March 4 – Motivation

So, over the past couple of months, I’ve been in a funk.  Several things have happened such as lost love, unwanted weight gain (thanks holiday dinners and lunches), crazy changes at work, etc.  Basically, LIFE happened…ugh…

However, these past couple of months I didn’t just give up blogging; I gave up on some social time and such to focus on more important things.  I have a career that is headed in a forward direction (YES!) but sometimes, I feel like I’m not good enough.  I have learned that if I feel defeated, I’m not going to be motivated to push through.  I pride myself in being a hard worker in everything that I do, but I’m easily defeated when I can’t get something right, don’t understand something, or can’t fix something.

So I took this time to focus on my flaws and learn how to self-motivate and push through those obstacles.

How did I do that?

1. I learned that I’m not God or Superman (whoever you choose). 

I’m a problem solver; but, if I can’t solve something, I immediately become defeated.  I realize that mainly with my job because it consists of nothing but problems for me to solve.  However, I also realized that I am part of a larger team and have comrades, talented ones, that can help me.  I used to be afraid to ask for help because I thought it was a sign of weakness, but now, I’m quick to ask a question if I don’t know.  This has probably been the most important lesson I’ve ever learned.  Seems slightly trivial, but it has made an impact on how I approach many situations.

2. Meditation helps…a lot.

I am a Christian – my faith is extremely important to me.  So, my form of meditation typically takes the form of prayer and devotions.  However, I’ve learned that simply being quiet within myself has helped me to focus.  My brain is constantly on overload-mode and the time that I carve out to meditate is my brain’s way of saying “Thank you! I need a break for a bit!”  My focus has improved, not exponentially, but more so than I thought it could.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

This kind of encompasses the last two, but has facilitated an eye-opening experience.  I realize that I’m not going to be good at everything – as much as I’d like to be.  As I mentioned a few lines before, I try to fix everything and when I can’t, I feel defeated – a direct hit to my motivation.  I have a coworker that is like a data-God to me.  I basically want to know whatever he knows and be able to do what he does when it comes to data analysis, management, etc.  He’s so freakin’ smart; I’m just in awe of his talents.  He has also become my unofficial mentor.  I said to him one day, “I want to be like you.” He has been more than willing to help me out and I’m eternally grateful for that.

I’m a work in progress. I’m a scatterbrained-procrastinating-stubborn fool.  I can be am extremely hard to deal/work with and that hinders me from tapping into my potential.  It’s already hard enough to get motivated let along stay motivated.  However, I’m determined to keep it up.  I’m going to have fails here and there, but that’s the beauty of it.

A different type of post from me today (don’t worry, fashion-y ones will be here soon), but it’s something that I wanted to write about.  Also, sorry about the long-winded bit…we know how Dee does it =0)

Until next time…

FashionD

March 2 – I’m back…First up, a review


Alright, so, I had every intention of starting back up after about a week or two.  After the second week ended, I said, eh, I’ll get back to it next month =0P. When February ended, I thought, “Eh, I’ll get back to it in March.” Well, I’m back and am soooo excited to be! I disconnected from the blogging world for a bit, but I’m back with a vengeance!

——

So what’s the first thing I do? A review.

I had the opportunity to try out a lot of products from Instanatural (so here is the first part of that little series).  I’ve already talked about the hair mask and argan oil (ran out of the oil and am ordering more! Eek!!). They turned out to be better than expected, so I scoured the site for more things to try out.  I was adding things to my cart when the opportunity for me to try them out came up. I had to jump on them! I feel like the people there were somehow reading my mind because every product that i am reviewing is in my cart :-P.

First up on the review train is the Dead Sea Mud Mask, Retinol Serum and Retinol Moisturizer.  I wanted to try these out for a few weeks before putting up a proper review.

 

Before the products came in the mail, I didn’t wash my face for a little over a week.  Ew Dee, get yo life….

Don’t worry folks, I barely leave my house and when I did leave, I basically wiped my face down with a wet cloth.  I wanted to start on “bad” skin in order to get a real sense of how these products would act on my face.

So how did they do?

The Mask:

The mask is absolutely wonderful.  I typically do a face mask twice a week, but this one was very specific about using it only once a week.  I didn’t even try to use it twice.  Tuesdays and Fridays are my pamper days so Fridays were the days that I used this mask.  It made my skin feel so good at the end of the week because it was in some pretty bad shape…and I’ll tell you why in a bit…

I always smell products before using them, especially if it’s going to be on my face for a bit.  This smelled like absolutely nothing.  I practically put my nose in the container to try to smell something hehe.

It’s a great product and I will certainly be purchasing. =0)

The Retinol Moisturizer and Serum:

Ok, so this stuff…oh Lord…

First, the smell – The serum smells like citrus heaven.  When I opened it, all I wanted to do was sniff it like a junkie…It smelled like grapefruits and oranges (one of the ingredients is grapefruit too!). The moisturizer smelled like bread…and not the freshly baked kind.  The kind that comes from the store and has been on the counter for a bit.  Not completely off-putting but not entirely pleasant either.

Ok Dee, you’ve gone on and on already…cut to the chase…

So my experience with these two products hasn’t been that great.  Within the first week of using them, I broke out heavily on my forehead.  I don’t get break outs…I don’t have any major skin issues either (thank the Lawd…knock on wood).  So if I break out or something, it’s typically because of something that I’ve used.  I figured it was my body’s way of fighting these items since I hadn’t used anything the prior week.  Well, by week two/early three, the break outs were still there. I believe the only reason they didn’t get worse is because of the mask – it was drawing out the impurities in my skin.  Overall, it did what it was supposed to do: reduce fine lines (I mainly have those around my eyes from laughing so damn much), but it also caused some unwanted action to occur on my face (::cries in a corner::).

Will this be something I purchase again? Probably not.  I wanted to love them so badly because I really do love the actual formulas and the way that they feel when I apply them to my face. However, if it’s going to break me out, then it’s a no-go.

So that’s my longwinded review, have any of you tried these products from Instanatural? They’re slowly becoming my favorite, even if their retinol products effed my face up a bit.

Like I said a million words ago, there are more Instanatural products and so much more to come! =0)

Thanks for stickin’ with me folks! =0)

Until next time…

FashionD

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January 2 – Hair Mask and Oil Review – Instanatural


I decided to put this little review in here before my widdle hiatus comes up…

I had the opportunity to try these two products out by Instanatural.

    

Argan Oil Hair Mask, ORGANIC Argan Oil For Hair, Face, Skin & Nails

I have never tried a hair mask or argan oil before…So when the opportunity came for me to try them, I jumped on it!

A few things about the products:

The Hair Mask:

  • PREMIUM INGREDIENTS: Our Argan Oil Hair Mask contains a superior collection of high-quality natural and organic ingredients – such as Argan Oil, Amino Acid Complex, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin B5, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil and more – that work together to moisturize and nurture hair.
  • REPAIRS DAMAGED HAIR: This deep conditioning treatment permeates the follicles to deliver ultimate nourishment and hydration. Limp and lifeless hair can be transformed in as little as 15 minutes.
  • GET SOFT & SHINY STRANDS: Our complex formula is designed to restore health to damaged strands to enhance texture and shine. The result? Softer, shinier, more manageable hair.
  • STRENGTHENS & PROTECTS HAIR: This nourishing blend of ingredients creates stronger hair that protects it from excessive heat and styling. Obtain healthy, youthful hair, even with blow drying, straightening and curling.

The Argan Oil:

  • ONLY ONE PREMIUM INGREDIENT: Grade I – 100% Pure, Certified Organic, Cold-Pressed, Unrefined and All Natural Argan Oil. No fillers, binders or artificial ingredients.
  • MULTIPURPOSE MOISTURIZER: Apply directly onto the skin and hair; or mix with your favorite lotion or other essential oils for homemade moisturizer treatment
  • GET RADIANT GLOWING COMPLEXION & HAIR: This Argan Oil is Perfect for All Skin Conditions; Especially Dry Skin, Split Ends, Frizzy Hair and More. Your skin and hair will be instantly nourished and revitalized!
  • FAST ABSORBING & LONG LASTING: Absorbs instantly without leaving an oily film on your face or hair. Leaves your Face, Skin & Hair feeling smooth & silky.

The first thing I did when I opened the package was smell each product.  I’m a huge advocate for nice smelling products – especially if it’s going to be slathered on my skin/hair/nails/body.  The hair mask smells like chai tea.  I like the smell of chai tea, but it can a bit strong for the nose…not off putting, but definitely a strong smell.

Then I smelled the argan oil….ooooo wee!! This smells horrible! I actually talked to my sister about this and she said that it’s just the smell that argan oil has.  Luckily, the smell hasn’t affected the use of the product because it works wonderfully.

My hair is currently in braids for a few months, so I won’t be able to use the mask for a bit, but I do use the oil everyday.

So what did I think about these products? Well, I like them both…A LOT. The mask left my hair SUPER shiny.  The instructions say to leave it on for 5-15 minutes but I left it on there for at least an hour.  I found that it didn’t make detangling any easier, but it definitely didn’t “knot” my hair up.  My scalp loves this stuff…luckily I was able to use it a few times before putting my natural hair away and I’m digging it.

I am in absolute love with the argan oil! I have always heard good things about it, but never had the chance to pick it up.  I use this on everything – especially my hands and nails.  I actually ran out of this quick drying oil that I use when I paint my nails and this oil is a great substitute for that. =0)

I will definitely be acquiring these products again and again because my hair and nails seem to love them!

Have any of you ever tried the Instanatural products before? Or even argan oil or a hair mask? Let me know! =0)

Click here for the hair mask and here for the oil!

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January 2 OOTD

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Tee: Gift

Jacket: H&M

Skirt: H&M

Scarf: My mother

Boots: Ross? (Can’t remember)

I’ve had this outfit laid out for about 2-3 months now.  Sometimes I put outfits together but can’t seem to figure out when to wear them. I decided this would be a cute little number to dress up in as I’m headed to PA today for a weekend full of friends and fun.

This is also the last OOTD post for some time, but not for long! Just have some fun things coming up that I want to perfect =0) Check out my other post all about my blogging experience over the past year and what’s coming next!

Until next time…

FashionD

January 2 – Last (Official) day of the first year of blogging…what I’ve learned and other bits

So today marks the last day of the first year of daily blogging.  Over the past 365 days, I’ve learned a few things and wanted to share. (**WARNING: long winded bit coming up…proceed with caution…**)

What I learned about fashion and myself during this challenge…

As many of my fellow readers know, I embarked on a fashion challenge that most would probably consider a bit crazy – no shopping for finished clothing for a year unless monies are given in the form of a gift card of some sort or I absolutely needed something.  Let me tell you honey, this was one of the hardest years ever as far as fashion goes. This was the first time that I really wanted to incorporate more trendy items into my style, but couldn’t unless I made the clothing or was able to miraculously score a gift card.  (If any of you are wondering how I received gift cards through out the year, I acquired them from studies that I’ve been doing for the past couple of years.  Every couple of months I’ll qualify for one that includes compensation, mind you, that’s out of the hundreds of pre-qualifying surveys I take).

So how did I do? Well, I didn’t keep the receipts for things that I bought, but I estimated about $300-350 spent on clothing for the year or about $30 a month.  This was hugggge for me simply because I was able to save money and travel more! One of my “resolutions” (I don’t believe in such tom-foolery) from 2013 was to travel more domestically during the 2014 year.  I was able to do that many times this year! $300 any other year would have been spent within the first few weeks of the month.

I learned how to “shop my closet”. This is a phrase that I’ve heard numerous times, but never understood what it meant.  I am now fully aware of what this means.  Every outfit that I wore was not repeated, nada once.  And because I couldn’t shop like I normally do, it was difficult at times.  I’m the type of person who likes to wear her favorite outfits multiple times.  I’ve said numerous times that if I could wear a white tee and jeans everyday, I would.  This “no-buying-clothing” challenge forced me to hone in on some skills that I didn’t think existed.  There were days where my style was completely lacking and I could have come up with something a bit more creative, but I was more focused on not repeating any outfit.  I was able to fully utilize some items in ways that I’d never really used before – like dresses.

What I learned about blogging for the first time…ever…

Wow, where to begin?!

First off, the number one thing that I learned about blogging is that I absolutely LOVE it.  I never thought in a million years that I’d join the blogging community, let alone actually like it.  It was an unexpected blessing that I am truly glad to have found.

Speaking of the community, I’ve learned that even in all its vast glory, the blogging community is pretty neat.  I’ve made connections with some people that are super fantastic!

However, there is a dark side to every good thing…

Within the first few weeks of blogging, I had a few users insult me on my writing and even insult my family.  I’m a “kill-‘em-with-kindness” kinda gal, so I did not retaliate with any negative talk.  Firstly, when it comes to my writing, yeah, I suck at it.  I’ve always been a horrible writer which is the main reason why I am surprised that I love blogging. I also have simple, sometimes boring, style.  I’ve said about 100 times already that if I could wear a tee and jeans everyday, I would.  It stinks sometimes because I do have an eye for fashion, but when it comes to my own style, I could care less =0P.  So…if you tell me that I suck at writing or that I’m not that fashionable, chances are, you’re probably right.  I’m not perfect, nor do I try to be…I am just Dee.

So after all that, what’s going to happen with my blog?

Well, I’m going to continue blogging because well I loves it! However, I realized that daily blogging can sometimes get the best of me.  So, I will aim to post around 5 times a week (M-F) and will try  to shy away from blogging on the weekends.  I try to disconnect on the weekends so if I go to a cool event or something exciting happens over the weekend, I’ll blog about it come Monday =0).

Will I keep posting OOTD’s? Hells yessss! I won’t do it everyday, but because I can shop now (don’t worry, I’m not going to go overboard), I’ll be able to freely explore a bit with my fashion sense and put together some fantastic outfits.  This also means that my loverly face will show up now instead of my wood background =0P.  I know everyone’s been itching to see this gorgeous face of mine more often, so, I’m going to plaster it all over this blog. =0)

I’m also going to take a week or so off from blogging to work on the blog and the things I want to do with it.  This means playing around with better picture quality and featuring items that I’ve been working on for some time now.  So bear with me! I will return very soon! I won’t be gone for too long! I promise! =0)

So…after that long winded bit, I think I’m done.  I’ve now contracted carpal tunnel syndrome and can only type with one finger… (just kidding…I can use two).

I honestly never thought I’d be where I am with blogging and it’s because of the amazing community that I am now a part of.  The people that read my posts, comment and such, honestly are super fantastic.  I’m a hugger, so if I could hug the people that read my blog, I would totally do it…in a non-creepy way. =0)

That’s it for now…and in true Dee fashion…

Until next time!

FashionD

December 31 OOTD

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Dress: Self-made

Vest: My sister

Necklace: H&M

Belt: H&M

Booties: DSW – Audrey Brooke brand (one of my faves =0P)

This outfit is weeks in the making…

I am posting a bit later because I’m going to be wearing this outfit for tonight as it’s my church’s annual NYE service and I also made it…today.

I’ve been seeing sequins and glitz and glam all over the place, like this look, for NYE.  I was actually thinking of recreating this look that had been circulating around Pinterest for however long.  I figured pants would be a good option until I saw this pin. But then of course, I changed my mind….again…*sigh*

I knew I wanted to make something, but I also wanted to wear this fur vest that my sister lets me borrow (passed down from one of our great aunts and yes, it is real fur). I remembered that my sister gave me a gift card to Joann’s, so I took a gander…

I came across this New Look pattern and thought “Ooh! I’ll make a swing-kind of dress! and wear it with my booties, tights and that vest!” (I took view B and extended the hemline by about 6 inches and made the arms elbow length instead of full length).

Going for a bit understated here but I’m totally diggin’ it! =0)

Anywho, I’m excited to wear this and hope the service is as good as it was last year.

Happy New Year everyone and I’ll “see” you next year! =0)

Until next time…

FashionD

December 30 OOTD

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Tee: Gap

Sweater: Hand me down

Jeans: H&M

Necklace: Jewelmint

Boots: F21

This outfit is causing me to think about spring…

I acquired enough points to score a wee little $10 gift card from H&M a few weeks ago and the card finally came in. I went into the store just to putz around and see what I could find and came across these jeans.  I definitely need more jeans and love a patterned one at that, so I tried them on. They fit pretty well (a little big in the waist – nothing a good belt can’t solve) and were only $7!! Score! =0)

Love a good bargain =0)

Until next time…

FashionD

December 28 OOTD

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Dress: Oldnavy

Blazer: eBay

Bracelet: Jewelbilee

Boots: Payless

Who says you can’t wear yellow in the winter?!

I like how this blazer adds a big pop of color to this dark, neutral outfit.  I love yellow and would wear it everyday if I had more yellow clothes =0)

Until next time…

FashionD