So I just discovered wired headbands?!

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It was a no makeup kind of day today…

I got my package from ModCloth yesterday and it came with a free headband! I’ve never had much luck with headbands, so I tossed it aside at first. But I noticed that this one was wired and flexible, something I’d never seen before in a headband. I tried it on, and voila, it fit like a glove! It’s so cute and didn’t slip off my head, even when I was running around the mall today. On a side note, I got the cutest boots & boot socks from Aero 🙂 [http://www.aeropostale.com/product/index.jsp?productId=35562356&cp=16846146.1988344] & [http://www.aeropostale.com/product/index.jsp?productId=35173386].

But yeah, I went online to look for some similar headbands but they don’t seem to be very common? I found a few that ship from overseas retailers on Amazon, and a TON on Etsy. If anyone has any idea where to get these twist wire headbands, let me know! ~ In the meantime, I highly recommend them at least for anyone with a pixie cut like mine.

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Why I’m a History major

I’ll start off this post with an honest admission. History was by no means my first choice of a major. When I arrived at college three years ago, Education was my major of choice. Then, I segued into Clinical Psychology. After deciding that was hardly a decent fit for me, I chose Hispanic Studies. Finally, after a failed attempt to force me to study abroad, I left the Hispanic Studies department and chose History as my final, rock solid choice. I have virtually no room to change my major again, so I had to be 100% sure that History was what I truly wanted to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in a degree for.

On the surface, it wasn’t a terribly difficult choice. I’ve always loved History – it was my best subject throughout secondary school and I loaded my schedule throughout freshmen, sophomore, and junior year (before deciding I needed to change to History!) with tons of History electives. I found the classes relatively easy, fascinating, and not much of a chore to go to. But History always seemed like a hobby to me, something my Dad is always fond of telling me. “History is a hobby, and not a career!” I always readily agreed with him, because what can one do with a History major? The first thought that comes to mind is either teacher or historian. Neither option sounded terribly appealing to me – while I would enjoy being a history teacher, the process of becoming certified to teach Social Studies outside of higher education [I have no time left at my current school to begin the certification process] seemed daunting, and I wasn’t about to go to grad school to become a professor or a reputable historian.

So below the surface, choosing History as my major was a terribly difficult choice. I would never be bored or under-stimulated writing my thesis or taking the classes, but my future after graduation seemed unclear. As a Hispanic Studies major, I had aimed to become a Medical Interpreter or even a 911 operator. Being fluent in two languages with a liberal arts degree seemed to assure me a job after graduation. I am still a Spanish minor, but those career possibilities [particularly interpreting] seemed much more daunting without a major to secure my fluency. A minor helps, but it doesn’t provide fluency. You have to do the rest on your own, and my inability to go abroad doesn’t help. I’m not in a position to become certified to be a teacher or go on to grad school or even law school. What else is there?

The answer to that is, more than you might think. A History major learns many things that some other majors don’t. Critical thinking skills in an enormous context. Endless amounts of ruthless memorization, and the ability to hold countless facts, events, and people in your mind at once for instant recall. A deep empathy and appreciation for the human experience, as you spend countless hours studying how people lived, acted, succeeded, and failed. It’s almost like you learn from and interpret their mistakes. I’ve always said that History majors are better suited to become politicians than Political Science majors, because we know what works and what doesn’t based on experience.

A potential employer would be lucky to hire a History major. It may be often overlooked, but it’s a tough major. Like I said, it’s not for the faint of heart when it comes to memorization. The sheer amount of stuff I need to know at the drop of a hat in class is astounding, as well as the amount of stuff I’ll know when I graduate, and turn in my senior thesis. We don’t just need to know the facts, we need to interpret them. Sometimes, we provide our opinions. Other times, we speculate on differing possibilities if the facts had took a different turn. We compare and contrast so many things that seem to have absolutely nothing in common. It’s a jumble of people and places and events in your brain, and sometimes it’s so overwhelming I want to pull my hair out!

But it’s extremely rewarding to be a History major. It’s like venturing into a different world everyday when you sit down for class or do your homework, or complete some research. You connect with the people you study – individuals or as a whole. You find yourself wistfully desiring a time machine to take back in time so you could have lunch with Cleopatra, or go on a date with Napoleon Bonaparte. Slap Henry VIII across the face, or give Princess Kaiulani a hug because her life was so marred by tragedy. I would have loved to go back and watch England charge into battle in the War of the Roses, or advise strategy in the battle of Hastings in 1066. It’s very rewarding, and yes, I do enjoy learning about history in my spare time. I find it fascinating.

I’ll be proud to put down “History major” on my resume, even if a few employers might raise their eyebrows at my choice of study. But I feel confident that I have gained the critical thinking skills, memorization, and empathy that can serve me well at so many jobs. I hope that any future employers would realize this for myself and for all my fellow History majors.

This way of thinking can easily be applied to other majors. In particular, I find Sociology, American Studies, and Anthropology to be majors in similar situations as History. I wish that society would start evaluating college majors based on the intrinsic skills that they can impart, in addition to the knowledge that we gain. Don’t get me wrong – for many career paths, certain majors and the specific knowledge that one gains from that area of study is crucially important. I can’t expect anyone to become a doctor without a background in Biology and Pre-Med, or a lawyer who hasn’t studied law! But a Drama major would be well suited to a career in public speaking or human resources, because they are excellent at empathizing with people and projecting their thoughts and feelings to others in a constantly changing, but always appropriate way.

But each major teaches us valuable skills that would make so many employers lucky to have us. Why should I be passed over for a job in marketing, simply because I’m not a business major, or even a psychology major? I understand how humans think, maybe in a different sense, and I’m always ready to learn. As a History major, I have an endless thirst for knowledge and new understandings. I have been taught to desire knowledge. I adapt to new situations quickly and I’m always ready to absorb and make room for more information.

So, next time you smirk and ask someone what they plan to do with a History degree, or one in English or Drama or Art or Anthropology, explain this to them. Some of us under-appreciated majors may be teetering precariously on the highest rate of unemployment per degree list, but we should aim to educate the public and change that for the better. It’s to the benefit of all.

These are a few of my favorite things ~ well, at least when it comes to makeup. (eye makeup edition)

Most people are surprised when I tell them that I enjoy makeup. I understand that, because often times I don’t look like I’m wearing any except for on my lips. But for me, my makeup style is that I want it to look like I’m not wearing any. For my face, I prefer an accentuated natural look that gives off the aura that I just rolled out of bed and didn’t bother with makeup, but I still look alright! 🙂 It may seem silly, but that’s just always been what I prefer.

Let’s start with eye makeup. I want to do a separate post for each “section” of my face…eyes, skin, lips, cheeks, etc. The eyes are the most difficult part to get right for someone who doesn’t want to have to do much at all, so here’s what I’ve found that works for me.

Maybelline is my go-to brand for most makeups. I love them to death. My favorite mascara of their’s is the Rocket Volum’Express [http://www.maybelline.com/Products/Eye-Makeup/Mascara/volum-express-the-rocket-washable-mascara.aspx]. When my friend first recommended it to me, I was skeptical. From the advertisements I had seen, it looked like even one swipe would make my already-long lashes look gigantic. But she promised me that it would be perfect for my style.

And so it was! I gave it a shot and with one gentle application, my lashes looked rich and full without being overdone. For curiosities sake, I did a few more applications and found it only enhanced the look. For someone like me, who prefers the really natural look, I could do with only one very light swipe but I would highly recommend this mascara to anyone who wants their lashes to look noticeably full, rich, and beautiful – just be careful with clumps. Like any mascara, more applications means more likelihood of clumping and frustration. But I have noticed that this mascara does not clump initially as much as others do. This mascara also separates my lashes well. They look so even, and neat. Even if you’re like me, just one swipe made my lashes look alluring and sexy. But like I mentioned, I have to be gentle and sparing with my application if I want them to look better but also natural.

It does take a little long to dry – I have to hold off blinking for a full minute, and even afterwards I’m still usually wiping up some residue under my eyes. But it stays all day and doesn’t rub off on my glasses, which I usually wear with mascara. Even when it does smear onto my glasses if I accidentally knock them backwards, a quick rub with a cleaning cloth takes it off fine with no lasting scratches. When it comes to taking the mascara off your actual lashes, it comes off well with a simple, multi-use removing cloth. I haven’t found that I needed an eye-makeup specific makeup remover. I love this mascara, and it’s lasted for months without going bad. Knock on wood, right?

So…

Packaging: 3/5 (I’m not a huge fan of the color scheme and it’s a little bulky in the purse)

Application: 3.5/5 (Smooth, though it does take a little long to dry)

Staying power: 4/5 (All day, pretty much! Though after about eight-ten hours it begins to clump)

Look: 5/5 (I get compliments all the time from people who think my natural lashes are like that!)

Overall: 4.5/5

Because I hold it in such high esteem, Rocket Volum’Express is my go-to mascara for everyday use.

The other mascara I use is Maybelline’s Illegal Length mascara [http://www.maybelline.com/Products/Eye-Makeup/Mascara/illegal-length-fiber-extensions-mascara.aspx]. Now, this is one I usually do not use for everyday use. Why? Because I usually wear glasses when I’m just having a regular day and going to class and work. As the name suggests, this mascara is meant to draw out your lashes and work as an extension. It does it’s job, that’s for sure! 😉

I enjoy wearing this to dressier events – parties, homecoming, dates, and the like. Even though my lashes are fairly long, the Illegal Length does a good job of drawing them out but at the same time not making them look artificial or silly. It’s not like you can’t tell you’re wearing mascara, but for many people that’s not a concern at all. It isn’t for me, when I’m getting dressed up. Who doesn’t like to show off their makeup, especially then? It’s not too different to apply than Rocket Volum’Express. It doesn’t clump very much, probably less than the average mascara unless you really start piling on the stuff, at least in my experience. It takes a bit to dry, and I usually still have to wipe up some residue. Not a deal-breaker for someone with a life-time supply of makeup wipes. Seriously, am I the only one who keeps buying them because they think they’re out of them, and just ends up finding more sealed packs around the house? 😀

I wouldn’t recommend wearing this with glasses. Even when I position mine a little farther down my nose, I’m constantly taking them off to clean them when I wear this mascara. So I stick to contacts, and I’ve had several people ask me if I had professional treatment to get my lashes lengthened! 😉 My lashes are very mediocre normally, so this mascara really is wonderful when I’m trying to draw attention to them. It doesn’t seem to stay as long without clumping as Rocket Volum’Express does, but since I’m rarely wearing this all day and it’s easy to carry around in a purse or a clutch, it’s not a huge deal. It comes off relatively well, usually needing a few more wipes with a basic makeup remover wipe than Rocket Volum’Express.

So…

Packaging: 5/5 (I love it! So pretty, sleek, and elegant looking. Super easy to carry around too)

Application: 3.5/5 (Nothing to write home about but it doesn’t usually clump up unless you’re too heavy with the applications or leave it on too long, so that’s good)

Staying power: 3/5 (4 hours or so before it starts to look a little meh)

Look: 5/5 (It’s my new best friend when getting dressed up!!)

As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of these two mascaras. I haven’t needed to buy any other kinds to suit my needs, which admittedly aren’t very varied. I can mix them both together for a pretty neat result as well, but it’s nothing to write home about. 🙂 I should note here that for now, I’m not really using eyeliner or eyeshadow (no time!) but that could change in the future…I go through spurts.

As inexpensive mascaras go, these two get the job done very well for what I need, and I don’t expect much less from both my reasonable expectations and a reputable brand like Maybelline. Just because it’s drugstore brand doesn’t mean it’s not quality, my friends! :*

The most amazing snacks ever….

Okay, so, one of my number one goals right now is to lose weight. Only like 10-20 pounds, but it’s really an uphill battle! I’ve gained 20 pounds since coming to college [I’ve been here for three years, wow!], and I keep saying I’ll lose weight but it honestly never happens. So, I’m doing it slowly – changing one habit at a time. Right now, it’s snacking.

I’m a snacker. Most people are, but I really take it to the next level. I’m addicted to carbs and I’ve been known to eat Easy Mac as a snack between meals! So my challenge is to find snacks that satisfy some of my cravings without breaking my blood sugar or my calories. Here are some of the things I’ve come up with!

– Multi Grain Cheerios mixed with Popcorn Indiana Kettlecorn

https://www.cheerios.com/Products/Multigrain-Cheerios & http://www.popcornindiana.com/products/original-kettlecorn

Muli Grain Cheerios have a little bit of sugar, but in my opinion, the good outweighs the bad. The American Heart Association and any nutritionist worth their salt will tell you that lots of whole grains and fiber will help to keep you fit, trim, and healthy. They taste good on their own, but compared with the gluten-free/whole grain/organic Popcorn from the Popcorn Indiana company, it’s heaven. I always go with the Kettlecorn, because it’s super tasty and again, for the sugar you get it’s worth it. Naturally, those looking for less sugar can substitute with regular cheerios and/or other flavors of Popcorn Indiana popcorn. I also find that adding nuts [especially soynuts!] is good, and packs a protein boost. Enjoy!

– Gogo Squeez Applesauce; Apple Apple flavor

http://www.gogosqueez.com/products/apple-apple/

Okay, Gogo Squeez isn’t exactly a carb kicker. But for me, it satisfies my sugar craving and really is guilt-free. It’s vegan, gluten free, and completely natural. It’s not fortified with any vitamins or minerals, but that’s alright because all you’re getting is the natural yummy goodness from apples and a little juice. The sugar in it is fructose, which is naturally occurring as opposed to added and is much, MUCH better for you than processed table sugar found in many sweet foods. I usually eat Gogos chilled, but they can be served room temperature or even frozen. As the name implies, take it to go! It’s easy to keep mess-free.

– Mini Babybel Light cheese

http://mini-babybel.com/products/light/

I don’t know what sort of craving Babybels satisfy, but they’re amazing! Unfortunately, too much cheese can be fatty and caloric 😦 so my solution is Babybel light cheese! They’re nicely portioned, soft, and have the perfect fresh flavor. I of course recommend the light flavor, which tastes very similar to the original. But cheddar is excellent, and so is mozzarella! They’re easy to take on the go, like Gogo squeez. Just don’t let them stay in your purse for too long! 😉

So…that’s only three snacks! 😦 But I just realized that’s most of what I eat between meals. I try to keep my meals well spaced out, small, and energy-packed throughout the day. I hope this helps some of you guys! 😀

**Disclaimer: I hope no one reads this post and feels bad about their weight or their dietary habits! This is entirely just for me, because I think I’ll be more active and feel less tired all the time if I drop some of the weight. So fingers crossed! xo

What’s my style?

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I figured that the first post of my blog is as good as any to discuss what exactly I like to wear. Honestly, it’s a really difficult question to answer. I’m one of those people who really doesn’t have a nailed down style – I wear what I like, and what I like depends on my mood and what appeals to me on any given day. That being said, just because my style doesn’t fit into a neat little box wrapped up with a ribbon doesn’t mean I can’t try to describe it.

I guess if I had to use one word, it would be ModCloth.

Yeah, that’s a brand, not a style. But in some ways, ModCloth is a style all of it’s own. It’s quirky, unique, and downright adorable. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would probably burn it all on ModCloth because they continue to amaze me everyday with their refreshing, accommodating, and daring styles.

Aside from ModCloth, I would say that my style is pretty casual with an emphasis on comfort. I virtually never wear jeans [gasp – I didn’t bring a single pair to school with me!] in favor of leggings. I’m grateful that I work in an environment that doesn’t care if I wear leggings. If I do have to dress up, or at least look non-casual I almost always go for a dress or a skirt. That’s where my style deviates from lazy…I’m such a girly-girl. It’s almost silly how much I adore things that are cute, whimsical, and above all, pink.

I pair nice, simple shirts with my leggings on a daily basis. I almost never wear T-Shirts on an everyday basis unless it’s to one of my jobs [I work at a Humane Society]. I like a healthy balance of plain, solid-colored shirts paired with a dressy cardigan and also patterned shirts that are usually cute and eye-catching. For example, I have a shirt patterned with cartoon cats from Urban Outfitters that I absolutely adore.

Accessories are my weak point – it’s not that I don’t like them, but I’m not creative with them! I wear a simple, thin-band Anne Klein watch almost daily and usually pair it with a single, feminine bracelet [Betsey Johnson’s Tzarina Princess bracelet is definitely an all-time favorite]. As for earrings, I order fake pearls in multiple colors in bulk from the internet and usually put those on. If I have extra time in the morning, I might spend some time deliberating on a slightly more daring pair of earrings. I own only three necklaces and wear them sparingly. Don’t even get me started on rings! One of my goals from running this blog and checking out other’s blogs is to get inspired with regards to necklaces and rings.

I wear a lot of skirts and dresses and I’m not terribly picky with the type of skirt or dress. I prefer dresses with a distinctly feminine feel [which most of them have] and loose skirts. You’ll never catch me in a pencil dress or skirt! As for cleavage, I have some dresses that are dutifully modest and I even have a passion for the ’50s style frock. But I also have a few sexy little numbers with plunging necklines that spit feminism and modernity. Some may call it slutty but hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it! During the winter, I usually wear dresses with leggings and boots or flats.

Shoes, like accessories, are another weak point. Shoes are more expensive than most of the clothes I buy and therefore, I always find it difficult to justify the price. I’ve been wearing the same two pairs of Ugg Boots I’ve had since high school, and even if they are relatively infamous I find them to be durable and versatile! I’ve put them through the wringer more times than I can count and they’re doing great. If I’m not wearing a dress and can afford to be super casual, I like wearing Converse/Bob sneakers with leggings. If I’m lucky and it’s warm out, cute flip flops or a pair of my favorite Lucky Brand gladiator sandals go with most anything in my wardrobe.

Now, where do I buy my clothes? Truth be told, even though you can tell how much I love ModCloth, I’ve only ever bought one thing from there. The vast majority of my clothes come from Target, Walmart, Old Navy, and Victoria’s Secret. My leggings I buy online from Hue – they’re not the cheapest you could find, but they’re fairly durable, stylish, and I love the wide-waisted ones to hide my muffin top! 😉

Target and Walmart are where I get a lot of my tops, from plain shirts to ones with designs or logos on them. I also buy all of my cardigans from both of those places. Old Navy has great, simple, and cheap V-neck tees that go with just about anything, as well as some cute dresses. Victoria’s Secret is where I got my favorite set of pajamas, all my bras, and most of my underwear. You really can’t go wrong there, except it’s such a splurge, every time! 😦 Kind of like going to Urban Outfitters and hyperventilating because you saw the cutest thing that is so you but it’s so ridiculously expensive and you don’t need it! See, at Victoria’s Secret I can always justify needing good underwear and sturdy bras – as a 36D, a lot of bras just don’t make the cut. Most of them give me backaches or stab me with underwire, and that is not a pretty picture!

As for shoes, most of my shoes come from Famous Footwear. I don’t really have a style or brand I drool over, besides Uggs and Converse. I recommend Old Navy, Target, and Walmart for discount footwear, they have some real hidden gems!

Overall, like I said, my style can be really difficult to pin down. But whatever it is, I am a true shopaholic. I didn’t used to be, but now I constantly find myself poring over websites and gazing, starry-eyed, at their dresses that I will never buy. Clothes are a girl’s best friend, and for me, they make me feel confident in myself. If I’m happy with my outfit in the morning when I walk out the door, I know it’s going to be a good day. ❤

P.S.: Here’s the one dress I own from ModCloth – I just ordered it, after ages of gawking at all the dresses on their site! Hope it fits!

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/the-sweetest-garden-dress

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