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The holidays are upon us! More than upon us…it’s only five days until Christmas! *insert shocked emoji*
Seriously this month is FLYING by for me. I’ve done so much and had so much fun, it hardly feels like I’ve been able to keep it all in one month. December is usually stressful for me with everything going on, but this year it’s felt exciting and fun.
What better way to ring in the holidays than with a delicious Starbucks drink in their holiday cups? I love the design this year. My go-to holiday drink from Starbucks is the gingerbread latte. I absolutey love it! I usually get it in a tall, but sometimes I’ll spoil myself with a grande if it’s going to be a really hectic day. In the picture above we were on our way to pick out our Christmas tree at a local tree farm, a family tradition since I was a child. One of my least favorite things about living in an apartment is that we can’t have a real tree. I’ll have a house of my own some day, lol!
Christmas tree day was a ton of fun. My dad moved a few years back and his new home has super tall ceilings, so we can pick out any tree we want without worrying about height. The one pictured here isn’t what we went with, but was the lighting not perfect for the photo? I’ve been super extra this year with photos. Ever since I bought the iPhone 8 plus, I’ve kind of been crazy about taking pictures. The quality is just so good for a cell phone! I love love love it. It’s so fun!
One thing I thought was pretty cute were all the pine cones clustered around the tops of some of the trees. It just made the trees feel so rustic! The tree we picked didn’t have any I don’t believe, but it’s still perfect anyway.
Ever since starting my photography business earlier this year, I’ve really been keen on supporting smaller and local businesses. I purchased these super unique ornaments from an acquaintance of mine. She runs an Etsy shop called TheMintyOwlCreations, and she does a lot of custom vinyl work. I especially love the holographic detail on the matte black of these bulbs. Definitely some of my favorite ornaments!
Along with trees and seasonal decor, there are always so many parties during the holidays. So far I’ve attended three! My company Christmas party was first. Trust me when I say that party is a bit of a whirlwind! We get out of work around 4 pm to head over to dinner. This year I was smart and got a hotel room to stay in downtown. Even though I only live 30 minutes away, we had seen quite a bit of snow that week. Better to be safe than sorry!
Literally three days later we had my dad’s Christmas party, and on the EXACT SAME DAY was Cameron’s family party. It was a bit exhausting after the crazy work week, but it was so wonderful to see so much family in one day. I’m thankful to have such a large family! At my dad’s party we built a fire and strung lights up between the trees to create a festive atmosphere. And by “we” I mean my dad and my brother. They did a great job, it was so fun standing outside and being warm and surrounded by Christmas lights! There was food galore, and the ever-enjoyable White Elephant gift exchange. I won a hanging shoe rack this year, which I’m genuinely excited about. I keep meaning to hang that up, but I’ll get there eventually.
I know this post has been mostly a photo dump with some rambling, but I promise I’m almost done. One thing I’m really proud of this year is my venture into wearing lipstick more often. Actually, into wearing lipstick period. I’ve never been one for makeup, not nearly as much as my sister. In fact, earlier this year there would be days upon days that I’d go without wearing more than maybe some eyeliner or mascara. And here I am at the end of the year and I do the whole thing! Foundation, contour, lipstick, setting spray…the works! Even though I’ll do the same eye makeup every day (no joke, my sister hates me for it. “do something fun!” she says, and yet I stick to this comfort zone of nude shades lol), I’ve begun to enjoy switching up my lipstick colors.
My favorite go-to brands and shades are all pictured below. I gravitate towards easy, low-maintenance formulas. Especially velvety matte shades! Those are my ultimate fave.
Such a bright fun red! I like to wear this when I’m wearing a lot of black. It gives my look a fun pop of color!
This color is pretty dark, but I wore it the other day and received a lot of compliments! It dries a soft deep burgundy/brown, and I really enjoyed it.
This is probably my favorite red right now. It’s the one I’m wearing in the photo in this post! It dries such a lovely, soft red and really compliments my skin tone.
So the great news about all of these options are less than $10! The Maybelline SuperStay collection is actually a steal of a price, and it really does last as long as they say it does. Not even kidding, I fell asleep without taking my makeup off once (whoops!) and it was still there in the morning. Truly wonderful stuff.
And for the holidays, the NYX colors I mentioned here are available as a set for $15 ($9 on sale at Ulta during the time of this post!). They normally run $6.99 a piece, which is still a great price. I only have to reapply the lipstick once after eating lunch and I’m good for the rest of the day!
What are some of your favorite lipsticks? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, it’s been a minute! Life always manages to snag me up in this whirlwind of non-stop activity, and every time I let so many hobbies fall to the wayside. Upon returning home from our vacation to Cape Cod, I spent a week preparing for my sister’s bridal shower. I’m so happy with how everything turned out! It ended up being a beautiful day. I may make a separate post about it soon so I can share some photos!
After the shower was said and done I really started dedicating more of my time to studying for the FAR section of the CPA exam. It’s unbelievably brutal. I had originally planned on taking the test on October 16th, but I’ve now rescheduled for November 11th. I was starting to burn out studying three hours every single day and somehow still falling behind. And as much as I enjoy learning and strengthening the skills I need to succeed in my profession, it was exhausting to do so much and never feel caught up. Maybe there’s an important life lesson here, but I rescheduled nonetheless and some of the weight has lifted off my shoulders. I feel a lot more confident that I will be able to cover all of the material and revisit tougher areas before the exam.
There’s been more than just studying and wedding things going on, though. I’m so happy to say that I’ve finally taken the leap to start my own business! Since I was a child I’ve loved taking pictures. I started off with my little pink Barbie film camera, and that has escalated to being a photographer for families, engagements, and weddings. I haven’t done too many yet, but it was enough of a taste to realize I enjoy it. After debating for almost a year, I finally opened up shop! You can check me out over at www.karliskandids.com . I’m so happy with how everything is coming along so far. I’m really excited to see where this adventure takes me, and I’m so so glad I finally made the leap of faith to get the ball rolling.
Starting a business is definitely a lot of work. I didn’t expect it to be easy, by any means. But there are so many things that never really crossed my mind, either! For example, I need to come up with fun little ad campaigns and design them to match with my brand. And while I have no doubt I can do it, it will definitely take time to make everything perfect. Luckily, I’m a firm believer in enjoying the journey. And this journey is bringing me so much joy and excitement. I’ve never felt this lighthearted and giddy about ANYTHING, so whether anything comes of it or not I’m just glad I tried. Bonus, everything I’m learning about branding will be able to translate over into this blog as well. Yay!
Sorry there isn’t really much to this post. Although I keep telling myself I’ll get back on track with this blog, I suppose we have yet to see if that will happen. Fingers crossed that I will find some more inspiration and get back into this! As well as sharing my sister’s bridal shower, maybe I can also share a little makeup haul from my recent trip to Ulta? That would be fun! We’ll see.. 😉
Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by. Hopefully I’ll have more content up soon!
For as long as I can remember, I have camped every summer. According to my Dad, they took us camping even when we were so little we couldn’t remember. Even to this day I go camping annually with my family. The only difference now compared to when we were kids? The fiancé comes along for the ride!
Our family is pretty big on using tents. No campers for us! Not that there’s anything wrong with them! There’s just something about the way the zippers sound early in the morning and the smell of the air when the only thing separating you from the open sky is a thin layer of canvas. So until I have the money to shell out for a vintage trailer and the SUV to pull it, tents it is.
I love pretty much everything about camping. I like the detachment from “the norm”. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep you’re outside. Charging electronics becomes difficult, so sometimes you go without. Cell service may be patchy anyway, so might as well leave it in the car. You forget to check Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and instead focus on the silence and beauty of nature around you, and the friends and family beside you.
I also particularly enjoy the road trip. Our family always chooses a location out of state, and usually it ends up being 8 or so hours away. We shock people with the stories of our crazy road trips. One year, we drove from our home in Ohio all the way to Yosemite National Park in California in only two and a half days! On that same trip, we went to a wedding in Monterey, CA, and hightailed it back to Ohio in just two and half days yet again. People still think we’re insane for that one (and maybe we are!). We’ve also driven to Glacier National Park in Montana, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone in Wyoming, and Bar Harbor, Maine (just to name a few).
Due to all of this “experience”, I like to consider myself a road trip warrior. I always know exactly what to bring to make the ride a little bit easier. This year we are heading to Cape Cod, MA. From home, it’s about a ten-hour drive to our campsite. Per usual, our family will do a straight shot drive stopping only for restroom breaks and food so we can arrive with plenty of daylight to set up camp and relax for the first evening.
For most people, this is crazy. For us? It’s tradition!
Here are some of my tips for preparing for a big road trip:
Always come prepared with a reading list!
If you’re a book nerd, a road trip is the perfect time to catch up on a series you’ve been dying to read or a novel you haven’t had time to finish. I read quite a bit, averaging two books a month this year so far. Mind you, some of those books are 500+ pages! So yes, I’m proud of this average thank-you-very-much. I’m changing it up a little on this trip by downloading books onto my iPad on the Kindle app to help save space in the car. I normally bring a bookbag with about 5 or so books from the local library, which takes up a lot of space when you’re putting five people in a Toyata Forerunner for 10 hours with blankets, pillows, food, drinks, shoes, etc.
For the trip this year, I chose to download the following books:
Wear something comfortable!
I’m often wearing leggings and a tshirt or tank top on the road trips (if not for the entire duration of the vacation) and my go-to shoe for the car is obviously flip flops. This makes it easy to be flexible in the car and stay comfortable. It’s always a good idea to have a hoodie in case your driver likes it a little chilly (ahem, Dad). For our trips, we usually leave around three in the morning, so we will also have our pillows and blankets and whoever isn’t the copilot and staying up with the driver quickly falls asleep for the first leg of the trip.
Have a good, reliable pair of headphones!
For longer trips, I don’t recommend wireless headphones. Having a pair die halfway through a road trip and needing to re-charge can be painful, especially if the driver has a taste in music you don’t necessarily love (ahem, Dad with the jazz). This year I’m excited to have my Steelseries Arctis 5 headset. I bought them at PAX East earlier this year, and I love that they can be used for pretty much any device. I primarily use them for gaming on my desktop! Luckily, they came with two adapters: one USB and one AUX. I simply swap out the adapters based on my needs. The sound is really good and they are the only over-ear headphones I’ve ever owned that don’t give me headaches because of my glasses. Also, the cloth strap is interchangeable and comes in a bunch of different designs! I have the black and white geometric standard strap and a hot pink one that I purchased at the trade show.. I can’t wait to have them on this road trip!
Although the potential extra restroom breaks may seem annoying, it’s so important to remember to stay hydrated on long trips. I’m guilty of not drinking water because I don’t want to be “that person” asking to pull over to the next rest stop. Unfortunately being dehydrated is very uncomfortable, and really really not good for you. This year I’m definitely going to try to do better. I’m bringing my 25 oz S’well bottle with me to refill at each stop. I never expected these bottles to actually work as good as they say they do (I’m a skeptic, what can I say). Well trust me, they work. And they’re awesome. I had ice water in my bottle one day and left it in my car on a 90 degree sunny day for four hours, and the ice was still solid when I came back! I was floored. I love this bottle! I have the limited edition S’well bottle that came with my Winc / Societe Summer Water summer club subscription, but I’ve been eyeing this Milky Way design for a few weeks now.
Have healthy snacks!
It’s so tempting to stock up on chips and candy and junk food when traveling. Those foods always come in convenient packaging and taste really good, and hey it’s vacation so why not right? If you’re trying to be a bit more conscious about your health, consider bringing a variety of more nutritious options:
If you have anything you need to study for, take advantage of this time! I know it’s vacation, but you will feel so much better when you reach your destination knowing you took care of a less-than-desirable task. I’ll be studying for the FAR section of the CPA exam during this trip. I’m sitting on October 16th, so I have a lot of review to do before then!
Play some games!
If you aren’t big on reading, you could always bring a portable gaming device with you. My sister, her fiancé, and my fiancé are all bringing their Nintendo DS and games with them. That’s definitely a fun way to spend some of the trip! And if you’re not into that either, well. I’m not sure what to tell you. Maybe keep sleeping until you arrive at your destination? Play travel games with other people in the car? My family is pretty quiet, so reading, sleeping, and gaming is pretty much the extent of our trip. Obviously, there will be conversation sprinkled in of course to keep the driver occupied as well!
This year will be our second time visiting the Cape, and I couldn’t be more excited! It has been a handful of years since, and my memories of it are waning. I can’t want to re-live some of the experiences we had before, as well as create new memories!
If you want to follow along with the trip, make sure to follow me on Instagram (@stylegeeknaturefreak)!
All my young life I struggled with pre-made planners. The lines were wide ruled, or the boxes weren’t big enough, or the design was just plain boring. Most people don’t give much thought into their planners. Unfortunately for my wallet, I am not one of those people. During college it was common for me to get a new planner for each semester because I’d grown bored of the old one or couldn’t resist the allure of a new one. I always wanted change, be it a new layout, new color scheme, different binding or size, etc. I couldn’t get enough of planners. Then, in 2015, well after college had ended and I had begun my career (but still insisted on buying myself analog planners), I discovered Boho Berry and the allure of Bullet Journeling.
Bullet Journaling is the planning fad that is sweeping the planning community. I discovered it in 2015, and started my own bullet journal for the first time in 2016. It took some time to get used to it, but I very quickly fell in love with the self-designed planning system. There is so much you can do with the blank canvas of a notebook if you really put your mind to it. The possibilities are endless, and now I no longer struggle with being bored of my current planner. I can update it between days, if I really wanted to! But for the most part I leave it to changing up between months.
**if you would be interested in seeing some previous monthly spreads, let me know in the comments!**
I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for August . Last year I tried to organize months by a particular color, usually related to holidays or the season of the month. This year I have tried to do things differently, often choosing two complimenting colors and trying to veer away from seasonal/holiday themes. For July, for example, I did navy and hot pink this year instead of the traditional red and blue. And I LOVED it. It was beautiful and fresh, and matched the washi tape I had bought PERFECTLY. My only regret with July is that I did not reference it enough, and never got to truly take it all in.
When I started August, I sat and stared at the blank spread before me for about ten minutes. I considered the washi tape I had in my collection, checked on the colors of my brush pens, and STILL couldn’t come up with something new. I hate repeating themes if I can help it, and for a while I was stumped on what I would do. Then I dug into my adorable pineapple storage box that contains all of my bullet journaling supplies to find more inspiration. As I was riffling through the box, I stumbled across these Hiedi Swapp stickers that I bought last month at Joann Fabric & Crafts.
The whole line of stickers is to DIE for. It’s as if someone peered in my head and put my design dreams into stationary. I checked out her website and fell in love with a lot of her product line, especially the Storyline memory keeping system. I defnitely see myself digging into that in the near future, but that’s a post for a different day.
When I opened up the pack and saw the floral stickers on the second sheet, I knew exactly what I wanted to create for August. And I decided to change things up by using some colored pencils instead of my brush pens and Staedtler Fineliners. The outcome is one of my favorite spreads of all time.
Each month I start off exactly the same:
The rest of my month I usually do a one-day-per-page format with my to-do list, a food tracker, step counter, and weather icon. If you’d be interested in seeing my dailies, let me know in the comments!
Without further ado, here is August! Let me know what you think! Enjoy <3
Ah, yes. The Nordstrom Half Annual Sale. Where hard earned money goes to be spent on things you don’t need, but for some reason just have to have. Luckily I’m getting a little better at not blowing all my cash so quickly. While shopping the site, I was definitely tempted to start throwing things in my cart. So far I’ve been able to resist, but I guess we’ll see how long that lasts. While I haven’t yet personally taken advantage of the sale, here is a round-up of some of my favorite items available, by category, all under $150 (most under $100)!
[from left to right]
Vince Camuto Cranita Perforated Bootie in Grey // Dr.Scholls ‘Original Collection Wiley’ Wedge in Bone Fabric // Louis Et Cie Mirin Wedge Sandal in Neutral Nubuck // Sam Edelmen ‘Thea’ Strappy Pump in Primrose Suede
I’m a sucker for neutral toned shoes. Block heels are trending right now, and for good reason. These shoes give that added height that legs (and short girls like me) love, while remaining comfortable enough for all-day wear. Wedges will always be may favorite go-to. I can imagine the Dr. Scholls pair are pretty easy on the feet!
[from left to right, starting page 1]
Chelsea28 Lace Trim Off the Shoulder Top in Ivory // Cupcakes and Cashmere Kerrine Embroidered Maxi Dress // Chelsea28 Lace Fit & Flare Dress // Caslon Print Detail Pocket Sweatshirt in Pink Blush
I’m definitely leaning more towards lighter neutrals here as well. I wear a lot of dark, rich colors in the fall and winter so I really take advantage of the more muted and light tones in the spring and summer months. As much as I would love to buy up all of this and throw it in my closet, I really need to work on narrowing it down and picking a few versatile pieces that I can mix and match all season long.
Athleisure is my all time favorite. I have an entire dresser in my closet dedicated specifically to athletic gear, not even joking. I can’t help it! Everything is so cute now. When I first started working out in high school I was just fine with my cheap cotton leggings and cotton t-shirts. Now, I swear by anything sweat-wicking, cool/dry/heat technology, pretty prints, and so much more. This adidas top is so cute because it has a bit of that see-through look in polka dot form, without baring too much. And the Zella Flash leggings have the CUTEST mesh cutouts up the thigh. I adore them.
you may be interested in Trunk Club Review: Athleisure Edit
Somehow I manage to pick much more expensive accessories than clothes when I shop these sales. I fell in love with all of the watches that were available, especially the too-cute and wino-approved Wine and Dine watch by Kate Spade New York. Absolutely love that one! Definitely seemed to stick with a pattern of lighter neutral colors for the most part here as well. I definitely have a certain aesthetic I’m trying to attain for summer, apparently!
If you’ve been here for a while, you know that back in February I tried a no-spend challenge. And I did pretty good! Unfortunately since then, I have not done so good. I’ve done bad. So I’m really working on curbing my spending habits. My purchases right now revolve around food, coffee, and books. I really try to wait on clothes until it feels like an absolute necessity (ie. I bought new work pants because mine were old and the clasp was coming off, and I bought some new blouses because mine were all dark fall/winter prints). As much as I would love to buy up everything I’ve listed above (and then some), I’m going to be holding back.
Until next time!
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