03.05.2015

WordPress vs. Blogger

As a brand new blogger, I just wanted to offer my two cents worth about starting my blog.  I basically know nothing about blogging yet other than the process I went through to set it up, and that is what I want to talk about today.  As you can tell, this blog is powered by WordPress.com.  There seem to be two major blogging host sites (along with many other smaller ones), and they are WordPress and Blogger.  As a complete newbie, I had no idea which one to choose.
laptop camera pic
To fill you in, I actually began one blog before this one.  It was a obscure site called The Hits and Mrs, and it never even had one post.  Why did I quit?  To start with, I made the decision to begin a blog shortly after getting engaged.  Bad idea.  I quickly realized how life consuming planning a wedding is, and that I was insane if I thought I could do both!  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  However, I was also having such a struggle getting my blog SET UP!  For the hosting site for this blog I used… Blogger.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think Blogger is bad.  I have seen a lot of beautiful sites that were created on it.  But for me and how my mind works, it was so difficult to customize.  I spent a lot of time with it, and had to google a lot of instructions to figure out how to do the basic customizations I wanted.  So due to these two things, I gave up on that blog before the first post.
I originally chose Blogger because I had heard so much about it’s ease of use.  It was supposed to be good for beginners, have simpler formatting, and use less HTML and shortcodes.  This is true, but only if you want you blog to be EXTREMELY basic.  Any customization beyond the basic options seemed to be a struggle for me.
Fast forward one year later and I was ready to start again.  This time I used WordPress.  I was scared to use it because I heard it was harder… more for an advanced blogger. But I was ready to try something different, and excited about the extra options it was supposed to offer.  And I LOVE IT!  After the first login, you are presented with an instruction guide that is very long and comprehensive.  It walked me through each step of setup from customization, to publishing and pages, to uploading media, to promoting your social media.  I felt like each step was easier and quicker to accomplish than with Blogger.  Yes, there is some HTML and codes, but there were easy instructions to help each time I needed it.  I also love the fact that I can easily transfer to my own domain name later if I want.  In one afternoon I had the basics of my blog the way I wanted it, and felt ready to begin posting within a few days.
There is still plenty of room for my blog design to grow and many things I want to tweak, but the WordPress process made me excited to blog and I can’t wait to share that journey with all of you!  I realize that this review is very basic, but hopefully it may help some of you that are just beginning to make your choice.
What about you other bloggers out there?  What sites do you use to power your blogs?  Do have any good tips for improving your blogs?  Until next time… Jill
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03.02.2015

Review: Sephora Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish Foundation

Last week I had a few bucks burning a whole in my pocket (some leftover Christmas money), and decided to head to Sephora.  A bad idea usually, but I managed to control myself and came away with only one thing… the Sephora Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish Foundation. Whew!   What a mouthful!
Sephora Foundation Reveiw 1
I was aching to try it because I love lightweight, breathable foundations.  I was also attracted by the dropper dispenser.  I purchased the shade 10 Ivory.
My first impression was that I LOVED the consistency and application!  I would dare to say I liked the initial application more than my Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet…  probably the best feel of any base I have tried.  I applied it with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, and was blown away by the extremely silky, smooth feel.
It's 7:30 AM and  I'm ready to start my day!

It’s 7:30 AM and I’m ready to start my day!

I wore it with a primer, and it did last quite a while… I would say seven or eight hours, so I would rate the wear time as good.  However, on my skin it left me with too much shine.  I would classify my skin as oil prone anyway, so after only a few hours I felt like I needed to powder and by five o’clock I wanted to wash it all off!  I tried very hard to make this foundation work because I liked it so much.  With regular touch-ups (every couple hours) I think I could possibly wear this for short days during the winter months, but for me this would be absolutely IMPOSSIBLE in the summer!
It's noon... the foundation is beginning to shine and pores are becoming very visible.

It’s noon… the foundation is beginning to shine and pores are becoming very visible.

It's now 7:30 PM.  I have not powdered, and you can see the shine on my forehead and cheeks.  Sorry for the poor picture quality, I had very bad lighting.

It’s now 7:30 PM. I have not powdered, and you can see the shine on my forehead and cheeks. It has worn off in spots, and fine lines are more prominent. Sorry for the poor picture quality… lighting was terrible!

So, the verdict?  I liked it, and think it is a high quality foundation.  Especially for the $24.00 price tag, which comes in about half the price of similar quality high end bases.  I think it would be great for those with normal to dry skin.  A must try if you get the chance, but shiny girls beware!

Have you tried the Teint Infusion?  What are your favorite foundations?  I would love to hear!
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02.26.2015

For the book lover…

Today I wanted to do a quick review on my new journal… the Q&A-A-Day Five Year Journal.  Several times over the years I have attempted to keep a hand written journal, but have never been able to stick with it for long.  That is why this is the perfect journal for me.  I love it because it is quick, easy and FUN!
q&a 4
When I first heard about this book it was mentioned in a blog by Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends.  It is a thick little book that has a page for each day of the year.  At the top of each page is a question; some serious, some silly, but all of them designed to make you think about your life and environment.  Todays question is: Name one item you can’t throw out.
q&a 2
Below the questions are five sections of lines where you can fill in the year and answer your question.  The book holds five years of answers, and I think it will be so much fun to go back over the book in years to come and see how my answers change (or don’t) each year!

q&A 3

The book is hardback (this was a pleasant surprise), and beautifully styled.  It would make a lovely gift, and a good addition to any coffee table.  Q&A-A-Day is published by Potter Style and sells for a suggested retail of $16.99 US.  However, I bought mine here for $11.02.

I am thoroughly enjoying this book and it has been a wonderful, simple addition to my bedtime routine.

Do you journal?  What are your favorites?  Would you try the Q&A A Day?

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02.25.2015

A birthday wish…

This is an quick post to wish a very happy birthday to my handsome husband.  Happy birthday, Nathan.  I love you very much, and the years we have been together have been the best of my life.

Couple pic 1

Couple pic 3

couple pic 5

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02.23.2015

My Wedding Day Makeup

So today I thought it would be fun to share with you the makeup that I wore on my wedding day.  I was married four months ago, and I did my own makeup.  I briefly debated having someone else do it, but being the control freak that I am I knew I would not be satisfied unless my fate was in my own hands. Also, I wanted to look like myself on my wedding day… just a little fancier.  Our wedding was at 11:00 A.M., and I began getting ready four hours ahead of the ceremony.  This may not seem like much time, but I only had one attendant so we were a small group.

I began with a bare moisturized face, and applied the Mary Kay Foundation Primer and the Mary Kay Eye Primer.  I use a primer on a daily basis, and I consider it essential for long lasting wear.
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I purchased a special foundation for my wedding.  I have oil prone skin, and am often frustrated by mattifying foundations that leave the skin looking cakey and heavy.  I invested in the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet and the minute I tried it I knew it was just what I wanted.  It leaves the skin matte (no need for me to powder during the day), but still provides a glowing skin like finish.  I was matched to the shade 12 Beige Rose.  I used this, along with my Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair for my base and set that with the Urban Decay DeSlick Makeup Setting Spray.   I topped it all off with the Rimmel Stay Matte powder in 001 Transparent.
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 For my eyes, I used my daily colors and added a touch of winged liner.  I used MAC Malt in the crease as my transition shade and added Bootycall from the Naked2 palette on the lower lid.  I deepened the crease with Quarry from MAC, and then added a deep brown, Embark  from MAC, to the outer corner to add a touch of smokiness.  I lined my inner rims with the Rimmel Scandaleyes eyeliner in 003 Brown and used the Smashbox liquid liner in Dark Brown to add a small wing.   Which was challenging.  I’ve got no skills when it comes to liquid liner.
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 I used the Benefit Hoola bronzer to add some color to my face, as most of the time my coloring is most similar to Casper the Friendly Ghost.  I bought the Hourglass Ambient Lighting blush in Ethereal Glow especially for my wedding and loved the subtle highlight that it added to my face.  I layered it over the Revlon blush in Haute Pink.
The blush is very used, but well loved.

The blush is very used, but well loved.

To finish everything off, I used my regular combination of the Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof mascara topped off with the Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Volume Express Waterproof mascara (LOVE this combo!), my Avon eyebrow pencil in B04 Blonde and my MAC lipstick in Syrup which is the perfect your lips but better color!
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 Like I said, this is very similar to my every day makeup look, with just a little extra added to the eyes and lips.  I was very pleased with how it turned out and was glad that I made the choice to do it myself.  To top it all off, my husband commented (without prompting) on how nice my makeup looked that day!
wedding close up face

A little shiny by this point and have shed some tears, but the makeup is still holding up.

What is your opinion on wedding day makeup?  Would you do it yourself or would you leave it to the pros?  Feel free to share your comments below, I would love to know what you think!  Until next time… Jill
wedding gazebo pic
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