Summer Summer Summer Tiiiiiime

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It’s that time again! Summer is upon us, and with that, probably the best summer of my life so far.  Time to jot down (mostly for my own personal use) some summertime goals I have in mind…

1.  Attend my bridal shower this summer, and BE SURPRISED…no snooping! Have lots of fun!

2. Find a really cute dress for my bachelorette in September

3.  Successfully host my 25th (!?) birthday party at our new place

4.  Perfect a homemade mojito (not quite there yet)

5.  SIX FLAGS!!!!

6.  Fly out and see my brother graduate from basic training.  Please God, find me a way to be there.

7.  Finishing successfully planning my fall wedding

8.  Really enjoy being OUTSIDE this summer!

 

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5 Things

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Happy Friday Everyone 🙂

I am VERY excited that the weekend is here…I just feel emotionally spent this week.  Things on tap for the weekend:

  • Tonight:  Dinner & a movie night with my love and some family
  • Tomorrow:  4 mile walk with pops, Dunkin’ coconut iced coffee (yess this is on my list of very exciting weekend things!), and dinner out at a fun restaurant with another couple!
  • Sunday:  Superbowl….duh. I’m not a huge football fan, but I did participate in my first fantasy draft this year and really enjoyed it!  I’m making these to bring to my family’s, which is where I’ll be watching the Superbowl (and more importantly, eating and checking out the commercials!).  The FH (future husband) will be at the sports bar where’s he’s been for the last 3 weeks, as the Giants are HIS team; we are from New York after all!

I saw Chelsea do a 5 Things February post on what’s in her makeup/hair bag, and I thought it was a great idea!  Sadly, I did not take a picture, so we’ll just have to pretend.

5 Hair and Makeup Essentials (in no particular order)

1.  Covergirl Lashblast mascara (the orange container)….this stuff is awesome!  It look me a long time and a lot of mascara to find one that’s just perfect.  Well, maybe not perfect as it could stand to make my lashes a tiny bit longer along with that fullness, but hey for $7, it gets the job done!  Full lashes, here I come!

2.  Covergirl Tru Blend Foundation.  Like mascara, I have tried a lot of foundation in my day and I’ll admit it was always Covergirl.  I am a Covergirl fiend.  However, one the Tru Blend line came out when I was in college, I fell in love.  Once you find the right shade for you, it definitely blends nicely and covers up those blemishes.  Follow this up with the Tru Blend pressed powder, and you’re all set.

3.  Suave Hairspray.  I am a simple girl when it comes to hairspray, and this one has never steered me wrong in the ten (what!?) years I’ve used it.  Sure, the bottle has changed a few times, but the formula is great.  I usually use an “8” which is not quite maximum hold, but certainly does the job.  It’s never sticky, crunchy, or anything else hair just shouldn’t be.  Thumbs up Suave, thumbs up.

4.  Elf Eyeshadow–Naked Palette.  I can’t rave about this one enough.  This is actually a new product to me (I got it for Christmas), but I already wish I had started using Elf products a lot sooner.  I usually stick to Covergirl eyeshadow (surprise, surprise), but the naked palette is perfect for me, and goes on (and stays on!) so nicely.  I tend to go toward brown and golden shadows, and this literally will not melt/flake/peel/come off my face after an eight hour work day.  It’s lovely!  I believe Elf products are sold at Target and are hella cheap.

5.  Cetaphil Face Wash.  Although I usually use the store’s generic version of this face wash (sorry Cetaphil, lower your prices), they deserve some kudos for coming up with this.  Although the look of the face wash itself can be a be a bit off putting (hehe), it works great.  I have VERY sensitive, acne-prone skin and this is the ONLY, I repeat ONLY face wash I can use that will not make me break out or flake.  Neutrogena has a great line of products too that are helpful for acne-prone skin, but they can be incredibly drying, and in the winter months that’s just not okay.  Cetaphil is very moisturizing, and I’ve even been known to rub some into dry areas on my face in the wintertime…instant moisture!  It is also great to use to take off eye makeup if you aren’t into using eye makeup remover everyday, which I am not.  I use this product every day and I can’t recommend it enough if you have sensitive and/or dry skin.

 

There are a few more honorable mentions, but I’ll save that for another day.  Happy weekend friends!

 

 

 

None of these companies gave me any products to review or compensation for mentioning them.  I just simply love them!  If any of these companies wanted to send me products to review however, I would not be totally opposed 😉

Let’s Play…

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Hey hey! You all know I love me some surveys so here’s a little food for thought on this lovely hump day 😉

 

1. What is your favorite food? I’m partial to a nice penne a la vodka and SUSHI…loves.

2. Would you rather not be able to taste anything or not hear anything?  I’m thinking taste!  I would just shove fruits and veggies down my throat everyday and that surely wouldn’t hurt my figure 🙂

3. What’s your favorite song? Right now I’m digging International Love (Pitbull/Chris Brown), We Found Love (Rhianna), and some Theory of a Deadman tunes
4. What did you want to be when you were little? A Teacher
5. What’s your favorite holiday and why? I love Christmas…the thrill of it, the family time…I just love it.
6. How do you eat oreos? I either bite right into them, or separate them, and lick the cream first
7. How do most people spell your name? Michelle (the right way!) or Michele
8. What is one of your biggest pet peeves? Crappy drivers and obnoxious college students
9. Besides a house or a car, what is the most expensive thing you have bought? My vacation to Jamaica a few years back…and lately MY WEDDING 😀
10. What’s your dream car? Hybrid Ford Escape! Yup, that simple!
Join me in answering these, won’t you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Myself, 2012 goals

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I truly hope everyone has a very happy holiday season!  Anyone gearing up for New Years?  I’ve never really been all that big on NYE myself, so I see some movie watching/appetizer eating/wine drinking in the works for my night.

I’m not a big fan of resolutions (who ever REALLY follows them?) but I do believe in goal-setting, any time of year!  And what better than a fresh year to goal set?  So here they are…for 2012…

1.  Take a Zumba Class–This has been on my mind for a few years.  I’m determined!

2.  Read 1-2 books a month–This shouldn’t be much of a problem, given my new Kindle Fire I got for Christmas! I do love the feel of a nice paperback book though, but I anticipate the Kindle really encouraging me to get back to reading more often.

3.  Workout 3 times a week, for 30-45 minutes each–REALLY REALLY not that hard Michelle, come on.  You’re not reaching for the stars here.

4.  Have a date night with the fiance twice a month–(self-explanatory)

5.  Veggies and/or fruit at least once a day

6.  Keep up with my daily Bible devotionals

7.  Have a girls night at least twice a month

8.  Plan and have a successful wedding/honeymoon (!!!)

9.  Find a great apartment and move in with the fiance mid-year

10.  Do something really nice for my mom for Mother’s Day — I’ve been wanting to do this for a few years now…going all out…just have to budget it in!

 

Apartment Living Guide for the 20-something female

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Hey, how’s everyone doing? Gearing up for the holidays?  I personally LOVE Christmas for everything it represents (religion, family, presents!), so I’m really excited for the holiday season!

As most of you know, I’m getting married next September.  At the end of April, my current apartment lease is up, and the FH (future husband) and I will be renting a place together that will be our first love nest.  This is of course something I’ve been looking forward to for awhile, although it doesn’t come without trepidation.  This will be the first time I’ve (officially) lived with a guy, and I’m sure it’s going to take some adjustments.  I’ll be candid in saying that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with living with someone you’re serious with before you’re married, as it can be a great next step of a relationship, and also a good indicator of what that person will be like during marriage in regards to how they live.  I prefer to ease into the whole thing.  With this being said, I have unofficially “lived” with a couple boyfriends in my time (having adult sleepovers several consecutive nights; leaving your toothbrush and pjs at their place or theirs at yours etc.), but never officially.  Can’t say I’m not looking forward to sharing the rent, the chores, and the grocery bill 😉  However, this also means sharing my space, television time, and bathroom.  Hmm.  This could take some work.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to create somewhat of a guide for young to mid twenty-something ladies living on their own.  I’ve lived “on my own” now for a couple years (with a couple apartments) and feel relatively wise enough to share my knowledge of apartment living (the dos and don’ts) with you all.  Take from this what you will!

The College Dorm Room

Although some may not consider this to truly be “moved out,” I think it’s only fair to include this monumental and first time experience in this post.  My undergraduate college years were my first real taste of independent living and they deserve a look.  When living in a college dorm room, it’s safe to say 99% of the population has a roommate.  This was true for me, although I was lucky enough to be dorming with my best friend/step sister.  Therefore, I didn’t have the anxiety ridden summer before college clicking refresh on my e-mail waiting to see the name of the person I’d be living the next year with and then frantically FaceBook stalk them to see what they were like (second and third year of college only, the summer before my freshman year FaceBook didn’t exist yet…wow that makes me sound old…I’m really only 24, I promise! LOL).  Eating when you want, working out when you want, sleeping and waking up when you want…golden.  It was a beautiful taste of new found freedom and I was paying for it with financial aid so it didn’t cost me a dime (then…I’m paying for it dearly now)! The downside:  no privacy, extra long twin beds (hardly space for two).

Overall Score:  A-

The College Apartment

My senior year I was given the ability to live in an on-campus apartment with three other roommates (each with our own room).  This worked out pretty well, as I had more privacy (and a double bed!), as well as only having to share a bathroom with one other person versus my whole floor.  I had a full kitchen, and plenty of space.  This was probably the best set up, and again, felt free! Although looking back now it was SO. MUCH. MONEY. that I may have not done this.

Overall Score: A

Living at home, post-college

Oy. That’s really all I have to say about that. Actually, it wasn’t all that bad.  This one definitely has some major pros and cons though.  Pros:  rent free (!!), your old, comfy room and bed, no bills to pay or groceries to buy, never having to fight for a good parking spot (driveway!), the family dog, etc. Cons:  No privacy (literally, none), mom’s rules, feeling like you have to “check in” all the time, forced family dinners for the most part (a pro and a con), having to walk said dog, shoveling snow on aforementioned driveway, working far away, and did I mention no privacy?

Overall Score: B

First Apartment on My Own!

A monumental moment for sure.  I was absolutely IN LOVE with my first apartment.  I moved thirty five minutes away, which proved to be just far enough.  I still got to see my family, was closer to work, and lived in a cute, semi-walkable town.  I was on Cloud 9.  My apartment was affordable (at the time), I was able to get my own cat, I had a huge bedroom, double closets, and they plowed my snow (woot woot!).  It was lovely.  I bought a living room set (well, a loveseat and an oversized chair/ottoman), and was able to furnish my apartment with hand me downs and things I purchased.  I felt so accomplished.  I was still in still (now grad, getting my Masters) at this point, so some of my bills were covered by student loans.  At the time, again this is what I needed to do, and it was fine, nothing overly extravagant, but I was living in somewhat of a fantasy in the respect that I didn’t yet truly know what it meant to work 40 hours a week, and pay ALL of my own bills.  Granted, I was working part time, interning part time, and was a full time student, so I was banging 50-60 hour weeks, BUT the money part just wasn’t something I was totally and completely familiar with yet.  Pros:  Queen sized bed (YAY!), complete freedom and independence, freedom to clean and do chores as I, and only I pleased (although I’m a very clean person), complete privacy (I lived in a complex and they could care less who you had over when), and the ability to begin to manage my finances and create a budget for myself.  Cons:  Truly, none worth mentioning.  I truly, 100%, from the bottom of my heart loved this apartment and I’m so sad I let it go after just one year.  Sad.

Overall Score:  A+

Second apartment:  Post graduate school, aka real life

And that my friends, brings us to the present.  My second apartment, and my first apartment after finishing my Masters.  My moving into this place, and my graduation coincided with one another, so it was truly big changes happening at the same time.  I had the opportunity to increase my hours at my job to full time (thankful!), no more interning, no more books, professors, papers, studying etc.  Welcome to adult life Michelle.  I found this lovely little place that just called to me, in the same small town that I was living in in the first apartment.  They decided to raise my rent for my new lease term at the other place, and I just didn’t feel I could swing it.  It wasn’t a significant amount, but in my mind, I just didn’t think I could do it.  In hindsight, and you’ll see why in a moment, I definitely could have and should have.  You know, all those shoulda, coulda, wouldas.  Anyway, I found this cute privately owned house that an older couple was renting the top half (separate apartment) out.  It seemed perfect…older couple, seemed cool, an apartment with a bit more charm than the first one (it was an older house with SUCH a cute kitchen), and a more walkable location.  Same distance from work and family, so that wasn’t a big deal.  I was in love.  I signed the lease, and in I went.  We were going steady for a few months then here we go.  They weren’t fans of the FH being over as often as he was for awhile there (going through a tough family time), and although it was only for a brief period, they didn’t like it, and let me know.  I felt watched, I felt cheated (they didn’t keep up on things they promised at the lease signing, but I failed to actually make them write it in the lease…FAIL on my part), I felt like I had no privacy.  And I didn’t.  And I really don’t.  I learned to really budget and completely control and manage my own finances.  I pay all the bills, buy all the food, take care of my cat and her costs, have a car payment, a cell phone, student loans etc.  Some weeks I’m left with $5 (literally) in my bank account.  Sometimes when payday is two days away, I have to make those last 20 miles in my gas tank stretch because I won’t have enough to buy gas until Friday.  This is real life people when you’re just starting out in the work world and not making $80,000 a year.  Sometimes, you eat Ramen for dinner.  Wait, am I still in college?  Pros:  Cute kitchen, a lot of amenities include, slightly cheaper rent than the last place); cons:  no parking on the street in the winter (surprise!), can’t have a lot of people over or make a lot of noise (this is how I feel), older appliances and structure so things are breaking, not working as they should, one closet in the whole place (yeah.)…I could go on.  Overall, I love the place, note a fan of the landlords.  Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to April.

Overall Score: B

As you can see, I haven’t given any of my living situations a horrible score; I mean I’m pretty happy where I am now, and where I was then.  A few parting tips for ladies living on their own:

  • PUT IT IN THE LEASE! I can’t stress this enough.  If you want something, ask for it.
  • Take not of quiet hours and/or guest policies before you sign
  • Know the snow/winter policies and procedures
  • Realize that an extra $40 a month may just be worth your mental health and sanity (and a bigger bedroom waaahhh)
  • Always stick up for yourself.  If you think something isn’t fair or not right, speak up!  Chances are they could be taking advantage of you because you’re a young lady renting on your own and they think you have no brains/courage
  • Invest in a toilet snake. Yup, I said it.
  • Learn to downsize
  • Save your money; you CAN move out! 🙂

I can’t wait to see what my next adventure brings.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my years living with female roommates and by myself, and wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I think it’s an important experience every girl should have before they move in with a guy or settle down completely.  Now, I’m ready to take that next step (into a two bedroom!) and live with my FH, and eventually H.  😀

Hope this helped someone out! Later!

You Know You’re From New York When…

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Hey lovelies 🙂

I’ve seen this circulating around the blog world (for various states etc), so I thought it would be fun to find one from the state that I’m from….New York 🙂

YOU KNOW YOU FROM NEW YORK WHEN:
You say “the city” and expect everyone to know that this means Manhattan.
You have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.
Hookers and the homeless are invisible.
The subway makes sense.
You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
You’ve considered stabbing someone just for saying “The Big Apple”.
The most frequently used part of your car is the horn.
You consider Westchester “upstate”.
You see nothing odd about the speed of an auctioneer’s speaking.
You’re paying $1,200 for a studio the size of a walk-in closet and you think it’s a “steal.”
You’ve been to New Jersey twice and got hopelessly lost both times.
You pay more each month to park your car than most people in the U.S. pay in rent.
You haven’t seen more than twelve stars in the night sky since you went away to camp as a kid.
You go to dinner at 9 and head out to the clubs when most Americans are heading to bed.
Your closet is filled with black clothes.
You haven’t heard the sound of true absolute silence since the 80s, and when you did, it terrified you.
You pay $5 without blinking for a beer that cost the bar 28 cents.
You take fashion seriously.
Being truly alone makes you nervous.
You have 27 different menus next to your telephone.
Going to Brooklyn is considered a “road trip.”
America west of the Hudson is still theoretical to you.
You’ve gotten jaywalking down to an art form.
You take a taxi to get to your health club to exercise.
Your idea of personal space is no one actually standing on your toes.
$50 worth of groceries fit in one paper bag.
You don’t notice sirens anymore.
You live in a building with a larger population than most American towns.
You’re suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you.
You secretly envy cabbies for their driving skills.
You think $7.00 to cross a bridge is a fair price.
Your door has more than three locks.
You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.
You’re 35 years old and don’t have a driver’s license.
You ride in a subway car with no air conditioning just because there are seats available.

 

Okay, some of these are kinda lame…and not true for me considering I don’t live in NYC, BUT, I’m leaving them up here because they are so damn true!! 🙂

2 on Tuesday!

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Good Morning and Happy Tuesday!

The lovely author of a new blog (to me!) that I’ve been reading does a little thing called 2 on Tuesday, which I think is a fabulous and fun idea!

 

 

This week is all about pet peeves, so here we go…

1.  One of my major pet peeves is when there are two lanes of traffic, one being a regular straight on lane, the other being a right turn only.  The straight on lane goes directly onto a bridge (which everyone wants to cross during rush hour), whereas the right turn lane is much less used.  My FAVORITE thing is when drivers think they are too good to wait in the loooong line of traffic in the lane getting onto the bridge, so they zoom past you in the right lane and as all the rest of us poor souls are waiting our turn, they flip on their left hand signal to scoot into the lane boarding the bridge, therefore passing a buttload of cars in the process.  Their own personal way of giving us all the finger and being just too impatient to wait their turn.  This bugs me to no end.  Who are you to get to cut the line!? Grrr.

2.  People that talk and carry on in the movie theater (mostly teenagers).  It pisses me off.  Just be quiet!

Whew, now that that’s off my chest! 😉

Have a good rest of your day!