Five on Friday #15

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Happy Fri-Yay, friends! :)We made it to the weekend and that is definitely something to celebrate!

On Fridays I like to share five random things about my week including what I’ve been listening to, thinking about, etc.

How was your week?

  1. Green Day, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy just announced that they will be going on tour together in 2020! Green Day is my all time favorite band and I’d love to see them live again! Green Day had been dropping hints about their tour and new album on social media and I’m so excited now that I know what’s going on!
  2. I heard this Hilary Duff medley the other day and I can’t stop listening to it. Is anyone else super excited for the new Lizzie McGuire reboot?!?
  3. Brett is at an airshow this weekend and I’m kind of looking forward to a weekend alone. I’m planning on watching a couple of my movies, deep cleaning the house, and going shopping, basically all the things Brett hates doing! Let me know if you have any Netflix recommendations for me!
  4. I’ve been doing a ton of cross-training at work to learn my teammate’s processes in order to help provide balance in our division. It’s super challenging to learn new things but I’m really enjoying getting out there and doing other processes. It has made my workday more enjoyable and makes me feel like a better member of our team.
  5. Speaking of work, this week we had our first annual team-building event. We left work at noon and headed about an hour away to some sand dunes near Lake Michigan for dune rides. It was so much fun to get away for the afternoon and spend time with some of my favorite people! Have you ever been on a dune ride?

Do you have any plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash

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How I Handle the “Real World” & Blogging

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Most people in my “real” life don’t know that I have a blog. It’s not something that I really advertise because I don’t want to answer questions or have people that I know read my blog. Most of the time what I’m posting about is really personal. I share my feelings, views, and opinions without having to worry about too much backlash but I often wonder what would happen if my family, friends, and acquaintances were reading.

I used to share the link to my blog on Facebook and Instagram so it’s not exactly a secret. My Instagram is weird because I post about my blog on stories but not really on the main feed. I’m so weird about it because so many of my “real life” friends and family follow me on Instagram.

All of this weirdness stems from me being an awkward introvert. I have such a hard time talking about my personal feelings in real life and become super awkward and change the subject ASAP.

I guess the truth is that I’m still trying to figure out how to balance blogging and my personal life. Blogging is something that I’m passionate about but I don’t know how I would feel if everyone knew about and read my blog.

How do you handle blogging?

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Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

 

 

Five on Friday #14

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Happy Friday! Here’s another list of five random thoughts for your Friday morning! I hope you have a great workday and relaxing weekend!

  1. I found a great Labor Day sale for the Fall FabFitFun box! I’ve wanted to try FabFitFun for awhile now and this seemed like the perfect time. I’ve heard that the fall box isn’t the best but I’m still looking forward to it! Have you tried FabFitFun? Do you think it’s worth getting an annual subscription?
  2. I finally joined the Taylor Swift Lover bandwagon. I loved Taylor back in the day when she was a country singer with super relatable lyrics but as she’s gotten trendier it’s been harder for me to relate to her music. I was apprehensive about Lover but it was all over social media and I got hooked! Every single song is amazing, in my opinion!
  3. When I graduated from high school in 2012 I bought a laptop and have been using it ever since. I really want to upgrade to a MacBook Air so I’ve been saving up. Do you have a MacBook? If you do, do you think they are worth the investment?
  4. I got my fall decorations out yesterday after work and I can’t wait to start decorating! Fall and Christmas are my two favorite to decorate for. My house just feels so cozy!
  5. This weekend I’m going to my grandparent’s house to meet my cousin’s new baby girl. My dad is making ribs and we are going to work on painting my parent’s guest bedrooms. Brett has an airshow this weekend but I just don’t think I’ll have the time or energy to go with him. He really likes it when I go to airshows with him but it’s hard on me. It’s been a really bad headache week and I just need to have a slower paced weekend.

Do you have any plans this weekend?

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Photo by Ostap Senyuk on Unsplash

Weekend Recap: Hot Air Balloon Festival

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This past weekend was super busy for our family. Brett is involved with all of our local airshows and balloon festivals. He is a third generation aviation fanatic so the love of all things aviation runs deep.

Our local balloon festival was Friday-Sunday and Brett and I work on the media team doing Facebook and Instagram. The location of the festival is at a farm which is very close to where I grew up.The farm has apple orchards, pumpkin patches, a corn maze, farm animals, homemade donuts and cider, and every other fall activity imaginable. I went there every year growing up so it makes it even more special to be involved as an adult.

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Friday after work we headed to the farm for the first balloon flight and balloon glow. This was a balloon competition so each flight the pilots had bags to throw from their balloons to try to reach a target.

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We decided to sleep in on Saturday morning and do chores before heading to the farm. There was a car show from 11-2 so my dad, Brett, and our friend headed there. My mom and I stayed at my parent’s house and did some work. My parents are officially empty nesters so we are working on turning the two extra bedrooms into guest rooms. We also want to paint the whole upstairs and turn the basement into a family room area.

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Saturday night we headed to the farm for the balloon flight and glow. We met up with some friends and had cider and donuts. It felt like fall which made me excited for the months ahead!

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The Sunday morning flight was cancelled due to weather so we stayed home and did the rest of our chores and went grocery shopping. We took Oscar to my parent’s in the afternoon for a little play date and then my parent’s and a couple of our friends came over for dinner.

We had a great weekend! It felt like the beginning of fall in Michigan. I’m sad that summer is practically over but I’m ready for all the fall things!

How was your weekend?

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The Blogger Comparison Game

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A couple of years ago I took an internet marking class in college that made me decide to quit blogging. I had already been blogging for a couple of years at this point and no longer could handle it. I hated comparing myself to other bloggers and their successes. I hated looking at my stats and feeling like a failure because I couldn’t meet the goals that I had set for myself. I decided that I hated everything about blogging and shut my door to the community that I worked so hard to connect with.

I never thought that I would come out of blogging “retirement” but I’m so glad that I did! I pretty much had to build myself back up from nothing and it was rough. I let fear and self doubt crush everything that I had created and I almost let that fear win.

Blogging in the age of social media influencers is much harder than when I started this blog almost six years ago. When I started writing a blog for a college English class I never expected to love it and want to keep writing after the class was over. Having this space has become my creative outlet and all of you have become my internet friends.

Still, I find myself comparing my little piece of the internet to other’s. I feel a sense of belonging in the blogging community yet still compare my posts and pictures to everyone else’s. I cheer people on while tearing myself down because I’m a perfectionist and nothing ever feels good enough.

The blogger comparison game is real. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way and I wanted to share how I’ve been coping with my feelings.

The wonderful bloggers who I follow are amazing people. I’ve never met them in real life but I can tell because they put so much into their writing. Instead of comparing myself to them I’ve been trying to instead put my energy into engaging and building others up too. If I follow you it’s because I honestly love reading your content and I want you to do well!

As bloggers we have the unique ability to put our thoughts out into the world in either a negative or positive way. Playing this stupid comparison game with myself was a negative behavior and it was hurting my blogging. I will probably never be a social media influencer and that’s okay. I’ll always be a shy introvert who is just happy to share her truth with the world.

Do you find yourself getting caught up in the comparison game? How do you deal with it?

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Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

Five on Friday #12

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Where has the time gone?! I can’t believe it’s already August! I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks and I’m ready for some R&R. Hopefully this weekend will provide lots of time to relax and unwind.

  1. We have picture day at work next week and I am in desperate need of a new outfit. The problem with weight loss is that I have no idea what size I am now so I don’t feel comfortable ordering clothes online. Our mall is pretty much empty so I think I’ll need to drive to our closest outlet mall this weekend for a little retail therapy.
  2. Brett and I have had a crazy couple of weeks! We went down to Florida for a week for Brett’s grandpa’s funeral and then last week Brett’s aunt stayed with us which meant lots of entertaining and family dinners. I’m exhausted!
  3. When I was in 8th grade I wanted to be a film director. I begged my parent’s to buy me a video camera for my 14th birthday and they did! I spent most of 2007-2008 filming every holiday, sleepover, and family event. I recently found the video camera and started watching my old “vlogs”. They are so sweet and I’m glad that I have them! I’m no longer friends with the people but I still loved seeing our happy times together! I feel like I need to do something with all of these videos now though. Let me know if you have any ideas!
  4. 2 years ago I was preparing for my wedding day! It feels like just yesterday and I can’t believe that I’ve been with Brett for almost 8 years now! We are planning a day date for our anniversary (August 19th) and I can’t wait to spend some time together.
  5. I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump lately and haven’t had the motivation to write anything. I go through these slumps every once in awhile but this one feels especially bad. I hope to be back with regularly scheduled content soon!

How was your week? Do you have any plans with weekend?

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Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash

Murad Skincare Review

Murad Acne Products

I shared my acne story a couple of months ago and had a lot of great feedback on it! I hate hearing that other people are also struggling with acne and skin problems but I love how we are able to have open and honest conversations together. It’s hard to share something so personal with the internet but I would be happy to help just one other person with their acne journey.

Today I thought I’d share a super honest review on Murad. I first heard of Murad from our Danish exchange student when I was in high school. She came to Michigan with a tube of the acne spot treatment and let me borrow it to help with my acne and it worked really well!

A few years later when I was in college I was really struggling with my acne and saw that same spot treatment at Ulta. I noticed that they had the Clear Control 30-Day Acne Kit ($38) and immediately purchased it. Even though it was about 5 years ago I can remember my exact thought after trying the clarifying cleanser for the first time. I remember this moment because I still think the same thing every time I was my face with the Murad Clarifying Cleanser. I think “this feels and smells like a spa treatment”!

I first purchased these Murad products when I was in college with a really tight budget. I honestly feel like all of the Murad products are really reasonably priced for how well they work! I don’t mind investing in my skincare because I know what it’s like to have bad acne and I don’t want to go down that path again. One of the things I love most about Murad is that I know the products work for me so it never feels like a waste of money. I can’t even tell you how many times I have repurchased all of these products at this point!

My Tried and True Favorite Murad Products

  • Clarifying Cleanser ($30): What more can I say about this product? I love it so much and I have tried a ton of other cleansers! I feel like I am a cleanser expert by now. This makes my skin feel refreshed and clean but not dried out. I can feel it working but it’s not painful. I look forward to washing my face because it feels luxurious and spa-like. If you are going to buy just one Murad product I would recommend the Clarifying Cleanser!
  • Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment ($22): This was my first Murad product and what made me want to try more. For the most part, I don’t have a ton of new breakouts that form. But I always have a tube of this spot treatment on hand for any unexpected breakouts that form. This is easy to throw on and walk away because I know that it will get the job done!
  • Skin Perfecting Lotion ($40): I fell in love with this Skin Perfecting Lotion pretty quickly after buying my first Murad starter kit. I’d put it on after washing my face and could feel it start working right away. I contribute a lot of my clear skin to this product right here. One bottle easily lasts me 3-4 months and I use it every single day!
  • Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15++ PA ($40): Moisturizer is the most important part of my skincare routine. I always look for something that has SPF in it to wear during the daytime. This is my go to moisturizer for the summer because it’s a bit heavier than normal moisturizer. It makes my skin feel hydrated but not greasy. Best of all, it protects my skin from the sun while doing my normal day to day activities.

I have tried a few other Murad products and really loved them too but these are just my everyday favorites that I use to keep my skin healthy and clear. I still have breakouts every once in a while but it’s nowhere near my cystic acne that I had a few years ago.

I feel much more confident in my skin now and realize how important it is to invest in my skincare routine. I don’t change up my skincare products a ton because I have a good thing going. I do have a few other favorite skincare products that are not from Murad that I can share at a later date.

If you are struggling with acne, just keep trying products until you find what works best for you! I tried SO many other products before I found Murad. What works for me may not work for you. It’s frustrating and expensive but you are worth it! Skincare is something that I am passionate about because it’s been an uphill battle to get where I’m at now with my skin.

What are your favorite skincare products? Have you found any life changing acne products?

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