Blogmas! (Day 13) Oh the Places I’d Love to Go for Christmas

I live in Florida. That means sunshine and 100 degree weather

all

year

round

Well, with the exception of hurricane season, which is July through November, but it’s still hot as hell, just a tad rainy and windy, too.

Living in Florida can make getting into the Christmas spirit a bit difficult. How can one be winter holiday festive while wearing shorts and flip flops? And that is why I decided to share with y’all my winter holiday festive Christmas travel bucket list. I only have a few places I’d really love to visit for the holidays…

This first one is a no brainer:

New York City. Ice Skating in Central Park. Rockefeller Center. The Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. The Holiday Window Displays. FAO Schwarz. Empire State Building.

Reykjavik, Iceland. The Oslo Christmas Tree. Christmas Valley. Christmas Markets. The Botanical Gardens. Ice Skating at the Town Square. The Northern Lights.

ALASKA. Seriously. It’s Alaska. Bald Eagles. Fishing. Northern Lights. Festive Downtown. From Anchorage to Fairbanks to Juneau to the North Pole, Alaska promises to be beautiful at Christmastime. While I was browsing online for this post, I came across Christmas in Fairbanks which is a website of a home in Fairbanks, Alaska that has internet-controlled Christmas lights!

fairbanks

I played around for a few minutes. It works and it’s so funny to see it work, and to see the lights go off and on because others are playing along!

Where in the world would you like to spend Christmas? Have you been to New York, Alaska or Iceland? Tell me all about your visit!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 12) Books I’ve Read in 2017

Wow! Day 12! I’m just about halfway done with Blogmas! I’m only goin’ until Christmas day, y’all. I mean, it is Blogmas not Decemberas, right. 😉

I thought an interesting post would be to list all the books I’ve read in 2017. I only read when I am at work thus the short list. I don’t have the time discipline to read when at home. Currently, I am not reading as much at work because we are in our busy season, which means I am actually working more than I am sitting on my arse. 😉

Before busy season began, I managed to read quite a few books, though:

  • Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues
  • Billy Crystal Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Etta James Rage to Survive
  • Steve Martin Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life
  • Carol Burnett In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox
  • Carol Burnett One More Time A Memoir
  • Tim Conway What’s So Funny: My Hilarious Life
  • Carol Burnett Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story

And I am currently more than halfway through with:

  • Ronald Reagan An American Life

Autobiographies are my favorite genre, and I am a huge fan of comedians from when I was a child. Comedy has been a lifesaver in more ways than one. I am also a huge fan of blues, jazz and R&B from the 20’s through to the 50’s. The next book to read after I finish Reagan’s autobiography is Johnny Cash Cash: The Autobiography.

I don’t know if I can top the amount of books I read in 2017! I’ll give it a try!

What books have you read in 2017? Is your goal to read more in 2018?

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

 

Blogmas! (Day 11) Early Christmas Present With Bonus Review

I bought myself an early Christmas present and it arrived a few days ago. 🙂

I decided to upgrade my facial cleansing brush with the Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System from Vanity Planet.  I really want the Clarisonic, but it is a bit out of my budget. The Vanity Planet website has their Facial Cleansing System listed at $125.00 but there are codes everywhere, even on the VP website for 70% off. I was able to purchase this one with shipping/tax for $44.00.

I have the Conair True Glow Battery-operated facial cleanser brush and it is an awesome cleansing brush for $15.00. The downside is that it only has one brush type available. Other than that, this brush is fantastic and worth it if you don’t much care to switch brushes. You can purchase it online, but I picked up mine at Walmart.

This brush from Vanity Planet comes in this pretty little purple case, is water resistant and requires 2 AA batteries (not included).  The brush has two speeds and comes with three different brushes:

  • Daily Cleansing Brush
  • Exfoliating Brush
  • Silicone Brush

Upon removing it from the box, the case is decent and sturdy. The brush and its components fit nicely inside and it’s a lovely pastel shade of purple. My first impulse was to touch the bristles of each brush. I really like the silicone brush. The bristles are not too soft but not too hard so as not to cause damage to the skin. I am disappointed with the exfoliating brush. It is just as soft as the daily cleansing brush. I did put in a request with Vanity Planet for a replacement brush but I haven’t heard back yet. As it is the holidays I understand a delay in response.

My first time using the brush was with the silicone component to remove my makeup using the elf Cosmetics Hydrating Gel Melt Cleanser. This didn’t work too well. The elf cleanser isn’t the best to use with a brush. It is best massaged into your skin with wet fingers. After cleansing my face, I decided to use the silicone brush as an exfoliator with the elf Cosmetics Exfoliating Scrub. The cleansing brush has two speeds.  I used speed 2 to exfoliate my face. I actually really liked the silicone brush for exfoliating! I’m sure I’ll prefer the exfoliating brush replacement, but in the meantime, the silicone brush felt nice against my skin. It wasn’t harsh and my skin felt and looked good after.

Overall, I would not pay full price for the Vanity Planet Facial Cleansing System. Yes, it is nice, but I think I’d enjoy the Clarisonic much more. Had I not been impatient and swayed by such a discount, I could have saved to pick up a Clarisonic gift set. I will continue to use and enjoy the cleansing brush from Vanity Planet as it does do what it’s supposed to do without issue.

I give the Facial Cleansing System from Vanity Planet 3 out of 5 Freshly Cleaned Faces.

Do you ever treat yourself to an early Christmas present?

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

 

Blogmas! (Day 10) Christmas Gift Ideas

As mentioned in other posts, I enjoy buying gifts. I like the challenge of finding something special for someone that will either become a sentimental gift or is already a sentimental gift.

I thought I’d share some of my gift ideas that are a bit different than the other gift idea posts that are floating around.

Here we go!

If you’re wanting to purchase a unique handmade gift, Etsy is my favorite online place to find these special gifts.

One of my favorite Etsy shops belongs to my photographer friend, Dave. His shop is Outerbostonia Photography. Dave’s photography is gorgeous, and anyone, even those who aren’t artsy fartsy, will love and appreciate Dave’s exceptional talent. He may even make a special order for you.

If you have little girls, or even teen girls who like handbags and purses, the shop Southlandgirls has the cutest crocheted little handbags! handbagA few years ago I bought myself two from a shop no longer on Etsy. They’re perfect size for keys, wallet and phone. Even as an adult, I received many compliments when I carried one. It’s just a unique gift and one that will be cherished as though you crocheted it yourself.

I can’t sew a button and I can barely brush my teeth without making a mess, so there’s no way I’d even attempt to make one of these. I think any girly girl would love a cute crocheted handbag.

Once I subscribed to ipsy I realized I would have more makeup bags than I could ever use. FullSizeRender.jpgGifting them to friends/loved ones filled with beauty products will soon be a gift idea that I’ll use! So, on that note, a great gift idea would be a cute makeup bag and fill it with the mini face masks from Sephora.

 

Each mask is $4.00 and they have 8 different varieties. You could even buy a few sheet masks and fold them to fit inside the makeup bag. Include a Pore Refining Face Brush from elf Cosmetics and you’ve got yourself a great inexpensive gift for your bestie who loves face masks.

Another great idea using a makeup bag or an unused ipsy bag is to fill it with travel sized products like the Benefit Roller Lash, travel Mac Fix Plus, or this cute Tarte Limited Edition Precious Picks Color set. How awesome is that set and it’s only $10.00!tarte

I know some of the travel sized items can be a bit pricey, but you can pick out 3 items around $10.00 each and use wrapped candy as filler. The options for filling a makeup bag are endless.  Just use some creativity and you can create a gift that is practical and meaningful. And as a bonus, if you’re a horrible present wrapper as I am, it’s a gift that’s already wrapped! Slap a bow on it and a curly ribbon on the zipper pull and you’re done! 😉 Or it’s a gift that is perfect for a cute gift bag.

Do you have a quirky friend, coworker or family member? How about that friend that is difficult to buy for? Well, how about a couple pairs of silly socks for their gift? socksMy favorite website for goofy socks (because I LOVE goofy socks) is The Sock Drawer.  They have holiday themed socks, as well as your average silly socks for the rest of the year. 😉 They always have socks on sale and they have goofy socks for men, also. Buy several pair and stuff ’em in a stocking. I bought one of my male coworkers a pair of the Mixed Tape socks. We’ve worked together for 2 years and I’ve always said I don’t know if I should slap him or make him a mixed tape, so the socks with the mixed tapes were my way of saying that he’s an OK dude.

He still wears them. 🙂

My last gift idea is another custom gift and one that I had a friend make for myself. 🙂 I give myself the best gifts. Everyone knows someone or knows someone who knows someone who makes decals or tee-shirts. Buy 6 or 7 stemless wine glasses from the dollar store and have decals put on them for makeup brush storage:

brushesOr, for your wine drankin’ friend, pick up a stemless wine glass from the dollar store and have your decal-making friend make a custom decal to put on the wine glass.  wine

This custom wine glass one is perfect for my friends. 🙂 Image is from Pinterest.

Custom made items, even those that you don’t actually make yourself, are great gifts that provide wonderful, long lasting memories. I always think of my friend Heather, who made my brush holders for me. It gives me a smile.

I hope this post has helped you with some unique gift ideas for your friends and loved ones! This was a fun post to write for Blogmas!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 9) MorpheMe Unboxing Christmas Edition 2017

It’s time for the first Christmas edition unboxing! ipsy and Boxycharm are on their way!

If you aren’t familiar, MorpheMe is a subscription service through Liveglam that offers $30 worth of Morphe brushes for $19.99/month!  The brushes come in a bubblewrap envelope with a cute little accordion card that has brief descriptions of each brush.  I have been subscribed since February and have received a wide variety of brushes.

This month’s brushes are a gorgeous red color with synthetic bristles.

IMG_9369.JPG

  • RG6 Tapered Blush ($11.00)
  • RG8 Flat Buffer ($10.00)
  • RG18 Round Crease ($8.00)
  • RG24 Blending Fluff (7.00)

Total box worth: $36.00

I don’t typically throw new brushes into the rotation right away, but I’m going to give these a try. I am especially curious about the RG8 Flat Buffer. It looks like it could be a smaller version of the Y6 Pro Flat Buffer. I was hoping for some killer brushes for the month of December, so this is a bit disappointing. The brushes are nice, but they could have sent some premier brushes for the holidays, even if it’s just two or three. These aren’t that bad and the color is gorgeous.

If you’re interested in signing up, clicky clicky HERE (this link will get us both a free brush!), or clicky clicky HERE if you don’t want a free brush. 😉  It’s $19.99/month.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 8) What Christmas Means to Me

Christmas means a stocking with unwrapped candy thrown in it. Christmas stocking candy isn’t candy if it doesn’t have bits of red lint attached to it. And not just any candy.  It was this candy crap:

candyI don’t recall the significance behind these candies, but there has to be one because there are about 345 varieties in this one can and only 2 of them are worth eating. The rest are only good enough to throw at your siblings.

Besides the red lint horrible candies, my mom put an orange and a handful of nuts in our stockings. If memory serves, this tradition dates back to the Depression when times were tough and citrus was considered a luxury.  Even though I wasn’t born until 1972, and the Depression ended in 1939, five years prior to my mother’s birth, she felt it necessary to teach us this part of history with a visual rather than a chat at the dinner table. As an adult, I can appreciate the history lesson, and even as a teenager I can let it slide. As a six year old? I want candy canes, chocolate and a few of those Lifesaver books that all my friends used to get in their stockings. candy2

Raise your hand if you remember those.

Christmas means alternating turkey and ham. If we had ham at Thanksgiving, we were having turkey at Christmas. I didn’t like when my mom would make a ham because she’d stick cloves all over it, and I hate cloves. The meal was unpleasant every other Christmas.

Christmas means the greatest Christmas specials on t.v. :

  • Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Santa and the Three Bears

Santa and the Three Bears was my favorite when I was a little girl.

Christmas means twinkle lights, the smell of a Christmas tree, and making my annual horrible ornament at school. I was not a crafty child. My star usually just looked like a circle. My mom was kind though, and my ornaments always found their way to the back of the Christmas tree.

Christmas means mailing off the entire Sears catalog to Santa. Who needs to write a list when I want everything in the catalog?

Christmas means baking Santa’s cookies with my mom. We always made him peanut butter cookies.

Christmas means waking up at 4AM on Christmas morning and forcing my mom to wake up so we can open presents.

Christmas means dinner with my family. It was usually just the four of us (mom, sister, brother and me) because the rest of our family is in Canada. But to be honest, I liked it when it was just the four of us. It wasn’t chaotic and loud. My mom had on her country Christmas favorites playing, and we’d finally get along for a little bit. After dinner we were able to eat our pie in the living room while watching The Wizard of Oz. And we’d get along again for another hour.

Christmas means the world to me.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 7) My Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I’ll keep this short and sweet because I know you be busy, yo.  <—- I’m really sorry for that.

There’s no need to lie and say that I’ve been exceptionally good this year. I don’t know how you do it, but you know when I am sleeping, you know when I’m awake, you know if I’ve been bad or good, so I’m going to bribe you for the things I want, how do you feel about cake?

I’m just gonna jump in with both feet because life isn’t any fun when you’re hesitant. At least that’s what my fortune cookie from last night said. I think.

I only request two things:

I would like a blue parakeet. Tiffany Blue is my favorite color, but I will love any variation of blue.  Of course I will need all the things that are required when you have a parakeet, like a cage, bird food, a mirror, one of those beak cleaning things, etc. Oh, and a cover for the cage because I hear it helps to quiet the birds at night. I know I typed birdS, but I assure you, I only want one bird.

Last but not least, I would LOVE a new Macbook Pro. Mine was just diagnosed as a paperweight, and I miss it more than I miss eating cake.  I still eat cake, I just eat smaller portions of cake. So, to be accurate, I miss my Macbook Pro more than eating larger portions of cake. In fact, I’ll give up the bird for the Macbook Pro.

Thank you for flying around the world and giving people awesome gifts. Say hi to the reindeer, and of course, to the Mrs.!

Lots of love,

Cherilyn

 

 

Blogmas! (Day 6) To Wrap or Not To Wrap

I LOVE buying gifts. I love everything that involves buying a gift, including the research for those challenging gift ideas.

I HATE wrapping gifts.

If I have to wrap gifts, it’s not a pretty sight. I have to sprawl out on the floor, scissors and tape, tags, bows and ribbon scattered about. Usually one side of the gift has more wrapping paper than the other, or I’ll tear the wrapping paper by tugging too hard, or I’ll tear the wrapping paper while having to do some contortionist move to avoid tearing the wrapping paper just to reach the scissors because I left them on the other side of the wrapping paper.

The gift bag? The gift bag was created for people like me. I’m not an engineer, and I feel wrapping presents requires a degree in engineering. I either overshoot on how much wrapping paper I need or I grossly undershoot. Is undershoot a word? I know you can be overwhelmed , and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed? 

I like bows and ribbons and sticky Christmas tags. I like sparkly tissue paper and arranging it delicately over and around the gift. Gift bags aren’t messy. I can’t tear a gift bag. And if I tear the sparkly tissue paper, who cares? I usually buy it in bulk because tissue paper only comes in two sizes: a pack with 3 sheets and a pack with 827569283604 sheets.

Do you wrap? HOW DO YOU DO IT, MAN?! I envy you.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 5 ) My Most Memorable Christmas

I have struggled with this post so much that I wasn’t going to write it.

I don’t have one specific Christmas that stands out above others. However, when I think of Christmas, I usually go to my memories of living in Germany from 1996-2000.

Winter was cold enough to wear scarves and hats and gloves and boots and comfy down coats. The Germans love festivals (they know how to throw a party) and each town had their Christmas markets (Christkindlmärktewhere the aromas of baked goods and glühwein (German mulled wine) filled the winter air. We created a new tradition in our new home country to attend the Christkindlmärkte and then go to the closest tree farm to pick out our Christmas tree.

I miss wandering around a Christmas market in the evening drinking warm glühwein from a collectible festive mug, browsing various market items to include cuckoo clocks and delicious German foods under a tent filled with twinkly white lights.

The German traditions of Christmas are so much different than what we were used to, but we adapted well, and even incorporated German tradition into our American traditions.

I feel blessed to have experienced such wonderful times.

 

❤ CherilynBlogmas2 Thanks for Reading