Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday, and I’m now 26! This sounds, looks, and feels very strange to me. Life is going by too fast. On behalf of me turning 26 years old, I figured I’d share 26 facts about myself. If we have anything in common, share with me ♥️ Enjoy!

1. I’m the oldest of 4 siblings

2. My parents are divorced, but I have multiple dads that love me, and I’m so grateful for that

3. Jesus is my absolute favorite person ever!

4. My favorite color is blue

5. But to be totally honest about #4, my favorite colors are becoming gold and black 😁

6. I love planning events

7. I looooooove Red Bull

8. Sushi is everything

9. I enjoy writing calligraphy

10. If you let me, I’ll spend all my money at Target, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby

11. My husband and I would like to have 5 kids (if we’re financially stable. We want to be smart about it)

12. We’d like to adopt as well…. Can you say 21 kids and counting? 😅

11. I hate doing the dishes

12. I am capable of spending 24 hours just watching movies ♥️

13. I am NOT a morning person

14. Coffee is amazing!

15. Caffeine does nothing to me. I drink it cuz it tastes good 😋

16. I want to go Everywhere!!!

17. My family is part Italian

18. I was born in Cambridge, MA.

19. I wish I still lived in Massachusetts

20. My husband and I crack on each other

21. I love going to theme parks!!!!

22. Mostly because I love roller coasters 😏

23. I’m obsessed with anything Disney

24. I wish I were British because of their accents 😍

25. Soccer and Football are my favorite sports – Yes I’m a New England fan, and no it’s not because of Brady – even though he is the GOAT

Last but not least:

26. I’M PREGNANT!!!

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30 places to visit in St. Augustine

A month ago I went on a beautiful trip to St. Augustine. Other than being sick on my trip, everything else about it was lovely! I’m dying to go back! And even though I spent 3 days there, I only made a dent on the list of things you could do in St. Augustine. There’s so much to do there!

For those planning a trip to St. Augustine, I wanted to help you out by making a list of all the places you can visit. I will let you know which ones have free entrances!

The best thing I think I did for myself when going on this trip is that I planned all of my days. I went through this list of things to do, I looked at all of them to pick which ones I wanted to go to, and I organized based on location. Because I did this, there was never a moment of arguing on what to do next. I also allowed flexibility. In the moment, if we wanted to switch something up, we were open to that too. I recommend you do this as well. This is also a good way to manage a budget if you have one for your trip.

I hope this list helps you plan your St. Augustine Trip! ❤️ For more info on some of these locations, I recommend reading my post on my trip to St. Augustine. I talked about my favorite places and everything I recommend taking with you to each location, or what you should/shouldn’t do. I promise you’ll enjoy it 😌

 Places to see:

  1. Castillo de San Marcos
  2. Colonial Quarter
  3. St. George Street (free)
  4. St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
  5. Fountain of Youth
  6. Old City Gates (free)
  7. Flagler College (free)
  8. St. Augustine Beach (free)
  9. Anastasia State Park
  10. Lightner Museum
  11. Fort Matanza
  12. St. Augustine Distillery (free)
  13. Bridge of Lions (free)
  14. Old Jail
  15. St. Augustine Winery (free)
  16. Alligator Farm
  17. Ripley’s Believe it or Not
  18. St. Augustine Light House
  19. Mission of Nombre de Dios (free)
  20. First Colony (free)

Where to Eat:

  1. Ice Plant
  2. Salt Life Food Shack
  3. Big Island Bowls
  4. Taberna del Caballo
  5. Bull & Crown Publick House
  6. Cellar 6
  7. The Hyppo
  8. The Spanish Bakery & Cafe
  9. Cafe Alcazar
  10. Cousteau’s Waffle & Milkshake Bar

 

St. Augustine

BEWARE: THIS IS A REALLY LONG POST! But I promise it has good content.

My husband and I have been very busy the past 4 months! I transitioned out of one of my jobs, and went to help my husband with the business him and his family own. The physical therapist I work for, his office has been really busy too. I’m there at 7A, and I usually don’t leave until 7P. We’ve had some lucky days where we do leave early. But then there’s just life in general. Birthdays have passed, babies have been born, Easter has come and gone, Mother’s/Father’s day happened, and in a blink of an eye we’re through with June! We are now past the half way point of the year 2017! Un-be-lievable…

The fact that we’ve been so busy, we decided that we needed to take a trip. Sal gave me a budget and said: “You plan it”, and so I did! I’ve been wanting to go to St. Augustine for some time now. I love history, and this place is full of it being that it was the first, and oldest city in America. I started by booking our hotel room, and then I went scouring through pinterest and google looking at all the things to do while in St. Augustine. Unfortunately we only had 3 days to do everything, so I planned accordingly.

I want to talk about all the things that we did, but mostly about the things that we enjoyed doing most! I’ve also made a list of all the places you can visit. Link will be at the end of this post. I’m hoping I’ll be going back there very soon because there were still so many things we wish we could have done. The fact that I got sick on our vacation weekend didn’t help, but we still managed to get through a lot of what St. Augustine has to offer. I hope you enjoy our photos! ❤️


When we drove into St. Augustine, I went straight for the Visitor Information Center. I had read that they had a map of the city with all the things to do. This “map” can actually be found at any of the main venues (Castillo de San Marcos, down St. George St., and some other place). It was a little helpful considering that Sprint and St. Augustine don’t like each other. In other words: Google Maps was verryyyyy sloowwww…. 😑 My husband and I had horrible reception the entire weekend. Apparently, it’s a serious thing with Sprint and the city… We weren’t very happy about it, but nothing really we could do other than trying to get on wifi whenever we could. If you have good reception there, I wouldn’t worry too much about this map.

At the Visitor Center, they sold “passports”. It’s a little book with 2 tickets to 2 different venues for a discounted price. Instead of spending about $50 by paying individually to the Fort (Castillo de San Marcos), and to the Colonial Quarters, we spent a little under $40. Also, instead of parking at the Fort, which is $10, we parked at the garage behind the Visitor Center. It’s a public garage, and it’s $12 for all day. Since everything is in walking distance, it was better to park here and walk to all the venues, than to park at the fort, have to leave, and go find parking again.

After we parked, and bought our “passport”, it was about 9:30A and the Fort only opens at 10:30A, so we walked over to St. George St. (across the street from the Fort). On our walk over, we reached The Old Gates, which is the original entrance to St. George St. Since it’s so pretty, we had to stop and take pictures. (:

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WARNING about St. George St… There’s no shade. It’s location is in Florida, so it gets very very hot! My biggest mistake was not taking any sunscreen with me everywhere I went. You’ll most definitely need it if you go any time near the summer. Other than that, I loved the environment. Lots of restaurants. The Colonial Quarter is located on this street. The Oldest School is on this street. At the opposite end from the Gates, there are cathedrals, and tons of other beautiful buildings you’ll want to see. This street isn’t very long, but there is a lot to look at and enjoy!

My recommendations are to take a hat, sunscreen, and some water! Stay hydrated if you plan on going during the summer. Otherwise, I recommend going any other time other than end of May to the end of August. If you can’t handle the heat, well… don’t come to Florida 😅

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There are so many great places to go for food! St. George St. is full of places to eat, and there’s tons of variety. And if you have a sweet tooth, you can pretty much find an ice cream or popsicle store on Any corner! At least that’s what if felt like!

If you go into the Colonial Quarter, and if you decide to eat at either the Taverna del Caballo or Bull & Crown Publick House, take your ticket from the Colonial Quarter with you. You get 10% off your bill. You’re welcome 😌

The photo of the flat bread pizza was from Taverna del Caballo. It was pretty decent food. Since I was feeling under the weather, my throat had been bothering me so I asked for their Ginger Beer. Ginger is awesome for sore throats or coughs, but anyway, they make their ginger beer, and both my husband and I really enjoyed it!

The middle photo is of popsicles from The Hyppo. They have a large selection of all kinds of popsicles. From sweet ones to more refreshing popsicles. They’re all made with fruits, veggies, and even herbs like basil. I had the Pineapple/Mango and it was great. I would have loved to go back and try a different one!

The last photo of the milkshake is from Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar. Wow was it good! It was a lot of milkshake too! I couldn’t finish it. Mostly because we had just finished dinner at Cellar 6 (very pricey and more formal restaurant. great food). The name of the milkshake I got was “Deep Search”. It’s supposed to be made with chocolate ice cream, but I don’t like chocolate ice cream, so I exchanged it for vanilla. It’s a very small place. I didn’t try their waffles, but if it’s anything like their milkshakes, than it’s awesome!

My recommendation is to look into all the locations first and decide on a few that you’d like to visit. That’s what we did, and at no point were we arguing about where we wanted to eat because it was already decided!

Castillo de San Marcos (The Fort)
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Castillo de San Marcos was incredible! Getting to see history so close and personal is an incredible experience.  A fort like this one, built so many years ago to protect the people who were rebuilding their lives in this city, and getting to stand there and see all the rooms, the cannons, and hearing of the wars that should have brought the fort down but didn’t because of it’s structure, is so gratifying. It’s beautiful really. Then on top of it all, they fired the cannons for our entertainment, and that was freakin awesome! I can’t imagine going through what those people went through. And they did it living in FLORIDA! 😱 Unimaginable in my opinion….

This place is worth every single penny spent to walk onto the grounds. Loved every minute of being in there, other than being in the blazing sun. But I was sick, so that just amplified my anger towards our humid, hot, nasty summers.

My recommendation is that you plan your day doing all the things near the fort. Realistically, you will not spend too much time there. If you really stop to look at every single detail and read everything, you’ll spend about 2 hours there. Other than that, you’ll probably be there for maybe an hour to an hour and a half. The fort is literally across the street from St. George Street, so I planned my entire day doing all the things closest to the fort and the street, and it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.

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Saturday morning, we got up and we rented scooters to ride for 4 hours, which in the end became 5 hours because we loved it. We rented from St. Augustine Bike Rentals. The guys that work there were great! The price for renting was also very reasonable, and we had tons of fun riding down A1A! We got to drive over the Bridge of Lions, and we went straight to the Lighthouse.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse was one of my favorite things to do there! On the opposite side of the lighthouse was the house of the lighthouse keeper. Inside, they turned it into a museum where some of the keeper’s old things are displayed. Everything is so organized and beautifully displayed. There’s a lot to see.

Inside the lighthouse, you get to climb to the top! 216 steps (something like that) and 14 flights of stairs? 😱 It’s a lot, but if you take your time, if you stop and read all the info they provide on your way up, and if you climb slowly, you’ll make it up there just fine. There’s a lot of fun facts and cool things to see. I had never been inside a lighthouse before and I was so fascinated. It was a lot of fun!

The lighthouse also offers different tours. They have a ghost tour at night!!!! I would have loved to do that one, but I was seriously not feeling good on Saturday. Saturday was actually my worst day ):

My Recommendation is to take water… A lot of it! It gets pretty warm inside the lighthouse, and you don’t want to be feeling lightheaded climbing up all those stairs! You also will not be spending too much time here. Kind of like the fort, I suggest planning your day around events nearby. FIY: The beach was really pretty! I suggesting taking your bathing suits *wink wink*

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Saturday afternoon, we had lunch at Salt Life Food Shack. We both loved it! They had a ginger beer there too, so we tried theirs. It was just as good as the one from the place we went on Friday. We were so excited about eating, I forgot to take photos of my food! I regret it so much cuz it looked so good! 😫 But it also tasted amazing!

Since it’s been a little while since we got back, I’ve forgotten what we ordered! I do remember that 2 of the dishes we selected were specials of the day, and we got a salmon roll which was pretty good. I’m not someone who orders tempura, unless it’s the only sushi available, but this one I liked. Basically what we did was order 3 small dishes and we shared it. It ended up being more food than necessary, but it was all worth it! 😏

Before we returned the scooters back, we stopped by The Big Bowl for some açaí bowls. If you’ve never had an acai bowl, I suggest getting one anywhere! This place was a little different with their acai bowls than what I’m used to getting. They blend their acai with apple or banana, then they add fruits and toppings. Other places I’ve been to, they have the plain acai at the bottom of the bowl with fruits and toppings. The toppings are usually honey, granola, some places put coconut shredding. I’ve had it with condensed milk (the best idea ever!!!). I prefer it when the açaí isn’t blended with other fruits because then the açaí’s taste becomes diluted. Açaí is such as beautiful purple color with a sour taste, but we add a little honey just to give it a little sweetness. Then you add strawberries, banana, and granola, and you’re golden! 🙌🏼

I recommend going here just for fun. They have other stuff on their menu. But it wasn’t my absolute favorite. I’ve had much better Açaí bowls that weren’t as expensive as theirs.

Lightner Museum
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The Lightner Museum was so beautiful! It’s formerly known as the Alcazar Hotel built in 1888. If you’re someone who really enjoys museums, there is a lot to see and learn here! I like museums, but I don’t have a lot of patience looking at everything and reading everything. I like to do a lot of skimming, but we still ended up spending at least 2 hours in there!

The thing we loved the most here was that at certain times in the day they have a “musical show” in a room where they have old musical machines, like a jukebox or a Nickelodeon, and they show you how each machine worked. It was so fascinating to see what people in the 1920’s and on were listening to. I mean, I had heard the music before, but when it comes out of the actual machine that they were using, rather than a CD or record player, it becomes more real. I even took a little musical souvenir home ❤️

I most definitely recommend going to the Lightner Museum. Its beautiful inside and out. If you don’t like museums, they do have a restaurant where the pool used to be located when it was a hotel. It’s called Cafe Alcazar.

St. Augustine Winery
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The St. Augustine Winery is for free… YES! You get to taste wine FOR FREE! And it’s really good wine too. At the end of the “tour”, if you want to taste extra wine (on top of the 8 wines you just tasted) you do have to pay for it. I don’t remember how much it was, but they give you a glass of wine rather than in the little plastic cup.

Their “tour” doesn’t have a guide. You walk into the building, someone is there to great you with your tasting cup, a list of the wines, and a pencil to mark off which ones you liked. You then follow the line of people waiting to get served. At each station they serve 2 wines. You don’t have to taste all of them if you don’t want to. Each station is located in a different spot inside their building. Again, at the end of the tour, if you want to taste more wine, there’s a fee. There’s also a room playing a video on how St. Augustine Winery came about.

There is NO vineyard. They’re wine is grown on the west coast of Florida at Lakeridge Winery. I’ve been there, and I recommend going to see their vineyard! But don’t go to this winery expecting to see some grapes hanging around. You won’t.

You will spend about 45 minutes to and hour here only because we waited in line to buy wine. You go through everything really fast. This is another place I recommend planning to do other things close by. Here’s a clue: The distillery is right around the corner!

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This was one of my favorite places in all of St. Augustine! Not because I get to drink FREE Liquor, but the place itself was fun, and architecturally it was beautiful. I love the industrial look!

The St. Augustine Distillery provides a lot for you to look at and learn. While you wait for your tour to start (this one does have a guide) you’re inside a room full of signs, articles, and old tools from when the building used to be an Ice Plant. This building was where ice was made and then sold to people. Now-a-days you push a button on your fridge and you automatically get ice.

When the tour begins, everyone gets inside another room where your guide tells you more about the building, what you’re going to see, and the rules you need to follow on the tour. The tour guides are fun and excited, they’re knowledgeable, and you’ll have a blast going here!

Once you’ve walked through the tour, you’ll end up in another room where your guide will make drinks with the liquor they make there. They make Bourbon, Vodka, Rum, and Gin. I assume they make different drinks on different days. When we were there, they showed us how to make a “Florida Mule” (rather than a Moscow Mule) with all of their products. Then they made a Gin & Tonic with all of their products as well. They made the Florida Mule first, then they serve it to everyone in shot glasses. Once everyone’s got a chance to taste it, they made they second drink it served that as well.

After the tour is over, they’ll open the doors to their shop where they made 2 more drinks for you to try. I don’t remember what they were, but again they’ll use their products.

On the opposite side of the building is their restaurant Ice Plant Bar. I don’t know what it was about this place, but it’s now my favorite restaurant ever! When we got there, I was ready for lunch, but they were still serving brunch. It was still really really great food! Some people would just go hang around the bar and get drinks. Other people (that’s me 🙋🏻) sat down and ate.

We started off with the Smoked Local Fish Dip. It was delicious! We both really enjoyed it! And it was so much food! I forced myself to finish it, and still had to eat my food that was coming… Once again it was unnecessary food, but totally worth it! Sal ordered the Open Face Avocado Sandwich, which was outstanding! I ordered the Short Rib Hash and Farm Eggs, which was also outstanding! Both came with more than enough food, and we left stuffed! I want to go back to St. Augustine just to have dinner there!

You HAVE to go to both these places! On my list of recommendations, the both of these are at the top of the list! Do yourself a favor and go have fun at the distillery, then go eat at the Ice Plant Bar. You can check online for tour hours. I suggest taking a look and then fitting it into your day.


I’m sorry this post was so long, but there was so much that we did and loved about the city that I wanted to make sure you knew what your options were. I promise that whenever you decide to go, you will not regret it!

Let me know if you also did any of the things on our list. Here’s the link I promised of all things do-able in St. Augustine: 30 Things to do in St. Augustine. And let me know your thoughts on this post in general.

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Rainbow River

Last year in August, I wrote a post on Devil’s Den. When we took the trip to Devil’s Den, we had actually gone to Rainbow River first. May 29th, one cool early morning, we got in our car and drove up to Dunnellon, FL. (where the river is located) to see what the hype was all about.

When we arrived, Sal and I were really excited because this place looked nothing like South Florida. It had big beautiful trees that THANK GOD looked Nothing like palm trees! I felt isolated from the “real world”. It was gorgeous!

When we first arrived, we had made plans to go tubbing down the river. As we drove into the city of Dunnellon, we saw signs everywhere with prices on tubbing, kayaking, or canoeing. We picked one, parked, took what we were ok with getting wet, paid, grabbed a tube, got on the trolly, and they drove us to the beginning of the river. We walked out to the water, got in our tube, and let the current take us downstream. It’s like a natural lazy river.

It was very calming, very relaxing. Some people brought their own floats. We saw 2 girls that 1 had a pizza, and the other had a doughnut. Some people took a float strong enough to carry a cooler. They took their own drinks and snacks. Other people had waterproof speakers with them. They got to play their own music as they floated downstream. It was cool to see other people’s creativity. All we had taken was our GoPro and our snorkel gear in case we wanted to get underwater.

Another thing about the river is that it was VERY COLD! The water is 72 degrees all year round! Although it was a warm day, the water still feels like you volunteered to play the role of Jack in the Titanic! And because of trees, we weren’t exposed to the sun the entire time. Now, I could be exaggerating a little bit. To me it felt like I was freezing because I wasn’t moving around, or trying to get wet. I sat still in my tube the whole time. Some people we’re moving around, jumping into the water from swings and out of trees. I’m sure for them the water felt great.

When we paid to go enjoy this attraction, they told us it was about a 2 hour ride downstream. Because we weren’t in the slightest hurry, we didn’t paddle with our hands to move any faster. The only time we did was to get back to the middle of the river instead of being out near the trees. We didn’t try swimming. We just sort of laid back and relaxed. Because of that, it must of taken us over 3 hours or something before we got out of the river. If I were you, and you’re making plans to go up to Rainbow River, I’d be like one of the smart guys who took their cooler into the water!

After we got out, we were hungry so we stopped to eat at a Sonic. We then decided to go find our hotel so we can drop everything off and possibly shower. We were sitting in the Sonic parking lot as I pulled up the address in my phone, copy and pasted it into Google maps, to realize that the hotel was literally right behind us! Everything is so close to each other; it was perfect.

We stayed at a Comfort Suites. The hotel was great! I assume they had renovated it not that long ago (from when we were there – 2016), but everything looked great on the inside/outside. Our room was clean and spacious. They had a gym there, which we did use, and it was awesome. They’re equipment seemed brand new. We loved it. And we loved that we were right outside all the activities we could do at Rainbow River. They also provided breakfast in the morning, which was pretty decent. Everything was clean, and they always made sure there was enough food for everyone.

By the end of that day, Sal and I were tired so we decided to stay in and relax.

The following day was exciting. We had breakfast, grabbed what we needed, and we went out to go find some place where we could rent Kayaks. Once we paid, they took us to where they let you get into the water, and we kayaked upstream. This was the first time I was kayaking, so it was pretty hard. Thankfully we had decided to go in a tandem kayak. As we went upstream, we got ourselves into some beautiful areas behind some trees. I encourage you to go behind the groves and really be adventurous. It’s worth it!

The start of the river is at the Rainbow River Park. Because it was Memorial Day weekend, it was packed with people have picnics and BBQ’s. We “parked” our kayak, and took a walk around. They had some trails where you could walk around and see the nature. I wish I had taken my sneakers and proper trail attire, because then I would have spent more time on the trails. I was in shorts and flip-flops since we were riding the kayak.

When we decided to leave, we went downstream. We kept our eyes open for any opening areas where we could find some more beautiful spots. We did find a turtle hanging out of a branch that was sitting outside the water. We also almost bumped into a hive of black wasps… But it was all exciting and fun. It took FOREVER before we finally made it to the end of the river. Even though we were going with the current, I hadn’t realized the river was that long.

When we finished kayaking, we were not only drained, but very hungry! And to our advantage, where we got off was right in front of a restaurant! It’s called Swampy’s Bar and Grille, and it was Fantastic! We got alligator bites for appetizers, which were delicious. For our entrees, we both got fish, and it tasted fresh and perfect. Sal loves sweet tea, and they had fresh sweet tea, which Sal loved! I’m pretty sure he had about 3 cups of it.

From the restaurant, we returned our kayak, and went back to the hotel to clean up and rest. We we’re absolutely drained from kayaking and the sun! The following day was when we went up to Devil’s Den. If you have any questions about trip, please be free to ask! If you have plans on going, or have gone, let me know what you thought or what you did to enjoy this incredible river.

 

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Netflix Original Series You Should Be Watching

I have a love-hate relationship with Netflix. I love that at any moment I have access to this enormous library of movies and tv shows, BUT I hate that the library of movies sucks! Every once in a while they add a good movie in there, but most of the time I’ve already watched it… I liked having Blockbuster because I had access to Any movie (old or new)…. unless it was already rented. 😅 When it comes to TV shows though, I love Netflix! I have access to almost any show that I love to watch.

Lately, Netflix has been dropping Original Series left and right, and a lot of them have been making history! Being nominated and awarded for academy awards, golden globes, and so on and so forth. I’ve been very impressed!

Here is a list of a few shows I’ve watched and gotten into that are Netflix Original Series. I’m going to talk a little about each one and my thoughts on it. I hope not to spoil anything for you! I hate spoiling movies or shows for people, so I’m going to keep details on each to the bare minimum.

*** The comments I make on each show is solely my own opinion of the shows. This is not a critic. If you decide to watch one of them, I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I did.

 

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I was so excited when I saw the trailer for this show! I never read the books when I was a kid, but I fell in love with the 2004 Jim Carrey movie, and I always hoped that there would have been a second one. Unfortunately it never happened. Now, almost 13 years after the release of the film, we get a Netflix series on one of the coolest kid’s mystery books.

If you have never seen or read anything on A Series of Unfortunate Events, then here’s a tiny over view in my own words 😏 :

Klaus, Violet, and Sunny Baudelaire live in a mansion with mom and dad. One day, while the kids aren’t home, Mom and Dad die in the fire that burnt down their entire home. The parent’s will states that the children be put in the care of the closest living relative in case of an unfortunate event. That’s where Count Olaf comes in. The Baudelaire kids are all under the age of 18, and so they cannot get a hold of the large fortune their parents left for them. That’s ALSO where Count Olaf comes in… Get it? The series is an unfortunate event happening after another unfortunate event… 

What I loved about this series is that we got a lot more from it than we did from the movie (of course – there’s only so much you can put into a movie). But even more than that, what I really loved was that they decided to keep the series very close in theme to what the movie looked like. The movie was perfect, and the director of this series was going to have a lot to uphold to. If you enjoyed the movie, I very much recommend to watch the series!

Everyone who was a part of this series, in my opinion, were perfectly selected! I loved the kids that played the characters of Klaus (Louis Hynes), Violet (Malina Weissman), and Sunny (Presley Smith). Justice Strauss (Joan Cusack) became one of my new favorite characters! I loved that Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton) was more a part of the series unlike the film. Neil Patrick Harris did a perfect job with Count Olaf! He not only played the part of Count Olaf, but produced the show, and he sings the theme song, which I found entertaining.

The one thing that drove me crazy the entire time watching this series was the naiveness of the adults towards Count Olaf. I know that that’s how it’s meant to be, I just really hate it. I’m a straight forward type person, and basically if the adults in the book weren’t so stupid, all of the unfortunate events that happen with the children wouldn’t have happened… But because that’s how the book is, then that’s just how it’s going to go sooo… oh well!

So, if you like mystery. If you like watching smart kids escape the hands of an evil villain. If you like Neil Patrick Harris – I suggest this series! 🙂

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Where do I begin with Stranger Things!? During Super Bowl LI the new trailer for S.T. was released and I freaked out. I was freaking out more though at the fact that the new season is only going to be released on HALLOWEEN! Since it’s only February, I’m basically waiting all year before getting to watch Season 2 (I’m crying on the inside)! Good news for you is that if you’re interested in watching this series, you have 8 months to watch season 1 about 100 times because it’s so good.

Stranger Things is about 4 boys: Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will. Will goes missing, and while the other 3 boys want to go looking for their friend, they bump into a girl named Eleven (011). The series is based in the 1970’s in a small town, and the whole series is based off of trying to find Will. There’s a lot of mystery, a little suspense, teenage love, tons of Sci-fi, and a butt-load of Awesome!

The kids that play Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo – my absolute most favorite character ever!), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Will (Noah Schnapps), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown – this young girl is going to do Big Things!) are my favorite!!! If you like movies that are based around kids like The Sandlot, or E.T. (kind of), or The Goonies, then you’re most likely going to enjoy this series.

I pretty much loved everything about this show. There was a good balance between the mystery, comedy, and suspense. They did a great job with making it feel like it was 1970. When I finished watching, I totally got into some throwback songs, and it made me want to go jump on a bike with a walkman, but that’s another story….

I have nothing to complain about with this series. There are a lot of questions that people had by the end of season 1, but I’m sure they’ll come up in the next season… Or one could hope!

 

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If you usually don’t like watching documentaries, if I were you, I’d still give Making A Murderer a try.

Making A Murderer is based on the Steven Avery case. Steven Avery was arrested for a murder he did not commit. After spending some years in jail, evidence finally came through that proved he was innocent. After being released, and spending time with those he loved again, he was once again arrested for another murder, which he claimed he didn’t commit. The series is not filled with corny reenactments. They are all real footages following Steven Avery. What makes this show special is all the controversy that is happening with his case. 

This series is very addictive, and I’m going to warn you: It will frustrate you! It’ll either frustrate you because you don’t believe he’s innocent, or you do want to believe he is innocent.

There is so much detail and information that went into this series. The people that directed and produced this show did an incredible job telling Steven Avery’s story. Whether he’s innocent or not, this is one biased documentary you definitely want to watch! I say biased because (obviously) they want you to believe he’s innocent. There’s always 3 sides to every story: His, the Police, and the Truth. That’s all I’m going to say about that. I suggest you watch and make deductions of your own!

 

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3% is the first Brazilian Netflix Original Series. Being that I’m Brazilian, I just HAD to watch it. You can watch it in Portuguese, or in English (voice dubbed). You can even watch it in Portuguese with English subtitles. I hate watching movies with a voice dub so I watched the whole series in Portuguese. I watched a tiny piece in English and it lasted for about 3 seconds before I went back to Portuguese.

3% is based in the future. When you are born and growing up, you live in squalor. When you come to be 20 years old, you (plus anyone else who is 20 years old at that same time frame) are given the chance to take a series of tests to see if you will become a part of the 3% that will get to spend the rest of their lives on “Offshore”. Offshore is  a place where you have a better and more upscale lifestyle. In these tests, some may require that you fight your way to becoming 3%. In the end, 3% are selected and get to go to Offshore.

This show is somewhat like the Hunger Games and Divergent. If you liked either one of those, you’ll enjoy this series. This is also one of those series where you need to keep up with different characters. There’s a lot going on at the same time, and if you miss a tiny part of an episode, you may not understand why something was done, or what is happening.

I liked this series, and I would love to see where they take it from where it finished off, but I’m not totally crazy about it. Brazil is known for having some of the best soap operas in the world, and the fact that they pulled this series off and people are enjoying it makes me happy! The story is good, the characters have great stories behind them. The actors are ok. Brazil has some out-of-this-world actors (Wagner Moura from Narcos for example), but this series lacked some. They’re not horrible! I just know that Brazil has more to offer. I hope that by the reaction they got from this season, that they can do more with season 2 (which has been confirmed).

 

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In Awards, The Crown has 7 wins and 12 nominations. Being that Netflix spent millions and millions of dollars on this series, it should make sense as to why they’re being well recognized all over the world!

The Crown tells the story of our today Queen Elizabeth. First we get to see how the Queen’s father, King George, came to rule, to then passing on his duties to his eldest daughter Elizabeth. Through these hour long episodes, you get to see the drama that unfolded through the royal palace. How Elizabeth went from being a Princess to a Queen. You get to a learn quite a bit about the monarchy, and quite a bit about our World’s History.

If you like History, this series is for you. If you like Drama, this series is for you. If you like British accents, this series is for you. If you love the Royal Family, I suggest you watch this series. I find monarchy to be very interesting, and I have always liked the Royal Family, but I knew nothing about either things.

Although the show is dramatized for our viewing pleasure, you definitely get to learn a lot about this Family’s history. The direction and production of this series is outstanding. Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth, is such a beautiful woman. I wasn’t born when Queen Elizabeth became Queen, so I have no idea how she was. I would imagine that she was close to what Claire Foy portrayed. She brought the Young Queen to life, and portrayed her beautifully!

Every single person in this series was perfectly casted to make this series as special as possible. I truly believe that from the leading roles, to the extras, no one was a part of this series by mistake. I cannot wait for season 2!

 


 

I hope that this list of series help you find a few more hours of binge watching pleasures! Give me some feedback on what you thought. And let me know which series you’re watching that didn’t make the list.

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Our Story

***Discretions to family/friends. There are pictures in here… please don’t kill me k? 😅

 

When people ask me about how I met my husband Sal, I love to brag about it. When you hear stories from other couples on how they met, sometimes you can understand exactly why they’re in that relationship. I feel like that with Our Story. I wanted to share it with you because 1… look at the name of my blog. 🙂 And 2, well I just love sharing our crazy love story!

The first time I had heard about Sal, I was at a frozen yogurt store with 2 of my friends who were mutually his friends. I didn’t know that yet… We were eating and talking, and Friend A says, “Let’s call some of our friends to go out bowling.” So we started listing names of who to call, and Sal’s name came up. Then Friend B was like: “Why call Sal? He’s 23 years old with a curfew at 11P. By the time we get into the game and having a good time, he has to leave!” So now I’m curious because I hadn’t heard of this Sal yet, so I asked who he was. Both of them said  that he was an old friend. Parents we’re a little strict with the curfew (even though parents were great people). He was a hard working guy who worked for their dad. He was attending the same church I was attending (way before I showed up). Then they added how he did devotionals early in the morning with his family, and really loved the Lord. While they were saying all this, in my head immediately I remember thinking: “I want to marry this guy.”

A few weeks after hearing about this so called Sal, I was at the youth group at my church helping out with the students. Our Pastor (who is one of our closest friend) called us in a room for a leader’s meeting before the students started to arrive. This group of leaders had just grown, and they were new faces, so our Pastor said, “If there’s a leader here that you don’t know, greet them.” Makes sense! You should know the people you’re working with. We all leave the room and start walking back to the chapel where the students meet, and I’m inside talking to some girls when I hear someone say HEY. I turned around and it was this cute guy standing there with a gorgeous smile. 😏 I say hi back. He sticks his hand out to shake mine and says “I’m Sal.” On the inside I did everything to contain my outward emotions! I shook his hand and said my name is Taty. Because I pronounced Taty in Portuguese, he heard it and asked if I was Brazilian. I said Yes, he said he was too. We spoke 2 sentences to each other in Portuguese, and then he says he needs to go because he was playing bass for worship. Then I thought I was going to have a heart attack! He’s cute, his smile is gorgeous (I’m all about the smiles), he’s Brazilian (but not the ratchet kind), and he plays an instrument! WHATTTT!!!?

Wednesday nights were youth group, and those were the nights I would see Sal. Most of the time we said Hello to each other and walked away just because we were always busy. Thanksgiving was coming up, and my friend calls me and says that every year, the day after thanksgiving, her friends meet at someone’s house and do a Friends-giving. 406793_10150445593598716_646468715_8650909_1870955561_nShe asked if I’d like to join her, and I thought that would be fun, so I went. On our way to the house, I asked if I knew anyone that was going. She listed a couple of people that I did know, and Sal’s name came up on that list! I was very excited, People! I was finally going to
be in a different setting with him there. This gave us an opportunity to talk more. I got to meet a couple of people that I didn’t know. We all talked, and the ones that hadn’t seen each other in a long time got to catch up. I didn’t sit with Sal and have a 1-on-1 conversation, but we spoke to each other, and got to know each other a little more. At the end of the night we took a group picture, and we all went home. Between Sal and I, it went back to seeing each other on Wednesday nights.

Three weeks go by after the Friendsgiving event. Sunday morning I was at church, and at the end of service I would go to the middle school ministry to help clean up in any way. I also knew Sal would be there. 😉 When I was on my way over, my sister came running to me saying that I wouldn’t believe who was asking for me. I honestly had no idea who she was going to say… Well she says SAL! He was wondering where I was. 💁🏻 I walk over to the room where the middle schoolers were, and he was there putting his bass away. I went over to say hi, and he asks if I ever saw his bass. When he shows it to me, he tells me that he made it! He actually made the bass he was playing… And that’s not the 1st one he built. He made 2! I was extremely impressed. We were talking, and what I didn’t know is that behind us, my sister and the youth pastor were taking pictures of us! Sal leaves, and my sister and pastor are making fun of me. And saying “ohh, You like him!” 😑

I remember Dec. 18th, 2011 like it was yesterday. After the occurring of making fun of me, I went home, had lunch, and watched football. The patriots were playing. I fell asleep in the middle of the game and woke up from a text message. Android had just added this new feature that if you had Facebook connected to your contacts list, it automatically added everyone’s number to your phone. I didn’t realize that Sal’s number was there. When I picked my phone up, the text was from him.

Sal: “Hey!”
Me: “Hi”
Sal: “Do you know who this is?”
Me: “Yeah, I have an Android. Facebook automatically added your number to my phone.”
Sal: “Oh! I have an Android too, and it did the same thing.”

The conversation went on, and I called him out for not personally asking for my phone number (I had to give him a hard time). He laughed it off. He then mentioned that our friends were going to get together that night to watch a movie at someone’s house; if I’d like to go. I said I’d let him know, and spoke to one of the other people who were going, and ended up carpooling over for movie night. Sal and I sat next to each other during the movie. By now I could tell he was into me. I’m pretty sure he was able to tell that I was into him. Nothing happened other than some friends whispering… LOL. He left early so he could make it home by curfew. I later went home too.

Monday came and went and I hadn’t heard from Sal. That upcoming Wednesday, our youth group was going to have a Christmas Party, so my pastor called to talk about some details. 390148_351077464907077_138408652840627_1656467_901078843_nAfter we spoke, he asked if Sal had communicated with me that day. I told him no, and I guess he kind of broke the guy code by telling me that guys have to wait a day or 2… But he was right. Wednesday night came and we had our Christmas Party. It was a fun time! We had a photo booth set up for the kids, and our friends took a picture together. I had to leave early because at the time I was nannying, and I had to get to the house. When I got to the house, Sal text me the rest of the night. He waited until I made it home before we ended our conversation.

405415_10150569666787119_1542367343_nThursday morning my friends and I met up with our old pastors. They had moved out of state and were in town, so we all had brunch. That meant Sal was going to be there. He sat
next to me, and we talked the whole time. When the checks came out, he offered to pay for mine, and I didn’t let him. We weren’t on a date! And I was still getting to know him, so I said no! LOL… Anyway, we left the restaurant and stood outside. We took some pictures. At some point, and randomly out of nowhere, Sal’s brother Howie showed up and I got to meet him. We just said hello, and he left without really saying much. Sal told me later that he said I seemed nice. Didn’t know what that meant, but I had hoped it was good!

That same day, at night, we met up for another movie at one of our’s friend’s house. By the way, Sal and I had been texting all day, until we saw each other again at our friend’s house. Before starting the movie, I sat down on the couch toward the corner, and everyone was ignoring the seat right next to me. I didn’t think Sal was going to go, but he surprised me. When he came in, the only spot available was the one next to me, so he sat there. At some point in the middle of the movie, our hands were pretty close to each other, so I grabbed his hand. He wasn’t doing it, so I did it for him. LOL. I can be pretty forward sometimes… I just didn’t realize I was that forward! When I ask him about it today, he says that he thought I was crazy. I don’t blame him. Nothing else happened that night. We text each other until we were both in bed.

Friday all day we text each other. Saturday was my mom’s birthday and Christmas Eve! I spent the whole day with her and the family. We like to make it a big deal when it’s her birthday considering she got the worst date of the year for it to be her birthday! We took some photos with the family. Sal and I had text each other all day. That night there was a candlelight service and Sal was going to be there. My sister and I sat with him. At the end of the service, he said he wanted to drive me home. I told him that if he wanted to do so, he needed to ask my step-dad (whom I also call dad). So he did! He went over to him, asked if he could drive me home. He said yes, so I hopped into his truck.

On our way to my house we got to talk some more. When we stopped in front of my house, he turned around to look at me and explained to me what his intentions were. He said he liked me, that he wants to get to know me more, and that if we date, it’s with the intention of possibly getting married one day. This wasn’t a game for him. I told him that I totally agreed with him. I had all the same intentions he had, and thank God for that. We needed to be on the same page. After we spoke, he gave me a little Christmas gift. I was going to Boston in 2 days, so he gave me a cute scarf and some chocolates. We said goodnight and I went in to start packing.

Sunday morning was Christmas. We had a church service that morning, so I went to church. I got to see Sal and spend a little time with him. I went home afterwards and finished packing. Spent the rest of the day with family. Sal spent time with his, but we text all day. Monday came, and my sister and I left for Boston. On my time away we spoke a majority of the time. Facetimed a couple of times or spoke on the phone. When I came home, we continued to talk. We would see each other at church or when we would meet up with friends. Then finally he asked me out on a date.

On January 20th, 2012 we went to a restaurant, he took me home, and while we spoke in the car, he handed me a journal. He said he wanted us to write our journey together as his girlfriend. ❤️ Sal was my first boyfriend. I was totally new at all of this. I learned a lot from him. I grew a lot during our time dating. I  came to understand different things. It was a good time. But Sal and I were very different. We did things differently. Our families we’re extremely different! We were into each other, but we were having a difficult time with each other. The things we expected from each other didn’t go as we each expected… We lasted until Easter that year.

I remember that day clearly. I was going to church with my dad, when he asked how Sal and I were doing. I told him that we weren’t exactly moving in our relationship. That it had become stagnant. He said that if something isn’t moving forward, or seems to not be moving at all, then it’s going backwards. After service I had a talk with Sal. I told him that I wanted to work more on our relationship and move it forward, or not be in it at all. He chose not to be in it at all. I cried all day that day. I cried for days. I didn’t understand. I remember telling my mom that it didn’t make sense. I knew that I was supposed to marry Sal one day. I didn’t understand that feeling, but somehow I just knew!

The days went by, the weeks, and the months. It would get easier. August came quick. I still liked Sal. It made me nervous to be around him. Unfortunately I still saw him a lot because of our mutual friends. He had gotten really busy at work with his dad, so he stopped helping out on Wednesdays. One day I was at a friend’s house watching a movie and someone invited Sal. He played footsies with me… 😑 When I got home he text me and I asked him what the footsies was about. He said that he missed me and wanted to meet up and talk.

A few days later we met up. He told me about a lot of things that was going on with him. There were a lot of things he was keeping a secret. Nothing crazy, but he didn’t know how to tell me. After talking we decided we were going to possibly give it another shot. We spoke for over a month. It felt like we were starting all over.
October 5th, 2012 I went out with a friend to watch img_0262Pitch Perfect in theaters. Before we watched the
movie, we went out to dinner at Friday’s. We sat down, ordered our food, and just talked while we waited. Not that long later after ordering, the waiter came by with an apple martini and a note. He said I had a secret admirer. I opened up the note (photo to the right) and he was asking me out… AGAIN. I of course I had to give him a hard time. 😏 We finished dinner and I went out to the movie, while he went home. He didn’t like that, but I had planned to watch this movie with my friend for a while. I wasn’t just going to bail on her!

We dated for a year and 5 months after that. We got to know each other a lot more. We had great times; we had our hard times. In March of 2014 we broke up again. I was once again extremely heart broken. But this time, I was more sad at the fact that I had gotten so used to having him around, it was going to be difficult to adjust again. I knew that when we broke up, there was no going back. We ended it both knowing that the next time we see each other, it would be because we had the same friends. And possibly one day he would be dating someone else, and so would I.

The summer went by and I had decided I was over Sal. I didn’t like him at all. My parents would ask about him, and I always said that I wouldn’t want to go back to dating him. I had a list of all the things I didn’t like about him. All the things that drove me crazy! Things were changing for me, in my life, and I was ready to move forward. August came and Sal calls me… He says he wants to meet up for dinner. I told him we could meet for coffee. I figured that whatever it was he wanted to talk about could of been quick.

September 7th, 2014 I met Sal at a Starbucks. We sat down and talked. We caught up on all that had happened the past few months away from each other. He then said that he never thanked me for what I had been for him. When he wasn’t working, I was his escape. My family and I were there for him in a hard time in his life, and he was grateful. He then said that he went out with my parents and thanked them as well… I was very confused. He said he took them out because he had an important question to ask them. He wanted to ask them for permission to marry me…

Now, Sal is a very playful guy. He likes to joke around. When we were dating, he would get on one knee and pretend to propose in the middle of the grocery store. He was a silly guy, which I appreciated. Because he had pulled that stunt so many time, while he was telling me he spoke to my parents, I was taking the story in but it sounded like a bunch of bologna. So then Sal goes on to say: “I have a box with me.” He pulls a box out, he puts it on the table. “And I wanted to know if you would marry me?” He opens the box and thats when I finally realized that he was being very serious. I knew he was because I always told him I wanted a sapphire engagement ring, and that’s exactly what was set right in front of me. I didn’t know what to do.

He finished talking and I held the box in my hand. I didn’t know what to say or do. I froze. He told me he was prepared to hear a no. He didn’t expect an answer at the moment. I just didn’t know what in the world to do! My mouth finally opened up and I told him: “Sal, I’m so flattered and this is a gorgeous ring, but I can’t. I’m sorry…” He understood. I told him I needed time. I was really confused. He was very understanding.

I left and went home to yell at my parents. I couldn’t believe after all the conversations of me telling them I didn’t want anything to do with Sal anymore, they gave Sal permission to ask to marry me behind my back. I didn’t understand what was happening (I know I said that 100 times already, but I was beyond confused). I was pretty sure that I didn’t want anything to do with Sal anymore, and now I didn’t know. And I definitely didn’t want to say it out loud, because then it would become real again. I was scared of being heartbroken again. I was scared of going through the emotional rollercoasters that I went through dating him. So I prayed… A lot that week. I spoke to different people about the situation. I needed insight and I needed help. A friend told me to make a Pros/Cons list of Sal, so I did.

A week after the proposal I text Sal asking if we could meet up. We met at one of our favorite places, Pei Wei. I spoke to him about the Cons. I asked if there were things he could change or work on. We discussed them. There were things that if he didn’t want to change, I was ready to say that I was really not going to accept the proposal. Then I told him the Pros. I also told him that he needed to try all over again. I let him know that I was over there ever being a Sal and Taty anymore, that he needed to win me over again. So we set up a date.

September 21st he picked me up and took me out on a date. When I told him he needed to try all over again, I think it went in one ear and out the other because he didn’t try at all. He took me out like he would have any other date and I just didn’t want to be there at all, so I lied and said I had homework I needed to get to. When he was dropping me off, I told him I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to date him. He went home and I didn’t hear from him again… until my Birthday.

1797320_10153261115842119_7976583361692972334_nSeptember 30th is my birthday. It fell on a Tuesday that year so I went to school in the morning, like I was doing for the past few months, then I went to work in the afternoon. When I got to work, a huge bouquet of flowers had arrived. I opened the card to find out that it was from Sal. I text him thanking him for the flowers. Talking to him again was giving me butterflies and I didn’t understand. He text me for the rest of that day. Once again we talked for a few weeks before we started dating in October Again!

This time it felt very different for me. At first I was very closed off from him. I was distant and it took time before I opened up. And this time I had ultimatums for myself. I had goals I wanted to meet and if Sal was taking me serious, then those goals would be reached.

I was training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2015. We made it a 10311775_10153561143537119_8951273081049169300_nweekend trip. Sal, my mom, and my 2 sisters came to support me. I ran the half marathon, which was amazing by the way, and a lot of fun! When I was crossing the finish line, some guy came running to me trying to get my attention (I had headphones in). He called me over to the side and Sal was there. I shouted over the guy that was speaking into a mic to Sal: “What are you doing?” Sal: “They let me give you the medal.” He pulled it out and the ring was on the band that holds the medal. He asked me to marry him…. AGAIN! LOL. This time I said Yes. (https://youtu.be/ftRiNJL3P6g —> Proposal Video)

7 Months later, on September 5th, 2015 Sal and I got married. It’s been blissful ever since. Like every other couple, there are days of hardship. Our dating relationship prepared us for that though. If we could get over what we got over during our dating relationship, we can get over anything in our marriage. And that’s what marriage is all about anyway. No matter what comes your way, you need to fight it out together. People who have been married for over 50 years are together today because they fought through everything. They didn’t give up when it got hard. They didn’t give up when everything looked like it was getting ready to go down the drain. They didn’t give up when all seemed lost. They stuck together. That’s what gives their marriage meaning and a beautiful story. I pray ours will be the same.

 

I love you Husband ❤️

My 5 Go-To Makeup Products for a Quick Look

 

 

A majority of us live life on the edge, or should I say, in a hurry? I’m guilty of that. Sometimes we really don’t have time. Other times, we accidentally spent too much time pinning and not enough on getting ready… I’m still guilty!

When I’m in one of those “in a hurry” moments, I need just 5 items that’ll take me from looking like I just got out of bed to looking like I spent 20 minutes on my makeup. Instead of 20 minutes, I spent less than 3 minutes. Here’s what I need:

  • Concealer
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Bronzer
  • Lipstick

That’s IT!

My concealer is from Mac. I have the Mineralize Concealer. I love that little bottle. I make 2 small upside-down triangles under my eyes, 2 lines going down the side of my nose where my check and nose meet, and I’ll rub it in. If I’m not in too much of a hurry I’ll use my beauty blender. The point of the concealer is to conceal (put away or hide) the discoloration on your skin. It also works somewhat as a highlighter! So you get a two-in-one deal with this.

My mascara is Buxom Lash Mascara by Bare Escentuals. I’ve been using this mascara for as long as I can remember. I’ve also had the waterproof version, and I loved that too! Mascara is a cool product in a way that each mascara works for certain people. The mascara my sister uses doesn’t work as well on me. And same goes for her. Before you take my word on this mascara, I suggest trying it out first! Just like you would with any other products.

The eyeliner I have in the photo is a Maybelline waterline Eyeliner. If I’m not in a huge rush, I’ll spend time putting on liquid eyeliner on my eye. Most of the time I have absolutely no patience for it, so I’ll stick to my “Unstoppable” Eyeliner in Onyx. This is also a product I’ve been using for a long time, and I love it. I wear it almost everyday. I shouldn’t use makeup for my line of work, so I’m usually minimalistic and just go with the waterline eyeliner.

The Hoola bronzer by Benefit is out of this world! I’ve had other bronzers, and now that I have this one, I don’t think I’ll ever try another bronzer again. It’s super pigmented and just by tapping your brush on the bronzer, you’ve got just enough to really notice it on your skin. It’s a pretty incredible product. If you haven’t tried, I suggest you do!

My favorite lipstick right now is my Nude Mac Lipstick. It’s an older bottle so I can’t see what the name of it is (sorry!!!). Either way, shades of nude work differently for everyone. I suggest looking at a couple and finding out which shade best fits you. The nude is my favorite one right now just because I like to use more warm tones on my face to begin with. I’m not always one to have the bright colored lipsticks. But for this look, whether you’re going out on a date, or running to the mall, whatever lipstick is your fave, put it on!

I really hoped this helped you create your own quick go to look! Please share with me what your favorite products are as well so that I could give them try.

 

 

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