New Life, New Title

I have now graduated from college. COLLEGE. Hello???? College!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s it, I’m done. No homework, no studying, no exams. But then comes working everyday of your life with no big summer break, plus the school loans that need to be paid off. Yay.

But it’s a whole new stage in my life. I’m working (which has ore to do with organization of people than human resources) and I have a pretty decent paycheck. I cannot complain. Is it what I wanted to do? No. But it’s not forever. I mean hey, my dream job is one where I can read books all day and still have a bit of a life. That would be absolutely perfect! But I haven’t had much time finding that dream job.

I am a Mary Kay Consultant and I’m a Young Living Essential Oils distributor. I haven’t done much with either of them, but if anyone is interested in any products please let me know. 🙂

Now let’s take care of the elephant in the room. I’ve changed my whole blog title. I chose Reality Check out of the blue. I could not think of a title that I wanted to use that spoke to me or anything that allowed me to be really flexible with writing whatever I wanted. Now that I no longer have endless reading assignments, I’ve been reading constantly in my free time. It’s like I’m trying to catch up on the 4 years that I lost while in college. Books are my passion. I buy them everywhere. I love spending time in the library. I love going on book sites and looking for my next book to read. It’s part of who I am and I want to take this blog in that direction.

Hope you enjoy it and find it fun!

Coloring Books for Adults? Heck Yes!

I stumbled upon [another] Buzz Feed article this week. It was entitled ’17 Hobbies to try if you Suck at Hobbies.’ It caught my eye and had to read what they recommended. I’m not really one to have a hobby. If you count reading books, then yes I have an overly obsessive hobby. Some of these suggestions were fantastic!

The biggest thing in this article that I loved was the adult coloring book. Johanna Basford has created a coloring book for adults!!!!!! The article is here for views and information and inspiration for her books. I fell in love with them. When I was a kid I loved to draw. I really wanted to be fantastic at art and be this super chic artist. Well that didn’t happen. I’m bad at drawing. I see some of my art major friends and they draw these beautiful, intricate doodles and I’m over here drawing circle flowers and spirals.

Johanna’s designs are the most beautiful and awesome thing ever 🙂 I cannot wait til I can get my book and start filling these beautiful pictures with color 🙂

Handbags, Handbags, and OH! Handbags!

If anyone knows me, they will know that I love love love love love handbags!!! My top cabinet of my closet in my dorm room is stuffed full of my handbags. I never know which ones I will need/want so I keep a ton here. At home my entire upper shelf of my closet is full of handbags. I know that I will always have one that matches.

I will do a “What’s in my bag” post sometime soon. I can tell you this, I keep a ton of stuff in my bag. I’ve always loved big bags and totes. Lately though I’ve been working on trying get all my essentials into a small crossbody. But sometimes all my essentials for that day just doesn’t fit. My usual essential for a bag size is that it has to fit at least on book in it. I always have a book with me somewhere. This post here has a category of books I want to read this year. (If you keep checking back on it, you can see what I’m reading!) Whenever my wonderful boyfriend (he got me five, yes FIVE bags for our one year anniversary. He’s a keeper!!!) gets me a bag, he always knows to make sure that a book can fit inside.

I’m really am starting to like the smaller bags though. Much easier to carry. I came across this article today on Buzz Feed. It made me really think about what I carry in my bag and how often I should clean it out. Will I completely forget the awesomeness of a large bag? No. Will I clean my bag out more often? Oh Yes!

Let’s Talk: Skin Care

Remember that time I told you there was coming a post about resume tips? Well it’s coming. I’m gaining more information every week as I continue interning this semester.

But let’s talk about something we all need to do: skin care.

Disclaimer: Everyone’s skin is different. These products work for me, but they may not work as well for you.

My story is long and has an ok happy ending. I started getting acne when I was in junior high. Not too bad, but noticeable. I started wearing makeup and I looked ok. But other girls noticed and I got teased a lot (but not just because of my skin). I hated junior high and the time I spent there. I was the quiet girl who preferred books over athletics and socialization.

When I got into high school (and changed states and schools) my acne got really bad. Not cystic acne or anything, just the normal acne all over my face. I was so embarrassed. I never went anywhere without makeup. Even for a simple, short trip to Walmart where people wear the most ridiculous things— I wore makeup. I wanted to cover up all the imperfections.

When I turned 16, i didn’t get a car (Virginia has complicated driving rules) but I did get a trip to the Clinique makeup counter. The lady did my makeup and we bought several items she used. (Yay for the freebie sample bags!!!) My parents insisted that I choose the skin care products. I was too interested in the eyeliner, compact, and eye shadows. But I did get their cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. I used them for a while and it seemed to be ok.

But my skin continued to be bad, and sometimes even worse. My mom found a dermatologist for me and started regular appointments. We did creams and oral medication, but it either didn’t work or did work work but acne came back.

Finally, the ‘most extreme’ last resort was Accutane. It’s an oral medication that is said to be ‘the cure for acne.’ Let me explain about this medication. It’s an oral medication that can only be prescribed in by your doctor. The biggest thing about Accutane is that you cannot get pregnant. It can cause major birth defects. You must have 2 negative pregnancy tests before you begin taking it. They hand you this book that you have to read and in the back are member cards that you must present whenever you pick up the medication. Accutane dries out your sick. It stops the glands from producing oil and it results in dry skin and chapped lips (thank the Lord for lip balm during this time!!). It also dehydrates your body, so drinking water is important. Every month, I had to get blood tests done. It was a pregnancy test, liver check, and cholesterol check. All these were required by law. After the results were submitted, I had to go online and answer questions before I could pick up my prescription. And of course, present the card when we picked it up. So much to do. And I did this three times. Yep. THREE. TIMES. My acne just kept coming back. It’s still here, just not as bad as it once was, thanks to Accutane. So it did help me. But right now, there is nothing the doctors can do. They told me the only thing they can do is to put me back on it, but I don’t want to risk damage to my body.

So now I use various different products that I will share right now.

*Optional

I do not really use this often. I love the Neutrogena naturals products because they work great on my skin without drying it out. This formula has a makeup remover in it, so when I want to take my makeup off during the day I use this. It great! Takes my makeup off so easily!!

Cleanser

I have been using Neutrogena naturals acne cream wash for a long while. Its smooth and so gentle on my skin. And it does not dry it out like other cleansers do. I use it with my Clarisonic and my skin gets super super clean. And it helps fight my acne.

Toner

I don’t know if I should call this my ‘holy grail’ or not. This is Neutrogena’s rapid clear toner. I put some of this on a cotton pad and wipe on my face. I really think this is the big game changer in my routine. It fights acne and clogged pores and really helps keep my skin clean.

Acne Treatment

This little guy is fantastic! It’s Neutrogena naturals acne spot treatment. I take a tiny bit of this and put it on my problem areas (my cheeks and sometimes my chin). Again, I love the naturals products because they do not dry or damage my skin.

Moisturizer

I have two different ones.

Clinique’s dramatically different moisturizing gel is my favorite moisturizer. The gel is oil free and truly moisturizes my skin. I wear this under my makeup or by itself if I don’t plan on going out anywhere.

I use Pond’s dry skin cream at night. It’s a heavier moisturizer. When I started using it, I cold definitely tell a difference in my skin.

Let’s just park here for a moment. Washing your face 5 times a day will only make your skin worse. It encourages your skin to produce more oil because you are constantly stripping the natural oils away.

And moisturizers DO NOT make your skin oily. Pick one that is oil free and use it. Moisturizers help keep your skin from absorbing makeup and keeps the skin looking young and fresh. They also help treatment gels to soak into your skin better. Moisturizing is not the devil, it’s an angel.

Eye Cream

I read an article that women should start using eye cream and anti-aging moisturizers at the age of 22 to keep from aging quickly. I currently use Clinique’s repairwear laser focus. But I only use a sample bottle I got as a freebie, not the large size (quite expensive). I switched for a little bit, trying a different one out and could tell a difference. This product is far superior.

So that is all my skin care products. Hope you enjoyed this post and maybe you will find something that will work for you.

(Disclaimer: everyone’s skin is different. These products work great for me, but they may not work great for you.)

Book Binding Glue

As it says in my profile, I am a total book lover. Going into a bookstore just makes me so happy. My boyfriend knows. When I’m sad, he takes me to a bookstore and my whole day is just happier. My mom hates my addiction. I have books everywhere. My bookshelf is overflowing with books and starting to clutter the hallway book shelf. Not to mention all the books that are stashed in bags, under my bed, on my night stand, and cluttering my dresser.

One things about that I have noticed (especially 5 seconds ago) is that books bring people together. A lady at Starbucks asked to sit near me and my friend while we were studying. She had a stack of books with her and one of them I noticed was Paper Towns by John Green. I asked her about it and we began a conversation about his books and compared thoughts and what we thought of them.

I noticed another book in her stack, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and asked her about that. She recommended another book to me. And then started a whole conversation on recommendations. We mentioned The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, Gayle Forman, J K Rowling, The Mortal Instruments. . . the list goes on.

Books really do bring people together. Books touch a part of us that nothing else can. It’s like how music and movies move us, books do the same. And for those of us who are literary enthusiasts, we can all relate on one level or another. It can be compared reviews, recommendations, or ‘what are you currently reading.’

Like the binding glue on the book you are currently reading (with the exception of your electronic readers), books bind people together. So the next time you see someone with a book, ask them about it. It could lead to an awesome conversation.

#1 Study Tool

This. App. 

This app has totally changed my whole way of studying. I cannot study without it. I love listening to music while studying. It helps to block out distractions. But for me, I tend to listen to the music and not study. I anticipate the melodies and notes I know that is coming. But this app plays nice ‘music’ (like birds, chimes, and other sounds) that you cannot anticipate and helps you to concentrate on studying.

These Headphones.

My dad got my these headphones for Christmas and they have been a lifesaver. I usually go through a couple pair of ear buds every few months.  But these have lasted over a month now. I love the quality of sound and how noise cancelling they are. I use these when I listen to my study app and I can be completely focused on my homework. I do not even hear people coming in and out of my dorm room.

Coming Soon

Being inactive this long has not been my intention.

With my new school schedule, plus working 20 hours a week, plus being on the road for 2 hours a day has been quite challenging. At my internship I have been able to get some great content and ideas.

I have a post about resume tips and recruitee advice coming soon, so just bear with me for a few days. I want to be accurate and helpful, so I’m trying to get it right.

Until then. . . !