No Makeup, No Problem

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I’ve always been someone who valued comfort and practicality over all else. If I could, I would wear PJ’s everywhere I went with zero shame. But since that is not socially acceptable, I suck it up and put on jeans. I guess I just don’t care what strangers think of me. I’ve just never been the type of person who has to look perfect before walking out the door. I go out all the time without makeup. I’m not saying we should look like slobs. I simply mean I don’t think we always have to put on a specially planned outfit and spend an hour on hair and makeup to go grab some milk and eggs. And I’m only talking about days when I don’t have work, or anything important to do. Of course I take more care with my clothing and makeup when going to work, going out to dinner, or anything more than running to Target or Starbucks.

I had twin roommates in college who refused to walk out the door without full makeup, hair, and the perfect outfit, no matter where they were going. All I could think then was how exhausting it must be to always keep up appearances. They would wake up extra early on exam days to get ready and make sure they looked perfect because they believed if you looked your best you would do better on the exam. Meanwhile, I’d wake up early, throw on yoga pants, a tshirt, throw my hair up, and spend the time I would have otherwise spent primping to get in some last minute cramming before the exam. The three of us all did well in school, so I don’t think one method works better than the other, it’s all about what works for you. I just couldn’t fathom spending an hour on my hair when I could have spent that hour to get in valuable study time before a test. I’d like to note that it seemed most other students used my approach.

My roommates always said that if you didn’t take pride in your appearance, and if you go anywhere not looking your best, you had no respect for yourself  and you must be insecure. I always strongly disagreed with that view but kept it to myself and let them do their thing, and let them judge me for going to Target without makeup. The thing is I’m really not insure at all. The opposite really. I could care less if someone thought “oh my goodness that girl has no makeup on.” If that is all someone has to worry about, they clearly need a hobby. We all have our insecurities, but I’ve been lucky to pretty much always been very secure with myself, even with my weight issues. I don’t feel the need to dress to the nines and look perfect to be valued or respected by others. I think feeling the need to always look perfect is likely a higher indicator of insecurity than not caring if you look perfect.

I’m not bashing those of you that always look amazing, and obviously, as I said before, I take the time to make sure I am done up for work, and when doing anything other than errands. I think that women put too much pressure on themselves to always look perfect. I don’t think there is anything wrong with running to the store in yoga pants, hair up, and with no makeup on, and I don’t think we should put each other down for failing to always look done up.

Getting Crafty

I’m a big crafter and take advantage of any time off by finding fun new things to make. Last week my mom mentioned that my sister had asked her to find a tutu for my  1 1/2 year-old niece before they visit my parents next week. I told her to check it off her list, and that I would just make one for her. I’ve seen them all over Pinterest and figured they couldn’t be that hard.

My sister had no preference on colors, so I had a blast picking out colors for the tutus. Seriously, shopping for kids is so much more fun than shopping for adults. Same goes for crafting. I went a bit overboard with the tulle and decided to make 2 tutus. They were much easier to make than I thought they would have been, just a bit time consuming to cut all the tulle into strips. I’m pretty happy with the finished product and I can’t wait to see her in them!

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While I was buying the tulle, I also decided to make Sophie a cover for her crate. I’ve had towels covering it, and I figured it was time to have a cover that is less of an eyesore. All the covers I have seen in stores and online are $50+ and I knew I could make one for a fraction of that. I found a really cute pink and grey (gray?) duck cotton and whipped out a cover in no time. It looks so much better than the old towels.

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Now I’m working on my crotchet skills (or lack thereof) and attempting to make an infinity scarf before it gets cold. Then, I think I am going to make an adult sized tutu for my Halloween costume.

Traveling

I love to travel and explore new places, but I don’t do it nearly enough. I also feel like an uncultured swine because I have never been outside the country (Mexico and the Bahamas don’t count). In college I majored in European history and my minor was humanities so I studied all the art and culture alongside the history. Needless to say, one of the things I want most in life is to visit all the places I have learned about and that have fascinated me for so long. My top list of countries to visit are England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Russia, and Hungary.

David has been saving up Skymiles so that we can take a Europe trip next year, and he has finally earned enough for us to go! I am so incredibly excited. However, since neither David or I have been to Europe, we could use all the help we can get.

Do you have any tips? I know many of you have traveled extensively. Where should we go first? What time of year should we go? What cities should we see? How much can we fit into one trip? What one thing do you need the most on the trip? I honestly don’t even know where to begin the planning process.

I am so thankful I “met”  Stephanie (see below), because she is a travel expert, and her blog has already given me so many ideas and tips for our upcoming adventure!

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I am thrilled to introduce you Stephanie from The Mile Advisor. Stephanie is a travel guru, and her blog is all about how to see the world, and in an affordable way. She is constantly sharing amazing travel deals and tips to ensure anyone can travel the world. Be sure to check out her posts on how to earn 2,000 FREE Marriott miles a month, how to get free Airbnb stays, and how to go to Bora Bora for less than $1,500!

What made you start blogging?
I LOVE to travel but working in education, you don’t exactly make the big bucks. I could not stand the idea of only being able to take one international trip every few years. I had collected frequent flyer miles in the past but never thought they would amount to anything. It was not until an opportunity to take a course in Sweden as part of my master’s degree that I got serious about miles. I devoured every word on the American Airlines frequent flyer miles program website until I had found enough ways to earn enough miles for my trip. After that I was hooked – it took a little more convincing for my boyfriend though. In the past two years, we’ve used miles to travel to Chile, Argentina, Denmark, Austria, Vietnam, and Bora Bora, as well as several trips within the US (including Hawaii twice!). The goal of my blog is to teach others how to do the same. You don’t have to be a frequent flyer to earn thousands of frequent flyer miles. In fact, my boyfriend has never paid for a flight on American Airlines but has earned over 150,000 American Airline miles!

What quote or motto do you try to live by?
Eat well, travel often.

What is your idea of relaxing?
Reading a good book while in Bora Bora ;)
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If you could drop everything tomorrow and do anything, what would it be?
That is easy… travel :) and then earn more frequent flyer miles!

What is your most embarrassing moment?
In high school, I worked at a restaurant as a hostess. One night, I was taking a family to their table and I tripped on the stairs and the bucket of crayons I was carrying went everywhere (even landed in someone’s water glass). Needless to say, I was pretty embarrassed.

Netflix Does It Right

As  you may, or may not know, I am a huge Netflix aficionado. I love a good Netflix binge, especially when I’m snuggled up on the couch and it’s cold outside. Oddly enough I rarely use Netflix to watch movies. I only really use it to watch documentaries (yes, I’m a huge geek) and TV series. Lucky for me, Netflix has started making its own series, and let me tell you, they certainly do it right. I’m a bit ashamed to admit I have watched most of their series and I want to share the great ones with you.

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House of Cards: I think by now most of us know how fantastic and addicting this show is.

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Orange is the New Black: Please see description above.

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Peaky Blinders: I just finished watching this series and I highly recommend it. It’s a historical drama placed in England after WWI and follows a family of illegal bookies/street gang and their attempt to stay ahead of law enforcement. The star is Cillian Murphy, who is absolutely dreamy, so even if the plot doesn;t interest you, the eye candy should. The only downside is this series is only 6 episodes.

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The Killing: I LOVED this series and got my parents hooked too. I warn you it is dark and depressing, but very well done. It is about two homicide detectives in Seattle who are paired up and forced to learn to work together while solving murders. The cast is fantastic.

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Lilyhammer: I have started this series but have not yet finished it. So far it is pretty entertaining and funny. It’s about a mobster who enters witness protection but request to go to Lilyhammer, Norway because he thought it looked nice during the 1994 Winter Olympics. He finds himself sorely out of place in the remote city and attempts to adjust to the culture shock.

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Southcliffe: This was more of a miniseries, I think it was only 3 episodes. It’s super dark and slow, and very depressing, but I thought well done. I am a fan of dark British shows, so I enjoyed it, but it may not be for everyone. It is about a remote town where a resident goes on a killing spree.

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Happy Valley: This was a bit more fast paced than Southcliffe, and was another British show. It’s about a female police officer trying to find a kidnap victim. I enjoyed it, but again it may not be for everyone, as it is still a bit slow.

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Hemlock Grove: I am only mentioning this show because I HATED it. I watched the entire first season trying to give it a chance, thinking it has to get better in the next episode. I had such high expectations since it was a Netflix series, and I was sorely let down. It was a knock off of the young adult vampire/werewolf stories and it is such a ridiculous plot line. Maybe I missed something, but I don’t understand why it is rated so well on Netflix.

The take away: Watch Peaky Blinders, The Killing, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Lilyhammer.