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.
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
All of my other hair tools are sitting in my linen closet collecting dust because this is the only hair tool I use anymore. Perfect blow out every single time!
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
I love love love Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. I can feel a difference in my body when I don’t take it right away. It’s such an easy way to make smart healthy decisions first thing in the morning.
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!
I think we create a narrative in our heads sometimes about certain brands. We know they are high quality and popular but tell ourselves that they are out of our budget. That is how I used to think about Tarte cosmetics until I “treated” myself to buying an eyeshadow palette kit last year as a gift to myself. When I checked out I thought I got such a good deal because I spent way less money than I was expecting. Turns out those prices aren’t just for the holidays. But are for every day!
What I love most about their eyeshadow palettes besides the perfect size of them, is that I can create a day and night look with endless possibilities. Perfect for taking on vacation because I just have to take one with me without feeling limited with shades. I alternate through three eyeshadow palettes, Tartelette lil’ juicy, Tartelette lil’ toasted and Tartelettelil’ bloom. However, now that I’m on the website I want to add a few more things to my cart!! HA!
And no eye look is complete without a really good eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner can be a little intimidating and with very little practice, I can make the perfect cat eye with Tarte Sex Kitten liquid eyeliner. The felt tip makes it easy and my eyeliner never smudges or fades throughout the day.
Be sure to take advantage of the holiday sales this month and treat yourself to high-quality and affordable makeup products! Check out their holiday gift guide page to get the best deals on gift sets for all of the gals on your shopping list!
Winter is here which means I need all new products to keep my skin feeling hydrated and looking radiant. I’ve been reaching for my jar of No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C Moisturizer in the morning after I wash my face. Even with my expensive cleaners, I can feel my face get dry when I wash my face in the morning so I like to give it some moisture right away! Right away my face looks brighter and glowy when I put it on. Secret ingredient?? Well luckily for us it’s not that much of a secret! The moisturizer has your daily boost of vitamin C in the formula giving you that radiant look. I love using a moisturizer with vitamin C in it because it is an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from environmental factors. Which our skin desperately needs right now as we go from our heated homes to the cold outdoors and then blasting the heat in our cars to warm up again! Give your face the right product to deeply hydrate for instant nourishment.
During the day, I gently massage the No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C Daily Brightening Moisturizer into the skin and then apply a layer of foundation. The moisturizer is quickly absorbed and makes a good primer for my foundation. Another sign that the moisturizer is quickly absorbed is by hour 12 of my day, my face is not greasy because of the moisturizer.
At night, I use a cream with retinol in it but since my face can be sensitive to retinol, I like to use the No7 Radiance + Vitamin C Daily Brightening Moisturizer around my eyes so the retinol does not dry out those areas. The next time you are looking for a moisturizer during the winter months, be sure to pick up one with the right ingredients to give you hydrated skin and protect your face from the harsh winter environment. Also, it’s very affordable!
This week was back to work after a nice long Thanksgiving vacation. It was a fun weekend to spend time with the family watching Hallmark Christmas movies, doing some shopping with my mom on Black Friday, and enjoying turkey leftovers as much as possible! We wanted to enjoy a mid-week date night so we walked downtown to watch the tree lighting at City Hall and walked around to see the little pop-up shops. With the large crowds, we decided to come back another day to fully enjoy it because this year the Christmas Village set up is bigger than ever! Since it can’t be date night without a meal, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants, Pub & Kitchen for dinner. We both got a cocktail to celebrate almost getting through the work week! Going into the week, we knew our work schedules were going to be super busy so to give us something to look forward to on the weekend, we made plans to decorate our house for Christmas this weekend. And if you cannot tell… I AM SO EXCITED!
So let’s get started and talk about my favorite things this week.
I’ve been enjoying 30 minutes of “alone time’ after work before J gets home. I usually curl up on the couch and watch an episode of Paris in Love or Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip on Peacock. It’s the perfect show to watch because it requires zero brain energy and is very entertaining. SPEAKING of Housewives, you must watch Housewive & Shah Shocker on Hulu if you follow the Jen Shah drama. I binge-watched Catherine the Great on Hulu one weekend because I love this show so much.
I love wearing a full face of makeup but I hate taking it off at night. Ugh, it is a struggle! I recently just finished using Maybelline Satin Liquid Foundation which I have used on and off for years. Luckily, I had a bottle of Maybelline Super Stay in my vanity that I’ve been using ever since. Wearing a mask most of the day because of work, I’ve found that using a full coverage foundation stays on the face better than a sheer foundation. Also I have been using this moisturizer every morning under my makeup and I notice my face looks brighter with daily use. At night I’m still using my retinol and dab a few spots of this moisturizer around my eyes since that area can be sensitive.
When we got back home from my parents house we came back home to an empty fridge and not much in the pantry. So on Monday after work I had to walk to the grocery store so we could eat dinner that night. This week I made barbeque chicken, stuffed peppers and quesadillas for dinner. Not that fascinating I know but it’s so nice to have options again!
I love visiting my parents because of how close they live to some of my favorite stores! We stopped in at Hobby Lobby and picked up a few things for the house before stopping at Homegoods and it’s dangerous when I walk in the front door! Hobby Lobby has an entire aisle dedicated to Grinch decor and I want all of it! Our Christmas plans are still up in the air so I delivered my parents Christmas presents when we were visiting at Thanksgiving to be on the safe side. I got my mom a butter ornament as a joke gift that I let her open early because we always joke about how much butter we use when we cook.
I keep a semi-full closet full of clothes at my parents house as well as a bottle of my favorite perfume so I don’t have to bring it back and forth.