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Monday, September 26, 2016

A honest & detailed review of: Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Restorative Night Cream


Last month I turned 28 and took a hard look in the mirror.  I noticed that my skin looks completely different than I remember it.  It's dryer and not as vibrant.  There's also the subtle hint of laugh lines on my forehead.  I have acne like I'm going through puberty and black heads that won't stay away.  I also can't tell if I just need more sleep or if my under eye circles are permanent.  Houston, we have a problem!  Well, at the very least, we almost have a problem.


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Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Night Cream

How did you hear about this product?

After having the depressing realization above, I realized that I reached the age that it's time to start a skincare routine.  That skincare routine would have to be regimented and incorporate different products for day and night.  That's when I saw the beautiful Jennifer Aniston on a commercial advertising for Aveeno.  I decided to give their Absolutely Ageless Restorative Night Cream a try because who doesn't want to look like Jennifer Aniston?

What convinced you to make the purchase?

I did a quick search through my mom boards on Facebook and noticed that it had some decent reviews.  I decided that the low price was an investment I could afford.  Besides, I'd have to start somewhere if I was serious about that skincare routine.

What do you like about the product

The price was a big one for me.  At my age and with my current financial situation, I couldn't invest too much money into a skincare routine.  The price was very low compared to similar products.  The second selling point was that it appeared to be safe for my sensitive skin.  Flashback to all those times I needed steroids to stop a bad skin reaction?  Yea, no thanks.  This Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Night Cream is hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, and not greasy.  In other words, it's a dream product for someone with sensitive skin.

Despite those labels, the product didn't feel like it was for sensitive skin.  The consistency was heavenly and the smell was refreshing and lovely.

After using it for an extended period of time, what are your thoughts?

I used it consistently for 3 months.  I swear that I see a huge difference!  My skin is vibrant and the fine laugh lines have practically disappeared.  ..but I still don't look like Jen!  Most importantly, after 3 months of use, it did not trigger any bad reactions.

I would highly recommend Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Night Cream.

If you would like to learn more about this product you can click here.

Do you have a skincare routine?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Life: Friday Ramblings

If only this was possible...  via.


I'm extremely perplexed and confused because...
...my URL disappeared and I can't figure out how to get it back.  
Mr. Google, PLEASE write back.

I really, really stink at...
...painting my own nails!  In an attempt to save some cash and time, I tried it out.  Then failed.
My husband saw my DIY manicure and asked "Did our 3 year old do that?"  Sigh...

I had to undergo a laser procedure because...
...I broke a capillary trying to pop a black head.
I did get a free sample to fight black heads after dumping $150 for the laser.  Womp womp

I totally screamed like a lunatic in public when...
...a clefairy FINALLY popped up on my PoGo.
What?  They're pink. fluffy, and cute!  Why wouldn't I get excited?!

I'm brainstorming like a nut for...
...the perfect wedding gift for my brother and future SIL.
I, too, am all about the cash.  But I also want to surprise them with something special.

I'm trying to get rid of a sore throat with...
...shots of whisky.  It helped me sleep, but my sore throat is still there.
I guess it's time to shut off the A.C. at night.

What are your Friday ramblings?
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

List: Ten innocent words that make people snicker.

The other day I decided to join a few co-workers in the lunch room for our hour break.
I took my salad out of the fridge and grabbed a seat in the middle of the small crowd.
As I was eating I decided to show off my home grown tomatoes laying on top of my salad.
All at once the three men in the room started laughing as us ladies just stared in confusion.
"Home grown ARE better than store bought!"  "Thanks for showing us your tomatoes!"
Apparently, referencing any round fruit will immediately makes men think of breasts?  Smh!!!!

i just rolled my eyes so hard

Ten innocent words that make people snicker.


1.  Tomatoes
 Just to reiterate how this whole topic started!

2.  Duty
I witnessed a full grown man giggle during a corporate event at the mention of new duties.

3.  Pianist
This is one of the words he'll make you repeat and then he'll laugh!

4.  Spanks
Whether is a brand of undergarments or the verb, it's hard not to LOL with this one.

5.  Knob
Just turn the knob harder...  WHY is that so funny?!

6.  Meat
Can you pass me the meat?  Of course he said it out loud just so we know what he's snickering about!

7.  Climax Repeaters
This one is specific to my line of work, but I even have to giggle when I hear people order them!

8.  Street Road
It's in Pennsylvania and it makes my uncle crack up every time we pass it!

9.  Nipples
We order nipples for the fire sprinkler heads by the dozen and I crack up every time!!

10.  BJs
I think my friend picked BJs over Costco just so he can repeatedly say he's going there!

What innocent words make you laugh?
Monday, September 19, 2016

Recipe: Sicilian Tomatoes and Eggs


Growing up our dear family friend would make this simple dish every summer.  She was born and raised in the same town as my family in Sicily.  I always looked forward to it as the summer season drew near.  She looked forward to it because she hated to waste her garden's produce.  It's simple, inexpensive, and very healthy.  As my zia would say, "Bon Apetit!".

Related Page:  R&W Family Cook Book - Quick & Easy Recipes.

egg dinner recipes; different egg recipes to try; sicilian tomato and egg recipe

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Sicilian Tomatoes and Eggs


Ingredients

(1) Large vidalia onion
(8) Plum tomatoes
(8) Eggs
(1/4) Cup fresh oregano
Olive oil
(1) Tbsp garlic powder
Salt
Pepper

Directions

Coat the bottom of a stainless steel pan with olive oil.  Chop the vidalia onion and simmer in the oil for five minutes.  Add the cut and and peeled plum tomatoes into the pan.  Add the oregano leaves, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Crack the eggs directly over the onion and tomato mixture.  Try not to break the yolk!  They should look like a sunny side up egg.  Cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes or just until the egg is cooked through.    Spoon carefully and serve with the egg on top, but eat with all ingredients together.

This recipe is not only delicious and healthy habits approved, it's perfect for a quick week night meal.  And don't we all love something quick, easy, and fresh for after work!

Tip:  Note above that I recommend a stainless steel pan.  In order for the food to get the right consistency and taste, this is essential.  Our favorite stainless steels pans are these ones.  They cook evenly, quickly, and perfectly!

How do you like your eggs?

Friday, September 16, 2016

List: Ten simple gifts that can be made epic with a photo.


**Updated September 2020**

Now that I've reached my early thirties, I find it increasingly difficult to find thoughtful and creative gifts within my budget.  After doing this for over a decade, the choices become more and more limited.  It's also worth mentioning that I have a gigantic family.  That's when I started thinking of simple, commonly overlooked items to gift family and friends.  They would have to be within my budget (which is usually <$35) and be meaningful.

Luckily, it's become almost trendy to personalize pretty much everything.  This made my idea of a meaningful yet commonly overlooked item much more easier to fulfill.


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Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten photo gifts that everyone loves.

Every year I make a photo book filled with seasonal highlights, holidays, special events, and our favorite moments.  I gift that book to my husband on Christmas morning and every year he anxiously waits for it.  It's become a tradition that we treasure.  It can easily become a tradition for you, too!
Can be found here.

Personalize a phone case for a loved one because that plain black case is so overplayed.
Can be found here.

Tree ornaments are favorite holiday gift.  Imagine how happy someone will be to receive a personalized one!  They could smile, reminisce, and think of you every time they see it hung on their tree.
Can be found here.

For all the business people in your life, this would be a greatly appreciated gift.  It will stand out in anyone's office or place of business and they'll have you to thank for that.
Can be found here.

Where I live, coffee stoppers were banned.  Like they're legit illegal.  As a result, I have splattered coffee all over my cup holders.  That's why I think this gift is the best thing EVER!  Besides, think how nice it would be to see a flash of your favorite picture every time you take a sip.
Can be found here.

I especially love this idea as a graduation gift, engagement gift, or a newborn baby gift.  Your design can be a solo print, have text overlay, become a collage, and have a specially picked frame.  The possibilities are endless!
Can be found here.

Like many others, I enjoy switching up my pillows to match the decor, season, or holiday.  Sometimes I spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to hunt down the perfect one.  You can save someone else that time by designing one for them instead.
Can be found here.

These stone coasters are gorgeous even without being personalized.  The addition of a favorite photo would quickly bring them to the realm of "epic".
Can be found here.

Years ago I received a personalized mug for my first mother's day.  It means so much to me that I've never used it.  Now I gift my son's God mother with a mug every year and she gets so excited.  She's young and single and slowly collecting a set of eight!
Can be found here.

Every year for my mother's birthday, we sit down and design a special calendar for her.  We make sure that all her children and grandchildren are represented in the calendar.  We also make sure that each picture corresponds with each month.  This gift is <$25 but she acts like it's a million dollar gift because she knows we devoted time to it.  The best part is, when you personalize a calendar, you start it with the month and year of your choosing!  That means no wasted months.
Can be found here.

Which one would you want?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Life: Friday Rambles


I'm currently rocking a...
...a pink mask!  I painted my face with Pepto-Bismol to fight black heads.
Don't look at me like I'm nuts!  Try it and I swear you'll love it just as much as I do.

I'm on the hunt for...
...the perfect pair of shoes for my brother's wedding.  I need the perfect combo of silver and sparkles!
I really can't believe that my baby brother will be married in just ONE more month.

I attended a bittersweet celebration of...
...day one after the official merger.
Yes, I'm now part of a gigantic company but at the expense of losing two great co-workers.

I'm sending good vibes to...
...the friends who have been laid off.  Wishing you both well in all future endeavors!
The close of this chapter is going to open doors to deserved success and happiness.  I know it!

I'm raising my eyebrow at...
...the one girl that can't just shut her mouth.  You're just rude and someone needs to tell you.
It's amazing how you can dish it, but when confronted nicely you cry.  Like, what?!

I'm missing like crazy...
...my baby boy!  I still am in disbelief that my cousin and God son moved to North Carolina.
I never appreciated the weekend sleepovers with my favorite baby boy like I do now!

I'm balling like a baby because...
...my baby girl officially started Pre-K!  I mean, why does she have to grow so quick?!
Do they have counseling for mothers that can't handle how quickly the milestones come?!

I had the time of my life...
...walking around a local village hunting for Pokemon with my best friend!
I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time!  Not to mention we were active and it was FREE!

I finally watched...
...Ted 2!  That movie had me cracking up all the way through.
I totally believe that the Tom Brady sperm thieves are based on real life!
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

List: Ten things that September 1st is way too soon to start.

Before we get into today's post, let me apologize for my sudden disappearance last week.
On top of being a busy little bee, I locked myself out of my lap top.
I then attempted to recover my account only to get locked out of that also.
Apparently my recovery password was a date, but in what format?!  Smh...
Huge thanks to my manager who spent a week trying to help me hack into my own computer.
Luckily he needed me to work from home this weekend so he made it a priority.
We did get a good laugh out of my answers for the new recovery questions.  Win, win!

*************************************

Question:  When is the official last day of Summer?
Answer:  The last day of Summer is September 22.
Did the stores trick you into thinking it was 3 weeks ago?!

We have the majority of the month of September to still enjoy the thrills of Summer.
That being said, WHY is everyone prematurely welcoming Autumn when all we wanted was Summer?!
We still have another month to hit the beach, rock a barbecue, and live in flip flops.
We're always so focused on what's next that we forget to enjoy what's now.
FYI - Autumn is my favorite season, so don't think I'm hating on the fall!

the end of the summer, goodbye summer, hello fall

Ten things that September 1st is way too soon to start.


1.  Opening Halloween stores.
We've all seen the stores that only open for Halloween to sell us costumes and overpriced makeup.
Well, nobodies thinking about their Halloween costume with the sun shining this bright!

2.  Pumpkin flavored goodies.
As much as I love my pumpkin flavored treats, it's just way too soon!
We should boycott pumpkin until AFTER September 22nd and grab a refreshing lemonade instead.

3,  Displaying the chunky sweater department.
We all love to snuggle with our chunky sweaters on a cool, crisp day but not when its 90 degrees!
Did I mention that I destroyed my favorite swimsuit and can't find a replacement anywhere?!

4.  Fall themed magazine articles.
I got the latest issue of my favorite magazine and was disgusted by all the Autumn headlines!
It's way too soon for me to switch to my colder season skin regiment.  I'm still rocking the A.C.!!

5.  Buying candy corn.
Every year I invest in bags of candy corn to fill my glass pumpkin, but I still got weeks to worry about that!
Maybe the CEO of Target likes to snack on candy corn while soaking up the sun on the beach.

6.  Hanging holiday lights.
I made my husband make a U-turn to show him a neighbor's Christmas lights display.
For this, I simply I have NO words.  Let's just move on...

7.  Hot sales on spray tans.
I'm all for a good spray tan, but not when I still got my natural tan on my skin!
Why can't they save these sales for January.  That's when I really need to rock one...

8.  Opening the Halloween departments.
I understand that something has to replace the school supplies display, but really?
What if you fill it with bulk items until after September 22nd?  Is that too much to ask?!

9.  Discounted Thanksgiving sets.
While shopping at the outlets, I couldn't believe the hot sales Lenox was having on Thanksgiving goods!
I confess that I made three purchases.  In my defense, they were practically FREE!

10.  Wearing Ugg boots.
While I'm not a fan of Uggs, I love my boot collection so much I wear them for half the year!
Random girl on the street, how bad does your feet STINK after your walk in those things in this heat?!

What do you think September is too soon for?
Friday, August 26, 2016

Life: Friday Ramblings


It's been years since I've...
...watched The Jungle Book!  At 28, I still can't stop myself from dancing and singing along.
I'm glad that my little mush enjoyed the music just as much as I do.

I'm smiling ear to ear because...
...my husband finally finished the closet in the spare room!  Such a simple thing made a BIG difference.
Hello organized space for the clothes that are out of season, board games, and other miscellaneous things!

I'm super thankful for...
...the support team I didn't realize I had!  People that I never knew cared have proven then really do.
Details to come later, but let's just say that it was a heart warming moment.

I feel awful for...
...my baby girl being allergic to bug bites.  A simple mosquito bite turns into a welt on her.
Not only do they swell horribly, but the mosquito seem to LOVE her blood!

I'm cracking up at...
...my baby girl as she looks at a stranger and yells "STOP CHECKING ME OUT"!
Where does she even learn these things from?!  My bet is on Spongebob.

I'm totally in love with...
...these super comfy drawstring shorts from Gap Body that my husband surprised me with.
I usually rock a t-shirt and boy short panties around the house.  He hated it enough to compromise!

I can't stop filling the house with...
...potted plants!  I see a good deal for a plant and I can't help myself from getting it.
This week it was a 4" cabbage rose plant.  I had to tell my husband  it's an "investment" for the backyard.

What are your Friday ramblings?
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

List: Ten ways to get back into routine after a vacation.

**I posted this almost exactly a year ago, but it totally applies to now.  Please excuse the repeated post while I remind myself on how to catch myself up in life and work!**


The wedding ended and the honey moon came and gone.
The next week, I was summoned for jury duty and then I caught a viral infection from my Mushy.
Quickly after that, my aunt passed away so we traveled upstate, NY for the services.
If these things didn’t happen all at once, life would be boring.  Right?!

Needless to say, after a month of not being able to live a normal life, I’m all out of whack.
I’m so far behind in life that I’m not sure how to catch up and get back on schedule.
My bills aren’t meticulously budgeted and my chores are a month behind.
My cubicle at work has stacks and piles of time sensitive tasks left undone.
My blog’s log of posts is empty and my class for school is literally right around the corner.
I’m not even going to mention myself.  I need an emergency hair cut and mani-pedi NOW!

Ten ways to get your life back on track.

1.  Take a deep breath and calm down.
It’s easy to panic when you see mountains of unfinished work and chores laying around.
If you go into panic mode, you’ll make mistakes and take longer to finish.
Meditate for a minute or stop and get a glass of cold water.  Once you’re calm, do step #2.

2.  Evaluate the complete situation.
Before you can begin getting back on track, you need to determine where you’re at.
Brainstorm and make a list of everything that needs to get done in all aspects of your life.
This can be overwhelming.  Stop and calm down again if you need to.  I have anxiety so I get it!

3.  Prioritize the tasks on hand.
The floors may need a good scrubbing, but it’s high priority to deposit your check and pay bills.
Rewrite your list and put the tasks in priority order.  This is especially an important step at work!
This may feel like you’re wasting time, but trust me when I say being organized really helps.

4.  Take lots and lots of breaks.
Playing catch up can be very overwhelming.  Remember it took a month to build that pile of work.
You need to eat, sleep, and take mental breaks.  It’s impossible to do everything in a day, so don’t try.
This is where I always fail, especially at work.  I may have unanswered e-mails, but I still have to pee!

5.  Communicate with the people relying on you.
Maybe you need to cancel a beach day with the girls or reschedule a meeting with your boss.
As long as you communicate and explain the situation, people aren’t going to feel let down.
Remember that everyone had to play catch up at some point in their life.  They’ll totally understand!

6.  Don’t forget about the new tasks coming in.
Getting your life back on track isn’t an excuse to ignore the new tasks coming in.
If you do this, you’ll be right back at step one.  Try and balance your time between new and old tasks.
I have unapplied checks sitting here from a month ago, but I’m still submitting the new ones coming in.

7.  Ask for help and delegate what you can.
This doesn’t mean it’s ok to dump everything on someone else.  But, it is ok to ask for help.
Maybe your spouse can do some extra chores or a friend can entertain your baby for a few hours.
These little shouts for help will really make all the difference in how long this takes you!

8.  Eliminate unnecessary distractions.
Things like your cell phone or your TV set to BRAVO can prove to be an unnecessary distraction.
If you are too busy chatting on the phone or watching TV, you’re not being productive.
My husband hates when my brain gets distracted because it happens often.  Woops!

9.  Set a reasonable date as a target goal.
If I allow myself to think that I have an indefinite amount of time to do something, it doesn’t get done.
On the other hand, if I rush to get stuff done too quick then things aren’t done correctly or completely.
A goal is always a great thing to have for mental reasons.  It helps put everything in perspective!

10.  Live your life following your normal routine.
It’s important to get back into your normal routine as quickly as possible.
This will help you feel normal.  It also will help get things done because your routine probably worked.
It always feels great to settle back into your regular schedule after a long vacation.



How do you get back into your daily routine after a long vacation?
Monday, August 22, 2016

List: Ten important things to do before applying for a new job.


I recently went on a fabulous dinner date with my baby cousin.  It turns out that my baby cousin is no longer a baby.  We were celebrating my birthday and the start of her career at a huge accounting firm.  Our dinner date was soon consumed with sparkling sake and adult conversation.  One big topic of talk was how she landed this awesome role straight out of college.  No worries, ladies and gentlemen!  I’ll share her tips to success with you!


how to prepare to start a new career; how to get a career; how to get a dream job; how to prepare for a job application

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

What to do before applying for a new job.

1.  Get yourself organized.
Keep your important documents and information filed in a designated and safe place.  This file should be filled with copies of your resume, certificates, recommendation letters, copies of identification (license, social security card, & birth certificate), and diplomas.

Idea:  Invest in a fire proof box like this one to keep under lock and key.  This should house all of your important documents like the ones mentioned above.  Keeping a box like this keeps you organized and protected just in case there ever is an unthinkable disaster.

2.  Invest in a portfolio book.
Keep a portfolio book handy and filled with pens, paper, resumes, and other necessities.  Walking into an interview with this leaves you looking prepared, responsible, and professional.

Idea:  I really like a padfolio like this one because it's extra useful.  It has a pad for writing, a folder for storage, a place to keep your phone, a business card holder, a spot for your ear buds, and so much more.  This is the cheapest investment you'll ever make, especially since you'll use it even after you land your dream job.

3.  Clean up your social media.
Browse through your social media feeds and delete any unprofessional pictures or posts.  I never believed employers actually looked until the time an interview began with listing our mutual friends.  Now that I'm a hiring manager, I do the same quick search to see what pops up on social media.  Keep your pages private and your extra crazy nights off the web.

4.  Google your name for a virtual clean up.
You'll be surprised what will pop up when you Google your name.  Delete all undesirable discoveries.  I recently did this and had a hard time deleting an ancient Twitter account.  I had literally had to beg the Twitter Gods for it to go away.  Start this process early since it's not always that easy to accomplish.

5.  Invest in a blazer.
Whether it's a fun colored blazer or plain black one, it's a must for any interview.  I love my coral blazer because it helps me stand out, radiates my personality, all while it still shows that I mean business.

Idea:  Try scheduling a StitchFix order by clicking here to get a choice of interchangeable professional outfits PLUS that much needed blazer.  I love StitchFix because it's the only place that I find professional clothes that are my style as in not old lady clothes and come in petite sizes.

6.  Create a professional e-mail address.
Sign up for a free gmail account and make your e-mail something professional.  Your name separated by a period at gmail.com will always do the trick.

7.  Prepare answers to typical interview questions.
There will be trade specific questions, but the favorites will always pop up.  Research some common questions and develop bullet points for an answer.  It's important to sound prepared, not rehearsed so don't waste time memorizing a line.  

Idea:  Don't be afraid to ask family or friends to help role play a practice interview.

8.  Start networking.
Connections and possible opportunities await you when you simply tell people you're ready for a career  I once scored an interview on the elevator ride to another interview!  Always have extra resume copies.

9.  Create a LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn has become a key tool for networking, recruiting, and researching applicants.  Utilize it!  You should definitely upload a profile picture but keep it tasteful, professional, and a solo shot.  Keep it updated with your most recent credentials.  Also, don't be afraid to solicit confirmation of those credentials from your current peers.

10.  Become confident in yourself.
In the words of my not so baby cousin, "be confident and prepare to sell yourself".  You need to prove to yourself that you're the perfect fit for a career before you can prove it to others.

What is your dream job?