only need one kind of lotion and you have that nightly repair gel, so use that with your day time lotion.
    • The only exception is perfume: but you can only buy perfume, if you finish one off and earned a credit.
  • Finished off your stack of shower gels and one your last one?
    • You can binge buy a few if you are using a coupon and getting a great deal on it.
  • No frivolous purchases EVER!
    • It’s a henna tattoo kit!
      • No, you don’t have the skills to do tattoo work that could last months.

So, these are just a few rules that I have for my beauty ban, but I could always add more as I go along, if I feel the need to. This will be a weekly progress update and I’m starting today. It feels really liberating and hopefully saves me some cash to buy some of my resolutions like a car and home decor. I usually spend 100 USD a month on beauty. Now, I’m probably looking at 20 USD at the most. I could also be down playing this number, because I think that I buy a lot. Anyways, this is my big plan or the new year. So, should I change the name of QTT? I am thinking about renaming it NBT (No Buy Thursday)? Or is that too deceiving? It seems like I’m saying I don’t buy on Thursday. Opinions, please! Give a girl a hand. Thanks for reading! Are you planning on a different beauty plan this year? I’d love to hear about it.

With Love,

Selena Hannah xoxoxo

25 Days of Christmas, Lifestyle, My Life

New Years Resolutions: 2015

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

I hope you all had a merry Christmas! I know that I did not do all 25 posts, so I will be making up all of these posts in the next week. My  posting schedule for the New Year will be three times a week. Anything more I do will be up to me, unless I am doing 40 Days of Lent, Julamorous, Octoberfest, or 25 Days of Christmas. I am definitely doing Sample Wednesday and possibly continue QTT for most weeks. The third post will be on the weekend for sure. I want to have a sure posting schedule, but I also want to be loose and spontaneous with it.

I am 100% dedicated to my blog, but it isn’t my whole life. I want to complete my apartment with furniture and decor by the end of this coming year. I want a new car by the end of 2015 as well. These are the things that I am working towards in my job. I also want to complete one of the books that I am working on and be published.

I want to lose 30lbs and have my slim stomach back again. I have gained so much weight this year from hormonal issues and I’m trying to be healthier but its hard. I don’t eat a lot of junk, but wacky hormones caused me to gain 30lbs. This may be TMI, but I have only had two periods this year and one of them was chemically induced. My body just decided to stop functioning normally. I hope the new year sees a healthier me. My doctors say that I might be developing into Crohn’s Disease, since I have been experiencing the more hallmark features like weight gain, hormonal changes, and depression. I just haven’t felt that great this year, but 2015 will be better.

I will make it better. I have so many plans and intend to stick to them. I have so many people who love and support me. How can I not have the best year ever? Thank you to all of my viewers and follows out there for supporting me and leaving me encouraging comments. It means the world to me. I have two exciting small giveaways coming up soon in the new year. One will be a small beauty giveaway and the other will be a lightly used book that I have loved. Both will have creative contests for you guys to enter. So look for it in the coming posts.

With Love,

Selena Hannah xoxoxo

25 Days of Christmas, Beauty, Empties, First Impressions, Lifestyle, My Life

A Lush Bath In Pictures: Northern Lights

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

Just a quick few words about these pictures. This is a time lapse of a few seconds to a few minutes for the bath bomb. I used a quarter of the bath bomb for my bath. I might use half next time, but I think that a quarter was plenty enough for my tub. See the results below. Have a Happy Christmas Eve!!!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

With Love,

Selena Hannah xoxoxo

25 Days of Christmas, Lifestyle, My Life, Writing

Dream Books Rant: A Seller On Amazon

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

I promise that I am not always this negative or unlucky. I bought Nancy Drew Double Dare 2 from Dream Books Company. I was super excited when it came in way earlier than expected. It was a nice surprise! The bad? When I opened up the package, it was only the outside sleeve with a cardboard casing inside and the discs were in paper sleeves. I shrugged it off and decided to put them in my computer anyway. I mean, I did buy them used. Well, when the run box came up, it said that the source was “unknown” and not from “Her Interactive” like it usually says. Then, the games would not download, because my system was not compatible. However, I have Windows 7, which is compatible with even the first ever Nancy Drew game. So, I knew that these discs were frauds. It possibly didn’t have any game content to download. At this point, I am very disappointed, so I contact the company about sending different discs or a refund. I hear nothing for THREE DAYS. Once I filed a claim, they had responded and refunded my account in TWO HOURS. They also told me not to send the games back to them. I think that the fact that they did not want the games back is evidence that they knew they were sending fraudulent games to customers. I cannot condone their business practices, so I wanted to warn all of you here. Their seller profile can be found HERE. Please, boycott this seller! I would not recommend buying anything from them, if you are looking for quality items.

With Love,

Selena Hannah xoxoxo

25 Days of Christmas, Beauty, My Life

QTT: A Nose In Need Deserves A Lush Bath

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

It is that time of year again!

Eve: What year is that mom? Serena: Yeah, mom. What year is that?
Eve: What year is that mom?
Serena: Yeah, mom. What year is that?

 

Yes, you named it: flu season. While I do not believe that I have the flu, I am under the weather with a cold (stuffy nose and sore throat). What I discovered yesterday is that two products from Lush clears up the sinuses before bed in no time. I used half of a Cinders Bath Bomb and the combination of the scent/steam really unclogged my nose, while Hot Toddy in the shower cleared it further. I could actually BREATH through my nose. I was amazing! I’m gonna use some Hot Toddy as a bubble bath, since it is a lot stronger than Cinders. I am going to post up my Lush haul this weekend, so you all can see everything that I bought. Do not worry, it is coming. I’m thinking that I might add an extra post tomorrow about my first impression about the new Kindle Fire. What do you guys think? And as always, thanks for reading Quick Tip Thursday, where I write a tip and a small little rant each week.

With Love,

Selena Hannah xoxoxo

25 Days of Christmas, Beauty, My Life, Tags

2014 Winter Essentials Tag

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

I was looking to do something different today. I just wasn’t feeling the Sample Wednesday series. I was in the mood of doing a Christmas-y post and the lovely Cos from The World of Cos tagged me for the Winter Essentials Tag. So, thank you again for tagging me for this wonderland tag. wink I’ve been looking forward to reading her Facial Friday posts week after week. She tries something new every week, so if you are into facial masks, you should definitely check out her blog.

1. What is your ultimate party season lip product?

Miranda Ker

Hmmm…This is a hard one to start out with, but I think that I am into the berry lip for the winter time. I just think that your classic red is too predictable or safe for the Christmas season. I think a nice berry shade shakes things up and is very on trend at the same time. On the other hand, I am also really loving the nude lip trend and if I have to be honest with myself, I’m probably going to be doing the nude lip more often than the berry.

2. What is your winter Essential Product? 

Lip scrub

My winter essential product would have to be my Lush Mint Julips Sugar Lip Scrub. The combination of winter air and indoor heating brings dryness to my delicate pucker. I like to exfoliate my lips every morning with this minty scrub. The tingly cool peppermint is very refreshing on my lips and it allows a smoother application of lipstick or lip stain. The worst is having blotchy lip color from dry, flaky lips.

3. What are you most hoping to see under the Christmas Tree?

Christmas Tree

I am not picky when it comes to Christmas presents. What I am looking for under the tree are some new books, perfume, and games. The guys in my life are not very beauty educated, so I doubt there will be any beauty products. I am hoping for more computer games and books though. There are so many things that I like and I love being surprised when I finally unwrap those presents underneath the Christmas tree.

4. Name one beauty essential that is never missing from your bag during colder months?

Hand Cream

One beauty essential that is never missing from my bag would be hand lotion. I am really into the Figs & Rouge brand at the moment. The mango hand lotion that I have smells absolutely amazing and keeps my hands perfectly moisturized during the dry hand season. I don’t know why, but this season is being especially hard on my hands. I swear they never used to be this dry before, but this hand cream is doing wonders.

5. What are your winter weather skincare saviors?

facial moisturizerButter glosswpid-wp-1418506955134.jpeg

I have a few winter weather skincare saviors that are really that amazing. For facial hydration, it would have to my Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel, which is a holy grail of mine. I love my NYX  Butter Gloss to keep my lips perfectly happy, but it also smells like Sugar Cookies! Finally, all the new sheet masks that I have bought are guaranteed to kick up my skin’s moisture barrier. I even use the excess serum on my neck and hands.

6. What is winter going to smell like this year?

Online Pic
Online Pic

It will be smelling of Peppermint Mocha by Coffeemate. I love this stuff. Add a little whipped cream and a candy cane and I will call it a powerhouse coffee. I love the Holidays with its themed drinks!

7. Is the Berry eye the new Berry lip?

Internet Pic
Internet Pic
Online Pic
Online Pic

No, not even close. A berry eye looks overdone, but a berry lip can look effortless.

8. What are you greatest winter indulgences?

peppermint bark

If it is not obvious by now, my favorite winter treat is peppermint bark and candy canes. I cannot get enough. I eat York peppermints the rest off the year, but nothing can beat homemade peppermint bark. I need to make it all year round. Don’t they look yummy?

9. Lush Christmas? Your top pick?

It would have to be Snow Fairy all the way! I just love the sweet shop smell! AH! I cannot get enough. It smells delicious and if they made food that tastes the way it smells, I would buy it for sure. I actually recently bought this and have yet to take a picture. Is it just me or is this scent to die for? I guess that is why they bring it back year after year.

10. Name one (or more) random winter essential.

wpid-wp-1418507064236.jpeg

I have to agree with Cos on this one, sheet masks are my essentials.

Well, that is it for me! I would like to tag Dani and anyone else who would like to do this tag. If you are reading this and have not done this tag yet, why the HELL NOT?! lol.

With Love,

Selena Hannah xoxoxo

25 Days of Christmas, Book, My Life, Reviews

Home Is Where The Heart Is

A Place Called HomeA Place Called Home by Lori Wick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book that I have finished in December, so I guess this will be my book of the month. At the end of this review, I will have a poll to chose a reader’s pick of book of the month. Let me start off by saying that I love Lori Wick. She usually writes very engaging books, but some of them are not as great as others. I really loved her princess series and the Texas Rose Trilogy.

DISCLAIMER:

I promise to be brutally honest with my opinion, but it should not be taken as fact. Any reader should read it for themselves, before they decide if this book has any merit or not. Do not judge this book biased solely on my opinion. If you do, you might miss out on a great read. You never know. It could happen. My review may contain spoilers, but I really strive to be spoiler-free. I borrowed this book from my local library. This book was not suggested to me by the author. I have no affiliation with the author or his/her publisher.

Main Character:

Christine is more of a little girl than a woman, when the story first starts off. This gives a great canvas for character development, however; she seems to stay this naive and trusting little girl until the very end. I did like her as a character, but she kept falling for easy traps. I feel like there could have been more action if she ever fought back, but Wick’s strength is in romance and witty banter, not action nor adventure. She was a likable enough character, but I wish that she had more substance to her.

3 out of 5 stars

Evil Antagonist:

Well, there are really two strong evil characters in this book. One is living without Christ in one’s heart, which I believe is really pushing the issue. The other is Mr. Jeffers, who is a truly despicable excuse of a man. I really like his character, but he didn’t really make much sense like who did he owe so much money to? Wick keeps him one-dimension and doesn’t delve into his character for some reason, even though she does several point of views from him throughout the book.

3 out of 5 stars

Minor Characters:

The characters in this book are simply delightful. I love Grandma Em and Silas, especially. I cannot wait to read the second book, because it is about Silas. I found the characters to be endearing and easily likable. I liked Julia even more after hearing her story, although the story is kind of masochistic. Wick, at times, stereotypes her characters, which is not always a great read, to each their own, I guess.

4 out of 5 stars

The Plot:

The story is an interesting one filled with excitement. I like the switching point of views. At times, it seems like there are too many POVs and Wick doesn’t really delve into the minor characters’ POV very well. She leaves many questions unanswered, not to make the reader reflect. I think that she just “forgot” to finish parts of the story. These exclusions take away from the overall story.

3 out of 5 stars

The Setting:

I really can find no fault in Wick’s description of the world in which the characters reside. Her world is beautifully crafted and I love the vivid imagery. I cannot say anything more about it.

5 out of 5 stars

The Dialogue:

For the most part, Wick is really good with knowing what real people say, but at times, the dialogue is stilted or strained. It seems that she is trying to force a character to say something out of character and it just ends up being awkward instead of the mysteriousness or dual sided personality that she is going for. Otherwise than that, she is really true to human speech and her characters.

4 out of 5 stars

Engaging Surprises:

I have to say that this story followed a pretty predictable plot line. Now, that being said, I did find a few surprises. I really liked the identical twin aspect to the story. I did not see that one coming. Someone is murdered, which I did not expect in a Lori Wick book. An evil character tries to rape someone and that “rape” seems really out of character for a guy that just wants to see that someone dead. All in all, not very many good surprises.

2 out of 5 stars

Climax:

The high point of this novel is more like a bump in the road and the ending is rushed. Wick seems to gloss over Christine’s situation and makes it brief. I feel like there was no point to the story, except to see a love story blossom out of very imagined danger. She could have done so much with this, but she just lets the story fall flat and lifeless.

2 out of 5 stars

Emotional Response:

I laughed at the funny bits and gushed at the romance slightly. Otherwise than that, I didn’t feel for the characters. I also thought that Luke was overbearing and sexist at times. He was right though, Christine was a damsel in distress. She didn’t even try to defend herself. She was very much a child.

2 out of 5 stars

Ending:

There wasn’t much of an ending. Everything was hurried up and glossed over. It was very predictable and it just seemed like Wick just wanted to get it over and done with after seeing how many pages she wrote. I can quote the exact page when the rush starts.

1 out of 5 stars

The Writing:

I really enjoy Lori’s style, which is why I have almost read all of her books. I am very disappointed to hear that she stopped writing novels, because I think even a crappy book written by her is worth reading. This book is not one of her best, but it is not her worst either. These novels are definitly the best Christian Chick Lit.

3 out of 5 stars

The Artwork:

Let’s face it: the covers are old and dated. If she revamped her books, she could sell more of them to a younger audience. Her books are for adults, but for some reason, they seem more young adult to me.

1 out of 5 stars

Genre:

This book fits the genre of a Christian romance. There is nothing more to the story here, so look away if you are looking for anything more.

5 out of 5 stars

Title:

I think the title is fitting and Wick ties it into the story beautifully. I see nothing lacking in the title.

5 out of 5 stars

Overall, this book gets 3.7 out of 5 stars for me. I really enjoyed it and thought that it was worth reading. I have said about everything there is to say about this book. I am already reading the second book in the series and bought the third book as well.

With Love,

Selena Hannah xoxoxo

View all my reviews

25 Days of Christmas, Lifestyle, My Life

Eh, It’s No Boring Monday.

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

So, instead of writing a Manicure Monday or posting that book review (don’t despair! It’s going up tomorrow.), I have been busy playing with a Nancy Drew game that I bought for myself for Christmas. I am playing Nancy Drew & The Haunted Carousel. It is mystery number eight in the series. It is really fun and once I beat it, I will be reviewing it. It is going to take me a while to finish it though. It could possibly take months, no joke. I don’t have a lot of free time. Would you guys be interested in gaming reviews? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. I’m tired and want to get back to my game on this tiring Monday. Personally? I’m dreading having to type up that long book review tomorrow, but I know that your thoughts on it will be worth it. I want to share my book love with the world. Spoiler alert! I actually really liked this one, so stay tuned.

With Love,

Selena Hannah xoxoxo

25 Days of Christmas, Lifestyle, My Life

My Very Merry Christmas Tree

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

So, this is my first ever post using my Kindle fire and I just discovered a brand-new feature about it too. There is this microphone picture button that you press and when you would do, you can actually talk into your Kindle fire and it will write whatever you say. It’s really accurate too. It messes up sometimes and has a bit of grammatical errors, but it’s really good for the most part. If any of you out there are considering purchasing the Kindle fire, I would do so. Many features on this is amazing. And there’s still more that I am discovering every day. It is like an adventure. And I realized that if you say the words for the punctuation, it actually does that. It’s weird because the word guru somehow makes a period as well.

image

So, I got a little bit of Christmas shopping done today. I bought a few things for my animals Serena, Eva, and Shadow. I got some things for my dad as well. And finally got a Christmas tree! I bought wrapping paper that has two dogs and it also has a little kitty with a Santa hat. I will show it  when I make my blog post about how to wrap your Christmas presents, even the awkward ones.

I know I know. That I haven’t really made any Christmas themed posts yet . And I know that I am also behind in the 25 days of Christmas blogging event, but I plan on catching up like I always say and in the end, I always do.

So, let me tell you what is coming up this week on my blog. On Monday, I will have a blog post and it’s either going to be a Manicure Monday post or it is going to be a book review. On Tuesday, I am either gonna have a book review post or I am going to show what I bought for my pets haul. On Wednesday, it’s going to be my regular sample Wednesday . On Thursday, it’s going to be my normal quick tip Thursday. On Friday, I’m either going to do a Lush hall or how to wrap your presents video. On Saturday, I will do another haul. On Sunday, I will have an Ipsy unbagging for you. And that is what’s going on this week. I hope you enjoyed this week of blogging and I’m hoping for much more for next week, since it’s gonna be Christmas soon. As always, thanks for stopping by and taking time to read this post. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.

image
I added candy canes! It was looking a bit sad.

With Love,

Selena Hannah XOXOXO