2018 Recap

For those of you who don’t know, 2018 was a pretty big year for me, and the last couple months alone have been insane (hence the lack of posting).

In April my best friend of many years moved to Tennessee. I got to see them in August for a few days, but it’s been difficult having all of these large life milestones with them around.

In May I graduated from UNK with my bachelor’s in English writing and a minor in Journalism. I chose not to walk and, instead, stayed at home with my friends and family to celebrate.

That same weekend my parents helped me move to Lincoln into an apartment with my boyfriend of two years. That makes two different large milestones in a course of a weekend. Way to go, Shelby.

I’d been searching and applying for jobs since March, and all I had managed to get was a remote freelance writer position through a company called Ultius, from which I was never actually able to make any money with (or do anything at all). In fact, I just had them disable my account this week.

So with my name on a lease and no job, I was determined to find something (and fast). Sunday I was moved in, and by Tuesday at 10 am I had been hired on the spot to be a professional house cleaner for a business here in Lincoln. After a couple of weeks, I knew I didn’t want to do that for too long, so I restarted my search hoping it would be easier now that I was in Lincoln.

I turned twenty-two in August, and my best friend from college came to celebrate with me. She then moved out to the California in October, and I miss her a lot as well.

After filling out countless applications and going on a few interviews, I managed to land a Marketing Content Specialist position with a company called MemoryStitch. I started October 1, and it’s been really great. Watch for potential content on what it’s like working in a professional environment where everyone has way more experience than you (and is older than you).

I’ve managed to make a few new friends here in Lincoln, which was one of my biggest concerns when I moved out here. In fact, I see one of my coworkers from my last job almost every week.

I’m considering myself pretty lucky because 2018 has been full of many, many big steps that went way better than I could’ve possibly imagine. I’m living with my favorite person. I got my bachelor’s degree at 21. And somehow I managed to get an incredible job related to my field four months after graduating.

The last few months have been full of amazing date nights, evenings out on the town with friends, and so many other incredible experiences. Check out my slideshow below for some images!

I’m a little town girl, living in the city, and I’m absolutely loving it, even the adulting part. I’m going to try to make more content on my experiences here, so stick around, and thanks for bearing with me the past couple months as I tried to get myself together.

I hope you have a happy New Year. Here’s to 2019.

 

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A Beautiful Day Following the Snow

I was very unhappy with the snow that occurred this weekend. And even more unhappy trudging to work in the cold, scraping the ice off my car, and turning up the heater. I wasn’t prepared for the quick shift.

Luckily, today produced beautiful 70 degree weather, perfect for a late afternoon walk with the boyfriend. I skipped the gym after work in favor of enjoying a leisurely walk in the last hour or so of sunlight.

Rather than walking to Lincoln’s Sunken Gardens (just half a mile from our apartment), we ventured North towards Union Plaza, a bit more of a trek.

Union Plaza follows Rock Island Trail and covers quite a bit of ground. There are plenty of sidewalks and plenty of running water.

Since my blog has been a little inactive lately, I thought I’d just post a few of the images I captured in this beautiful venue.

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My Fave TV Show Right Now – And Yes, It’s Queer

Growing up I loved watching makeover shows. Whether people were being made over, houses were being made over. Whatever it was, I was into it.

As I grew up, however, I started straying away from those shows because something started putting me off, and I couldn’t really figure it out.

Finally, many years later, I’ve got it. But it took watching a completely different type of makeover show to really put it into perspective. Shows like What Not to Wear, for example, took people completely out of their comfort zone and made them into entirely different people. I found myself feeling bad for them as their favorite clothes were literally trashed and made fun of, and no one ever really tried to understand why they had those items or why they decided to dress that way. Those shows were so fixated on the aesthetics that it missed a lot of other extremely important areas of people’s lives.

Queer Eye, a 2018 TV reboot of the Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, takes into account more than just aesthetics. The “Fab 5” dive into the life of someone who is struggling, one way or another. They are always extremely devoted in helping these people make the best of their situations, but they are also so respectful of their boundaries, beliefs, etc. It’s also very entertaining to watch a straight man (the shows typical focus) have his life interrupted by five gay men.

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Antoni Porowski is the food and wine expert. He helps find a suitable meal for each individual (well within their interests and skill sets), and sometimes it’s as simple as teaching them how to make guacamole.

Tan France is the fashion expert and my personal favorite. He helps to find clothes that fit, flatter, and suit the lifestyles of the people he works with (and keeping the clothing age appropriate as well).

Karamo Brown is the culture and lifestyle expert, and I believe he has the most difficult job of all. This part of the show really changes from episode to episode because it entirely relies on what the person needs.

Bobby Berk is the design expert. He comes in and completely transforms a space. Whether that be a house or an apartment. He’s also done a community center and a firehouse station. He sees where there’s need (more storage space, a space that isn’t governed by the kids), and he creates it beautifully.

Jonathan Van Ness is the grooming expert. He provides a stylish haircut (and often a beard trim) to help flatter each individual and make them feel more confident. He also provides the tools and products to get ready each morning, while also respecting how much time they realistically have to get ready each morning.

This show is truly more than just a makeover show, and I believe it’s a show so many people can enjoy. Even my boyfriend will happily watch it with me, and we can never agree on what to watch.

The first two seasons are currently streaming on Netflix, and season three will premiere in 2019. I’d encourage you to check it out and let me know what you think.

Watch for a potential second part to this post when I actually finish season two. I’m not quite there since I’m no longer watching it alone, and I’d like to dive deeper into what the series is really doing.

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September Glam Bag

I had completely forgotten that my September Ipsy Glam Bag was on its way until the bright pink package arrived in my mailbox.

If you missed August’ post, make sure to check out that post too.

This month’s bag came in an adorable clutch with eyelashes. (Honestly, the bag was the item I was most excited for this month.)

Of this month’s products, I was most excited for the MPRINCESS loose eyeshadow in pretty petal. It looked like a gorgeous, dusty purple shade, and I was super excited. Now, while the shade is nothing like what I thought it was going to be, it is still absolutely gorgeous. When placed on the eyelid, it comes off as a very light shade, but very full of different glitters and colors. I absolutely love it and will wear it often.

Another item I really enjoyed this month THE CRÈME SHOP
2-in-1 Facial Foam Cleanser. I was traveling this weekend, and this cleanser made an ideal addition to my essentials makeup bag. It helped remove makeup that makeup wipes just can’t quite get, and it left my skin feeling clean. (A good moisturize is necessary afterwards, however!)

After receiving a really great primer last month, I was a little bummed to be receiving another right away. The ELIZABETH MOTT primer, however, also served me well on my travels when I forgot to pack my normal primer. It’s definitely mattifying, which might not work for my combination on some of my drier days.

My next item was the LUXIE BEAUTY Wonder Woman Tapered Blender 140 brush. I don’t have too much to say about this item. It’s a nice, quality brush. But, as I said in my first Ipsy post, I think that the majority of makeup brushes are pretty similar. I like the shape of this one though, and it will make a great addition to my collection.

My last item the APTO Healing Tumeric Mask. I’ve tried so many masks, and for some reason this one fell a little short for me. That being said, my mom really enjoyed it. She struggles with finding face products that work for her between allergies and her sensitive skin. My mom struggles with rosascea, which often leaves her skin red and/or irritated. After using the mask, she could tell a difference in her redness, and so I left the mask with her to keep using.

Overall, I am relatively happy with this month’s bag, and it arrived just in time for me to pack everything up as I traveled for Kearney Pride.

See my September Glam Bag below.

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Kool-Aid Cupcakes

Two years ago for my birthday I made a chocolate cake with purple frosting. One of my friends walked in, saw it, and said “oooh, grape cake!” And I had to gently tell her that it was, in fact, not a grape cake.

But her comment got me thinking. How could I incorporate fruity flavors into cake? A year later, I started looking up recipes for fruity cakes, and stumbled upon a kool-aid cake recipe. I tried it for the first time, successfully making watermelon cupcakes.

This year for my birthday, I decided to try a different flavor, and I ended up buying black cherry. They were just as delicious as they were the last time, and I thought I’d share how to make them and how I make my frosting.

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Making a kool-aid cake (or cupcakes) is very simple. Buy a white cake mix, follow the directions, and add one packet of kool-aid flavoring. I go ahead and use the whole egg instead of just the egg whites for my own.

The kool-aid adds a slight (not overwhelming in the slightest) fruity flavor, and adds a great color to your cupcakes, making them great for parties.

To make my frosting I use cool whip and plain, store-bought white frosting. I mix about a cup of each together, and then I add frosting (if necessary) until I have the consistency that I want. This makes a nice, fluffy frosting that goes well with the sweetness of the cupcake. Once the cupcakes are made, I refrigerate them as well.

These cupcakes are super easy to make, and there are so many different flavors of kool-aid to try. Next time, I think I’ll try something a bit different. Possibly blue raspberry lemonade?

 

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My Fave Cleaning Supplies

I’ve always enjoyed cleaning, but it wasn’t until I had my own apartment and started working for a cleaning company that I became a little bit obsessed with the supplies I used. I thought I’d share some of my tricks to you might add to your cleaning routine.

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SoftScrub For use in bathrooms (and the occasional kitchen). Use SoftScrub in toilet bowls for a sparkling white clean. Use SoftScrub (with a Dobie or other abrasive cleaning pad) in bathtubs, showers, or white sinks to help whiten and remove most stains. Softscrub with an abrasive cleaning pad (and a gentle hand) could remove hard water stains off of chrome finishes as well.

Bon Ami For use in bathrooms. Use Bon Ami in bathtubs and showers with an abrasive cleaning pad to scrub off stubborn soap scum. Make sure to properly rinse the Bon Ami, as it can leave behind a residue.

Lemon/Orange Restoring Oil For use in kitchens and bathrooms. I prefer Lemon Oil, but this Orange Pledge was cheaper. After cleaning a stainless steel or colored sink (anything but a white sink really), dry it out, and add the oil. It will add an incredible shine and allow water to roll off the sink better. The oil can also be used on textured glass shower doors to help clear up hard water spots. I would recommend using disposable rags, as to not add oil into your normal laundry.

Pumice Stone For use in bathrooms. Use Pumice Stones in toilets with rings or hard to remove stains. They’re especially useful in toilets that don’t get used regularly. Do not use on colored toilets. They can also be used to (carefully) remove water rings around drains. Run cold water as you gently rub the stone around the drain.

Feel free to share your favorite cleaning supplies in the comments!

 

August Glam Bag

My August Ipsy Glam Bag arrived, unexpectedly, two days early this month. I barely had time to see what what was coming before it arrived.

If you missed July’s post, make sure to check out that post too.

This month’s bag came in a bright orange makeup bag.

I was most excited for the EAU THERMALE AVÈNE Cleanance Gel, which is essentially a soap-free cleanser. I have a difficult time find cleansers that work for me because I have combination skin, but I really like how this one works (and you only need a couple drops each use). While my skin couldn’t handle it everyday, twice a day, it works well as a once a day cleanser, and the small bottle will make it ideal for travel since it can also be used as a body wash.

Another item I really enjoyed this month was HIKARI COSMETICS Cream Pigment Eyeshadow in Latte and Fierce. I’d never used a cream pigment before, so I do think that will take some getting used to; however, it’s a beautiful shade, goes on easy, and it definitely stays on all day.

Of all the items in the bag, the BENEFIT COSMETICS The POREfessional: Pearl Primer, was definitely the most raved about. I’ve heard beauty vloggers talk about it, and the reviews on it are incredible. After wearing it once, I could see why. It really smoothed my skin, and allowed me to wear the tiniest amount of foundation to just even out skin tone. I prefer not to wear heavy face makeup (especially during the summer), and this primer allowed for that. The only sad part is the trial size is super small, but it’s definitely something I would consider purchasing.

My next item was RÍVÉTRE BY STARLOOKS Star Stamp Eyeliner in Black. This is a double-sided eyeliner. One side has a fine tip pen, the other is a star stamp. While I don’t think I’ll ever use the star stamp, I did really like the eyeliner. It went on easier than last month’s, and it could probably last through just about anything. I actually had to work pretty hard to get it off with makeup remover.

My last item was INMO The Universe’s Star Highlighter in Twilight. I love a good highlighter, but this one fell a little short for me. It’s supposedly buildable, but I couldn’t get that much pigment out of it. Also, it claims to fit “all skin tones,” but I think it’s easy to say that’s not really possible. I do think it’s a little to warm for my lighter complexion, though it could probably work during my more bronze looks.

Overall, I was really happy with this month’s bag, and it arrived in time for me to actually wear everything to a wedding reception. (The lipstick pictured below is actually a NYX suede matte lipstick.)

Today I also ordered Ipsy’s “Sleepover Essentials” while it was on sale for $10 (normally $30+). As an Ipsy member, I definitely do get the oppurtunity to grab really great deals.

See my August Glam Bag below.

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