Put yourself at the top of your to-do list. Eating a leftover Valentine’s Day cupcake for a treat while I finally sit down to share a round-up of my favorite things. Still can’t believe that… More
Happy New Year! It’s our first week in the new year and it feels like it’s been a month since we rang in the new year. With Covid numbers rising, we wanted to keep our plans small this year which was just what we needed! While Jake was at work, I got a much-needed haircut and at night we walked to Miracle on 13th Street to see the light display before grabbing takeout at one of our favorite restaurants, Thai Square, down the street. I am so happy we spent the weekend on the couch resting and doing some organizing because we both hit the ground running on Monday. My work to-do list doubled as we found out last minute that schools were virtual and that changed our plan for programming for the week. This week, I spent a lot of time in meetings and planning logistics for the program but I missed seeing my kids. The most exciting part about this week was that I got to use my new planner and pens that I got for Christmas. As someone who likes to be organized, I love using a new planner at the beginning of the year. A new blank page means so many possibilities!
Our only plan on January 1st was to watch the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special on HBO Max. A few minutes in and all of the magic came rushing back to me and I was in tears because it was so well put together! It was so good we watched it twice!
I’ve recently become obsessed with the Hallmark TV app so I’ve been watching Hallmark movies in the background while I work from home. It’s free and a great way to find a movie to watch when you just need the cheesy storyline.
At night while I get ready for bed, I have been playing an 80s or 90s movie on the bedroom tv. Hulu has a lot of classic 80s/90s movies to choose from right now and even though I’ve seen them so many times before, they are classics for a reason!
Last year my goal was to watch tv shows from the 1990s that I never saw and I’m excited to keep this going this year. Right now I am watching Alias and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It’s funny when Jake comes to bed at night and asks what he missed when I’m watching Sabrina. It’s just that perfect 20-minute show with funny humor and storyline they don’t write anymore.
I’m not sure what took me so long, but we are watching Superstore together and it is so funny! As someone who worked retail for many years, I can say that it is very accurate to work culture and shenanigans.
Recently on the blog, I have shared a ton of my favorite products that I love love love!
This daily moisturizer with vitamin C is perfect for winter to get a bit of a healthy glow.
These eyeshadow palettes are my go-to right now and were recently on sale.
It’s chapped lip season and this lip balm has avocado oil which is a game-changer in keeping them hydrated!
I’ve talked about a lot of serums on the blog so I made a guide to make it easy to pick one that works best for you here. It’s a skincare step that you cannot skip!
Even with a box full of foundations to choose from, I keep using this affordable foundation.
This week has been busy for both of us so I’ve had to rely on our easy dinner favorites for dinner. On Monday, I made lemon garlic pasta which is super easy and always a big hit. I’ve made it so many times now that I just wing it. We always keep some Mahi Mahi burgers from Trader Joe’s in our freezer for a quick dinner. After a busy day of meetings and running around for both of us, we ordered sushi and had a small date night watching Superstore before I passed out from exhaustion from my booster shot! Last night I was working from home late so I threw some Trader Joe’s ravioli into a pot and tried to convince Jake that I made it from scratch but he didn’t believe me for a minute ha!
Picked up some amazing items from TJ Maxx and Homegoods included in the after-Christmas sale.
Ordered a lot of organizers on Amazon to get our basement a bit more organized before we bring down all of the Christmas decorations.
I ordered Jake this wireless phone charger and now I need to get one for myself because I’m obsessed. Since Jake works in tech, I had to do my research to make sure it was a good one and it has his approval!
This week I have been doing a lot of Zoom meetings so I’m living in my J Crew sweaters because they look very professional but are very cozy.
Picked up new Skinnygirl sports bras at TJ Maxx because they are soo comfy.
My Simplified Planner is quickly filling up and it’s helping me keep my life organized!
Got my booster shot this week and while not being able to use my left arm was a big pain and I was tired, I’m so happy to be extra protected.
Wrote a round-up of my favorite things in 2021 here.
Talked about my goals for 2022 here.
I have a drawer in my vanity overflowing with high-end foundations that I receive in PR packages but I keep buying the same drugstore foundation just to have it. While my high-end products are truly amazing and have those luxury qualities, sometimes I just want to use a drugstore foundation if I’m just going to be on a zoom call or in the classroom at work. For the last few years, I have been repurchasing a bottle of Covergirl Clean Matte Foundation. It gives a natural look that is ideal for errands on the weekends and at work. With my beauty blender, I can easily blend to get a full coverage look. Using a wet beauty blender and a little bit of product I can get a sheer amount of foundation on my face to blur any imperfections without wearing a lot of product. The Covergirl Clean Matte foundation line comes in a lot of shades so you can find your perfect match. I have a shade I use in the winter and a darker shade that gives me a nice faux tan without the sun damage. Since there are so many different shades, I find myself mixing my own shade from two different bottles during those transition months when I’m no longer tan but not ready to be completely pale yet!
And since I’m still wearing a mask at work every day, I love wearing a drugstore foundation and not a more expensive one since no one can see my full face these days anyway! You do not need a lot of money to get the perfect makeup look.
There have been a lot of changes in my life the last year and one big one has been my skincare routine. Maybe it was because I had a little more time for myself as the world around us slowed down or it’s because I am getting a bit older and can see firsthand how important it is for me to take really good care of my skin. At night and most mornings, if I am going makeup-free, I’ve been applying a serum before I use a moisturizer. At first, I just started to use a serum because I read it was good for the skin. Now that I’ve been using a serum consistently I can see a difference in my skin. A good serum drenches your skin with ingredients that your skin needs to look smooth, healthy, and glow that you may not get from a moisturizer.
Here are some of my favorite serums I’ve used over the years that I love love love!
If you are new to serums and don’t know where to start, I’d recommend a drugstore version first. I’ve always been a big believer that just because something is more expensive does not mean it will work better than something you can pick up at Target. I love using the Loreal Hyaluronic Acid Serum because it has hyaluronic acid as the main ingredient which helps make your skin look smoother and reduces wrinkles. This serum is great for dry skin in the winter as it instantly hydrates skin without your skin feeling sticky or greasy. Easy to layer under a moisturizer and makeup too! /// L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $29
FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
I discovered the company Beekman 1802 through a product campaign a few years ago and I’ve been a big fan ever since. The Beekman 1802 Milk Drops are a probiotic ceramide serum. The goal for using a serum is to to instantly get hydrated looking and feeling ski. I’ve found that each serum is made differently since each skin type is different and needs different ingredients to glow. Beekman 1802 is famous for their goat milk products and create products for sensitive skin.They keep their key ingredients simple and use natural ingredients with sensitive skin in mind. I love using the Milk Drops in the summer because they help keep my skin looking dewy and radiant when going makeup free. Be sure to check out Beekman 1802’s other products because they are so so good! I highly recommend the Milk Drops if you know you have sensitive skin and are nervous about adding another skincare product to your routine.
I’ve always had a love hate relationship with retinol since I was in my mid-teens when I was prescribed a heavy dose by a dermatologist to help with acne scars. My acne scars went away but my face retaliated with bright red splotches. Since then I have had to be very intentional where I apply retinol because it dries my skin out very quickly leaving it angry and red the next day. Is the Sunday Riley A+ Serum my new solution?? Yes. Yes it quickly became the solution to getting the benefits of retinol and keeping my skin hydrated. It’s a bit pricey but a little bit does the trick and it can last for a long time. I always recommend using a moisturizer after applying retinol and avoiding sensitive areas like around your eyes.
I’ve been using a lot of different products that have vitamin C as a key ingredient in the last year and I love the results. Summer Fridays CC ME Serum is a vitamin c serum so instead of mixing a ton of different products together to get brighten my skin and hyrdrate, I have it all in one product! I’ve talked about the importance of vitamin C before on the blog a few times because it instantly brightens your skin. Think of it like applying a natural looking highlighter on your cheekbones and forehead. You also look like you got a ton of amazing sleep the night before and that isn’t usually the case for me. What I love most of all of the Summer Fridays CC ME Serum is that it multitasks; naturally brightens, improves skin texture, and reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Looking back at the blog post I wrote this time last year, I can remember how much I dreaded looking back on the previous year. All of us were trying to navigate this new world and this feeling of unknown. There had been so much change in my life and I was not sure what path I was going to take next. I knew that big things were ahead in 2021 and I wrote goals to help me create the life I wanted to live. When I wrote the goals for last year I had no clue that I would be able to accomplish almost all of them and a few of them felt like they were impossible.
LOOKING BACK AT 2021
- Get dressed every day.
Remember when each day felt like Groundhog Day and we never left the house? By 2021, I was ready to get out of pajama pants and was really good at intentionally getting dressed every single day. It not only helped my mood but I felt more productive during the day.
- Commit to a blog schedule and plan ahead content.
This past year I spent a lot of time focused on my little corner of the internet. There was a big shift in creating quailty content instead of quantity and this way I fell in love with writing again. I seriously do not know how I would have survived the last year without this little hobby becasue it brought me so much joy!
- Feel more comfortable on Instagram Stories
This honestly lasted like a week becasue I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pop on my Instagram Stories and be like, “hey guys!” While I didn’t talk that much on stories, I got a lot better at creating fun content on my stories like my Currently Watching series and sharing my daily life.
- Find a job that fulfills me and allows a good personal/work balance.
This is something I wrote down in my journal and stared at it for a long time. I was sure this was a reach. Something impossible to achieve because it felt like such a fantasy. In the fall, I accepted a job offer at a job that I thought was only possible in my dreams. Honestlhy, I love Mondays now because I am so excited to get to work. The job schedule also allows me to have an amazing life/work balance too which is a big bonus!
- Get back into a fitness routine and eat healthy.
The cruise in August was a BIG motivator to get back into shape and the work has paid off! My clothes fit better and I have so much more energy now.
- Continue cooking healthy meals from scratch.
This started because I had so much free time and now eating healthy meals is our lifestyle. We love to order pizza and have cheat meals, but my body craves healthier meals these days. Cooking dinner at night while listening to a podcast is my “me time” at night and I love it!
- Weekly baths on Sundays.
My Sunday baths are my favorite part of the week. Especially now that I am back to work, it is the perfect way to unwind before another crazy week begins.
- Read a book a month.
I unfortunately did not meet my book goal for the year but I also read a lot of books that were 900+ pages. Reading at night before bed helped me sleep better and I loved getting lost in a fantasy world again.
- Become a morning person.
This is a goal that I sorta kinda accomplished? I still hate waking up early but now it’s impossible to sleep past 9am.
- Schedule weekly date nights with Jake.
We did as many dates nights as we could while also trying to stay safe in a pandemic.
- Buy a car
This was our big purchase for the year and I am so happy we did it!
- Hire a cleaning service to clean the house once it’s safe.
Our goal was to look into hiring a cleaning service once I went back to work but Omicron made us put that on the back burner for a bit.
- Be positive.
This past year I created a happy life for myself and as a result, I felt happier and more positive.
- Use all the products I have before buying more.
My linen closet that I use as storage for all of my products is ALMOST empty and that was a big achievement for the last year!
- Continue investing time and energy into Blonde Rosie.
- Stay organized to keep a work/life balance.
- Live a healthy lifestyle.
- Join a gym or fitness studio.
- Continue Sunday bath time.
- Read one book a month.
- Become a morning person.
- Schedule weekly date nights with Jake.
- Try new restaurants in Philadelphia.
- Hire a cleaning service to clean our house so I don’t have to anymore!
- Travel to New York City.
- Travel to Washington, DC.
- Watch less tv.
- Focus more on connecting with old friends and creating new friendships.
- Feel more confident at work and take on more tasks.
- Save money.
- Be better at going to bed early.
- Drink more water.
- Look into going back to school.
- Do more things in Philadelphia.
- Go on more walks.
- Get our house more organized.
We spent most of the last year either in lockdown or trying to navigate the process of re-entering the world again while a worldwide pandemic was still happening around us. It’s been a weird year and while it felt very short when looking back at my photos, it also flew by all too quickly. In *checks calendar to confirm what year it is* 2021, I stayed at home more and as a result, I didn’t shop as much and kept coming back to the small things in life that brought me joy. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and made my mornings special with a magazine and a cup of coffee. In the Fall, I started working again after a long period of funemployment. Still miss those days of having no plans but I am so lucky to have found a job that I am passionate about and love.
Here are some of my favorite things that got me through the last year. As I was writing up my list I noticed it looks very different than previous years. I shifted away from a materialistic lifestyle and lived a very simplified one in every aspect. When we realized that we weren’t going anywhere, I purged a lot and put most of my other items in storage. Even with going back to work, I try to keep this simplified theme going in every aspect of my life. Has the last year inspired you to live without clutter and a less busy schedule? Let me know how you simplified your life this year in the comments below!
CONAIR HAIR DRYER BRUSH
CLAIROL SHIMMER LIGHTS
I go through products a lot because I have the platform that allows me to have the opportunity to work with different brands and try new things. But this is one product I keep coming back to again and again because it keeps my blonde hair free of brassy tones and protects my color.
I brought the book Outlander on vacation in August and read the whole thing in less than a week! I had to Amazon Prime the second one for next day delivery so I had something to read on the plane ride home. It’s been such a wonderful series to get lost in the last few months.
VITAL PROTEIN COLLAGEN
Finally treated myself to a pair of real Ugg slippers this year. My slipper collection is getting a bit out of control but I needed them when I saw that they came in pink. And it was about time…
LULULEMON BELT BAG
It’s a recent purchase that I didn’t think I would use that often but now I don’t know how I lived without one….
CANVAS STORAGE BAGS
I have tons of these to store extra pillows and blankets. Seriously these things are a game changer. Just placed an order to get more to help me get organized for 2022.
Another impulse buy this year because these pajamas are SO SOFT. I’m slowly buying these in every color.
Let’s start off with the fact that not all lip balms are equal. How do I know this? It’s because I have about a dozen or so lip balms around my house so I can easily grab one when my lips feel dry. That’s not counting the two I have in my car and the black hole that is my purse that accumulates lost lip balms! I feel like lip balms are not talked about enough and we just grab the three-pack at the register at Target. In October Origins sent me a Drink Up Nourishing Avocado Lip Butter and I didn’t think much of it. I have so many lip balms so what could make this one so * special *. Well, it’s been weeks and this lip balm has been the one I have been grabbing the most. With most lip balms once the product dries, my lips go back to being dry. This is why I LOVE the Origins Lip Butter because just a little bit of product lasts practically all day because of the formula and it locks in the moisture so my lips never feel dry. Most other lip products can feel like you just lathered icky sticky product on your lips and hope for the best. I’m constantly reapplying and reapplying because once the product dries up, my lips are still dry. The Origins Lip Butter has ingredients that actually work like avocado oil and 8 plant-derived oils and butters – not chemicals to temporarily fix the issue.
This winter, do yourself a favor and run to the store to pick up an Origins Lip Butter. I promise you will notice immediately a difference in the product texture and your lips will notice a change after one use!