Archive for December 2015

Saving Money Challenge

10:12:00 AM

debt payoff by the gossip darling
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Hello darlings!! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and weekend! I'm still on vacay and I'm not even sure what day of the week it is. Soooo I'm loving every single moment

In 2016, I'm determined to make some major changes in my life. I will be: 

• A blogging machine and going full force with this little baby of mine. Blogging really makes me happy and is a hobby that I really enjoy and I want to make sure I do a lot more of it in the New Year. Since I started this new adventure late last summer, I haven't been able to spend as much time with it as I would want to. Well here's to changing that! 

• My work/life balance will be switching. Instead of mostly focusing on work, my personal life now needs to be the priority. Bye bye super crazy late nights. My part time wedding gig is still something I'll be doing because I want to pay down debt but I won't be committing myself to as many weddings. (Sometimes I'm working 7 days a week for 6 months straight) I'll be working my full time job from 9am to 6pm and then spending most of my weekends with family, friends, a few weddings here and there and my little blog. 

• Becoming debt free is a BIG one to me. I won't be completely debt free (thank you law school loans) but I do want to decrease my credit card bills by half. Trust me, I am NO expert and I will probably splurge a few times and then feel guilty about it but here's my plan...

  1. No more mid-week visits to Dry Bar. I love love love Dry Bar and my hair always comes out fab but...the $45 fee plus $10 tips isn't so friendly to the wallet. $55 plus tax for someone just to wash and blow dry my hair isn't so cool. It's time for me to stop being lazy and do my own hair on a Wednesday night! Just as an FYI...I wash my hair 2x per week which are Sundays and Wednesdays. I do my own hair on Sunday but Wednesday is a killer. Who wants to come home after a long day and go through the whole process of washing and straightening extremely curly hair. Well guess what? This girl is tired of being broke. Washing and styling my own hair from here on out! 
  2. Bye bye gel manicures. I love you too but now I must save good bye. Yes. We are breaking up. Totally not cool spending $30 on a manicure every two weeks. I 100% know that I should be doing my own nails. I got a few gift cards from co-workers for Christmas for manicures so I'll be using my gift cards over the next few months and also doing my own nails in between. I love my long-lasting-hard-to-chip gel manicures but my bank account isn't loving the high price. 
  3. No alcohol. This is a hard one for me because I love my glass of wine...especially on those long and stressful days but now we must part ways. $20 on a small bottle of wine isn't ok anymore considering I can drink water for free. I'm trying to convince myself that I body doesn't need the extra calories anyway...who needs wine anyway, right? (I may still need convincing)
  4. Cancel 2nd gym membership. Yes, I have two gym memberships. This is kinda common in New York City. I work out at Equinox during the week and a local gym by my apartment on the weekends. I'm sorry but I'm totally not giving up my Equinox membership (yes, the gym is that awesome) but I will give up my weekend membership. I can start walking outside. The weather is still crazy warm as well so it won't be punishment! 
  5. DIY projects instead of shopping. This homegirl loves shopping. Well Christmas is over so I have no excuse. This blog can use some more attention from me and so can my apartment. DIY home decor projects never hurt anyone...
  6. Selling extra stuff around the house. I'm a total girly girl and I have so much stuff all over the place. Do I really need 10 watches? Or 30 pairs of shoes? Or clothes everywhere? No. I'm going to consign a bunch of stuff and start filling up those bags. Time to bring in some extra side money. 
  7. Money spending challenge. I'm setting a strict budget for myself and will be paying cash only. Yup. Money in an envelope and when I run out of money, that's it! No swiping plastic cards. I'm going to set a realistic budget and stick to it.
  8. Canceling or Selling my wedding blog. I'm totally on the fence with this one and I continuously keep changing my mind. I need your advice on this one. I started my wedding blog back in 2012 and I spent soooo much time and energy on it. I mean I spent hours upon hours. But now I'm no longer into weddings and I'm just going through the motions of continuing to post new content on that blog. It's no longer my passion. It's a Wordpress blog and I have to pay for hosting and a bunch of other fees associated with that blog. It's about $600 per year. Do I continue to keep it running because of sentimental reasons? Or do I save my $60 per year and shut it down? Or do I look into selling it? Something I know nothing about. Help! I can really use some guidance on this one...
  9. Only cooking for myself. Me and my crock pot are about to become best friends. No more takeout for me. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I spend about $200 per week on takeout. Between breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, and snacks...it adds up. I'm goal is to bring this down to $0! I know it sounds crazy and drastic but in reality, I can make everything I need at home. 
  10. No Starbucks runs. Goodbye vanilla soy lattes which run at about $5 a pop. Its been real but you're making me poor. 
  11. Spending free time building my blog. I don't need to spend money on my downtime! Instead of window shopping and checking out the latest trends at the mall, I'm going to stay home, mind my business and work on my blog!
  12. Working wedding job. I've worked weddings as my side job for 5 years now. I really wish I could stop working on the weekends and just focus on my personal or blog life but for the time being, I'm still going to have to pick up a wedding here and there...
  13. Creating excel spreadsheet and getting real. Ugh my friend Matt told me to do this months ago and I really haven't done it yet. I'm using amazing apps like Mint but I really need to do this the old fashioned way. Matt did this when he was on a mission to get rid of all his debts. I need to write out every single expense I'm responsible for on an excel spreadsheet and figure out a realistic budget. What's holding me back? Fear! I'm straight up terrifed. I need to put on my big girl pants and figure it out. I'm more afraid of staying in this current position. 
  14. DIY housecleaning products. I simply need to save money and I know I can save loads by doing some things on my own, like DIY a lot of stuff. The stuff includes making my own beauty and cleaning products. I'll save loads of money and I'll also know what I'm using to clean my apartment and my skin!
Are you becoming financially fit in the New Year? Do you have any tips for me?

Today Do Something For You

6:00:00 AM

Today Do Something For You from The Gossip Darling
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Hello darlings!! 

Are you fully recovered from Christmas? Well I'm not! Lol. It's one of my favorite holidays and I am so blessed to have spent it with the people I love most in this world. I'm such a lucky girl! 

As I'm sure you all know by now due to my extensive sharing, over the last few months, I've been feeling overwhelmed and unhappy. I decided to take a few weeks off to spend some time with my family for the holidays as well as get some good alone time with myself. Its only been a week but oh my...what a difference I'm feeling already. Here's what I've been doing...

Working out. I have a love/hate relationship with jogging but I know it's an absolute must because my ass loves to eat and drink. It feels so good making sure I get my 10,000 steps in daily. I feel like I'm being healthier and doing something good for myself. Plus it's an excellent way to relieve stress. I'm feeling so good! 

Sleeping. I'm finally catching up and spending some quality time with my bed! Normally I only get to sleep about 5 hours per night. I know my sleep cycle is kinda weird but I'm sleeping until 10am, taking an afternoon nap, and get to work on my blogging until 2am! (Like I'm doing now) I'm loving every second of it. Not sure why this is but I feel most inspired at night! I am so happy that I get to take advantage of my free time and despite its craziness, I'm working with my own schedule! 

Blogging. I absolutely love blogging and it's my way of being more social and even getting some good therapy time in. I love sharing my life stories with readers, what I'm going through, new things I'm trying, and just other forms of randomness. I totally don't blog as much as I would like to but here's to me making a change! Both my blogs are getting some love and it makes me so happy! 

Beauty. Here's to me getting my hair done at Dry Bar and getting a fresh manicure. When I look messy, I feel messy. When my nails and hair are on point, I'm more confident and I feel unstoppable. Yes, I'm even walking a little straighter! 

Life. I'm smelling the fresh air. I'm relaxing and removing the stress from my life. I'm catching up with friends and doing things that I love (like shopping!) I'm creating a balance and it's making me so happy.

Like my friend Jules told me... Today do something for you. And guess what? I'm doing it! 

Here's my one piece of advice...sometimes you have to make one change in your life and everything else will fall into place. What change do you need to make? 

Merry Christmas

11:19:00 PM

Merry Christmas from The Gossip Darling
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Hello Darlings!! Merry Christmas to you and your families!! Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday! 

I'm so grateful and blessed to be spending the day with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, three nieces, and our three fur babies. With messages from loved ones, friends, and beloved co-workers, today is truly an amazing day. 

Wishing you all lots of love! 

xoxo


My Worst Beauty Mistakes

8:00:00 AM

My Worst Beauty Mistakes from The Gossip Darling
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I'm truly obsessed with everything beauty related and I love everything makeup and skincare has to offer. But there are moments that I'm not proud of and I may skip a few steps...or just skip them completely. I am the first to say...I'm skipping these steps purely out of laziness! (Ugh, it's true) I get home from work or the gym and I'm so exhausted that I just say...screw it.

As we get closer to ringing in 2016, let's see if I can make some improvements in the New Year...

Removing all of my makeup. I wear loads of makeup on a daily basis. Two layers of foundation, powder on top of the layers of foundation, eye shadow, liners, mascara, blush, concealer, bronzer, highlighter, lipstick, and probably a million other things. I 100% never remove all of my makeup. It's terrible and I know it's contributing to my breakouts but I really get so tired at the end of the day. Most days I fall asleep way past midnight that I just grab a baby wipe or makeup removing wipes and call it a day. I wake up the following morning with raccoon eyes and leftover residue on my pillow case. Totally bad I know but I'm just sharing my truth...

Cleansing. As I shared in my first point, I use makeup wipes to clean my face at the end of the night when I should be using my cleansers. I have so many cleansing products in my bathroom and I don't use them! From Josie Maran to Philosophy, to Estée Lauder, to Bobbi Brown. Can someone please come to my apartment and make me use one of them?! It's better for my skin and will probably help with my acne! 

ExfoliatingGirl, if I'm not cleansing, do you think I'm exfoliating? I know this is a must and I should be doing it twice a week. I even have an awesome Clarisonic that I spent loads of money on! Ugh, my poor skin. Why can't I treat you better?

Facial Mask. Why am I not really cleaning out my skin and putting moisture back in? I guess after my first three points, I shouldn't wonder why my skin and I have bad blood, huh?

Hair Treatment. I do so much to my hair. I have loads of grays so I have to dye it every 6 to 8 weeks. I also blow dry, straighten, and curl it twice a week. Yes, I know...so much to maintain! Since I do so much to my hair, it tends to get super dry! Back in the day, I use to apply a hair mask and sit around for an hair with a hair heating hat on my head. It was my Saturday ritual. It was so good for my hair and I saw the benefits. I have no idea what happened but I stopped doing it. Maybe a 2016 New Year's Resolution?

Hair Heat Protectant. So bad but twice a week I wash, blow dry, straighten, and then curl my hair. That's a whole lot of heat! I should be protecting my hair but of course...I don't. I really need to start using Drybar's Hot Toddy Heat & UV Protectant that I picked up and start being nicer to my hair! 

Water. I totally don't drink enough water. H2O is soooo good for you and is like the world's best natural medicine. Yet I will drink coffee, tea, diet coke, ice tea, and my fave...wine over water. I should be drinking a minimum of eight glasses a day, especially since I work out. I just can't do it! Maybe I should try adding lemon or something else to my water in order to make it more inviting.

Sunscreen. It's super super super important to protect your skin from the sun. The sun can be brutal and cause your skin sun damage, spots, wrinkles, or cancer. I should be applying sunscreen to my skin before I apply my makeup and I should be doing this all year round. I have sunscreen but between applying primer and so many makeup products to my face, I tend to skip this step. I do use foundation with sunscreen, but I always wonder if that's enough. If you know the answer, please let me know! 

Flossing. Ugh. All the dentist out there should be yelling at me. Flossing. So simple and yet so hard for me. I just brush and go! My poor gums. I promise you teeth and gums, I will try to love you more! 

What beauty mistakes are you making? Please don't tell me I'm alone...

(Should I mention that sometimes I sleep when I'm still wearing my contact lens...)

My 2016 Goals

11:44:00 AM

Hustle is my middle name || The Gossip Darling
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Happy Sunday loves!! Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far. I am officially on vacation so I am free as a bird until the New Year. I am going to be spending my days catching up on blogging and I can't wait!

So I think it's always important to have goals and challenge yourself. You need to strive for something. As you know, I have a wedding blog as well and after many years focusing on weddings, I decided to expand into the lifestyle world. I am so happy I did! As much as I still love weddings, I have met some really awesome people in different areas of the blogging world and different readers. I am loving every minute of it.

When I started this new blog, I really thought long and hard about my goals and what I wanted to accomplish. With my wedding blog, I was so hard on myself about stats and numbers. Stats regarding daily readers, social media, how many posts I was publishing a week (3x per day), and blah blah blah. Admittedly, it took the fun out of blogging. With a full-time and part-time job on the side, blogging was supposed to be my release and a way to express myself and instead it became a chore. I vowed to not make the same mistakes with this blog. I wanted it to be more personal. No pressure. Just me being me and like I'm chatting with my girlfriends. (Check out my post here about what I won't be doing with this blog.)

In the spirit of sharing my personal journey and being my authentic self, my 2016 goals are not focused on stats, monetary gains, or how many people I am collaborating with. (Not 100% saying I won't be doing any of these things but it won't be my focus. Hey, I'm not perfect!) It's more about me growing as a person and blogger. Here are my 2016 goals...

  • Even though I won't beat myself up about this and as I said, I am not worried about stats but I do want to post more. My goal is to publish new content 3x per week. Not because I am striving to be the best blogger in the World (I wish!), it's because I truly love blogging and due to outside factors, sometimes I can't blog as much as I want to. This is my way of journaling and I feel good about sitting down in front of my computer and writing. But most days when I get home, I am so exhausted that I just plop of the sofa and pass out. I'm trying to take my good friend Jules Bennett's advice and I'm going to do one thing a day for myself. One thing that I really enjoy. So the one thing a day I want to do for myself is blogging! 
  • I would like to make a difference in one person's life. I know this is a hard goal but I am going for it. I read loads of blogs myself and many bloggers have made a difference in my life. It helps reading the journey of others whether they are trying to become debt-free, losing weight, mental health, nutrition, or even trying a new product. I feel like I know these bloggers and I trust them to steer me in the right direction. I am trying to learn from their mistakes, take their advice, and hopefully get the end result that I am looking for. So I hope you all learn from my blogging mistakes, beauty errors, my path of becoming debt-free, and my desires to become more healthy and balanced. I hope you can relate to my journey and join me. 
  • I want to step outside of my comfort zone. I want to do so much more with this little blog of mine but sometimes I want to be so "perfect" that I end up not doing something. I want to do beauty tutorials. Should I not film them because I am afraid of what I'll look like on camera? Or should I not do them because I am worried about the wrong lighting or not having an awesome video like these major bloggers. My fears shouldn't stop me. I should do it no matter what and guess what? If it doesn't come out exactly right, I'll learn from it and do better next time. 
  • Growth. I hope to grow as a person in 2016 as well as a blogger. I hope I learn from the lessons I am going to experience. I hope I handle rejection better. I hope I don't take every small thing to heart. I hope I come back stronger than when I entered. I hope I am happier. I can guarantee one thing....I will be trying my absolute best in 2016. The best is all you can ask for.   
What are your goals for 2016?

Dealing with Difficult People

10:56:00 AM



It's no secret that I've been struggling lately getting through my day to day. It's due to a new situation in my life and even though I can pin point the source of this anxiety...it doesn't change the situation. Today's post is not one offering any advice...(sorry!), I'm actually asking for your help. I'm sure you all are a lot better at coping with difficult personalities than I am. I'm more of the yeller and complainer. Unfortunately, despite all of my venting sessions, my situation has remained unchanged. So the purpose of today's post is....How do you deal with difficult people? What skills do you use when all you want to do is walk away and no longer deal with them? 

I'm someone who definitely believes in karma. I don't have to "ruin" this person's life. When you have a bad personality, trust me, people will take notice. But until people take notice, what do you do? 

Here are some of the things I'm upset about... 

1. Abuse. I feel like I'm being mentally abused. I'm a total Type A personality and I give 100% of myself and I don't want anything to get messed up or be left behind. But being a Type A to different people isn't always an equal situation. Meaning....you can give 100% of yourself to the most appreciative person in the world and the person will be so grateful to have you in their life and you'll continue to feel good about yourself. Or...you can give 100% of yourself to someone who still doesn't think 100% is good enough and they'll just take take take. There's no balanced relationship. No feeling good after doing something good for someone else. You just end up feeling unappreciated, mentally exhausted, and most times...disrespected. This is how I feel. For the past 3 months, I think everything I do isn't good enough, people are taking advantage of me, and I can never be fulfilled. Yea, this really isn't a good feeling to have. I hope no one else feels this way, but I know I'm not alone. How do you change this attitude around? How do you begin to realize that the situation isn't normal and you're not the problem...they are? How to you take control over your bad attitude? 

2. Guilt. For some crazy reason, I always feel guilty and bad for being "not good enough". I know it sounds nutty because as I've said, the situation isn't "normal" but for some odd reason, I always feel guilty. How can I improve? How can I make his better? I also feel guilty for continuously venting to my friends. I love being a happy person. I don't want to be the person my friends are like. "crap, she's coming over to spill her heart out again..."

3. Paranoia. I'm just going to put this out there. I'm paranoid. Maybe I've been venting too much or maybe I'm scared that people are going to see how unhappy I am and it's going to cause more problems for me in the future. I don't know but this cycle of paranoia and guilt is getting pretty old. I tend to overthink everything and I'm definitely feeling "on edge". I feel like the little hairs on the back of my neck are always up. It's not a good feeling and most times it's truly exhausting. I always say that it's so much more hard work being miserable than it is being happy. But I'm still concerned....when does venting become too much? (PS- some of the crap I've had to deal with is wild...I can start a blog just on my real life stores!) When do you tell yourself, enough is enough?

4. Misery. I hate being miserable. I truly do. I hate complaining day in and day out. How do I change this? Once you have this bad attitude and you're depressed, how do you change it around? How to you become happy again?

This is what I know as of right now, I think in the New Year, I need more balance. I'm focusing less on work and more on me. I need to be a little more selfish when it comes to self-preservation. There's only one issue...how do I make this happen?

Product Review: Bobbi Brown Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover

8:00:00 AM

Product Review: Bobbi Brown Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover


Happy Monday loves!! Hope you all had an amazing weekend! I finally had some R&R. I needed it! I also spend my Sunday doing beauty things! Haircut, blow dry, teeth whitening, and waxing. Fun right? Super glam! Lol. 

So my Mom and I went shopping last week on Black Friday and we stopped by the Bobbi Brown counter. I love Bobbi Brown products. I've been struggling lately with removing all of my eye makeup at night. I wear LOADS of eye makeup and I especially love black eyeliner. There's only one problem with my love of eyeliner...it leaves stains on my pillow cases if I don't remove it all at the end of the night. I swear I really try to but my makeup removing wipes aren't cutting it. Since it was Black Friday and major deals were going on, I decided to give this product a try. And I am super happy I did!!

Bobbi Brown Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover is a lifesaver. Wanna know more about it? Good because I'm happy to share. According to Bobbi, "An oil-based makeup remover is the best way to gently yet thoroughly remove long-wearing makeup." And I totally agree. I am always nervous about how I treat my eyes because that area of your face is super sensitive and I want to make sure I don't do any damage to the thin layer of skin. I make sure to treat it kindly! 

So far this product has been amazing to me. Here's how I use it...

* Please make sure to shake the bottle well! Since it's a dual formula and oil based, it's important to give the bottle a good shake before you use. 

* I use a cotton ball for application. A little bit goes a long way. This product is for your entire face but I use it mainly for eye makeup removal. I just put a bit on a cotton ball, do a few wipes over the eyes and I'm done! This is also good for people who wear contacts like me. I just take my time and make sure to not get anything in my eyes. Sometimes if my eyes look like a raccoon, I also use a q-tip to really get under my eyes. 

* After I wipe the cotton ball over my eyes and make sure I remove all eyeliner and mascara, I rinse with warm water. Even though I don't have an issue with the oil, I like to be sure that I don't clog my pores. 

* I have combination skin and have acne issues and so far this product hasn't had any negative effects on my skin. 

* I've read some reviews and I know people have had issues with the cap. Personally I haven't and I love the cap and bottle. Can the cap sometimes be tricky to take off? Yes, but I like it because I don't want the product falling out all over my sink! It won't be fun! 

My final thoughts? I've already purchased a second bottle so I can leave it at my parents' house. I am going to be using this product for a long time. It's the best I've found so far!

Have you tried it? What are your favorite makeup removal products?

Have a great week!

Struggling

10:54:00 AM


Hi loves!

Happy Sunday and hope everyone's having a great weekend! 

So I wasn't 100% sure whether I should write this post or not. But I reminded myself that my blog is about sharing my journey and moments with my readers. I should share how I'm feeling at the moment. I've probably shared these tips before but I'm going to remind myself and share them again. Hey, I may keep repeating myself until it actually happens.

Life has been insane lately. And I admit, its been a struggle. I'm desperately trying to keep up with all the demands but I'm...failing. I'm exhausted. I'm stressed. And quite honestly....I'm over this frantic lifestyle. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about feeling overwhelmed. I'm trying to stay focus and do things for myself but it's hard.

Here's what I keep reminding myself...

1. Don't beat myself up. I'm trying to accept what I'm feeling and not berate myself for "failing" or not doing things a certain way. I'm trying my best and that's all that matters. I can't continue to "beat myself up" for feeling this way. 

2. Not everyone's going to like me. I'm setting my boundaries and some people may not like it but in some cases, you have to be selfish and save yourself. It's your life and you only have one to live. People will try to push back but you gotta create the life you want. 

3. Be realistic. Sometimes I can live in fantasy land. Meaning I don't speak up enough because I think I can handle everything. It's ok to not do it all! In the blogging world especially, you see bloggers with 5 kids, huge house, and super successful business. Dude, it's impossible to do it all my yourself. Guarantee you that they have a few people helping them in the background. You can't do it ALL and that's ok. It really is. 

4. Do something nice for yourself. You have to treat yourself. I tend to feel guilty about spending money I don't have it doing something nice for myself. Pampering yourself is mandatory. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive. Shoot, you don't even have to spend money. For example, this past week has been challenging. So instead of going to the gym, I decided to take "me" time. Right after work, I went home and had a glass of wine, made a bowl of pasta, my cat Lexi on the sofa with me and watch a Mary Higgins Clark movie. It was the perfect night and exactly what I needed. 

What do you do when you're struggling? What tips do you have for me?

Photo via here