Why do things need to change?

It isn’t my typical fashion to talk about insanely serious topics. I usually try to add in some light humor to make everything seem okay. This post, however, you won’t get any of that.

I can very optimistically say that there are very few things that scare me. Sure, there are a handful of things that freak me out a little bit, but scare me? Shake me to my core? I really don’t have a long list.

At the top of that list, though, are guns. Most specifically, related to school shootings.

Unless you live under a rock or far away from any outlet that spreads breaking news, you would know that it is February 17, 2018 and there have already been eighteen school shootings this year. Eighteen. In 46 days, nonetheless.

While it is common knowledge that shootings don’t just happen at schools, that context is the one in which I am the most terrified of. I look around at my six students and wonder what the heck I would ever do in a situation like this. I hope and pray to God that I never have to figure it out, but it’s completely evident that it’s something you need to think about.

I most recently read this article from PBS News Hour that has resurfaced from 2015. Not surprising since we’ve just experienced another horrific school shooting tragedy in our country this week alone. When did it become a teacher’s job to stop a bullet for your child? But really. When did it?

I work in a non-traditional school. So when I say that we do practice lock down drills and have received ALICE training, some of my friends either roll their eyes or ask questions about why we would ever do such a thing in our school. My answer: Do you see the world we live in?

I can’t say that I will ever have to worry about one of our own students, or former students for that matter, bringing a weapon into our building and causing havoc. I use this phrase cautiously because I guess you never know. However, there are a multitude of people coming into and going out of our building on a daily basis. Could one of these individuals cause this havoc? Absolutely. So my answer is yes. We do practice these drills. We do learn how to effectively block and barricade a door, fight off an active shooter, protect our students, and so forth.

I cannot say that fighting off an active shooter or using my body as a barricade to protect my students is something that I have ever seen in a job description. This is a reality I hope I never have to face. But, this is reality. I don’t know how my fellow educators, some of which who have been in this field longer than I have even been born, handle walking into work each day thinking about how to protect someone else’s child from falling victim to a monster.

Now, I will say this. I am not one to push an anti-gun agenda on you. If you want to own a gun, own a gun. Hunt animals, have it help you feel safe in your own home, lock it up and never use it;  whatever you need the gun for, you do you. There are plenty of people in my life that do own guns and I do not think of them as any less of a person.They are responsible people, and if you remain responsible with your gun, I have no issue. Just because I will never own one, never shoot one, or have any desire to be around one doesn’t mean I think you should feel the same. I am terrified, therefore I refuse to be around something I am uncomfortable with.

I, however, do not know why any civilian needs to get their hands on an automatic weapon. Weapons designed to continuously fire rounds and rounds of ammunition as long as the trigger is held down. Weapons that are typically restricted to military and police organizations. Why do we need automatic weapons? Why is it legal to own these firearms? I think this over and over in my head, day in and day out.

While I don’t think all weapons should be banned, I do not see a need for these to be possessed by any civilian, ever.

This blog post won’t change the world. Thoughts and prayers won’t change the world. But sometimes thoughts and prayers and words are needed to be shared to ease the pain. The extension of a helping hand or a kind heart in a time of need is something that everyone needs. While they do help, I will reinstate, they won’t change the world. We need to start now. This world needs to be a better place. I mean, it is 2018 for Christ’s sake.

I will leave my thoughts with a quote, pulled directly from this PBS News Hour article: “Teachers are not police officers or firemen or members of the military trained to deal with dangerous situations like this. We are people who are trained how to get people to think, so that is what I am doing. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon because I will always love my kids enough to want to be the one between them and a bullet, but this also wasn’t in the job description.” 

Which act of violence will stand out as so much worse? How many innocent people need to lose their lives for this to be taken seriously? Which event will be so much worse that we finally decide to make a change? It needs to happen, and it needs to happen now.

xoxo.

Fantastic Friday!

Happy Friday, y’all!

Week after week, Fridays are always the easiest days to wake up on. Each Friday morning, I get excited for the weekend and thrilled that we’ve survived another week! I know I’m not the only one out there that feels this way, I mean, come on now! Who doesn’t love the weekend?!

This Friday, however, I woke up a little more excited for a multitude of reasons. For one, it’s the last day of work before mid-winter break! The thought of having a week off [well, technically nine days!] with nothing to do is beyond exciting, and definitely much needed. There has been so much going on lately that having the time to sit back and take a breath, even for one day is beyond exciting, let alone nine! Adding to the excitement was the fact I had a doctors appointment this morning, meaning I could sleep in way past 5:30am for my morning appointment and head to work around lunchtime. While a visit to the doctors isn’t the most exciting thing to do, it’s always a good break in the routine. For me, I typically only go once a year *knocks on wood* so it truly is not something routine for me at all. But, the most exciting thing of all is that my brother is coming home tonight for the long weekend! He will be in Western New York until late Tuesday afternoon and I could not be more excited to spend time with him! It has not even been that long since we bought him back to Ohio for the start of spring semester, but it seems as if it has been forever.

As far as what this next week holds, definitely an abundance of prewriting for the blog for the remainder of this month. Definitely some relaxing, some apartment hunting, and spending time with family. For almost all of the rest of you, how are you celebrating this long weekend? xoxo.

Valentine’s Day

I want to take this time to wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you have a special someone or are unattached, today is the day to remind your nearest and dearest how much you love and appreciate them!

Truthfully, I am not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day solely for the fact that I don’t think you should focus on expressing love only on one day of the year – I think love is something that should be spread every single day! However, I will take the time today to reflect on how blessed I am to be surrounded by so much love on a daily basis. Yes, I am in a long term relationship, but the love given off by, not only my boyfriend, but my family and friends and students and so forth. . that is something that I am thankful for every single day of my life. It is a reason I am so happy and a reason that I find a purpose in making a difference in the lives of everyone I come in contact with. You get what you give! It’s true, all you need is love. 

xoxo.

 

Playlist | Valentine’s Day

Hooooly cow, there’s a lot of love songs out there. I had the [un-original] idea to make a Valentine’s Day playlist to showcase songs focused on love and positive vibes and happiness as an attempt be sappy and act festive for a whole five minutes. I added and deleted so many songs from this playlist because I couldn’t believe how many songs totally fit this lovey-dovey, Valentine’s day vibe. So whether you’re professing love to your significant other, your dog, or your heart shaped pizza – grab a glass of wine, here’s a playlist for your listening pleasure! xoxo.

Monday revival

Hiya friends and family.

Did I mean to take a mini-hiatus last week? Absolutely not. But life has been all sorts of crazy, blog posts didn’t get prewritten, and life moves on. We’re all still here and alive and breathing, so I can’t stress over two or three missed blog posts, right? *exhale* Right! So, let’s see. What has happened between last week and today? A whole heck of a lot, that’s for sure!

Apartment hunting has come full swing and this time around, it’s 175% more stressful knowing this isn’t just a place to go once or twice a week. It’s extremely frustrating to me that I paint an exact picture of what I want in my mind and then spend time looking and searching only to find that exactly what I want doesn’t exactly exist. And things that can pass off as near-perfect come in handfuls, only resulting in my indecisiveness getting the best of me. I think my greatest fear in this entire venture is the fear of not loving my home a few months into it. That I will regret not looking at “just one more” place, or that there is a place out there that I didn’t even know existed and I could’ve had my hands on. I kid you not, at first, my list of potential places I would live is quite possibly the entire North Buffalo area. After spending hours yesterday narrowing this list down and making a spreadsheet of people to call and places to see, this next month has gotten extremely busy in the blink of an eye. I totally blame this entire stress on my OCD and wanting everything to be perfect, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I am starting to actually annoy myself. Sorry, world, because I’m sure you’ll hear the brunt of it!

In the midst of all of that, Valentine’s Day suddenly became a short handful of days away. I knew this, as mentioned on my site last week, but I swear I forgot and thought I had more time to figure it all out. How pathetic, right? So, off shopping I went [as if I really needed an excuse] for some Valentine’s Day goodies, and also some birthday gifts for my dad. It took me forever to figure out everything I wanted to buy, and I wandered two malls and a Target for a large chunk of time and eventually ended up with some pretty good gifts, if I do say so myself. Then came gift wrapping and organizing. Shockingly enough, somewhere in the midst of that, I had time to bake some Valentine’s Day sugar cookies too – any excuse to use the KitchenAid mixer is a good one – not that I needed to sit here and eat two dozen cookies.

So now as I type this out on a *disclaimer: not Monday* Sunday night, I have a time to sit back and breathe. I am currently cozied up on the couch with my berry LaCroix water, some of those aforementioned cookies, wuth Keeping up with the Kardashian’s streaming in the background. It’s crazy to me that to so many people, this past week-ish would not be considered a busy weekend. I am in absolute awe of not even bloggers, but people in general, that have a million different things going on in a million different directions but still manage to have their lives together and get everything done on time. There’s days I feel like I am failing as an adult, or am being viewed as immature for what I think crazy is. Hopefully, one day I’ll get there and have it all together. But for now, I’ll take what I can get, and if what I can get is this road I’m on, I can’t complain.

I’ll get there one day, but until then, I’ll appreciate my time watching the Kardashian’s before bed. xoxo.

Popular makeup products totally worth the hype

It feels like every single day the beauty community grows larger and larger. Whether it’s brands themselves, beauty bloggers on YouTube, or people like you and me who enjoy exploring makeup, there are always new products being talked about and shared for others to see. What’s crazy, though, is that amongst new product releases that occur everyday, there are some ride or die products that never shy too far away from the spotlight.

I will be one to admit that I have purchased products that were hyped by beauty bloggers just to see what I had been missing. Hearing of products over and over again makes me want nothing more than to get my hands on these products solely for the fact that I wanted to, in a sense, belong. While I have found that some of these products totally aren’t worth the hype or, in some cases, the expense, there are a handful or products that are totally worth every penny!

L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

This product has been reviewed everywhere from Tati to Jeffree Star to RachhLoves. Some have even gone so far as to call it the best drugstore mascara ever, and honestly, I might have to agree. It took me what felt like forever to get my hands on this product. My local Ulta and Target were sold out of it [except the waterproof formula] for quite some time, but when I was finally able to use this product, I became obsessed. The formula is  adds serious volume and length to your lashes and comes in four shades – blackest black, mystic black, black, and black brown. The best part, though, is that you can get killer lashes for just $9.99 at Ulta!

Maybelline FaceStudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter 

I swear, you cannot enter into the YouTube beauty community without hearing about this product. I first heard about it from Nicol Concilio but, again, it has been reviewed by beauty bloggers far and wide. I had never been a huge fan of highlighters, much to blame for never having found a shade that I really, really loved. Enter Master Chrome. This product is amazing. If I am being honest, I didn’t get this product until last week. I wanted to try to escape this hype but I really just couldn’t, I ended up having to give in and try for myself. The formula is so beyond creamy and it applies super smooth without adding a single ounce of texture to your face. The color, molten gold, is absolutely to die for. And, it is buildable, so you can highlight as subtle or as glam as you want. Doing so much as throw a little bit on the tip of my nose adds a fresh, healthy glow to my skin. Can’t beat it for the low price of $9.99 at Ulta, either!

Kylie Jenner Matte Liquid Lip Kits

Ugh, the lip kits. When Kylie announced the launch of her brand, the world basically exploded. Between the hype and then the drama and more hype and more buzz, you couldn’t go a single day without hearing about Kylie Cosmetics. I bought my very first Kylie lip kit on their second launch a long time ago. The shade was Exposed and I fell completely in love with the formula and the longevity of the wear. The lipstick dries down completely matte and basically suction cups itself to your face for the next 5 years of your life. Now, it is extremely, extremely rare that I would fall in love and purchase multiple of a product that is so expensive. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Plus you get a liquid lipstick and a lip liner, so two for the price of one, right? [Don’t mind me trying to justify the heck out of these purchases, guys].The killer of these $29.00 lip kits is that you have to pay for them to be shipped to your house since you can’t buy them in store, only on kyliecosmetics.com, bumping up the already pricey product even more. I will admit that I got sucked in for quite some time, there, because I ended up with multiple products in my collection, seven to be exact. In the lip kits I have the shades Exposed, Leo, Posie K, and Spice. I also picked a gloss in the shade Like, and two metal matte liquid lipsticks in the shades Heir and Kymagesty [this shade was a freebie when I bought the Spice lip kit]. I will say that I have worn every single shade on multiple occasions, and every time I do, I get a compliment or questions about my lip product – another plus. She has since added so many more products to her cosmetics line, including new lip formulas, that I have not tried. Maybe one day, but for now, I’ll stick with what I love!

The Jaclyn Hill Palette

I will start this blurb out by saying, you all should know my love for this product based on the fact that I didn’t do just one but two posts on this palette. Before this product was even officially launched for sale, social media was booming. Jaclyn herself did numeous tutorials on this product [duh, it’s her own] as well as many other members of the YouTube beauty community alike. I became obsessed before it was even added to my collection. I was able to get my hands on this on the third restock and I have never refreshed my phone so much as when I did while trying to track this package. When I opened it up to use for the first time, I swear beams of light poured out of this packaging and there were faint sounds of angels singing in the background. This palette is breathtaking. You can see the amount of hard work that went into this palette; the color scheme, the formula, everything. I reach for and use this palette every single day of my life. For $38.00 you get 35 colors, making it $0.92 per pan. And a bonus, Morphe’s recent partnership with Ulta means this palette will be available for a very long time, and when I finally need to get my hands on a new one, I won’t have to fight the clock like I did the last time!

What are some popular beauty items that you think totally live up to the hype? xoxo.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas | DIY

Valentine’s Day is just over a week away! With the holiday creeping up on us, some of us [*ahem* me] might be in need of some cute gift ideas for those that we love and adore. I have never been the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, personally, so I tend to go toward the DIY approach when it comes to giving gifts. It’s a cheaper and way cuter option; I mean, who doesn’t want a gift created with love, straight from the heart?

If you’re in need of a quick, cute idea, stick around. This post was written just for you!

It’s Smore Fun to Have a Friend Like You!!

This gift is as easy as 1, 2, 3! All you need is some mini Hershey’s milk chocolate bars, some jumbo marshmallows, and a graham cracker. Pop those babies in a Ziploc bag and viola! All that’s left to do is add a cute little card to cover the top of the bag, personalized with cute little drawings and a cute little saying. Who wouldn’t love this!?

I Donut Know What I’d Do Without You!

This gift is as simple as running to your local Tim Hortons, Dunkin’ Donuts or anywhere else with delicious donut holes – aka Paula’s Donuts – and putting a handful inside of a Ziploc bag. Another added bonus, around the holiday, it shouldn’t be hard to find some donut holes that are festively decorated! Heck, even a cherry donut hole will do – everyone has those! Pop a little note card on the top and tie with a bow. It’s a treat everyone is sure to enjoy!

A Pint-Sized Adult Beverage Sure to Pack a Punch

All you need is a Mason jar, a mini bottle of liquor [e.g. Jack Daniels or Bailey’s or anything else your loved ones enjoy], a straw, a ribbon, and a mixer [e.g. a mini can of Coke, a Starbucks espresso drink, etc.]. Pop the mixer into the jar and tie the mini bottle of liquor with the straw to the outside. Pop on a gift tag and you’re sure to see some smiles!

Date Night Jar

This is actually a gift that I have done myself – last Valentine’s Day to be exact! All you have to do is think of places to go or things to do in your community [or further if you really want to get adventurous!], color code them, and place them in a jar. Many of these DIY gifts encourage the use of popsicle sticks, but I simply wrote ideas on little pieces of paper and folded the papers in half and placed them in a giant Mason jar. Whether the categories are special occasions, expensive dates, inexpensive dates, or stay at home fun, the opportunities are sure to be endless! Plus, it adds some excitement to your day and takes out the indecisiveness that comes with what to do with your free time!

What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day? xoxo.

** images courtesy of pinterest.com **

 

 

 

Super bowl Monday?!

If you wanted the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl, raise your hand.

Now that I got everyone’s attention – hi guys! Welcome to Monday!

This entire weekend was crazy busy, and it took up until today for it all to finally hit me. Saturday I had a bridal shower brunch, followed by an afternoon with family, followed by a dinner date with my boyfriend, followed by going out with my family and some friends. Sunday was filled with a coffee date with my brother’s girlfriend, the Super Bowl and watching a long-awaited episode of This Is Us. For someone who isn’t too emotional, I feel like I rode the biggest emotional rollercoaster of my life those two days, especially yesterday, being at an extreme high after Tom Brady’s loss, followed by an extreme low watching This Is Us. Add to this the copious amounts of Super Bowl snacks I ate, and the fact I didn’t get to bed until almost 1:00 in the morning, and wake up for work around 5:45/6:00; I am exhausted! I hate being busy on the weekends, but sometimes, it’s just what has to be done!

In regards to bridal showers and weddings, as I get older, I am really starting to appreciate and understand the significance of such events. It’s crazy to me to think that every single person that you love and appreciate will all be together under one roof at the exact same time. Now, I know what you’re thinking – *duh, isn’t that obvious?* – but really, it’s insane. Especially in regards to my family, we are dispersed all over the freakin’ country – whether its Arizona, Massachusetts, Florida, or North Carolina, you name the state, we’re probably there! So having my cousin’s bridal shower Saturday was an exciting prelude to her wedding in May, because it’s another excuse to see everyone again, all under the same roof!

Now, onto Sunday.

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge the fact that Super Bowl food is the best food. I swear anything you make on Super Bowl Sunday tastes different than it would if you made the same dish any other day of the year. Having all of my favorite foods in front of me in one shot – I might have been in my own personal heaven. However, it’s days like yesterday when I don’t have the greatest self control when it comes to unhealthy foods. Now, I don’t always eat the best, but it’s also not everyday what I eat chili and pizza and queso and dessert in one sitting. All I can say is that I am extremely thankful for baggy, boyfriend cut jeans because if I wore anything else to work today, it probably would not have fit or been extremely uncomfortable.

Secondly, if you watch This Is Us, chat with me in the comments about last night’s show. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers for the sake of eyes that haven’t watched the episode yet, but I am extremely overwhelmed and [shockingly] pleased with the way the “big episode” turned out. I laughed, I almost cried, I screamed in shock, I screamed in fear, and I finished the episode with a huge smile on my face. Did anyone else think this episode was done perfectly? I’d love to know what you think. Also, I love the fact that we are spoiled with having another episode tomorrow! Two in one week doesn’t even seem fair, but I’ll take it.

With that being said, how was everyone’s weekend? xoxo.

Super blue(s) moon

Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard of the “Super Blue Blood Moon” that occurred on Wednesday. If you do actually live under a rock, the Super Blue Blood Moon was the third in a series of supermoons aka when the moon is super close to the Earth in orbit. It was also the second full moon of the month aka a blue moon is born. And as if that wasn’t enough, this super blue moon passed through the Earth’s shadow, giving off a total lunar eclipse while also taking on a reddish tint aka a blood moon is born.

Am I a total astrology buff? No. But after this week that I feel most of us have had, I might be headed toward the believing side. Wednesday itself, the historic moon day, seemed as if it was hell on Earth. There was one point in which I looked around and wondered what the hell was even going on. Not one single thing went right, and upon learning of this moon phenomenon I thought to myself *wow, maybe astrology really is something we should be paying attention to* – anyone else feel the same way?

This week from start to finish left me mentally and physically drained. I kid you not, I have not been fully awake or myself since last Sunday. As the days went on, I just kept getting more and more tired. And what is really frustrating is the fact that I legitimately fell asleep almost every night this week between 8:30 and 9:00 in the evening [lame, I know], but I still awoke as if I had slept for a grand total of 37 minutes, only to restart this cycle again.

With there being 52 weeks in a year, we are bound to have some weeks that are bad now and again. In a sense, that is what is so great. When one week ends, there is always another right around the corner. There is always another opportunity to make a new week a good one.

So, here we are on Saturday morning. We made it through the work week and to the weekend. I am looking forward to all this weekend has in store – a bridal shower this morning, date night tonight, and the Super Bowl tomorrow. Even more so, I am looking forward to a new week ahead filled with new opportunities and memories to be made.

Can anyone else relate? Do you feel like this past week was 58 years long? xoxo.