Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

 

Happy November 1st!
Halloween is over, and although it was quite terrible this year, Holly muffin had an amazing time.

Let's gush over some photos of my little rainbow glitter unicorn...





Basically, it was extremely rainy and windy last night. The weather forced me to make a 3 o'clock run to Walmart for rain boots and ponchos so we wouldn't want to give up come trick-or-treating. It was really gross.

We took our umbrellas and headed out to a local sub division around 6:15. We were out for about an hour an a half, and to my surprise, Holly really stuck it out. She didn't complain one time, and even asked to continue after our first rest break. It also helped that I purchased her costume in a bigger size to accommodate for warm clothes and managed to fit her entire raincoat underneath the dress. Her costume also came with a warm, furry hood and her rain boots matched her outfit perfectly.


In the end, she scored a ton of candy (only one mint!) and had a ton of fun. I'm super excited that Halloween is over because I really wasn't feeling it this year...and now I can focus on Christmas!

How was your Halloween?



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Look A Lot Older Than I Am


 
When I was younger, probably around 17, people started telling me I looked a lot older than I was. Ever since then, it's become kind of a trend.
When I turned 19 and became of legal age to buy alcohol in Canada, it took me almost a year to ever get ID'd at a liquor store. I still rarely get ID'd for anything.

When I started working retail about 6 months ago, I began interacting with a ton of women everyday, mostly middle aged and elderly. Over the past few months I've been repeatedly hearing small references to my age- but it's no where near my actual age.

The average guess seems to be anywhere from 28-32.
I actually just turned 23.

I must admit that I do know why this happens. I think not only have I always looked older, but I dress older than I am (in comparison to other girls my age that I know), I talk about my kids and house, and I'm probably in the same mindset as someone 28-32 years of age.


The problem is that I guess it's been on my mind a lot lately. It doesn't exactly bother me, I just think about it a lot. If I lost weight would I look younger? Should I dress differently? When I'm 30 am I going to look 50?

I think it gets to me because my mom and grandma both look fairly young. Also, Chris looks exceptionally young for his age so sometimes I feel like he looks like my younger brother. He gets ID'd for everything and people constantly make references to the fact that he looks like he's 15. I worry that when we're 40, he'll look 20 and I'll look 60. Scary.

I can't lie, I've already started using anti-aging products (although I know they probably won't work). I know I probably shouldn't think about it as much as I do because it's rather unchangeable, but I can't help it. I guess I've discovered a new area to be self conscious about, which is just awesome. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

I LOVE a Good Accent Nail

Fall has always been my favourite nail polish season. Dark nails work so well as do golds and bronzes. 
Dark nails have always been my favourite (ever since my half gothic phase in high school), but lately I've been a huge fan of the ever-popular accent nail.

Black & Gold and Wine coloured polish are basically all I've been wearing since the first leaf fell this year, and here are two of my favourite looks:

Chanel's Kaleidoscopic & China Glaze's Leather

A no-name wine coloured polish I found at the bottom of my polish bag & Color Club mini's gold glitter

Also, I'm in the process of trying to grow out my nails. The photos are backwards, but you can see the difference from the second to the first. My nails look much nicer in the gold polish (longer, healthier, cleaner!).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Joe Fresh's Duo Concealer Review


Introducing...my new favourite accidental find.
I had never tried any Joe Fresh beauty product before this concealer, and to be honest, the day I ended up purchasing this I was looking for a cheap blush. I didn't end up getting any blush (maybe that's next) but I found a product I'll be continuing to buy from now on.


 Reasons why I love this concealer:
1. It has both a liquid and a cream concealer, both of which are great quality. The liquid is the perfect consistency for me, and the cream stick is a bit thicker for those hard to cover spots. Who can resist a 2-in-1 anything, anyways?
2. It doesn't make me break out. Usually when I use anything but mineral foundation, I break out like crazy, but this concealer surprised me.
3. It's ridiculously cheap for what you get- $8!

Cream stick on the top, liquid on the bottom. This is the shade "Light".

I'm already on my second tube of this concealer, and I'm sure there will be a third.
If you're looking for a budget concealer that really does the trick, I highly recommend this stuff!


Friday, October 4, 2013

On Trying to Find a Direction Post-Grad

Via Tumblr

I've discussed a few times before that I graduated university this past April. Graduating university was extremely important to me, and in the end, I ended up completing two 4-year degrees (two honours B.A.s) in 3 school years. Basically, I worked extremely hard, took full course loads through two summers, and even did course overload a few semesters. I even managed to work a 2-term internship into that equation.

Not to sound full of myself here, but I'm exceptionally proud of myself for doing what I did. When I started university, Holly and Brooke were 1 and 2, and when I graduated they had just turned 4 and 5. When I look back and realize how young they were when I started, how much we went through in the 3 years I was in school, and how I ended up graduating a year early with phenomenal grades and holding down an internship, I start to think I can do anything I set my mind to.

Basically, all that leads to now- 5 months after my last day of university classes, I'm working a retail job and considering my options. I'm trying to find a direction, and I'm having a really hard time finding one.

I apply to several jobs per week, but finding work with my degree (communications) in the area we live is proving near impossible without 10+ years of experience. The majority of work in the field respective to my degree is 4 hours away in Toronto, and for obvious reasons (Brooke living here with her mother) we can't move 4 hours away right now. I can't lie, I, like most other recent graduates, had completely unrealistic post-grad expectations and now the real world is kicking me right in the face. I found my job in retail right after I started looking for something, but now I'm at a standstill because clearly it's not what I'd hoped for.

I'm someone who can't stop thinking about the future. I worry, I wonder, and I plan. I can't sit still. After job hunting and working a completely irrelevant job for the last 5 months, I've deciding to go back to school.

I was warned when I began university that I might need further schooling to give me some "real skills" post-grad, and now I truly understand what that means. University taught me a whole lot of theory and some great writing and research skills and maybe helped me review some high school math, but didn't add a whole lot to my resume. Employers want to see concrete things that I know, and I'm now realizing that only more schooling will provide that to me.

 I did my research this time- checking locally to see salary ranges, availability, etc. and have my mind set on going back to school for human resource management. To be in the field, I will have to be educated about things such as accounting and claims- concrete skills.

I'm still really confused and sometimes question my decision. Why? Because this might be my last chance to get it right. I can't just keep going to school if things don't work out. I also still have to decide which type of schooling to go for (a masters degree or a post graduate diploma- both have their benefits). Basically, my plan is to be back in school by next September because I feel like I'm slowing my own life down. I want to buy a house, get married, possibly expand our family, and although I know school is an investment, it just slows things down for another year.

I'm sure I'll figure this all out, it just feels really good to write about my post-grad frustration/confusion.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Don't Throw Away Anything With A Magnet On it- A Washi Tape Magnet DIY


A few weeks ago I realized how many ready to upcycle magnets I had on my fridge being super ugly and decided to do something about it. Enter washi tape- one of the best crafting tools of all time.


You know these note pads that stick to your fridge? They all have different sized magnets on the back, and when you finish the note pad, you throw it out. Basically, I'm telling you to never throw away one of these magnets. Rip it off and save it.


I've been collecting the magnets for some time now knowing I would do something crafty with them, so I had upwards of 10.

The paper is extremely hard to get off, so to get an even look underneath the washi tape (most is relatively transparent) it's easiest to just colour it in with a black sharpie.


I bought this super fun washi tape at Michaels- one on clearance and one using a 50% off coupon. For 5 rolls it cost me around $10.


The purple chevron is my fav. 


Obviously, I took the magnets, applied washi tape, and trimmed the edges. Instead of cutting the bigger magnets, I combined colours and patterns to cover the surface.

...and in 10 minutes I had a bunch of cute magnets.


Holly also helped out and made her own!



Easy, quick, and cute- the perfect DIY project.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Today Isn't Just My Birthday


Today I turn 23, but today isn't just my birthday. Today, my parents are celebrating their 25th anniversary.

25 years is a long time, especially to be married. I've known for a long time how lucky I am to have parents who love each other as much as mine do and have made it work for as long as mine have, but for the past few weeks, it's really been on my mind . Of course. I've seen them fight, argue, and get extremely annoyed with each other, but I've also seen them laugh, joke, and work through problems together my entire life. They've actually build a life together from the bottom up- it's something you'd see in a movie.

The photo above is my favourite photo of them together. I think my mom is about 16 in the photo, which would make my dad 19 or 20. It's crazy to me that this is how long they've been together- they had already been married for 4 years when my mom was my age. This photo reminds me of what we have and also reminds me of how positive an influence they've been on my life. My sister and I are extremely lucky girls to have them as ours.

Right now, they're in Cuba celebrating. They haven't been on a vacation together since their honeymoon 25 years ago, so I truly hope they're having an amazing time. Basically, congratulations to my parents for 25 years of marriage, and I can't wait to celebrate the 50 year mark.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jelly Pong Pong's "Fairy Lashes" Mascara Review


So, as I previously mentioned, I received this mascara in a Topbox a little while ago.

I've been using it for a little while now, and as a mascara junkie, I must say this is unlike any other mascara I've ever used.


The Good: This mascara gives me amazing length, volume, and curl. My favourite thing about it is how easy it is to layer and build to create more and more length (length is a big deal for me). The gel formula is unlike anything I've ever used, ever. It stays in place, dries well, and adds to the end of each lash. This summer I tested this mascara in the pool, the rain, and the humidity and it didn't budge (a few flakes here and there, but it never rubbed off and was never runny). Also, the name and packaging for this product are both irresistibly adorable.

The Bad: The company claims that this mascara is "water resistant" but it's more like super glue. It's incredibly difficult to get off. I've used about 4 different eye makeup removers to try and remove this stuff at bedtime and although it's possible, it hurts and takes a lot of effort. I've actually resorted to wearing another more washable mascara underneath this mascara to make it easier to remove at night. Beyond the removal, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Overall: Beyond my difficulties removing this mascara, I have no complaints. This stuff does wonders for my lashes and I actually consider it to be the best product I've ever received from a monthly subscription box. I would highly recommend this mascara.

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Check out some close-ups of Jelly Pong Pong's "Fairy Lashes" on me below. For comparison to some other mascaras, check out this post.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Holly Muffin Started School Yesterday!


Yesterday my little Holly Muffin had her very first day of JK!

Although she's battling a pretty bad cold at the moment, she did really well for her first day- she rode the bus like a champ, made some awesome new friends, and loves her teachers!
As for me, after weeks of telling everyone that I wouldn't cry if Holly didn't, I cried. I sometimes can't believe that I've already been through 4 1/2 years with this amazing little human.

Anyways, I'm pretty convinced that Holly is going to love and thrive in school (she loves to learn) and I can't wait to see what the future holds for her!

Dress- Old Navy, Shoes- Meijer

Daddy & Holly
Holly & I (pre my breakdown)
First day family selfie
First day lunch
My Little Pony backpack- Target

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

On My Life

As I recently discussed, I've been wanting to take a part of this blog in a more personal direction. Not too in depth and personal, just tidbits about my life and family.

Basically, here are some basic facts to get started:

  • I'm about to turn 23
  • My boyfriend Chris (also 23) and I have been together for 3 and a half years, since April 2010
  • I have a 4 year old daughter named Holly (whom this blog is named after)
  • Chris has a 5 year old daughter named Brooke
  • Obviously both Chris and I were teen parents
  • Brooke lives with her mom for the most part. She stays with us on our weekends, our days, and holidays (and whenever else we can take her)- She and Holly are besties
  • Holly hasn't seen or talked to her biological father in almost 2 years. She knows Chris as her one and only dad
  • This year (2013) I graduated from university. I currently hold two honours bachelors degrees- one in psychology and the other in communications, media, and film. I'm highly, highly considering going to school soon
  • Chris graduated last year (2012) from civil engineering technology- He currently works as a drafter in the solar industry
...and those are the basics, just a small intro about us. I plan to build and expand the rest of my posts from here, so stay tuned.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Holly Muffin Social Media Part 2: Keeping A Clean Pinterest


If you're a blogger, you know how vital Pinterest can be (finding ideas, posting your own ideas, generating traffic, etc.). I've read so many blog posts in the days since Pinterest began on how to properly use the site to it's full potential, and up until lately, I've been breaking one of the cardinal rules... I've been keeping a messy Pinterest.

When I started this little Pinterest cleanup project, I had over 30 boards, all which were labeled very general things like "beauty" and "cakes". Within these albums, I had useless pins, repeated pins, and I had mixed a lot of my own blog's pins with other pins. All in all, a complete throw up of pins.

One day, as I was trying to find a specific recipe pin, I realized something had to be done about it, so I spent the next hour rearranging, deleting, and renaming everything. The end result is something I love- a totally organized Pinterest. 

What did I do?

First, I narrowed my number of boards from 30+ to only 21. Second, and more important (I think), is that I gave almost every category (recipes or beauty for example) 2 different boards- one for inspiration pins (things from other blogs and websites I like) and one for pins from my own blog. This way, when people follow me they can browse my albums knowing exactly what's coming from me and Holly Muffin and what's not. There's no confusion. Below are some examples of how my Pinterest is organized now.




How did this cleanup change things?

In the 2 weeks post Pinterest cleanup, I've noticed increased traffic as well as increased repins from my blog's albums. Also, when I'm pinning or looking for a pin, I know exactly where to go (ah, the joys of organization). It generally feels better not to have a bunch of useless boards either- I feel like now, strangers who follow me on Pinterest can get a sense of who I am and what I do.

Is your Pinterest organized? Get on it!


By the way... you can follow me on Pinterest here!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

June 2013 Topbox Review




As I previously mentioned, I decided to give up my monthly subscription to Topbox. I'm aware that this post is extremely late (as are most of my Topbox posts), but I just really like to fully and properly try these products before I give a review.

1. Belvada Cosmetics Mini Eyelash Curler (Full Size $5.99): This little eyelash curler actually really surprised me. It's been years since I actually considered using an eyelash curler daily, but this one is so compact and works so well that I can't help but keep it in my bag. For the price, how can you go wrong? I would say it works better than the more expensive Revlon LED heated eyelash curler that I have, so I would definitely recommend it.

2. Benefit Cosmetics Sugarbomb Ultra Plush Gloss (Full Size $19): In general, I don't wear lipgloss because it's too sticky, but I love the texture of Benefit's lipgloss over any other lipgoloss. beyond the texture (not too sticky), it smells ah-mazing and comes in the cutest packaging. As much as I like it, I probably wouldn't shell out $19 for lipgloss either way.

3. Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics Fairy Lashes Mascara (Full Size $24): I absolutely love this mascara. It's one of the coolest products I have ever received in a Topbox and for that reason, I did a full review on it- check it out here.

4. Pari Beauty Colour Cubes (Full Size $30/5 stack, $35/8 stack): Also another one of the best samples I've ever received in a Topbox (that would happen in my last box ever), these cubes of loose powder are perfect. I got two amazing colours- #04 & 19. I've been using the pink to kick up my blush, and the gold as a beautiful eyeshadow. Beyond how nice and shimmery the colours are, the powders can be layered for a more prominent effect. I just love these powders. You can check out some photos of these awesome colour cubes below!





Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting Personal

If you read, you know that my family consists of myself, my boyfriend Chris, and our girls Brooke and Holly. Seeing as I don't exactly live the "normal" life of a 23 year old, these three are my entire world and I spend nearly every waking minute with at least one of them.

With that, I'm leading to a bit of a dilemma. I've been writing this blog for some time now, and have mostly kept the content hobby oriented- food, home, beauty, etc. My hobbies are a big part of my life, but I find that when family life gets busy, I let my projects fall by the wayside. This is fine, but when it comes to blogging, I end up with no content. This is why lately I've really been considering bringing more of my personal life into my blog.

I read many blogs on a daily basis- many of them are strictly hobby based, while many of them mesh hobby and personal life. I used to enjoy blogs solely for the photos and the quick scroll, but lately I've been really taking the time to read some of the more lengthy posts because in all actuality, I learn things from these bloggers. Bloggers come from all different places, all walks of life, and have different struggles and accomplishments. I love both cases, where either I can completely identify with a blogger or learn something I didn't know. 

I still have yet to decide which parts of my personal life I will be allowing into my blog, but I think that due to the fact that this is my space, it's a good idea.

I would love to know- Did you make the conscious decision to incorporate more of your personal life into your blog? How did you go about doing it?
Further, when you read other blogs, do you enjoy this type of content, or do you scroll right past it?

xo

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Can't Wear Lipstick- A No Top Lip Problem

I've recently developed a love for lipstick, and also recently realized that I'm not sure I can wear it.
Why? Because I have no top lip.

You can view the photos below and see what I mean by "no top lip". After I took these photos and viewed them, I actually thought they didn't look that bad. Maybe it's the colour, lighting, or the fact that they're photos. In real life, I find that lipstick just looks awkward and unfitting on my face (in any colour).

The problem lies in that my bottom lip is a decent size, while my top lip is basically non-existent. This causes a transfer of  lipstick from over my bottom lip to the space between my nose and upper lip quite often. When I talk or rub my lips together at all, I always find lipstick far above my upper lip. It happens with lip glosses and balms as well. I tend to stick with thicker products that are colour free and wont move as easily.

I've recently purchased a product called "No Bleeding Lips"- a clear lipliner intended to prevent lipstick transfer. I plan on trying it out as soon as I can and posting about the results.




Do you have any recommendations on how to prevent this transfer?





Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2 Books I'm Currently Dying to Purchase

Images via Amazon- 1, 2
I'm absolutely adoring the idea of these books. One for myself, one for the girls.

The concept is simple- a Q&A a day. One different question everyday (365 questions) repeated for 3 (kids book) or 5 years (adult book) to allow for comparison of answers.
For myself, it would be so interested to see how my answers to the same questions change as my life evolves and I grow into adulthood. For kids, it would be amazing to see how one year could completely change the content of an answer.

These books have been added to my current want list. What's on yours?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Holly Muffin Social Media Part 1: BlogLovin

Do you use Bloglovin'?

When Google Reader shut down I noticed a lot of bloggers pushing it, and for good reason. I love Bloglovin for the sheer reason that the site compiles the posts from all of your favourite bloggers into a neat and tidy reading list. Who doesn't love convenience like that?

 In case you didn't know- HollyMuffin is on Bloglovin.


If you'd like to follow HollyMuffin on Bloglovin click here (or click on the Bloglovin social media icon in the upper right corner).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

LUSH Solid Gorilla Perfume in Karma and Vanillary


I've been waiting a while to write this post and let you all know about how much I absolutely love LUSH's solid perfume. If you've never tried this stuff before, I'm here to let you know that it's a game changer.

I've been using the Solid Gorilla Perfume in both Vanillary and Karma for about 8 months now, and I can honestly say that I will never again go without. Why are these solid perfumes so good you ask?

First, if you know LUSH, you know that these perfumes are handmade and mostly made from natural ingredients, which is something I can't help but love. Second, the scents available are amazing- these two are opposites in that Vanillary is warm and strong while Karma is very fruity and fun, so I tend to alternative depending on how I'm feeling. Beyond that, because they're solid, these perfumes have amazing staying power and can be layered between lotions and sprays (for a longer lasting effect). I will note that contrary to what I think, my boyfriend thinks these perfumes are much too strong when first applied. The scent will slowly become weaker with time. Lastly, as you can see, they come in tubes only a few inches high (slightly larger than a chapstick tube) so they're extremely easy to keep all over. Typically I keep one in my bedroom and one in my purse.

I don't think I could even count the number of compliments I've gotten on these perfumes or been asked where to get them. These perfumes come in many different scents, smell amazing, and are so convenient! I highly, highly recommend trying them out.

Source

Source

What's your favourite LUSH product?
Let me know!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Problem With Monthly Subscription Boxes


We all know that monthly subscription boxes are all the rage right now. I read multiple blogs every month that review beauty boxes like Birchbox and Ipsy although I do not subscribe to either. I've also seen various reviews on other boxes such as Bluum Box and Umba Box which I find extremely interesting.

If you read this blog, you know that for the last 6+ months I've received one box- Topbox (an amazing Canadian monthly subscription box). Guess what? I cancelled it.

Let me tell you why.

Honestly, I wish I subscribed to all of these boxes simply because I love stuff. I love getting awesome new things in the mail (I love trying new things, period). The problem is that with all of these monthly subscriptions popping up, it's easy to go overboard on spending and end up with a lot of junk.

I've found some absolutely incredible new products from my subscription boxes (my first Deborah Lippmann polish, some Benefit products I still use, etc.), but for the most part the things I received along the way are sitting in drawers in my bedroom. A lot of what I received was not my colour, something I would have never purchased in the first place, or something that I simply didn't like. What really pushed me over the edge and forced me to cancel was the continuous receiving of makeup remover and anti-aging creams (I'm only 22!).

From what I've seen online, this happens to most of us who receive these boxes. I actually see a good amount of bloggers/vloggers admitting that they give things away to friends or let the samples go unused and it bothers me.

Although it pains me not to receive awesome makeup in the mail anymore, I've just come to realize that it's $10+ I can use for something else (for example, the full size version of something I knowingly love).

At least I can say I was on the monthly subscription box train for a little while.

How about you? What are your thoughts on the trend?
Tweet me or leave me a comment!
xo
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