Saturday, December 31, 2016

What 2016 Has Taught Me

Hey cupcakes! Today is the last day of 2016, and I cannot believe how fast the year has flown by! :/ 2016 has been super busy for me, but it has also been pretty fantastic! I got to try many new things, travel, and spend a lot of time with family, friends, and my boyfriend. <3
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 In the past 365 days, I have also learned a few things:

1. You win some, and you lose some - I have always been a perfectionist, so it was always hard for me to deal with a bad grade on an exam, an unsuccessful work event, etc. However, during 2016 I have learned that you can't do as well as you'd like on everthing - it just isn't possible! So, I have learned to better cope with my "wins" as well as my losses". :)

2. You only have one body, TAKE CARE OF IT - This year was a pretty bad year for some of my extended family members due to health concerns. However, all of these problems stemmed from unhealthiness and not taking care of their bodies, so this year really opened my eyes to how important it is to eat right, exercise, and take care of your body, mind, and spirit!!!

3. Everything happens for a reason - I feel like a lot of people this year have been negative and pessimistic about what is happening in America, the world, etc. I personally learned this year that everything truly happens for a reason. It might take some time to figure out what those reasons are, but I can guarentee there really is a light at the end of the tunnel <3

4. Keep your focus on the important things in life - I often felt myself not spending time on the most important things in my life (family, friends, etc.) due to being busy, lots of work, etc. However, I learned that no matter what you NEED to put those things first because they are honestly the most important things in life :D

5. Life is short - I will be turning 20 this year, which totally blows my mind! I've been taking a lot more chances this year, trying new things, etc. because life is really so short, and you should try to make the most of the time you have!

6. Happiness is key - I have been through many ups and downs this year, and I have found that staying positive and happy (no matter the situation) has changed my outlook on the world for the better! I truly recommend being as positive as possible as often as you can because it really will make you feel better even in the darkest of times! :*

What did you learn during 2016??? Comment below and don't forget to follow!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Recipe: Saltine Chocolate Bark

Hey cupcakes! I have been eating so many sweets these past few days (lol guilty as charged), so I thought I would share one of my family's favorite snacks over the holiday season: Saltine Chocolate Bark!
Saltine Cracker Toffee

This treat is so simple to make and is actually quite addicting to eat! I could eat a whole pan of these in one sitting if I wanted to :P

What You Need:
-40 saltine crackers
-1 cup (2 sticks) butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-Hershey chocolate bars
-Rectangular pan/cooking sheet (with edges!)

1. Line the pan with aluminum foil and the saltine crackers. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

saltine crackers laid out

2. In a saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together.
3. Let this mixture boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Pour the mixture over the crackers making sure they are all coated evenly.
5. Bake in the oven (425 degrees) for 4 - 5 minutes (until caramel mixture is bubbly).

Bubbly caramel out of the oven

6. Remove from oven and immediately place pieces of chocolate on top.
7. When chocolate begins to melt, use a metal spoon to spread it over the crackers evenly.
8. Chill the pan in the fridge or freezer!
9. When totally cool, break into smaller pieces and enjoy :D

What is your favorite holiday treat? Commet below and don't forget to follow! <3

Thursday, December 22, 2016

5 Last Minute Holiday Gifts to Give

Hey cupcakes! The holidays are just around the corner (like literally a couple of days away!!!), so I thought I would write a quick post about some last minute gifts you can purchase/make for someone.... Now hopefully you didn't forget anyone important, but if you have been busy (with finals like me!) or haven't been able to find the perfect gift, these ideas are just for you!!!! :D

1. Baked goods - If you don't have time to make it to the store or are looking for something smaller to bring to a relatives house, I suggest baking your own cookies, pies, cakes, fudge, candy, etc. Spend a few hours in the kitchen making your signature dessert, and everyone will LOVE it! :)

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2. Gift cards - I know a lot of people hate giving gift cards for the holidays because they are so impersonal, but I think they actually aren't that bad of a gift (especially if you don't know the person very well!). I makes so much more sense to spend your money on something they can actually use versus a random product that they won't touch.
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You can make a cute holder for them too! :)
3. Homemade cards - While this isn't an actual gift, I LOVE to make cards for my family and friends. I think it is so much better than store bought ones because you can add inside jokes and channel your inner artist. <3
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4. Donate in their honor - If someone you know is really into a certain charity or a cause, I suggest making a donation to a charity or other nonprofit organization in their name (or you could Adopt-a-Family in their name too!). I know my friend donated money to save the rainforest for her best friend (who loves sustainability), and she LOVED it!!!
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5. Make a care package - Instead of just one large gift, buy them a lot of smaller things with a theme like Spa Day!
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What are you looking most forward to over the holidays? Comment below and don't forget to follow! :D

Monday, December 19, 2016

What to Wear ft. Holiday Party

Hey cupcakes! I AM OFFICIALLY ON WINTER BREAK! :D I am SO pumped, and I cannot believe that I have already finished three semesters of college! Time is truly flying by! In light of this holiday, I thought I would make a fashion post about what all you lovely followers can wear to your family, friend, or work holiday parties! Let's get started!

Outfit 1 - I think wearing plaid for a holiday party is super cute! It brings in the winter season without a lot of overkill :) You can pair a plaid skirt with either a cute sweater (this one with the bow is SO cute) or a cute blouse and cardigan! Paired with some flats, you are ready to dance the night away!

Outfit 2 - If you want to wear an ugly holiday sweater (YESSS), pair it with some black dress pants (or black denim if the party is casual) and some killer boots! 

Outfit 3 - If a holiday party is more on the formal side (or you just want to look totally hot!), wear a red or black body con! This one is velvet, so it really reminded me of the holidays! I also paired the dress with a cute wrap, but any jacket or cardigan would also do the trick! 

What do you wear to holiday parties? Which outfit is your fav? Comment below and don't forget to follow! :D

Friday, December 16, 2016

My Thoughts: Hairspray LIVE!

Hey cupcakes! Finals week is here, and I have been studying like nobody's business!!!!! :P I actually am feeling pretty ready for my finals, so I thought I would write a post sharing my thoughts on Hairspray Live during one of my study breaks! :)

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So on December 7th, my friends and I watched Hairspray Live on NBC. I had high expectations because Grease Live was pretty good last year (see my review on Grease here), and I had absolutely hated Sound of Music Live and Peter Pan Live. I was pretty worried because Tracy was a random girl, and I wasn't so sure Ariana Grande would be good....

Boy was I wrong! I think they blew it out of the park!!!! This was BY FAR better than Grease, and Maddie Baillio did an amazing job playing Tracy. Ariana Grande was also a really good Penny, and she played the character really well. I think Kristen Chenoweth stole the show as Velma Von Tussle (she was hilarious and by far my favorite character)!

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The songs were amazing (shoutout to Jennifer Hudson for KILLING her songs and making not only some of my friends cry but some of the actors too!), and you can listen to them all on Spotify now (which I would recommend)! The show had some great jokes throughout that made the performance really fun to watch, and it was the perfect mix of seriousness and comedy.
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Just look at this set! :O
The costumes were great, the set design was gorgeous, and oh my goodness the choreography was spot on! :D I remember Grease Live seemed to last for forever, but Hairspray Live (all three hours of it) just flew by!!! I was actually sad to see it end! I feel like this isn't really a good review of the show because I honestly didn't have anything bad to say about it.... I would recommend all of you to watch it if you haven't!!!! I am pretty sure you can watch the whole thing on their website here: LINK!

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I cannot wait until they do Bye Bye Birdie, and I'm sure it will be great! <3

What did you think about Hairspray Live? Comment below and don't forget to follow!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Experience: A Team Project from Hell

Hey cupcakes! I haven't done an experience post in quite some time, so I thought I would tell you all a grand story that happened to me this semester (since finals literally start tomorrow!)......

I am pursuing a business degree, and the school I attend has a large emphasis on team and group work.
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I am not normally a fan of group work, because I always end up doing most of the work, but it hasn't been that bad this semester. It is actually super nice to be able to talk over assignments so that I knew for sure I was doing the right things and understanding the concepts correctly. BUT, I had one team experience that was pretty terrible....

In this one class, we were put into groups of 5 to write a 12-15 page research paper that compared and contrasted two companies' mission statements and analyzing them using some material we learned in lecture. My team decided to meet the Friday after the assignment was given (which is pretty good that we wanted to get a head start on it!), and we split up the research and writing into five parts and then decided we would have a rough draft done by Monday (meaning we would all write our portions over the weekend).

During the weekend, I of course wrote my portion and added it to the shared Google Doc. On Sunday night, I get a text from one of my group members in our group chat:

"Hey guys I have (insert an illness that isn't that bad here), and can't do my portion of the assignment."

I was like:
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After being concerned all Sunday night, and not being able to get a response from said sick member, I eventually met with my team Monday evening. Everyone else had written their portion, and we felt good that we were ahead of the game. In regards to said sick member, we thought he would eventually do his section (thinking that you know he was a home literally doing nothing and not that sick). BOY WERE WE WRONG!

A WEEK went by, and he had not done anything for the research paper, but he also would not text or respond to us. We had NO idea if he was writing it (or if one of us had to!), if he planned on writing it eventually, when he was getting back to campus, etc. 

FINALLY, he texted us:

"Guys I still haven't been able to write my section but I sent the professor an email telling him the situation."

Lucky for me, he blind copied me into the email, and a direct quote he told our professor:

"I didn't ask to be as sick as I am."
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Mind you, this paper was due in less than five days, so the other members and I met a few more times and ended up writing his part and doing all the editing, etc. 

The night the paper was due we had one less meeting a few hours before the time it was due (for last edits) and GUESS WHO THE HECK SHOWED UP: Mister Sick Boy. Not only did he make fun of some of our sentence structure (because he would have worded it this way), etc. he literally yelled at another one of our team members for texting because:

"I have better things to do you know." 

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Oh really???!?!? So did I when I was writing your portion of the paper!!!!!!! 

Anyways, we ended up with a fine grade on the research paper (and unfortunately the professor gave sick boy the same grade because we were on a "team"), so the end result of this horrible team experience was worth it in the end (lol I guess...). I hope you enjoyed this story and that you don't have a team experience like this in school! :)

What is your best/worst team experience? Comment below and don't forget to follow!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

My Favorite "Ugly" Holiday Sweaters

Hey cupcakes! I can't believe it but finals start next week! :O I am so pumped to go home for Winter Break, and I bet some of you are too!!!!! Today I wanted to share my favorite "ugly" holiday sweaters that will go perfect with the wintery season. Enjoy! :)

1. Tree Sweater - Forever 21

2. Cool Santa Sweater - Charlotte Russe

3. Reindeer Sweater - Rue21

4. Polar bear pullover - Wet Seal

5. Penguin cardigan - Wet Seal

6. Polar bear sweater - Kohls

What cute "ugly" sweaters have you seen lately? Comment below and don't forget to follow! <3

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to Makeup ft. Pops of Color!

Hey cupcakes! I feel like I haven't done a post about makeup in a long time.... I am so sorry to my followers who enjoy reading about different makeup looks, products, etc., but I have never really loved makeup as much as enjoy fashion and other things!
I seem to always wear the same neutral look... BUT I have recently been experimenting with pops of color in my typical everyday eye looks! :D

If you are looking for a subtle and simple way to spice up your makeup looks, think about adding a pop of color in one of these ways:

1. On the "under outer" corner of your eye
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You can put the color on the whole "under" of your eye or start halfway! 
Lol the"under outer" sounds really confusing, but this is my go to way to wear colors! I love to add a thin line of colored eyeshadow under my lashes after my mascara has dried, and I think it looks super cute! My favorite colors are gold, blue, and purple! :)

2. On the "under waterline" of your eye

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I recently found this chubby eyeshadow sticks that I bought eons ago, and I LOVE wearing it on the waterline of my eye...You can use eyeshadow sticks (that look like crayons) or eyeliner for this look! It gives such a unique pop of color! :)

3. As eyeliner
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I totally recommend experimenting with brightly colored eyeliner! Whether you do a dark shade that makes it look almost like a typical black (but with a twist) or you go for a bold primary color, I think this is such a fun thing to wear every once in awhile! :)

4. On the inner corner of the eye

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I think this looks really cute! You can do only the top, only the bottom, or both (either way you will look stunning!). Make sure to use colors that will make your hair and/or eyes stand out! <3

5. As a bold statement!!

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Last but not least, if you are looking for a pop of color, make a WHOLE eye look based on one color! Be bold and be proud!

How do you like to wear a pop of color??? What colors do you like to "pop"? Comment below and don't forget to follow! :D <3
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Get your sexy on, girls! ;)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Movie Review: Moana

Release date: November 23rd, 2016

Rating: PG
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Hey cupcakes! I know I just did a movie review on the movie Arrival (check it out here!), but I recently saw Moana when I was home for Thanksgiving... and I just HAD to review it for you guys! 

Ever since they announced that Moana wouldn't be your typical Disney movie (with no romance involved!), I was so curious to see if it would be any good. I thought it was great! It wasn't my favorite Disney movie, but I thought it was really well done! I loved the new plot line and how friendship was the major focus of the film, and I thought there were also some great powerful feminist messages in the film as well. :)
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And look how cute baby Moana is!
Some of the songs were incredible (a few were a bit blah), and the animation was SO stunning! The ocean and water was flawless, and you could really tell that they spent a lot of time on special effects and making sure everything looked realistic (thank you Disney for the accurate female body presentation!!!!). I think this was definitely a win for Disney (all of the high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb agree with me!), so I would recommend seeing this before it is out of theaters! <3

What did you think about Moana? Comment below and don't forget to follow me! :D

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Ultimate Winter Bucket List!

Hey cupcakes! Happy first day of December! :D In September, I made a list of fun things to do during the fall, so I thought today I would make one for the winter! :) It has already snowed a few times where I go to school, so I thought this would be a perfect way to get you excited for the wintertime; enjoy! :)

1. Decorate for the holidays - Regardless if this is Christmas or another holiday, decorate your house, apartment, dorm, etc! :)

2. Drink hot chocolate by a fire

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3. Have a snowball fight

4. Stand in the middle of a snowstorm and enjoy the beauty of it!

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5. Build a snowman

6. Make paper snowflakes! (Check out my last post to see how to make these!)

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7. Buy amazing gifts for people for the holidays!

8. Go caroling!

9. Ice skate!

10. Bake lots and lots of cookies

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11. Make some holiday crafts (ornaments, etc.)

12. Build/decorate a gingerbread house!

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13. Cuddle up with a blanket and reread one of your favorite books

14. Take a walk in the woods

15. Donate old clothes, toys, furnitures, etc. to those who need it during the holidays <3

16. Wear a onesie for a whole day
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17. Wear red and/or green

18. Take a drive and enjoy the lights/decorations in your town!

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19. Listen and sing to holiday music

20. Make a handmade wreath!

What are your favorite things to do in the winter? Comment below and don't forget to follow! :D

Monday, November 28, 2016

DIY: 3D Paper Snowflakes

Hey cupcakes! Winter is here (at least it has started snowing haha), so I thought I would make a quick DIY post on how to make 3D paper snowflakes! These snowflakes are actually very easy to make, and I love to hang them up in my dorm! Let's get started!

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1. Take a piece of computer paper (or any colored paper that is the same size) and, taking one corner, fold it so that it makes a square. Cut off the rectangle that is extra.

2. Fold this square diagonally to make a triangle.

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3. Cut three slits up the side of the triangles and then unfold.

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4. Roll the inner two pieces and tape in place, flip over and tape the next two pieces together. Repeat until all of the pieces are taped.

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5. Ta-da! Now you have one of the six parts of the snowflake (repeat steps 1-4 with 5 other sheets of paper).

6. Staple or tape the inner corners together and then staple/tape the sides to make your complete snowflake! :D
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For more detailed instructions and pictures, check out this great wikiHow article! :D 

What is your favorite winter craft? Comment below and don't forget to follow! <3

Friday, November 25, 2016

My Tips and Tricks for Black Friday :D

Hey cupcakes! I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving yesterday full of food, family and/or friends, and lots of thanks! :D <3 I am so thankful I have such loyal followers like you!

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Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is time for BLACK FRIDAY! :O Black Friday can be a little stressful and overwhelming, so I decided to put together some more of my favorite tips for this shopping day (see my post from last year HERE)! Enjoy!

1. Do some research ahead of time - Know what stores open first, where the best deals are, etc.

2. Use this research to make a game plan - Know exactly what stores you will go to (and even what order!), what deals you are planning on taking advantage of, etc. I know this might sound a little crazy, but if you have a concrete plan you will totally get a lot more shopping done!

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3. Have back up items to purchase - Black Friday draws out a lot of shoppers, so I would recommend having back up items to purchase for people/yourself just in the case the sizes run out, you can't find the item, etc.

4. Plan out how much you are willing to spend! - This is big! Plan out the maximum you are willing to spend (you could even go to the ATM and take out a certain amount of cash), so you can stay on budget :)
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5. Be courteous to others - After every Black Friday there are always terrible news stories about people hurting others while they shop. Be nice and courteous to others so that the positivity can spread from shopper to shopper! :*

6. Be nice to the employees - Put yourself in their shoes... Would you want to deal with that many shoppers at once? Cut them some slack!
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Smile at everyone! ;)
7. Make a time schedule of when you are shopping - You don't want to waste a ton of time shopping, so I recommend making an estimated time you will be out. That way you can spend even more time with your family and friends over the holiday!

8. Stay safe!!!!! - In general, be safe during this crazy shopping time! <3

What are your tips and tricks for Black Friday shopping? Comment below and don't forget to follow me! <3
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Have a great day of shopping! <3
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