Thursday, December 3, 2015

Barbie The Look 2016 Doll Reviews

Image Not Mine

My dolls finally came!! Super excited about this!!!

I bought all three and two extra Sweet Teas; I'm keeping Night Out and one Sweet Tea, and the other three dolls are body donors. I will only be reviewing the dolls I will be keeping. Since I deboxed Urban Jungle, popped her head off and put another doll's head on, I don't think it would be fair to do a review of her, although I will go on and say that I hate the playline mold they used for her. I also apologize for not showing the dolls in their original outfits, but I literally got home, ripped the dolls out of the boxes, and commenced to redress and rebodying!

Night Out
Ellen (Night Out): OMG! She is too cute!!! I know these dolls have been getting a lot of hate for looking so young, but I love the new look. Finally, a cute, sweet looking African American doll by Mattel! Honestly, the last cute AA doll Mattel made, in my opinion anyway, was the first bellybutton Christie with the Everflex waist way back in '99, which I still have. A lot of the AA barbie dolls look very mature, which isn't bad, but it's nice to see a sweet, youthful face. I love her curls and her neutral makeup, which is a big change from the previous The Look dolls. I know a lot of people are also complaining because Mattel didn't add rooted eyelashes, but I think removing the eyelashes is a big improvement. Mattel doesn't do rooted eyelashes as well as Integrity Toys, so the Barbie rooted eyelashes tend to be more noticeable and not as "natural" as Integrity Toys dolls. Also, the first wave of The Look dolls that I bought couldn't wear eye wear because of the lashes.

Ellen is so cute, that I'm actually seriously considering selling Mighty Real Reese and replacing her with Ellen! Never thought the day would come when I would even consider replacing an Integrity Toys Dynamite Girl with a Barbie doll!!

My only complaint is that it would be nice to see an AA collectors doll that does not have the Mbili mold. This version is really cute, but Mattel uses this same face for almost all their AA collectors dolls. And this doll even has almost the same hairstyle as The last Basics AA doll, except with bigger curls. Seriously, Mattel all black people do not look the same, so diversify your AA face molds a bit!

Sweet Tea
Felicie (Sweet Tea): Super cute! I never liked any of the other Karl face mold dolls, but this one was a must! As with the previous doll, I love her neutral makeup. Yes, she does have big, doe-like eyes, and yes she does look very innocent, but that's part of her charm and what makes her cute. I'm a bit confused by her hair, though. On the promo pictures, it's wavy and kinda like a modern version of Nancy Drew's hairstyle, but the doll came with big Shirley Temple curls! I left my doll's hair curled, but did brush the curls out a little so they wouldn't look so much like individual curls. I'm assuming you're supposed to brush her hair out completely to achieve the look in the promo pictures, but with the curls being so tight, I have a feeling doing this will actually turn her hair into a big, bushy mess.

Cons: Overall, these dolls are the best collectors dolls I've bought, although I am not at all happy about the playline elbow joints that greatly limit the range of motion of the dolls (working on a fix for this though *wink*). I was initially bummed that the bodies did not have the pivotal chest articulation, but I'm beginning to get over it. There were also serious quality issues. For one, almost all the dolls I received had stains/smudges/marks on the bodies. I don't think Night Out did, but the other four definitely did. The Sweet Tea doll that I'm keeping had spots/smudges on her face. I was able to remove all but two spots, and the two that are still there are small and not noticeable, but they are still there. I also noticed spots on my Mockingjay Peeta doll's face, so I'm guessing this is a general issue with Mattel now. The other Sweet Tea heads have big Shirley Temple curls but wonky bangs. I decided to keep the doll I have because her bangs are perfect.

One of the Sweat Tea dolls seemed to have her leg glued to her body in the hip socket! Crazy right?! I had to use all my strength to free the leg, and luckily I was able to free it without breaking it.

Night Out: I think these are the best accessories I have ever seen with a doll besides Jazz Diva with her wigs, extra clothes, and makeup. The makeup brush and eyelash brush are just too much! Very well done! The compact is cute but is missing some paint. I have so many better compacts that I may toss this one. Then again I rarely play with any of the compacts, so I doubt it will ever be opened again for me to see the chipped paint anyway.

Sweet Tea: OMG! Love, love, love! I've been meaning to buy some Re-ment food, but haven't gotten around to it, so these scones are great substitutes for the time being. My only complaint is that the scones are made onto the plates (of course Mattel can't get it completely right because that would just be too much of a good thing). The menu also does not have real words and food items, unlike the menu with the Poolside outfit form the first The Look collection.

Urban Jungle: This set is actually the least appealing. Basically, these accessories are just reused playline (necklace, not shown) and collector (coffee and magazine) items.

Shoes: Ooopps, forgot to take pictures of the shoes, but they are all nice. I believe they are all new shoe molds, or at least not any that get used often. I'm glad of this because most of the collectors dolls only used three or four shoe molds, just in different colors.

People have been complaining that the Sweet Tea shoe straps are broken, but all of the dolls I ordered had the same kind of detached straps. This leads me to think that the straps are actually made like this. I know for me, I usually don't use shoes with ankle straps because they break easily. I think Mattel maybe trying to remedy this by making the straps detached. Just my theory anyway.

That's all for my review. For more pictures of these dolls and the rebodied dolls, check out my Flickr photostream. I promise it won't hurt at all!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Return?

Hi Guys! Wow, has it been a while since I've been on Blogger!

I honestly meant for this to be a short break from blogging that would only last during the Summer, but that obviously didn't happen as we are now well into Fall.  As much as I love to write and engage with other bloggers, though, it has been very tough for me to come back to blogging. I'm sure most bloggers at some point feel this way, like blogging has become more of a burden than an enjoyable hobby.

This little break really made me realize how much of a strain my blog had become for me. It was all "gotta catch up on the latest posts," and "gotta put up new content." It was more of a chore than anything. Now that I've had time to step back and enjoy life without my blog, and I have been able to really assess my feelings about it.

For me, I feel that I am no longer able to express myself through my blog, and I'm not sure the direction I want to take now. In general I feel that fashion and beauty blogs are a little superficial. No offense to any of my fellow bloggers out there; I am an avid reader of a few fashion and beauty blogs and find their posts very enjoyable and informative. However, the majority of the fashion blogs I follow I never even visit simply because their posts are entirely high fashion/designer oriented. I don't think there is anything wrong with that at all, but for me, it is not at all something I'm interested in, and, for my tastes at least, there is no substance to such posts. My opinion holds true for most beauty blogs out there as well.

Whenever I tried to do fashion or beauty product posts, it always felt so forced and fake for me. I don't mind sharing a few products or outfits that I really like and would recommend using, but to consistently do this is a strain to me.

I think part of my problem is that I try to pigeonhole myself into a certain "niche." I know there is a lot of advice out there on "creating your personal brand" and "finding your niche," but this all seems more like a hindrance to my blog. This advice is great if you use your blog as a way to advertise your business, or if you want to attract sponsors. I started my blog as a way to continue writing after college and to keep myself preoccupied while I was looking for a job. Of course, when I was jobless I thought about trying to create revenue with my blog. Ultimately, my blog is a personal blog, where I want to share my personal thoughts, ideas and interests, regardless of how all over the place they may be.

Lately, my main pastime has been my dolls. I joined BFC (Barbie Collectors Fan club) this year and have been able to find and connect with a great community of collectors on Flickr. I've also found several blogs devoted to dolls that I have began following. My dolls have always been a big part of my life since I was four years old. They've helped me through some distressing situations during my childhood, and have become the only creative medium where I can unapologetically express myself. But as I got older, I've always felt a little weird telling people that I still play with dolls. However, being exposed to other adults who have the same passion has actually made me more open about my collecting. Seeing what other people do with their dolls was one of the things that led me to publicly share my doll pictures on Flickr (which you can check out by clicking the "See My Photos" button in the sidebar).

Regarding this blog, I want it to be my one and only blog, but as I mentioned, I'm not sure what direction I want to take with it. Right now, I use Flickr to post my doll pictures, and this totally works for my needs. I have been toying (no pun intended) with the idea of creating doll stories since I basically do this anyway when I play with my dolls. If I do ever go this route, it will be in the future, and not anytime soon (I need to get over my fear of rejection/criticism before I start posting any stories for the world to see). Since the majority of my time and resources go to my dolls, I would love to post some doll related things on my blog, but I don't want my blog to only be about my dolls. I also don't want to have to deal with posting the same content here and on Flickr, so I want to avoid strictly photo only posts on my blog. That being said, new content is on hold until I can figure things out.

Sorry if this post turned into a rambling mass of text, but I wanted to make you, my readers, aware of what's been going on and why I haven't been posting. As I've mentioned before, I have a serious problem with people dropping off the face of the blogsphere without a word. I believe if you are busy, then say so. If you are quitting, then say so. Don't just leave people hanging and wasting their time checking for new content that will likely never come. Also, I hate being fake. I do a lot of keeping my thoughts and opinions to myself so as not to rock the boat as it is anyway, but I don't want to have to do this on my own blog. I want to let everyone know how I feel my blog should be going forward so it can be more true to me.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Taking a Break....

Hey y'all! I know a lot of you haven't seen me around the blogosphere in quite some time. Don't worry, in the words of Pink, I'm not dead, but I have been super busy with work and in my personal life. When I'm stressed and disillusioned, I usually like to spend time with my dolls, so I've been focusing on my collection a lot.

This summer, I'm going to take an official break from blogging. If you want to see what I'll be up to with my dolls, check out my Flickr album!

I plan to pick back up with my blog sometime in the Fall.

H.A.G.S (have a great summer)!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Best Albums EVER! (IMHO)

Just to warn readers, this list may seem a little wierd for a 26 year old African American female, but I can't help myself! Throw in a lot of alternative rock from the late 1990s and early 2000s (think Matchbox 20, Oasis, The Verve, Smashing Pumpkins, and Red Hot Chili Peppers), add in some emo and pop punk, and then lightly sprinkle in some Pop and Dance, and you pretty much have my entire iTunes library. I'm not counting compilation albums and greatest hits in this list, because that would be cheating.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill
The Neo Soul genre that was so big in the early 2000s was basically R&B for the new generation. But, like a lot of musical fads, this one didn't stay strong for long. Sure, Macy Grey, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and Mary J. Blige are still pretty big, but the majority of Neo Soul artists have pretty much fizzled out. Of all of the Neo Soul albums, though, this one has stood the test of time. This album sounds as good now as when it was released way back in '98. I also have to say that this is the only album that I actually like every song on. It's like when your parents say, "Back in the day you didn't need to skip tracks because every song was good." I guess that's what I'll be saying about this album when I'm 40.

Everything In Transit and The Glass Passenger by Jack's Mannequin
I had never heard of Jack's Mannequin until I was in college, and one of my roommates was playing "Dark Blue". From that moment on I was hooked. Apparently, I'm still in teenage/adolescence mental mode, so the songs on these albums still speak to me. People and Things is a little too adult for my liking.

Mad Season and More Than You Think You Are by Matchbox Twenty
The first song I ever heard from Matchbox Twenty was "Bent." Since then I have been a pretty devoted fan of their music. To me, these two albums sum up what Matchbox Twenty are all about. The new songs from Exile on Mainstream were pretty good too, but based off of the few songs I've heard on North, this latest album hasn't caught me fancy.

Don't Play With Matches by Tabitha's Secret
As much as I dislike Yourself or Someone Like You, I love Don't Play With Matches. The two additional versions of "3 A.M." and "Forever December" are definitely the high points. If you're looking for some good acoustic 90s soft rock, I definitely recommend this album.

Christina Aguilera by Christina Aguilera
I much prefer the sweet innocent Christina Aguilera over the sexed-up-dominatrix version that we have to contend with now, but that's probably just me. In my humble opinion her first album was the best. Stripped was ok, with songs like "Beautiful" and "A Voice Within," but I didn't like the whole bad-girl thing that was forced down everyone's throats. Besides, nothing can top "Genie in A Bottle" and "Come On Over Baby." Aah, those were the days!

By the Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers
I first heard of Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was in high school, but it wasn't until I was in college that I could really explore all that the Chili Peppers had to offer. Stadium Arcadium and Californication are both good, but the line up on By the Way takes all.

Poison Kiss by The Last Goodnight
Probably not the most well known band out there, The Last Goodnight had a good sound, and their first, and only, album is certainly up there with my top picks. Unfortunately, they haven't released anything since.

Boys Like Girls by Boys Like Girls
If you're in the mood for some good Punk/Pop/Emo music, this is your go to band. Whenever I listen to this album, I get all nostalgic for how teen years should be (hanging out with super cute bf in a filed of wild flowers, laughing with your friends beside a scenic lake with a wooden pier), not how they actually are, lol! Like anyone with any ambition for the rest of their life, I hated high school, but this album does a good job of sugar coating those adolescent years in a rebellious emo kind of way.

Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
Prism is looking pretty good with "Roar," but Katy's second album is her best. Not to mention it's the first one I heard from her!

Simply Deep by Kelly Rowland
Compared to her hoochy, hip hop sound and image, Simply Deep would probably not be considered Kelly's best album by most people, but like I said before, I prefer the good girl image.

Sunsets and Car Crashes by The Spill Canvas
If you need some good break up music, or just want to hear some music that personifies all the emo heartache society has to offer, then Sunsets and Car Crashes is for you. The same college roommate who introduced me to Jack's Mannequin, also got me started with The Spill Canvas.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: Giovanni Invigorating Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo and Conditioner

It's been quite a bit since I've done a review, but that's not because I haven't tried any products worth reviewing, it only because I haven't had the time to write up any!

Today I will be reviewing Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo and Conditioner. This review is based off of using the sample sizes.

It is always a struggle for me to find decent shampoo. When I was young, I developed a scalp fungus (of all things!), and even though the scalp fungus was healed, I have been battling with severe dry scalp since then. And when I say sever, I mean really, really bad dry scalp!

I've tried everything, including Head and Shoulders, but nothing really helped, until now. My mom is into natural things now, so she suggested I try this Giovanni shampoo with teat tree, since tea tree oil is good for cleansing your skin and removing impurities. I had been steadily using Head and Shoulders, which obviously wasn't working, so what could I lose. This product changed my life!

Description from website:
  • Invigorating ingredients deliver unmatched clarity and rejuvenation for hair and scalp
  • Increases scalp circulation for a refreshed, renewed feel
  • Strengthens hair with a three-organic-oil-blend to stimulate, condition and clarify
  • Alleviates dry, flaking scalp with organic tea tree botanicals
  • Lauryl and laureth sulfate free
First, I love that the shampoo is clear. It doesn't really lather up a lot and it does smell a little like menthol, but after washing it out,the smell doesn't linger on your hair. As for the flakes and dry scalp, after using this shampoo along with the conditioner twice (I usually wash my hair every other week). I noticed that there were significant less flakes in my hair the week in between washings. As an added benefit, my scalp did feel very clean and clear, and my hair was shiny and hydrated, even without using a moisturizer or oil sheen!

Description from website:
  • Increases scalp circulation for a refreshed, renewed feel
  • Strengthens hair with a three-organic-oil-blend to stimulate, condition and calm
  • Alleviates dry, flaking scalp with organic tea tree botanicals
  • Encourages natural shine and resilience
The conditioner is very slippery, but rich, so you get pretty good hair coverage. As with the shampoo, there is a menthol smell, but it washes off with the conditioner. My hair is pretty thick, so it's a pain to comb anyway, wet or dry, but this conditioner did seem to help to make my hair easier to manage after washing.


I would definitely recommend using both of these products. I used both the shampoo and conditioner samples for about two months, and my hair looks and feels great! Best of all, these products help keep down my dry scalp and flakes a billion times better than even Head and Shoulders!

*Disclaimer: All products have been purchased by me for my own personal use.*

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Conversations With My 13 Year Old Self

I know I'm Not Dead is nearly 10 years old now, but I just heard this song a few months ago and I am absolutely in love with it! It's crazy for me to think that I was thirteen thirteen years ago! Now that I'm at a halfway point in my life, this song made me think what it would be like if I could give advice to my thirteen year old self.

Those preteen years are tough for everyone, but it's seems that me with my awkward self always have it hard. Here are some words of wisdom I would tell the thirteen year old me:
  1. Thirteen years from now, you'll never see all of the popular kids you try to be friends with again, so who cares if they like you in middle school.
  2.  It's better to have three close friends than 50 friend you barely know who aren't there for you when you need them.
  3. You can't please everyone, so don't try. Only those close to you really count.
  4. Making mistakes aren't the end of the world. Learn from those mistakes.
  5. Enjoy being thirteen without any responsibilities, a job, and bills to pay!
  6. Don't worry about all of the Barbie dolls you can't afford to get, you'll get those and more when you're older.
  7. Don't try to be someone else. It never works and the people who can't accept you for who you really are aren't worth the trouble in the long-run. 
What would you say to your thirteen year old self?

    Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    Review: The Body Shop Body Mango and Marino Scrubs

    Last year I bought the Mango Body Scrub from The Body Shop as part of this haul. My mom bought the Moringo Body Scrub a few months later, which I also tried.

    The website's description:
    • Mango seed oil moisturizes and softens skin without being greasy.
    • Community Trade organic cane sugar and salt grains gently exfoliate skin.
    • Community Trade organic soy oil, rich in essential fatty acids, helps repair skin’s moisture barrier for smooth, supple skin.
    I've always had dry skin on my legs, and this always gets worse during the winter. In order to get my legs ready for bare skin weather after a long, hard winter, I decided to try the Mango Body Scrub.

    I absolutely love the smell! It smells just like a real mango, and it great for a quick little pick-me-up in the shower! The sugar cane and salt grains are not overly abrasive, but do a wonderful job of clearing off dead skin. After the first use, my skin was noticeably smoother and very well hydrated. In fact, my legs were smooth, they were almost slippery!

    The only negative about this scrub is that it may affect some people who sensitive skin or allergies to the ingredients. For example, my mom tried it and, because of the can sugar, began to develop rashes. If you don't have any allergies to the ingredients, though, you should have no problem using this product.

    The website's description:
    • Removes dead skin cells
    • Stimulates skin microcirculation
    • Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth
    • Delicate scent of white flowers
    As I mentioned above, my mom had bad reactions to some of the scrubs, so she ended up giving them to me, including the Moringa Body Scrub.

    As for smell, I can't comment on the quality of the moringa scent as I've never smelled moringa seed oil before, or have any idea what a moringa plant is for that matter! I can say that this scrub's scent is much lighter than the mango scent, and barely noticeable.

    I'm not sure what the exfoliating granules are in the Moringa Body Scrub, but they work just was well as the Mango Body Scrub, although, the Moringa scrub has a much creamier texture.

    I would highly recommend both scrubs, especially if you have very dry skin. If you prefer a creamer scrub that is less abrasive, then I would definitely recommend the Moringa scrub.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    Avon Speed Dry+ Nail Enamel: Mambo Melon

    I must say, I think this is the best nail polish application job I have ever done! LOL, somehow I managed to stay pretty much on the nail and didn't get nail polish all over my cuticles!

    Anyway, this is a nice color. It's slightly frosted, so it has a nice glittery texture without being overly sparkly. It also dries very quickly (I didn't time it though, so I can't say if the polish really dried within 30 seconds). The polish is thin, so you definitely need at least two coats to get decent coverage. I used two coats, and I think the next time I will go with three.

    Friday, April 24, 2015

    Happy (Belated) Administrative Professionals Day!

    That's right, Wednesday, April 23 was officially Administrative Professionsals Day! So exciting, right?

    It's a little silly and all, and I didn't even get a raise, but the faculty I work for did give me these flowers, cards, and even a gift card to show their appreciation. It was a small thing, but still a very nice way to show that you are valued at the workplace.

    My old job certainly never acknowledged admin day, let alone give any kind of commendation/reward for their staff members' hard work. 

    Thursday, April 23, 2015

    Keeping Things In Perspective

    I think this is the first real post I've written in a while for this blog. Sorry to say, I've been having so much fun with my Barbies, that I've been doing a lot of writing for Dolli Luv, but I figure my other blog needs some love too. Also, on a completely unrelated note, "faux" is totally a word, and I know it is, yet it is not in Chrome's dictionary of words.

    I've been giving a lot of thought to where I am in my life and where I want it to go. Of course, most of the people I went to college with are doing great and wonderful things, like working in FIRE (finance, investments,and real estate) fields, and... well that's pretty much it. At Penn, if you don't do one one those, then you're weird. So I'm weird. The alternative for those in non-FIRE fields is to go to graduate school.

    Working at Career Services strengthened my resolve to not go to graduate school until I am sure of where I want to go in my career. While at Career Services, I saw a lot of success stories, but I also saw an a good bit more not-so-successful stories, especially with graduate students.

    Now don't get me wrong: I don't think going to graduate school is a complete waste of time. However, I believe you should keep things in perspective when considering a graduate program.

    It is important to know that graduate programs are the main ways that universities and colleges make money. This isn't a bad thing in itself, but it does lead to the development of programs that may be essential useless to the students, but are on a popular or trendy subject that will draw in a lot of people just to get the money. We see this a lot. People who have gotten degrees in Positive Psychology or Chemistry Teaching, but can't get jobs

    This can be seen with a lot of programs that are geared towards international students. They are lured into these programs with the promises of studying and then working in the US, only to graduate and found out that it is very hard to get a job in the US as a non-native, especially since employers have to justify why they hired a non-native over a US native who applied for the same position.

    Now, I understand that the advisors didn't want to upset and discourage students, but I found it very troubling that (at least to my knowledge) they never brought up this legality in any of the advising meetings. They could have at least said something like, "Because employers hire international candidates based on if they can perform better than citizens on the job, you have to present yourself as the best candidate for the job," instead of just saying, "present yourself as the best candidate" and then leaving it at that. I always felt this was completely unfair to the students that they were given the same advise as citizens, but their job search was so totally different.

    Secondly, we see a lot of graduate students who can't get jobs due to their lack of work experience because they decided to go straight from undergraduate to graduate school. There are some career fields where this fine, or even required, but many jobs requires at least a few years of work experience. Take for example nursing. I lot of nurses go straight to graduate school thinking "having a masters will help me get a higher paying job". But then they can't get hired, or have to start out at an entry level position because they have no experience. Honestly, who is going to hire a nurse with a masters degree who has never actually done anything medical related, except during clinicals? That would be like a trucking company hiring drivers who have never driven outside of driving school.

    Without being able to get hired with just one master's degree, some reason, "well, if I had another degree, then I would be even more attractive to employers." And this cycle keeps on until they owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, and are still out of work (this is no joke, I have seen this first hand).

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Outfit Post #3: Barbie Inspired

    I was dressing up some of my dolls one day when I realized, much like my own wardrobe, I buy a lot of black and white and dark colored clothing for my dolls. This made me wonder if I could create similar outfits as my Barbie dolls. I know, this is a silly but fun idea (and probably I sign of my deteriorating mental state).

    So here is my third outfit post. Gina (on the right) and I are both sporting grey skirt suits with lavender shirts. We're also both wearing grey shoes, but you can't tell from the picture.

    Speaking of dolls, I've decided to end my Dolli Luv blog (managing two blogs is quite a strain!) and instead post my doll pictures on Flickr. You see this and other great pictures by clicking the Flickr badge in the sidebar.

    Friday, April 10, 2015

    Sheer Tights Wishlist

    Spring Sheer Tights Wishlist

    Spring in the North means that the temperatures should be getting into the 40s, 50s, and 60s, which by my standards are not at all bare-leg weather. At the same time, it's still too warm to continue wearing my thicker winter tights. My solution: sheer tights!

    I usually wear a lot of sheer tights during the Spring and early summer months. I had a ton of sheer tights a few years ago, but because I didn't wash them in garment bags, they quickly developed rips and tares.

    This year, I want to be a little more adventurous with my tights design, so I'm going to try some bolder patterns.

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    New Phone: Samsung Galaxy SIII

    I haven't done a techie/ electronics post since I got my last phone a couple of years ago, so here goes. My other phone was a Samsung Galaxy Victory. It was a decent first smart phone, although it did began to freeze a lot over the last year. The biggest problem I had was that it only had 1GB of storage, and apps couldn't be stored on the SD card, so as of six months ago, my phone was completely filled and I could not longer update my apps. Now mind you, I only had maybe five apps that I had downloaded, and the rest were system apps that can't be uninstalled, so my only option was a new phone.

    Now I know that the SIII is a crappy phone, but it was half as much as the S5, so switching it out for another phone in the next year seems like a decent trade-off based on the price. I've had it for two weeks now and so far so good. KitKat is different enough from JellyBean that it does take a bit of getting used to, but not much.

    The great thing about the SIII is the super cute cases available! Naturally, I bought the Hello Kitty cases below for my phone:

    Leather Wallet Case Back
    Leather Wallet Case Front
    Silicon Soft Case
    Paris <3 Me wallet case front
    Paris <3 Me wallet case interior

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    Outfit Post: Electric Blue

    This is the outfit I wore yesterday. I'm so tired of wearing thick sweaters an dark clothes, that I decided to lighten up a little, albeit a little prematurely. Considering that it snowed last Thursday, the 40 degree weather we had on Monday totally justified this outfit, though!

    The skirt is from the new petites collection from New York & Company. Finally, after countless years of existence, they have started making petite skirts. All you regular sized people out there have absolutely no idea how hard it is to find skirts that don't make you look like you're a five year old wearing your mother's skirts. Despite being on a pretty tight budget, I showed my appreciation by being three skirts. Thanks NY&Co for making today's outfit post possible!

    Friday, March 20, 2015

    4th Blog Anniversary (Say What)!

    Wow, I can't believe my blog is already 4 years old! I remember when I was 4 years old, and those were go times indeed.

    Looking back at my original posts, I can definitely see how my blogging style has grown and developed over the years, and even recently I can see changes: changes in the kind of posts, the frequency of posts, etc. I have tried many new things over the years, and have found out what works for me and what doesn't.

    Best of all, I have been able to share my life and thoughts with tons of wonderful readers! You all have seen me through the good times and the bad times, especially these past two years with all the issues and drama I had with my old job. 

    For this next year, my blog goal is to create more original posts about my opinions and feelings. I also hope to start doing book reviews!

    Thanks a bunch all you faithful readers and followers!!

    Friday, March 6, 2015

    The Body Shop Wishlist

    Now that I'm getting up in age, I've been taking my skin health very seriously. I want to make sure I keep my youthful complexion for as long as possible!

    I'm planning on trying some new facial products this spring from my fave company: The Body Shop.

    Seaweed Pore-Cleasing Facial Exfoliator

    I almost bought this with my last Body Shop haul in December, but it was a little more than I  wanted to spend at the time. I really want to try this product since seaweed is good for keeping your skin's elasticity and moisture up.

    I've only used a facial mask once every in my entire life. It did make my skin feel all fresh and new, but I've never had the time or desire to make masks a regular part of my skin care routine. This mask only needs to be left on for 10-15 minutes, so I thought I would give it a try.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Outfit Posts

    Hey y'all. I don't have a ton of pictures of myself on my blog (actually, I think I only have the one from way back when), mostly because I don't photograph very well. But know that I finally have a decent full length mirror, I thought it would be nice to share some outfits so you can all see what I've been wearing (like you all really care, but w/e).

    A word of caution: the full length mirror is in my bedroom, which is also where I keep my Barbie stash, so if you see the odd Barbie related paraphernalia, just ignore it. Ha ha, you have been warned!

    I'm really not this fat in reality. I'm wearing a lot of white and I'm bloated, so I have a lot working against me here. I wore this outfit to showcase my first infinity scarf, which I bought from New York & Co. I know these have been big for years now, but I like to wait until the initial hype over fashion trends die down before I buy into them. The cardigan is a very old one I got from Macy's years ago.

     This is a wool coat my mom bought for me from Chadwick's (find the petite version here). I prefer my coats to be more fitted, but I get a lot of complements on this coat so I guess it must look ok. I have to admit, it does a great job of keeping me warm.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    Avon Gel Finish 7-in-1 Nail Enamel: Very Berry

    Finally, gel nail polish without the UV lamp! Call me paranoid, but I have been avoiding getting a gel manicure because of the UV lamp. I know it's probably not the same as sitting in the midday sun for hours, and I know that people with darker skin tend to have a higher tolerance to UV rays, but one has to think about how these things will affect you down the road (I'm still nervous about sitting under the UV lights all day at work).

    I knew UV-less gel manicures would come out sooner or later, I just had to be patient. And now Avon has such manicures in a variety of colors. I chose Very Berry since I needed a good fall/winter color and I don't have any dark colors other than Plum and Black.

    The color itself is nice, but the lasting quality isn't all that great. The nail polish began to chip within a few days, and by the end of the week, most of the nail polish had peeled off. Now, maybe I did something wrong, like putting on a base coat when I shouldn't have or something, but regardless this was the experience I had.

    I would recommend it for the color, but don't expect it to last as long as actual gel manis.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    My Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Songs Playlist

    Everyone has them, even though no one wants to admit it. That's right, those songs that are just , so old, or so bad, or so teeny-bopperish that you would never be caught dead singing out loud. But what do you do when you are home alone and out of ear shot of other people? You crank those songs up and sing your heart out.

    Well, I'm here to get relieve some guilt from my conscience by admitting my top 10 favorite guilty pleasure songs.

    1. "Lucky" - Britney Spears
    This one has to be my all time favorite song that I would never actually admit to listening to! I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it on the radio when I was in middle school. Even though Brittany Spears was hot back then, I couldn't admit that I liked one of her songs (seriously, I should have been listening to Destiny's Child, not some white chick). I still listen to "Lucky" on Grooveshark. I've been tempted to buy it on iTunes, but I still haven't worked up the courage.

    2. "August Goodbye" - Britney Spears
    This song is a close tie with "Lucky." I actually like the lyrics, and I find it very touching in a sentimental teenage love kind of way.

    3. "Catch Me If You Can" - Angela Via (Pokemon: The First Movie Soundtrack)
    To me, this is one of the best songs on the whole soundtrack. My love for this song is a remnant of my Pokemon obsession back in the day.

    4. "Pieces of Me" - Ashlee Simpson
    We all love to hate this less likable  Simpson sister, but you have to admit, this song is great! I've never been a big fan of Ashlee Simpson, even before the SNL mess-up (I always felt she was a poser), but I have been in love with this song since I heard this song in high school.

    5. "Angels" - Jessica Simpson
    I only listened to Christina Aguilera during the Bubble Gum Pop era, so this is actually the only Jessica Simpson song I've ever heard.

    6. "On the Way Down" - Ryan Cabrera
    Surprisingly, this is the one of the few guilty pleasure songs that I actually did buy on iTunes! I didn't hear this song when it first came out, but i heard it in college on my Jack's Mannequin Pandora station and have been in love with it ever since.

    7. "Sk8ter Boi" - Avril Lavigne
    I stopped listening to Avril Under My Skin. To me, Let Go and Under My Skin were the best, but the few songs I've heard after these, like "Girlfriend", sound like Paramore knock-offs to me.

    8. "My Baby" - Lil' Romeo
    What's not to like about the best Jackson Five song ever, and when it's get redone into an ealry 2000s kids rap song, well you've just hit cloud 9!

    9. "Mary Jane" - Rick James
    I'm not a huge fan of oldies, but something about this song has me hooked.

    10. "Graduate" - Third Eye Blind
    This song is really only a guilty pleasure because it's so old. Third Eye Blind is one of those bands whose most popular songs are the ones from back in the day, and it's more of a guilty pleasure to listen to their newer stuff. I first heard this song on the radio when I was in middle school, and fell in love with it, but had no idea who the artist was until it played on one of my Pandora stations when I was in college.

    What are some of your guilty pleasure songs?