Friday Round Up 1.30.15

Jan 30, 2015
First, I want to thank everyone who joined the Monday Madness link up and have read my posts this week. I have not been on my computer at all this week, but hope to pop over to your blog sometime soon!

I have officially finished my first week of school, and today is my first day off since January 4. I've had no time time off with finishing up my full time job, working my part time job, and starting school. I have to say I am mighty tired and super thankful for today! Season 5 of Downton Abbey showed up in my mailbox yesterday (Nick pre-ordered it for me as Christmas gift). That may come in to play today. ;)

School was pretty easy this week despite having a test, quiz, presentation, and two chapters to read and workbook work to do. We talked about diversity, communication, and stress management. All really easy topics that I have prior knowledge of. Sh*t's about to get real next week. We jump into learning the body systems and clinical skills. I'm excited, but very nervous!

Sad news - I won't be able to do Blogging the Bachelor on Wednesdays. It's my favorite series on my blog, but I have to let it go because of my work and school schedule. Total bummer.

While everyone will be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, I will be watching the final of the Australian Open (tennis). My man Andy Murray made it to the finals! #TennisCrush

I found this quote a few weeks ago and it really resonated with me:

I hope everyone has a super Friday and very happy weekend!

Beauty A-Z: D - Dye-it-Yourself Hair Color

Jan 29, 2015
We are now on week four of the Beauty A-Z link-up! The premise is simple: every Thursday, we share our favorite brands, tips, tricks, or tools that correspond with that week's letter. We'll make our way through the alphabet the next 26 weeks. Link up your "D" post below and make some new friends, learn some new tricks, and discover new brands!
As many of you may have read last week, I am now a full time student. We've had to cut back on costs in our household. One of the ways I was able to cut back was to learn to dye my own hair. This tutorial may seem intimidating, but it's a fairly simple process once you know all the tips and tricks!

Before You Dye

//1// That hair color you see on the model outside the dye box? That might not be the color result you get when you dye your hair. The resulting hue is highly dependent on your current color. Someone who has dark hair will not get the same results as another with blond hair when they use the same box of “honey brown.” Many of the boxes have color charts showing the likely outcome for each starting color, so make sure you check those. Because not every photo or chart on the dye box is accurate, it also helps to look at the color code label. The numbers, or “levels,” indicate lightness - 1 being black and 10 light blond. The letters indicate tone - for example, A for ash and C for copper.

//2// Choose a shade either only 2 shades lighter or two shades darker. Leave anything beyond this to the professionals. Use these websites to help you choose a shade: Garnier Nutrisse Shade Selector; Loreal Paris Hair Color Consultation

//3// Think about hair length, thickness, amount, and condition. The goal is to minimize damage while achieving optimum color. This means if you have lots of hair or very long hair, you might need two boxes of dye to get the best and most even coloring. This also means you might want to leave the dye in your hair for an extra 5 to 20 minutes if you have very thick or coarse hair.

//4// Hair dye contains some harsh chemicals, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have never used hair dye before, read the directions and do a skin test. Many brands will have instructions on a 24hr or 48hr skin test where you dab some of the dye on your skin to see if you show any signs of irritation.

//5// Do strand test. This is when you apply your hair dye to only a few strands of your hair. It will help you determine whether or not your like the color, and how long you will need to leave it on.

//6// Leave your hair unwashed for 24 to 48 hours prior to applying dye. Shampoos and conditioners can eliminate your natural oils, which are needed to help the dye set it.

//7// Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need in front of you, because you don’t want to stop in the middle of squeezing dye into your hair and have to run to another room to fetch something. This can get messy. Be prepared with paper towels and a comb if you like to use one, and a hand held mirror in case you have difficulty seeing the back of your hair.

//8// Put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the outermost edge of your hairline. The jelly will provide a barrier so the dye does not stain the skin.

//9// Separate your hair into four different sections using the clips. Doing this will ensure that you don't miss a patch.

Apply to Dye

//1// Open your dye box, put on your gloves, and read the directions carefully. Mix your dye according to the instructions from the box.

//2// Apply the dye to your hair in sections. Break up each section into subsections as your work. Begin with your roots to get the most uniform color.

//3// The front and sides will dye faster than any other part. This is because of the warmer temperature around that area. Start with the midsection of your hair, move to the back, and then finish with the front and the sides. This is a great way to even out the color.

After You Dye

//1// Set a timer for the amount of time that is found in the instructions. Follow this direction exactly unless...

//2// Hair will dye faster in warm temperatures because heat speeds up the chemical reaction of the dye. This may mean you might want to leave it in an extra 10 minutes in the winter, or use a shower cap to keep the heat in.

//3// You can use wet paper towels to wipe any dye that may have dripped onto your ears and face. Hair dye will dye your skin too, and it could take days to wash off completely.

//4// Wait until the processing time is over. Jump in the shower or use the sink or tub to to rinse your hair. Rinse completely until the water runs clear.

//5// Condition for a full five minutes with the provided conditioner. Rinse once five minutes has passed.

//6// Do not wash your hair with shampoo. It is best to leave your dyed hair unwashed for 24 to 48 hours. Waiting to wash allows the dye to more thoroughly penetrate your hair shaft.

//7// Avoid exposing your newly dyed hair to extended time in the sun for at least a day. UV rays can interfere with freshly applied hair dye.

Confessions + Monday Madness Link Up

Jan 26, 2015
Today is my first day at school! Can't wait to tell you all about it later in the week. Don't forget to link up and make new friends! Here are some silly confessions to brighten up your Monday.

//1// My husband tends to mumble. After 8 years together I've resorted to pretending to know what he's saying. I figure this works for both of us. I don't have to say "What?" 10 thousand times and he doesn't have to hear it.

//2// I really like the Prince song 'Raspberry Beret.' It's super weird yet super catchy.

//3// I love going tanning. I don't do it often because I usually don't want to spend the money on it, but when I do those minutes in the bed are pure relaxation. Sure, if you're a tanner there's like a 10 million more likely chance you'll develop skin cancer. Everything in moderation right?

//4// I tan naked. I feel like my vajango needs just as much Vitamin D as the rest of my body. #NoShame

//5// I'm not sad about leaving my job at all. I was super bored all the time and really didn't feel any passion for what I was doing.

Happy Monday!

Beauty A-Z: C - Clinique

Jan 22, 2015
Welcome to the third week of the Beauty A-Z link-up! The premise is simple: every Thursday, we share our favorite brands, tips, tricks, or tools that correspond with that week's letter. We'll make our way through the alphabet in the next 26 weeks. Mark you calendar for next Thursday and join for the letter D! Make some new friends, learn some new tricks, and discover new brands! Today we are on the letter C!

I have a really finicky face. It can range from adult acne, redness, oiliness is one spot, and dryness in another. I go out of my way to avoid any face product that may cause irritation. So that's how I became a total Clinique girl. When Clinique launched in 1968, it was the first ever dermatologist-created, allergy-tested, 100% fragrance-free collection of beauty products ever marketed, and the company still bases their business on this principle today.

I love everything Clinique, but I have a couple go-to, never-be-without products that are a must for me.

Did I mention I also have a large pore problem? This is the only pore filling product that actually works for me. It fills those babies in, lasts all day long, and doesn't make me greasy!

At 30, I'm still plagued with acne. It is the most annoying thing ever! I love this Clinique 3-step solution to acne. You start by cleansing with the Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam, then exfoliating with the Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion, and finish by moisturizing with the Acne Solutions Clearing Oil-Free Moisturizer. By far this been the most effective and gentlest acne system I have used. Others can be so harsh and super drying on the skin.

This foundation is great for anyone with any amount of redness on their face. I love how this evens out my skin tone. It creates the perfect canvas!

Do you use Clinique? What are your favorite brands and products?


Blogging the Bachelor 19.3

Jan 21, 2015
Hello everyone! Welcome to Week 3 of #BloggingtheBach! This Monday we saw more roses, kisses, and even a pool party! You ready for the recap?

First, having Jimmy Kimmel on The Bachelor this week was awesome. He was super funny and I love that the producers don't take the show too seriously and are able to poke fun at it.

1 on 1 #1

Chris invited Kaitlyn on a date planned by Jimmy Kimmel and they end up spending the day at Costco!

At first, Kaitlyn doesn't really believe they are getting out of the limo at Costco. Apparently, getting chosen to be on The Bachelor makes her too good to go to Costco. Costco is frickin' amazing so I really don't get what her problem is.

Once she gets over herself, they seem to have a good time.

The best part of this entire date was the dinner party that Chris and Kaitlyn hosted for Jimmy. I feel he was really able to break the ice and help them get to know each other. Plus, he's freakin' halarious. Kaitlyn was the perfect girl for this date.

The Group Date

Nikki, Carly, Britt, Juelia, Ashley S, Tracy, Jillian, Becca, Samantha, Amber, Kelsey, and Mackenzie are invited to join in on some farming fun and later an elegant night on a random LA roof top.

The farming competition which included shucking corn, milking a goat, and wrangling a pig was really fun to watch! I was super excited that Carly won! She's is beyond cute and sweet, and I think she would be awesome for Chris.

I was happy that Becca finally got some screen time this week and even more excited when Chris gave her the group date rose! As I mentioned last week, I really wanted to see more of her!

1 on 1 #2

Chris takes Whitney on a date involving wine and then they decide to crash a wedding.

Did anyone else think this was a major snooze fest of a date? I was so bored. They are so boring together.

I can't say I don't like Whitney, but she needs more screen time in order for me to understand her personality and dynamic with Chris.

Pool Party

A pool party takes the place of a cocktail party this week.

Things start off bad for Ashley I when she realizes she can't do her Karadashian look this week and only gets worse when Jillian won't let her get time with Chris. Have no fear! She ends up with her 1 on 1 time and again attacks poor Chris' face! Can he please eliminate her? Please?! I'd rather see Ashley S get a rose over this chick. Crazy, right?

Chris continues his spree as The Kissing Bandit at the pool party. He has a steamy makeout sesh with Jade and hot tub jaunt with Jillian. Uh, I can't watch it anymore!

Rose Ceremony

Ashley I has somewhat recovered from her meltdown and now feels "90% confident" she will receive a rose. She also lets us know that she has demanded asked Chris to call her towards the beginning, which producers are totally going to make him call her last. DUH.

Trina and Amber are eliminated.

Tracy also does not receive a rose, therefore 3 of my top 4 favorites for Chris are still in the running (Whitney, Becca, and Carly).

Predictions and Random Thoughts

Samantha and/or Nikki need to get 1 on 1s next week or they are goners.

Please send the Kardashian wannabe Ashley I home next week. I really can't take much more of her.

Is anyone else sick of seeing Jillian's privates blocked out? GAG. We saw it when she was working out this week, during the farm challenge, and at the pool party. Put some frickin' panties on already. I can't wait for her to GO!

If it doesn't work out with Chris, Britt and Jillian make a lovely couple. They're always huggin' and touchin'...

Thanks for joining me!
Until next week...

A Big Annoucement + Monday Madness Link Up

Jan 19, 2015

It might sound cliche, but it's the truth. When I turned 30 this past summer I really started to take stock of my life and see where I was vs. where I wanted to be. What were some of my goals for the next 30 years? What did I find fulfilling in my life and what did I want to improve on? I feel like I've accomplished a lot of big goals that I had set for myself early in my life. I always wanted to get married, own a home, and have a pet. Another major goal of mine was the build a career that I'm passionate about.

I haven't felt passion for any of the work I've done since I graduated college about 8 1/2 years ago,and it's really left me in a major slump. It's also led to depression and anxiety. After so many years you can get really stuck. You end up with job with great hours and that gives enough money to contribute to the household, but is that really living? We spend more time at work than we do at home!

Sorry, it's not a baby, but this news is just as exciting for me as that. I will quitting my job and going back to school full time to get my Medical Assisting certificate.

I came to the decision after a lot of thinking, praying, and support from my husband. I've had a bit of exposure working in the medical field and have always found it super fascinating. My doctor in Pennsylvania was awesome. He would always explain exactly what he was doing and why, and I just remember leaving the office and wanting to know more. Thanks for inspiring me, Dr. B!

It was so tough to make this dream a reality. Nick and I have to give up something now to be better in the future. We're giving up my income for the time being and that is HUGE. We have been blessed to be able to live comfortably since we got married (with both of us working). Having one income when you have two potential earners can be a really scary thing! We've had to and will continue to cut back on entertainment, shopping, vacations, and eating out. I am thankful for such an amazing husband who supports me 100% and is ready to take this leap with me!

I also had a little bit of guilt. First, I came out of college $20,000 in debt. That debt will be paid off in June this year. Had I wasted that money on a Bachelor's degree, and worse yet, was I wasting my degree to get a certificate from some community college? I had to get over myself. I also had to convince myself that is was okay not to stick with my original plan. I made it when I was 18. Who knows anything when they are 18?

It came down to following my heart and feeling passion for this profession. I felt every other industry I worked in never mattered. It didn't make a difference in the world. I have a heart for helping. As nuts as people make me, I just want to help. I thought I would achieve that with working in HR. Really, I was just enabling people who didn't want to help themselves. Helping people do things that they are able to themselves is not the same as serving those who are truly in need.

My first day of classes will be next Monday - January 26. The plan is to complete the program and become a Registered Medical Assistant by the beginning of July and be back in the workforce shortly after that. As many of you have read, I was lucky enough to get a part time job while I am in school.

My current co-workers have been so supportive and I believe that some of them are telling the truth when they say they are going to miss me. I had a member of upper level management e-mailed me this: 

"I'm happy for you!!!! Sad for us:-( As I mentioned you were the first person
I talked to when I walked in the door for the first time and the
impression you gave me of yourself and the company sold
me on the company in the first 5 minutes!!! You will be great at whatever you
do in life and I wish you all the best Ashley!"    

So, here goes! There's some nerves, but mostly excitement. Make sure to follow my journey! I'm ready.


Beauty A-Z: B - Bridal Styles for Every Day

Jan 15, 2015
Welcome to the second week of the Beauty A-Z link-up! The premise is simple: every Thursday, we share our favorite brands, tips, tricks, or tools that correspond with that week's letter. We'll make our way through the alphabet the next 26 weeks; hope you'll follow along and join in! Make some new friends, learn some new tricks, and discover new brands! Today we are on the letter B!

Last week I mentioned that I recently took a part time job as a Bridal Stylist. My wedding seems like eons ago (almost 7 years!) so it's been really fun to relive the exprience with soon to be brides. I've also learned that there are so many ways we can incorporate bridal styles into our every day looks. It's a great way to feel special even when it's not our big day!

//1// Bridal Nails

The horizontal silver stripes and healthy dose of sparkle makes this manicure wedding approved. The modern nature makes it great for every day wear.
  1. The stripes in this photo were created with silver striping tape, but you can get the same effect with paint and a striping brush like the Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Striper Brush in Silver.
  2. To get a clean look like this one using polish, use a striper brush or painters tape to stay steady — just remember to remove the tape immediately, so it doesn't stick to the nail and ruin your design
  3. For the nail color, you can use using Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in White On or try Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Color in White Beaches for a softer look.

//2// Wedding Hair

This classic side knot is perfect for the office, a date night, or the big day!

//3// Bridal Makeup

Natural looking bridal makeup can be recreated to make you feel special everyday.

Use the following YouTube video to recreate the look:


Go on... relive your big day or practice for it! Have fun!

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