My Top 12 of 2017

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It amazes me how fast this year has came and gone! We are literally down to the last few minutes of 2017. I am always excited about the new year, but for some reason I am even more excited about the year 2018. Cannot wait to see what this year brings for me and my family and friends.

So before we dive into 2018. I have to share my top 12 of 2017. The list is very random.

#12 Carter’s

The baby store. I never thought I would spend so much time in this store. I always thought I would buy the really cute outfits you see kids in online, but with so many fraudulent websites I hardly would buy from them. Carter’s is my go to store for my daughter. I am always able to walk out with a bag full of stuff.

While compiling this list, I was trying to think of where I shopped the most this year, for my self. Literally, no where special because I spent so much of this year shopping for my sweetheart. Like every week or so, I was coming home with outfits for her from Carter’s. This is not to say there aren’t any credible online stores that I bought from, which I did and will blog about later, but if you are anything like me, I really like the satisfaction of going into a store and getting what I need right then and there. And for that I love Carter’s.

Of course I shop with the other popular children’s stores like Janie and Jack, Gymboree, Crazy 8, and Children’s Place just to name a few, but Carter’s is my favorite. Prices never disappoint and it is so easy for me to rack up points, use their rewards system, coupons, and sales. Just love it!

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As you can see in this picture, they always have a sale!

#11 Sephora Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner

This is an item that I have to get from Sephora, for obvious reasons. Later in the list you’ll understand what I mean by this. Anyway, out of my years of using eyeliner, which has been a decade plus, this is the best eyeliner I have used. It last for several hours, and the product itself last several months. I have only tried it in Class Black. However, I am sure all the colors are just as pigmented and smooth. I use it mostly for my water line, but the few times I used on my top lid, it just about as good as my Kat Von D liquid liner. Best of all, this product is only $12.

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#10 NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35

If you are looking for a primer that really preps your skin for make up and protects, this one is for you. I have tried so many primers, they all fail except for this one. I am in the process of trying two new ones, which I will share more about later. But for now, this year, this one was my favorite! It lasted for several months. Just a tiny dab goes a long ways. You will not be disappointed if you try this primer. I have combination skin, and it worked really well for me. This product is about $36 and can be found at Sephora, Ulta, and some department stores.

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#9 Baby’s R Us

As you can tell, I am a mommy, first Carter’s now Baby’s R Us. I love this store! Ever since I found out I was expecting, I find some reason to visit this store, at least once a month. I don’t shop here for my daughter’s everyday essentials (diapers, wipes, toiletries, and the like), but shoes, toys, car seats, stroller, books, you get the idea. One reason I prefer Baby’s R Us over Target or Wal-Mart for those items is because they have a rewards system, so basically every visit I get to use my rewards on my purchase, plus the coupons that come in the mail. Those are the perks of shopping at Baby’s R Us.

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#8 Chipotle

Told you the list was random. I take-out with this restaurant at least once a week, max four times. Ever since I have changed the way I eat, I love going to Chipotle for their salad! The way I get it depends on how many carbs I have had, so mostly the lettuce at the bottom of the salad, chicken, pico de gallo, cheese, and two vinagarettes. I CANNOT eat it without the vinaigrette. When I eat it with carbs, it is pretty much the same except I add brown rice, pinto beans, and steak instead of chicken, yummy!!! So yeah, that is all for this one. Chipotle is my favorite fast food place and most dined this year.

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#7 MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

For the longest time I would wear regular foundation as coverage on my face. I decided to try concealer just for my t-zone and that was not enough for me, the rest of my face felt naked. So I blended the concealer all over, and this became my everyday do. I love it! All I do is moisturize, prime, and blend the concealer onto my face with Real Techniques beauty blender. I no longer use a brush for my foundation or highlighter. I guess I could have added the Real Techniques beauty blender to my list of 2017 favorites, but now you know. This concealer can be found at the MAC store or other department stores that sell MAC products for about $23.

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#6 Bath and Body Works Candles (Blueberry Sugar)

Yes, we all love Bath and Body Works 3 wick candles, but when I tell you I fell in love, I FELL IN LOVE with Blueberry Sugar. It smells so scrumptious! Absolutely my favorite candle. It just sucks that it is seasonal; hopefully, it will come out again during the 2018 holiday season. When I am looking to relax and let loose, this is the first candle I light. Like all other 3 wick candles, this one is $24.50. But… what I love about Bath and Body Works is all the coupons they mail you and store deals. So if you watch patiently, you can end up getting 2 or 3 candles around that price.

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#5 MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash Mascara Black

I have tried many mascaras over the years. This is one of my favorites. Honestly, if you know how to use the wand that comes with mascara, in my opinion, pretty much any mascara can do the job. I like this one for the small bristles and how well they comb out my lashes. This product can be found at the MAC store and other department stores that offer MAC products for about $23.

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#4 Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

This palette is every bit of amazing. I love the warm tones and pigments. The colors are perfect for make-up lovers of all shades. The colors are warm and toasty and as always with Urban Decay, the names are unique. I have been using the palette, in some way, every time I wear eye shadow. This is a great palette to have in your collection. The only color I wish it had was black. The shades go from light beige to chocolate. Some are kind of like persimmon. The palette is made up of mostly mattes and a few are shimmery. This palette can be found at Ulta, Sephora, and other department stores that sell makeup. It is about $54.

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#3 Ulta

Kind of silly to just list Ulta, but here is why. I used to love going to Sephora, I guess because there is some kind of hype around going to Sephora. However, Ulta is better for our dollars. Sephora only gives you mini products that you may not like for the money you spend with them. I used to think oh that’s cool. Um no. Maybe because I am a wife and mother now, I need all my bucks to be used as wisely as possible. One of my best friends helped me to see the light. She had over $200 in points to use towards her purchase. This means, that she had so many points from shopping at Ulta, that she was able to use $200 on her purchase. We went shopping together one day, and her total was $221 and some change. She only spent $21. Like OMG. Why have I been wasting my time with Sephora. So Sephora, you have been good, but Ulta is way better. From now on, I will only go to Sephora for their eye liner and my birthday gift ;). Ulta gets all of my business now. Ulta has everything Sephora does and the service is just as great! You’re welcome for opening your eyes too! 🙂

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#2 Grad School

So a year goes by fast, as we all know. It took me three years to go back to school and start my graduate degree. I’ll share more about why so long later. But…I have completed one year! I am so proud of myself. It was not easy, especially with working full time and a family, yet it worked out! I am thrilled to begin my second year and to continue giving it my best shot. I strongly suggest to anyone who is thinking about going back to school to do it! Stop wasting time. Don’t settle! This is your year to get out of your comfort zone. Our comfort zone gets us no where. It may hurt, it won’t feel good, and you’ll lose sleep, but I promise it will be worth it.

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This is the photo I used January 2017 for my profile pic for grad school.

#1 Motherhood

My life has been altered in such a way, and sometimes I wake up wondering how did I ever get here? And is this awesome little girl really for me? I am so blessed. I have a beautiful baby girl, she smiles all throughout the day, even when she wakes up, every single time. She makes me stronger. She makes me reach for the stars. And as I am sure you know, she is so spoiled and well loved. Together, we have conquered one year. It was full of adventures, as I do my best to expose her to as much fun and learning as possible, and I am so excited as we embark on this year’s journey. To be a mother is a blessing, and I am blessed with the cutest, smartest, brightest little angel. She makes my husband’s and I world a lot more joyful. Never a dull moment with her. She is our peace in this mad world.

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She is going to be just like her mamma and be a musician. She loves music!

I really hope this list helps you guys, especially the ones on here concerning skin care, home fragrance, and reaching for your goals. This is one year for the books, as every year should be. Even in those years that may not have fully blossomed, you still learn something to help make the upcoming year even more brighter. As you travel through this upcoming year, remember you are special, you are somebody, and you matter.

Stay blessed and encouraged Jewels, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! #2018

September Favorites

Hello Jewels, I just thought I would share some items that I have bought this past September that were AWESOME!!! I LOVE all of these items. They are so so so AWESOME! You must try them, and the plus side to this is that they are inexpensive, for the most part. I’m going to start with my least of favorites to my favorite one.

 8. I enjoy trying new things, and especially when they are recommended by a friend. However, the last time I tried a lotion my friend had recommended I was not all that thrilled with it. So this time, when I went “lotion shopping” I took my time, and looked for a brand that I trusted. Then, a product within that brand that catered to my needs. I live in a very hot state, so my skin gets very dry, and Dove had the answer to my needs. I have tried and I kind of like Aveeno’s eczema lotion, but this is way better. This lotion does not go on thick, and it is not loose like oil. It is the perfect combination of lotion and oil. The moisture last from the time I put on lotion after showering in the morning, to the time I get ready to shower in the evening; not twenty-four hours, but enough to last throughout a day of work and school. It leaves my skin feeling soft and quenched. This lotion is about $6 at Wal-Mart.

 7. I love pink. Everything about the color pink is so darling to me. It should be to no surprise that 97% of my nail polishes are pink. I have a huge variety of them. I have a ton of soft pink polishes by different brands, but one day I decided to go in Ulta, and I told my bestie that I want a new soft pink polish. So she picked out “Privacy Please” by O.P.I and boy was she right that I was going to love it. I cannot believe I hadn’t tried this polish sooner. It is so pretty. I love it because it is enough to show that it is pink, but it is still natural looking. It is not over the top, just a darling shade of pink. This polish was $9 at Ulta.

Soft Matte Lip Cream by NYX - Monte Carlo
Soft Matte Lip Cream by NYX – Monte Carlo

6. I have just stated how much I love pink, and that goes for my blushes, glosses, lipsticks, everything that can be pink I have it or want it in pink. However, I am getting older and I am starting to fall in love with red lipsticks. They look gorgeous on me, not to brag, but everyone knows that red lips look great on every woman. So we all look gorgeous in red, but I was in Ulta, the same day that I got the polish, I bought this AWESOME red lip cream by NYX. I have several of these soft matte lip creams already in PINK. So this time I got the red, and it is drop dead Gorgeous! This is something every woman who loves to wear red lips should invest in. It goes on like a cream, but dries like a matte lip stick. It is so pretty. This lip cream was $6 at Ulta.

 5. Blush is something I wear every day. So I always need a new color to go with my different makeup looks. I was at Target checking out brushes by e.l.f and I saw they had a new blush “Pink Passion”, and I thought it was so vibrant in color that I had to have it. As soon as I got home I tried it, and it is a great blush. It is well pigmented, it applies easily, and it is buildable; so if one day you want the blush to look flushed and natural, it can do that, and if another day you need it to be popping it can do that as well. This blush was purchased at Target for $3.

 4. On the same day that I got this blush I also purchased a brush. This brush is ALL THAT!  I love love love this brush, and I use it for everything. It is that incredible. I use it to apply my blush, powder foundation, highlighter, and bronzer. The brush works so well for all of it. After using this brush for just a few days I told everyone about it. It’s just that good! The best part about this brush is that it was only $3 at Target.

 3. I love eye shadow, but it does not look good when you do not have on the right base. Everyone knows about MAC’s paint pot “Painterly”. It’s pretty awesome; I use it all the time. But this paint pot is my new best friend. “Groundwork” is a light brown paint pot that I use whenever I am doing a natural look using browns and golds. It is a great base for these eye shadow colors, and it helps them to last longer on my eyes. I like it so much because my eye shadows last a long time, and blend well on top of Groundwork. “Groundwork” is $20 at MAC.

 2. I had wanted to try this finishing spray for the longest. My friends have told me about it, but I was convinced MAC was better. MAC’s finishing spray, “Fix +”, is still awesome, but this one is a little cheaper and AWESOME! I wish I would have purchased this sooner, but now I use it every weekend. One day, I had applied my makeup then sprayed this on my face, and my makeup lasted from 7:45 AM until 7 PM which is when I took it off. The makeup still looked great! It did not smudge at all. I definitely love this product and recommend it to my friends. I purchased this product from David’s Bridal for $11.

 1. I use this product like every day, ever since I bought it. It goes on smooth, it blends so well with my complexion, and it makes me want to say every time after I put it on when I look in the mirror, “Hello flawless!” This product by Benefit is a must have! It does exactly what it is called, it makes your face flawless. It is very soft, and can provide sheer to full coverage. I love it. I place it on top of my liquid foundation on some days. Other days I wear it with just a primer. This awesome powder was purchased at Ulta for $35. You know I am using my $3 e.l.f brush to apply this right?!?!

These are such AWESOME products, that I hope you ladies may try. I would not recommend them if I thought they weren’t all that and a bag of chips. If you ladies do try them, or already have please leave a comment sharing your success or fail with the items.

 Have fun shopping Jewels!