A Review of Everything that I’ve Promised to review

Hi there,

So in the last few months, I’ve tested products for influenster, and bought products that I either hated or loved. Instead of making individual posts for these things, I’m just doing in in one post #laziness. I’m promising to be as honest as I would expect anyone else to be, which means brutally honest. Here We Go

Makeup:

  1. Maybelline fit me matte + poreless: So I got this product from influenster to try out for free a while ago. When I got this product I was excited because matte translates to controlled oily skin for me and I like free things. The foundation that I got was the 360 Mocha shade, and while that might be great for winter, that didn’t really match well in the summer. I’m waiting for drugstore products, actually all makeup companies to  step it up in providing shades for darker women. I wore it to work without primer, and it held up for about 3 hours before it started to slide off. I assume that with primer and setting spray it will last longer. For the price, its a great option for those with oily skin, and with the help of primer, it will last.
  2. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: Everyone talks about this mascara like its the holy grail of mascaras. I went and bought the smaller size because I refuse to pay full price for something that I might hate. I’m not sure if I just suck at using this mascara, but I was not impressed. The great thing about it is that my eyelashes don’t clump together, but that’s all I can say about it. It didn’t lengthen my lashes enough for me to validate the price, and I was disappointed. A great alternative to it is the L’oreal Paris Miss Manga Punky mascara. Its inexpensive (especially at tj maxx) and adds so much length to your eyelashes. I love it. Seriously though, save your money and try something else.
  3. Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfecter: Again a product that is intended for those of us who struggle with oily skin. This primer does what it says, and does it well. The only issue that I had was that my skin looked ashy to me, and I had to do so much to bring warmth to it. I’m not sure how to fix that, so until I do, I’m just going to leave it alone. If you have tips let me know.
  4. Maybelline vivid matte liquid: I got this from influenster as well (seriously go and sign up). They gave me two colours, the nude flush and rebel red. I really wanted to like this product but it was horrible. The nude flush is definitely not dark skin friendly, and made me look like that pokemon jynx, yuck.              The red was better in terms of colour, but that is the only positive thing that I have to say about this product. I’m not sure if maybelline forgot what matte meant between the foundation and this product, but the best way to describe this liquid lipstick was not matte. I tried it so many times and it never dried to a matte finish. Regardless of how many layers I put on, it wouldn’t do what was advertised. just save your money and use the nyx matte lip creams if you’re going for a drugstore product.

Hair:

Donkavaya Hair: I’m not sure how I came across this company, but something about them intrigued me. I reached out to them and they sent me a bundle to sample. After checking it out and dying that sample, I ordered from them. I ordered the peruvian body wave 18,20,22,24,26 and a closure for myself (I love full hair) and then my sister ordered the same in 18,20,22,24 and a closure. This was paid for with my money.

Packaging: So packaging wise, they weren’t that impressive and I love pretty packages, so I was a little bit disappointed.

Customer service: They were so patient and helpful. There was an issue with shipping and they did all that they could to make sure that I got my product on time. I literally harassed them at all times, and they were quick to respond to assure me that I would get my product on time.

The hair: I ordered 5 bundles because I was nervous that the hair would be thin and that ended up being unnecessary with this hair. The bundles were thick, soft and so pretty and the closure didn’t require me to do work, which was great. I ended up dyeing the hair to black and it still stayed soft and manageable. The hair doesn’t tangle unless I go to sleep without doing anything to it and of course when the wind chooses to be an enemy of progress. I’ve installed it a few times since I got it in may because my new growth is also an enemy of progress. The hair sheds a little bit but that’s because the wefts were cut and I didn’t seal it. The body wave comes back when I wash it, and it straightens and curls nicely.

The negatives: So the only real problem I had was that my sister’s closure has shed so much that it has a huge bald spot on it. She didn’t dye hers like I did, so I’m not sure why its that way. Sadly she’s going to have to buy a new closure because its kind of hard to hide that. Other than that, the hair had no problems that would dissuade me from buying it in the future.

Price: They weren’t expensive, and while I want to let you know how much I paid for 9 bundles and 2 closures, I never know if my parents are reading this, and would like to prevent any unnecessary lectures on my life decisions. Honestly, the price isn’t bad and they are currently having a sale for back to school, so get on it.

Others:

ZzzQuil LiquiCaps: This was one of those things that I recieved from influenster. It’s almost like they know how hard I’ve been dealing with insomnia lately. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this pill, but it took me a while to fall asleep, and I’m not sure if that because I was sick when I tried it and had taken a nap earlier in the day, but I was not impressed. I’ll just stick to counting sheep and the sound of rain when I try to sleep.

 What are some products that you’ve tried recently that you either hated or loved, share below please🙂

More Ankara Ideas

The beauty about fashion is that it is always evolving, or sometimes recycling. This year between chokers and peasant skirts, we have seen the old become the new and thankfully all of that can be done through Ankara/lace. So here are 10 more beautiful Ankara/lace combinations 

1. This is so elegant, and the colour combination is perfect.
2. Off shoulder is the trend of the season, embrace it


3. I love the back of this 


4. So pretty 


5. I want this top so bad, you can dress it up or make it casual.


6. Shift dresses will always be great


7. This combines the freeness of a shift dress and the greatness of the off shoulder trend


8. The shirt dress is my favourite type of dress

9. There’s a really nice peek a boo aspect to this dress


10. You can never go wrong with a jumper, unless you’re in a rush to use the restroom 


All pictures are courtesy of Pinterest 

Which one is your favourite.

10 

10 years

10 years today since I committed my life to Christ.  July 26, 2006 won’t be forgotten easily for me. 

10 years since a very hurt, broken, scared, angry 13 year old sat at the altar and told God that I couldn’t do it alone. 

10 years since a near drowning incident helped me to see that the path I was going would destroy me. 

10 years in the hardest battles of my life, of questioning who God is and finding it out. 10 years of believing that he is who he says he his when situations are hard. 10 years of my heart being healed, of my spirit being restored, of me knowing that I am absolutely loved enough to be sacrificed for. 

10 years of chains being broken, deep unforgiveness being let go, peace being restored, fear being taken away.

10 years of joy…such a deep deep joy, such a deep peace in the midst of some of the hardest times, comfort when grieving, hidden sin being revealed and dealt with, guilt being taken away.

I watched last night as some kids made the same decision as I did 10 years ago and my heart rejoiced. 

Life will be hard, life might sometimes take you to places where you never imagined either as a consequence of other people’s actions towards you or your decisions, but God…

But God redeems, restores, delivers, comforts, fights, lifts, heals…

The decision is hard to keep with sometimes and fear and doubt will sometimes be louder than faith, but it’s so worth it. 

10 years and I don’t regret it. 10 years and I’m glad that God softened my heart and has continued to soften my heart. 10 years and I can see change. Change in language, in behaviour, in response. 10 years of learning to see what God sees in me, of knowing that nothing I do is able to redeem the dark parts of my soul but because God has mercy and loves me, he focuses on what I can be instead of what I am.

I’m grateful.

Love is a verb 

I’ve said it before and I still believe it, love is a verb. It’s meant to propel us to action, meant to be seen in the way we treat others. The people who interact with you should leave feeling like their lives have gotten better because you love. Love is more than the fairytale weaved by writers in books, it’s more than what you see in Disney movies and endless chick flicks. It is the foundation of who I am as a Christian. I love these posts by Christine Caine because they challenge me to think about the way I show love.   


      
  I insert my name into 1 corinthians 13:4-8, and evaluate if I’m loving people the way I’m supposed to, I’m usually not. So my challenge for this weak is to be love, to leave love, to show love. 

January Favourites

I love February, it combines a few of my favourite things. Valentine’s Day, the sale of chocolate and the birthdays of some of my favourite people, including myself. Despite having a bit of a rough start in January, I’m hopeful that February will be a lot pleasant for me. Faith over Fear! 😇

Goodbye-January-Hello-February-Photos-3

In January, I had a lot of favourites, from music to moisturizers, these were the overplayed, overused products in my life.

Health/Beauty

Cetaphil Moisturizer: Winter in Minnesota is actually a struggle, every year I find myself having to look for new moisturizers and lip balm because my skin seems to get used to it and refuses to not get ashy. This thing is so consistent and doesn’t feel heavy 👌 Also rumor has it that this is what Pharell uses and since he doesn’t age, I’m hoping it will help me to continue to look like I’m in my 20s for the next 7 decades.

Malin + Goetz lip balm: I found a trial size in my mom’s stuff and decided to use it. Holy batman (batman probably isn’t that holy) this thing moisturized like no other. I’m struggling with the fact that I’m almost out because 12 dollars is a bit more than I’m willing to pay for anything that isn’t food or high end makeup. Since Vaseline, Carmax and Blistex are apparently useless and just sit on my lips, it’s looks like I’m losing some money 😭😭UK200006636_MALIN_GO

 

Rosewater: It smells good, it moisturizes your face and your hair and it’s cheap. Praise! 😌 You can find it on amazon or in places like GNC

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Entertainment:

Don’t Stop – Olamide: this song comes on and I lose my mind. I love Olamide (ignoring the unnecessary drama at the beginning of the year) and I believe this will be played everywhere 💃🏽

For My People – Maleek Berry: It’s catchy, its fun and it was all over my snapchat feed.

Say It- Tory Lanez: When this song comes out, I belt it. Am I the only one who notices that it sounds like Don’t by Bryson Tiller.

Wanna be Happy – Kirk Franklin: I’m a huge fan, and the lyrics have spoken to the situations that I’m going through lately.

Pick Up- Adekunle Gold: He has to be one of the most consistent musicians in Nigeria at the moment.

Fashion wise, I’ve been wearing yoga pants and joggers. Honestly winter just makes me so unmotivated to put any effort into what I’m wearing outside of work. Thankfully winter is ending soon. Since I’ve been thinking of spring, I’ve been doing some online browsing and I love the SheIn site. I love that people review their purchases and post themselves wearing the clothes. I also love that these items are affordable, and they are always having sales. I have some items that I plan on buying when it gets a bit warmer outside.

Favourite Words: Psalm 42:11, I needed words to uplift me this past month. Life is hard, sometimes you grieve, sometimes you are sick, sometimes the devil throws lies at you to make you immobile, so these words constantly remind me to trust God, to remember that he’s good.
Favourite Restaurant: if you are in the twin cities of Minnesota, please go to black coffee and waffle bar and get this strawberry cheesecake waffle, I promise it will turn your gloomy day into one of joy. You might even start speaking in tongues 😭😭 but seriously, it is delicious 
What were some favourites from January, let me know.

 

Sometimes Take A Break

So in my post about my new year goals (I hate the phrase “new year resolution”) I talked about fasting social media for a bit and let me be honest with you, that was a struggle.

Every January, my church fasts for 21 days. The Daniel fast (no meats, sweets, processed foods…) is usually suggested, but my family chooses to not eat from 12 am to 6pm. Every year I struggle with it. Food is super important to me, and any type of restrictions placed on me, just irritates me and makes me hangry. With that being said, it isn’t a surprise that I failed a few times.

The fasting of social media on the other hand, came from a place of desperation, after a 3 am battle with comparison and feeling inadequate. Literally with tears of frustration and sadness, I deleted twitter, facebook, instagram and snapchat off of my phone. In the morning, when the rest of my household was awake, I asked my sister to change my password on facebook and my settings on my iphone, so that I wouldn’t be tempted.

As a society, social media has become so ingrained into our daily schedule. The first thing I do when I wake up is check all of my notifications. During family devotions, I catch my self scrolling through my instagram feed (Lord forgive me), at work when we’re waiting for patients, I’m on twitter and snapchat. instead of studying, I’m on tumblr, and pinterest. It’s bad.

For the first week and a half, I used online shopping to fill the void (don’t worry, I didn’t buy anything) and read a lot of news articles (something that I had cut back on because it was making me depressed and fearful) but I was really struggling. Then I downloaded candy crush again and basically put that in the place of social media.  I forced myself to do some self analyzing and I realized that the problem was that I didn’t want to feel left out, or feel like life was going on without me. For some reason, social media had become the main way that I communicated with people, and without it, I seemed to have forgotten how to interact with others and enjoy being in the moment. I’ve learned a few lessons from that time.

  1. Social media should be used to add to your communication with those in your life, not be the only source. Its important to ask people how they are doing face to face, instead of creeping on statuses and profiles for information.
  2. There is a peace of mind that comes from not always having information at the tips of your fingers. Some of my friends call me their informant, because I’m too observant and nosy for my own good. If I see something that’s off to me, I will research until I have an answer. While its kind of nice to know and notice things, its stressful to try to filter which info should be kept in and which can be shared. People have a tendency to be too open on social media without realizing that others notice.  If you need to know about something or someone, you’ll find out because the person will tell you, and if not…mind your own business.
  3. Social media makes comparison too easy. We’re already a society that compares each other and picks at each other. There’s no reason why you should voluntarily subject yourself to that. Everyone more or less, displays a controlled view of themselves on social media, so what you think you see, isn’t necessarily the truth
  4. You can be a lot more productive without that distraction. I listened more, I read more books, I watched more movies, I studied more (kind of), I enjoyed moments with people that I hadn’t been doing before and my mind was clearer. Not all the time flood your brain, sometimes let it relax.
  5. Not everything needs to be documented. This speaks for itself. Enjoy life without feeling like it has to be instagrammed or snapchatted. It makes one less self conscious and again, lets you enjoy the moment. I can’t count how many times I picked up my phone to take a selfie or snapchat something…I started to feel like the vainest person on earth.

So now that I’m back on social media, I’ve decided that while having it is useful for now ( I’m part of a committee that is planning a conference) changing how I use it, is important. So i will be spending less time snooping on social media, and more time being in the moment. Now I just need to get back on that workout goal.

So what are you addicted to, and how can you change it?

Learning to Breathe

The last three months have been hard, between deaths, and finding out that a friend has cancer, old issues being brought up, people disappointing me, my heart getting broken, and  feeling sick, I’m shocked I’ve held up as much as I have.

I’ve struggled with this incredible worry that I will fall into the abyss that is depression and not get out of it, and because of that I haven’t really allowed myself to have negative reactions. I’ve allowed myself to grieve, but just for a little bit, I’ve allowed myself to be angry but then after 5 minutes of it, I start talking myself out of it, not allowing these emotions to run through their course.

Its hard, even after a few years of not being suicidal and heavily depressed, to allow myself to be human, to breathe, to feel. It’s not healthy.

I’ve been learning about perspective and being grateful, and seeing the positives in situations, but I have ignored the fact that I can still be positive and have a good perspective and feel the emotions that the situations in my life cause me to feel.

The struggle is knowing how to balance it all out in a healthy way. Allowing myself to cry here and there, to feel angry, to feel fear, but not dwelling in them and giving it to God. Really, God already knows how I feel about these situations, so bottling them up inside doesn’t do him any favours. I think that because he’s a loving father, he wants complete honesty from me. I can tell him without shame that I’m upset, angry, frustrated, exhausted, at him and those around me and he’ll meet me where I am.

I’m thankful that in the midst of mourning, and anger, and not feeling like he’s there…he’s still there. I’m thankful that when I’m ready to cry out and be honest, he’s ready to listen. I’m thankful that even though I don’t want to read my bible, or pray, or anything like that, there’s music that speaks to my soul and that as I sing the words out, he hears and is ready to comfort. I’m thankful because I know that if God is allowing this to happen, it means that he knows that I’ll get through it.

So to those of you struggling as well, you will make it through. Allow yourself to feel, but don’t dwell in those feelings. Here’s to 2016 being breathable and filled with joy.

Side note: This is one of the best albums ever.

10 Switchfoot Songs

Growing up, all I was allowed to listen to was Christian music. By the time I reached middle school, I hated it with a passion. You could not get me to listen to a gospel song, and Christian radio was irritating to me because they played the same songs every time. Since my only way to listen to music without my parents knowing was to make CDs for my portable CD player, I was kind of in a bind. No job meant I couldn’t buy CDs and even when I borrowed CDs from the library, my parents would know, especially because I was always losing my library items. Y’all the library has made so much money off of my family in the years that we’ve been in this country (I’m pretty sure I owe two different libraries right now). Then I discovered Switchfoot in my youth group and my eyes were open to the fact that Michael W. Smith, and Amy Grant were not the only musicians to listen to.

My first CDs I bought were a set of three Switchfoot CDs and Zoegirl CD at Barnes and Noble. I played those CDs so much, and my love for Switchfoot has been there ever since. It didn’t hurt that their music was used in one of my favourite movies, A Walk to Remember. So I have made a list of my 10 favourite songs by them, in no order. This was actually really hard because Switchfoot has a lot of great music.

1. Learning to Breathe

2. Meant To Live

3. Only Hope (the Mandy Moore version is beautiful as well)

4. Dare You to Move

5. This is Your Life

6. Gone

7. Oh Gravity

8. Stars

9. Adding to The Noise

10. Twenty Four

New Year, New Me?

Happy New Year! Since we’re still in January, I feel like I can say that :)I hope that you had a great holiday season, and that this new year is going well for you.

I know that I’ve been MIA lately, and I apologize for that. Life has felt like this overwhelming roller-coaster and I was struggling, but I’m back.

I realize that everyone makes resolutions at this time of year, and I generally don’t because I don’t want to be disappointed, but I feel like I need to organize the goals that I have for this year in a public space, and hopefully that will motivate me. So here are my goals that I want to achieve.

  1. Finish the Kayla Itsines Workout: I played sports in high school, I danced in college and now that I’m out, I struggle with being active on purpose. I don’t enjoy treadmills and running means nothing to me if I’m not racing someone. I’ve started Kayla’s workout a few times, but then I got mono and lost motivation, but this time I want to finish it. Since its only 30 minutes, 3 times a week for 12 weeks, it shouldn’t be hard but it is. hopefully by April I will be celebrating the fact that I stuck to it.
  2. Invest in Experiences: I’m such a homebody lately, but there are so many concerts, movies, plays, art galleries…that I want to attend. This year, I want to have at least one experience each month. Something that I can look back on and have fond memories of. If you have any ideas let me know.
  3. Pay my student loans: While I’m still hoping that some miracle will happen and my loans will be gone, I know that I have to pay what I can, right now. It hurts my heart, and my pockets but paying more than the monthly minimum is my goal this year.
  4. Laugh at myself more: This has been a struggle already. Between losing my wallet in the snow, getting stuck in the snow, destroying the rim of one of my tires, and losing my glasses, I’m feeling like a hot mess so far. I need to start looking at these incidents with a new perspective and laughing more about it.
  5. Invest in my passions: I love singing, I love photography, I want to learn how to sew, I want to read more. Yet I find excuses to not take the opportunities given to me. So this year, I will do more of it all. I want to know that I’m not just making excuses.
  6. Invest in relationships: Due to the insanity of my last year, I regressed a lot in how I deal with people. I’ve been hiding a lot, and not following through with my plans to spend time with people. That’s not good for my mental and emotional health.
  7. Clean my room: I know this sounds trivial, but I’m looking at my dresser and cringing right now. I think I’m becoming a hoarder and that’s not good. So I need to get rid of things that I don’t use. In the past I’ve made excuses for why I haven’t donated or sold some items, but not anymore.
  8. Be joyful, be positive, be content, be honest, be courageous: This is both the hardest and simplest one on this list. It recently came to my knowledge that I struggle in these aspects. So this year, I choose to work on having a better attitude, and giving my attitude to God. I need a change of heart and he’s the only one who can help me with it.
  9. Spend less time on social media: I’ve been using social media to hide from my responsibilities and goals. I deleted all the apps on my phone, except for Pinterest (I use it for this blog) and I deactivated what I could. I don’t think it’s bad to have these things, but I’ve let it get in the way of other things (studying for exams for the next stage of my life, using it to be petty…) Since my church is fasting for 21 days, I’m staying of them until those 21 days are over. I need to be more in the now and engaged in the world around me.
  10. Surrender: I have issues that I continue to lay on the alter, and snatch back. It’s very foolish and just leaves me hurting. So this year, I want to do that more. Where God calls me to trust him, I want to trust him. Where he tells me to move, I want to move. What he tells me to give up, I want to give up.

I know that this will take baby steps and I will sometimes fail in them, but its my hope that at the end of the year, I will have achieved a lot of them. What are your goals for this year? how do you plan on achieving them? let me know below.

Weekly Favourites

Happy Friday! Can you believe we’re almost out of November? This year is flying by way too fast. I love November because it means that my Christmas obsession can begin with less judgement. Bring on the Christmas movies and the Christmas music. It’s been uncharacteristically warm in Minnesota. I’m not complaining though because that means no snow on the ground and less layers! I know that that will end soon and hibernation will begin.

It suddenly hit me that doing my Favourites at the end of the week was better, plus I have every other Friday off, so I can accomplish more. Here are some Faves😉

Favourite Song: I’m shocked that I like this Justin Bieber album, I’ve always acknowledged that he has catchy songs but this entire album is really good. This song is one of my favorites

Favourite Video: yes Missy is back and she hits that shoki like she’s been doing it for years. I’m glad that she hasn’t changed her style!

Favourite Fashion: I love high tops, you can rock them with dresses and with jeans. Dress them up, dress them down, you’ll be comfortable.

  
Favourite Product:

I have incredibly oily skin. I’m talking about skin that could be used to fry food for the entire twin cities. I’ve been on the pursuit for a good primer and I heard of milk of magnesia. The internet can’t decide if it’s good for long term use, so I’ve been leery about using it as a primer. What I’ve learned though is that it is a great treatment for pimples. Suprisingly I don’t break out with my oily skin but when I have an ugly zit, I just apply it on the spot and go to sleep, and then the next morning the thing has gone back from where it came.

Favourite Picture: not all the time memes, sometimes pretty pictures. I dream of owning a home with lights decorating it like these. 

  
Least Favourite: I’m not sure if people don’t know that articles have dates but a lot of people have been posting articles that happened last year and earlier in the year as if they’re current.  Social media amnesia is real and causes panic. It’s sad to see how uninformed we are about what it going on in the world around us. In London people seemed to know their world affairs very well (I even got into a debate about healthcare with a stranger on the street) but in the US, it feels like no one pays attention. 

Of course we continue to pray for Lebanon, France, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Mali and any where else that terror likes to rear its ugly head in. Terrorists are cowards who are only trying to make the world live in fear and we can’t allow that. They spread hate with the hopes that we will hate like they do, don’t fall for it. Prayers to the families who have loved their lost ones in all of this as well.