Monday Motivation -- On a Tuesday

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I felt the need to change up my greeting on this post--I say some variant of "Hello and..." every day, and that gets a bit boring.  But at the same time, the post feels naked with no greeting. So here we are.  Fun fact: this is also how I greet my friends in real life. (You guys know who you are--I bet you even read that "hola" in my voice, too, huh?).

Anyways!  I am coming at you with some Monday Motivation on a Tuesday.  I could have posted on a Monday (so yesterday), but after a week of no posts, it seemed a bit boring to have two of the same posts in a row.  So here we are!

As I mentioned yesterday, it has been kind of a weird week.  This is largely due to my little recovery period from my procedure.  But it also has to do with life in general.  It has also rained pretty much non stop, so there is that as well.  I am not normally the type to long for warmer/sunnier weather, but today I really found myself dreaming about palm trees and clear skies. 

Maybe it is the weather, but I am feeling a bit blah on this weekly column.  I am wondering if it is something I just don't want to keep up, or if my lack of enthusiasm is a sign that I am not doing enough to work towards my personal goals.  I am leaning towards the second one.  And we all know what that means: time to get back on track academically, physically, spiritually, and all the other "ly's." 

Wish me luck!  Here's to hoping next week's column is a bit more motivational. 

Fresh Nails

Hello and Happy Monday!! It has been a minute since I last checked in here.  Last week, I mentioned that I had a small procedure performed to remove some moles on my neck.  I didn't think it would have much of an impact on my daily routine, so I didn't schedule any pre-made blog content in case I'd end up not feeling up for taking photos, etc during the rest of the week.  That assumption turned out to be quite wrong, as I spent the entire week feeling pretty blah and downright gross due to the stitches and bandages on my neck.  This feeling, in turn, sapped me of all creative forces.  Fun times! (Not).

To perk myself up a bit for the weekend, I went on Friday and had my nails fixed.  I decided to try something different from my usual dark colors or neutrals and went for a bright red.  I am loving the result--it definitely cheered me up!

I go to the Nail Room here in Stavanger*, and can't recommend them enough! I prefer to keep my real nails, and don't like them to be too long, so I get a regular manicure with gel polish.  It lasts about 2-3 weeks before I start to get annoyed at the little gap between my nail bed and the color as my nails grow out.  I could do (and have done) my own manicure at home, but I vastly prefer the result I get at the salon.  Plus, it is also nice to get my nails done this way and then not have to worry about it again until next time. I'm just lazy like that, I guess.

*Not sponsored or an adlink, I just really like the work they do and highly recommend them!

In other news, I have been learning so much about photography with the "new" (it is a used Canon that I got for a scandalously low price) camera I recently got.  It is fun to try out new techniques, but I feel like I am having to re-learn everything I thought I knew about photography and photo editing. I have taken so many photos in the past week, but have only felt comfortable using the ones in this post because most of them have turned out...well...ugly. And even these I am not 100% happy with.  I am hoping that I will quickly master this learning curve!  Practice makes perfect, I suppose?

At least now it is a new week, and I am stitch-free.  So here's hoping that things can only go up from here!

Monday Motivation - Week 42

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Hello and Happy Monday!!

It is a bit of a slow Monday around these parts, as I had a procedure this morning to remove a few moles from my neck.  It is not a particularly invasive procedure, but for some reason, I have been super tired ever since I got home. I am not sure if this is due to the numbing agent, or just the comedown from all the adrenaline running through my body prior.  The one mole was on the middle of my neck, and I kept having visuals of the doctor somehow accidentally cutting too deep and nicking a main artery, causing me to bleed out right there on his table.  Dramatic, I know, but that is where my head winds up sometimes.  (Everything went fine, for the record: now I just get to walk around with a bit of a Franken-neck until the stitches come out).

Anyhow! My mole procedure is probably the least interesting thing I could possibly write about, so I am going to drop that subject for now.   This week, however, in general, is a bit of a slow one, as it is Autumn Holiday at school.  Although on my end, it is a week for getting things done more than it is a holiday: I have a project to work on, finance problems to master, and other fun tasks.  I have to say I like having a bit of a break to catch up.  Sometimes it is exactly what is needed to get back on track, especially for me who has been so stressed and tired the last few weeks.

The most exciting thing happening this week, however, is connected to a few investments I have made into this blog recently.  More specifically: I have invested in a used DSLR camera and a tripod.  Which hopefully will mean a huge upgrade in the quality of images presented here on the blog.  I am also seriously considering a migration to WordPress in the not so distant future.  My hope is to continue developing the quality of my content, while also giving this space ample room to grow.  And I have to say--I am pretty dang excited for what the future might hold!

On that note, I am off to get a few things done and hopefully cross them off my to-do list.

Have a great Monday!

My Current Beauty Favorites

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Hello and welcome!  In keeping with my plan to step up my posting frequency here on the blog, I thought I would pop in today and share some of my current beauty favorites

While I love makeup (and shopping for makeup!), I really hate to waste time and money on big ticket items like foundations and skincare if they aren't going to work and work well.  Because I have sensitive combination skin, I unfortunately cannot get away with skimping on these parts of my makeup routine.  There have been a few exceptions to this, but they are few and far between. So I am super excited to have found some products that seem to be doing the job just right!  I have had all of these items for several months now, as I don't like to blog about anything that goes on my skin until I have had ample time to make sure I am truly happy with how it works.  

But with that said--onto the favorites!

First, I want to talk about TooFaced's Better Than Sex Mascara.  Normally, I can't justify spending more than $10-$15 on a mascara.  To me, a mascara is a mascara is a mascara--they pretty much all do the same thing (I usually swear by L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara if you're looking for a great drugstore option!).  However, while in LA, I purchased the travel sized version of this mascara just to see if I liked it.  And like it I did--it left my eyelashes looking as if I was wearing false lashes or extensions.  This was particularly exciting, as I can't really use either extensions or falsies because I am most likely allergic to the glue.  If you have the same problem, this mascara is a fantastic solution!

The next item I am loving is the Murad MattEffect Blotting Perfector.  When I was in LA, my skin was having a total meltdown and was basically a shiny mess for the entire first week I was there.  I went into Sephora desperate for something that would help it calm the eff down.  Initially, I wanted a setting spray for oily skin.  However, the makeup artist helping me suggested this product.  She gently patted the cushion onto my problem areas, and I saw an immediate improvement.  I use this item as a primer, to set my makeup, and to touch up throughout the day.  The fact that it is bascially three products in one makes it a worthwhile investment!

I spent a few months this summer hunting for a new setting powder in anticipation of the impending end of the Laura Mercier powder I'd had for years (literally. I think I had it for five years).  While I didn't hate the LM powder, I didn't love it, either.  So this time, I decided to try the setting powder from GloMinerals.  I use it to "bake" the foundation and concealer on my T-Zone and smile lines, and then blend everything out with a lighter powder I got last year from NARS.

Speaking of NARS, my final two beauty favorites are from this brand.  I love NARS--in fact, I don't think I have ever been disappointed with anything I have bought from them. 

The first product I am loving from them is the Sheer Glow Foundation.  This foundation is so light that I can barely feel it on my skin, and doesn't get all "gunky" throughout the day like pretty much any other foundation tends to do on my skin.  Therefore, it was nothing short of a miracle from Baby Jesus that this one actually behaves like it is supposed to.  The best part is that a little goes a long way, so even though it is a bit on the spendy side, I will likely not need to buy new foundation for a loooooong time.  I use this product in the color Santa Fe, and I love it, especially when teamed up with my Murad Cushion for setting and touch ups!

Last, but certainly not least, is the Laguna Bronzer!  This bronzer is a cult favorite that I am super late to the party on.  Better late than never, right?  I had been wanting to try this bronzer for ages, but needed to use up the one I had before I could justify spending money on a new one. Let me say--it was worth the wait! I have used shimmery bronzers for years, but have recently been wanting a more matte look on my base so I could then add some sparkle with blush and highlighters.  This bronzer gets the job done beautifully!

And there we have it--my current beauty favorites!  Have you tried any of these products? What are your current favorites?

I hope you found this post helpful, especially if you have cranky combination skin like I do!

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5 Things I'm Looking Forward to in October

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Hello again!

You guys, it is October.  Like, for real--not only is it October, it is already the third of October.  When the eff did this happen?!

I, for one, have zero complaints about the sudden arrival of October.  It is one of my favorite months, and not just because it contains my birthday (although that certainly doesn't hurt).  October is the first full month of autumn, which, as I have not been shy about on this blog, is my favorite season.  Therefore, I am in a bit of a celebration mood here.

I had planned on taking my celebratory mood outside to get some photos of pretty fall leaves for this post, but Mother Nature had other plans.  It has been dumping buckets of rain for the past several days, so instead of a montage of boot + leaf pics, you will guys will have to enjoy some snaps from this month's Costume, my pretty journal, and my favorite fall nail polish (Chanel Rouge Noir, which much to my chagrin apparently no longer exists in nail polish form).

I can still eek out some Rouge Noir, but it is probably time to accept that the bottle now serves a purely decorative function after four years of constant use.

I am clearly very excited about the new month, as seen by my incessant rambling above.  It cannot be helped when there is so much to be excited about!

1. Breaking out my heavier clothes and coats.  I have not worn very many autumnal articles of clothing this past month--in fact, my spring trench coats are still hanging in the entryway of my flat.  It has been a freakishly warm September, to the point where the trees still have mostly green leaves. I am not OK with this!

2. In keeping with item 1, I am excited for the leaves to fully turn colors!  In a way, I am also secretly glad that the leaves are a bit late this year, because the last weeks of September were way too busy to take the proper walks I would have liked to take.

3. Getting some cool projects underway on the blog! I have some great ideas, some of which I got a head start on now. I was considering attempting Blogtober (where I post every single day for the month of October, natch!), but I am afraid of over-promising and under-delivering on that one.  Although I have so far managed to blog every day so far, ha!

4. Candles.  All of the candles.  I love when it is dark outside with lots of warm, cozy candles burning inside.  Especially if I have some in delicious fall scents like vanilla, chocolate, or anything spicy. 

5. My birthday party!!   I am throwing a Halloween-themed birthday party with the help of some friends who have a much bigger apartment than I do. I cannot wait to get my friends together for a night of fun and silly costumes.  Even better--one of my best friends is coming to visit from Eastern Norway, and I cannot wait to see him!!  It is going to be an all around great weekend, and I am very excited.

I am even more excited just typing these things out!

What are you looking forward to in October?
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