Saturday, February 4, 2017

Life | Hello February

Can we talk about how it's the second month of the year already?

I'm creeping up closer to seeing Penny again and I swear I just saw him but no, that was the beginning of December! I feel like this stretch of time went by SO MUCH FASTER than the last time. Crazy how that works!

I use to write monthly goals and sometimes they would help. Other times I would completely forget about them. I'm trying to be more realistic this year so I haven't decided if I'll still be doing monthly goals. Maybe on some months when I really want to accomplish/get things done that month. 

With that said; I can't think of anything I REALLY want to accomplish in February beyond what I'm hoping with the goals for this year, you know?

So let's just go with a few notes to make about this month instead.

>> I'll be apartment hunting this month (because it's never too early to start; but the whole process is already stressing me out --- gah)
>> I'm really hoping I get my Weaver and Botnist on FFXIV to 60 by the end of the month
>> I'm really hoping to START leveling a tank class on FFXIV --- but I don't have high hopes for it
>> I'm hoping to read 3-4 books this month (I only read 2 last month so I'm "one behind")
>> I'm really hoping to finish Scarlet this month
>> I'm excited to see what my favorite things this month will be
>> That said, I'm excited to see what new things I'll find and discover this month
>> I'm excited to see what products/things I'll finish this month too
>> Wait, if there's only 28 days does that mean that Penny and I don't have a monthaversary this month since there's no 30th? D:
>> I'm HOPING I'll be able to put out videos on my YouTube channel twice a week this month
>> I'm also hoping that I'll remember to vlog while I'm out of state this time too
>> I'm hoping to get a little more tidy this month since I'm sure moving month is going to come up quick

Then there's a few personal goals.

But also, I started playing with my Sony WX300 last month and I've been trying to learn how to use it a bit more since I probably won't be seeing my Canon S90 any time soon. I'm actually really enjoying learning more about this camera and how it works. So here's to hoping I can take more and better product shots \o/.

What are some of your goals for this month?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Life | Monthly Recap; Empties

I'm going to be doing a series of Monthly Recap on this blog every month to document the things I loved, the things I hated and the things I stumbled across. I love looking back at the end of the year to see the progress I've made and the things I loved and hated. I don't know, it's always been a favorite thing of mine to do! 

With that said, we're going to recap my empties! 

For as long as I've been a beauty/lifestyle blog/vlogger (on and off since 2008, if you're curious) I've always wanted to do this type of recap but I'm so awful at finishing products because I'm scared they'll go away forever. This year I'm trying to ween myself away from hoarding so much stuff. If it never comes back at least I documented my thoughts on it and if it does come back and it's something I loved then great!

I've also started playing with my Sony camera since my ex has yet to give me back my Canon S90... but that's for a word vomit post.

I started off with finishing the Sugared Passionfruit candle from Target's dollar spot ($3!) and I LOVED it! It gave off such a nice scent throw and it was the perfect happy fruity scent to welcome Spring! I of course bought a back up of it.

Next is the Pineapple Meringue candle from Target. They didn't have the usual brand, just this fancier one. On cold sniff it was pretty nice but burning it didn't have a scent throw --- at all! I was so disappointed! Under that is the Limoncello Poptail candle from Bath & Body Works that was from last year's collection I think... I really liked this one; it was like if you were to take a lemon and a lime starburst and make it into a candle! The Sugared Lemon Zest from this Spring's collection is a pretty close dupe for it so I'm certain this type of scent isn't really going anywhere. Above it is the Strawberry Shortcake candle I got from Anthro years ago. I've never burned it because it was so pretty and expensive but I thought --- why not. They still carry it so. It was okay, I wasn't crazy about it. It had a hint of a fakeness to the scent but I am going to take that jar and the Pineapple Meringue jars and use them as storage in my kitchen!

Next we have the Strawberry Lemonade Mainstays candle from Wal-Mart.Which I've already written a review on here.

Next is the Twisted Peppermint hand soap with Olive Oil that I loved! Twisted Peppermint is my favorite holiday/winter/December scent. I get it every single year! This Olive Oil formula was pretty nice on my hands, especially since they dry out a lot in the winter. 

Next to that is the Garnier Whole Blends shampoo in Green Apple & Green Tea. In middle and high school my shampoo was ALWAYS green apple scented. Nowadays it's hard to find one that is! So when I stumbled on this at Publix I HAD to grab it and I'm glad I did! I absolutely love this scent! So much that I got the whole trio set! 

Next is the Twisted Peppermint Body Wash. I don't know what it is about the Twisted Peppermint body wash and the hand and body lotion but I swear the "mint" in it makes your skin tingle. Maybe it's just me, who knows. Either way I love the feeling and the scent! 

I forgot to add this guy to the snap...

I had high hopes for this candle that were not filled. I mean I guess it's a good candle if you're looking for ambiance which sometimes I forget that candles are used for that too and not just good-smelling-things for your room and home. Still, I'm glad I tried it and this scent in the oil is amazing (they're pictured together in case I forgot what scent it was --- didn't realize there's a sticker on the front of the jar that tells you... doh).

Products that are missing: Bath & Body Works foam bath in Eucalyptus Spearmint and Bath & Body Works foam bath in Tangerine Spearmint --- both of which are my favorite Bath & Body Works (and really overall) bubble baths. I go through so many of these! I haven't gotten a back up just yet. I know that the Tangerine Spearmint is one that only comes out every semi annual sale though so that sucks but it does come back... at some point. 

Unfortunately I didn't finish up anything that was beauty related! I need to get back into the habit of wearing makeup more regularly again. It's not that I don't want to, cause I do... I'm just lazy. And I don't go out much...though that should be enough of a reason TO wear makeup more!

I'm not sure I want to lift my candle buying ban JUST YET, even though I did burn through 5 candles like I said I would.... I just need to get through more products. Plus there's no rush to buy more anyway, the season just started!

I think I did pretty well in January! What are some products that you finished up in the last month?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Life | Monthly Recap; January 2017

I'm going to be doing a series of Monthly Recap on this blog every month to document the things I loved, the things I hated and the things I stumbled across. I love looking back at the end of the year to see the progress I've made and the things I loved and hated. I don't know, it's always been a favorite thing of mine to do! 

G O A L S   R E C A P

>> I read 2 books
>> I completed my goal of finishing 5 candles
>> I managed to compile an empties list
>> Finished my MSQ on FFXIV \o/
>> Found a few favorites
>> Making sure to make lists when I go to the store
>> Started using my Sony WX300 to take product shots
>> I re-caught the attention of the Yelp Elite staff and crossing fingers for my badge back
>> Posted two videos; Unboxing | #SanrioSmallCrate and Unboxing | December 2016 Owlcrate

As far as goals, I didn't meet too many in the month of January. 

My gathering classes on FFXIV are leveling faster than I expected them to but none are capped out at 60 just yet. My Summoner is missing one last il260 piece of gear \o/ then I can work on upgrading it to il270 every week and working on upgrading the gear for either my Bard or my Scholar to il260 next. I'm also working on getting one of the PVP mounts, just the first silver one. I already got a complete gear set for my Bard and my title. Now I just have to win 10 matches.

My apartment has been invaded by house flies so if I've been posting anxiety filled posts it's because of that making my OCD and anxiety sky rocket. We did manage to find the source and clean it up (it was SO DISGUSTING) and I'm going to try to be better at letting my roommate know to keep tidy now that this happened. So now all we can do is wait and hope that the rest of the flies die off. There won't be any new ones --- thank God. But that has been eating up a lot of my mind space, my time and my energy as of late. And I hate it.


 Going back to BurgerFi in my favorite plaza

 All the pretty pinks and reds in Target isles for Valentines Day!

Being able to order delicious Gators via UberEats!

Coming across this --- not 100% sure what I think just yet but it sure is pretty!

Trips to Disney is always my favorite --- but seeing pink everywhere? Even better!


 I'm in love with my culinary glamour!

 He was /embrace-ing me but it looks like he's biting my head lol

 Everyone hates the new raid dungeon but I really like this entry way!

A cute photo Penny snapped of us hugging his Chocobo Kickenwang between PvP matches

I'm incredibly excited for February!

I really always do forget to mention my relationship in my posts... not that you can really recap a relationship or anything but just for future Hazel who I know will be looking back on these posts some day --- your relationship, though long distance is probably the easiest relationship you've been in. You've hit 7 months together and still going very strong. You changed Axelyn Lockser's name to Lady Axelyn'puss which did surprise Penny and his reaction was amazing. Through your heaviest nights of anxiety this month because of the flies he's called before bed and waited for you to word vomit your heart out until you gained enough ease to fall asleep. He doesn't think your anxiety or OCD is crazy, at all and he's really down to help you through it all. You got lucky with this one zellie!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Review | Strawberry Lemonade Mainstays & Lemon Cupcake American Home candle

I love Mainstays wax melts but I have never tried their candles. I mean, how different could a candle be from a wax melt, amiright? Clearly, very different.

I haven't tried anything from the brand American Home though I do own a wax melt that is similar to one of my favorite Yankee Candle scents and since they're owned by the same company, I thought I'd give it a shot (though I haven't yet). So I also picked up one of their candles.

These were pretty affordable and you can find both brands at Wal-Mart.

The American Home Lemon Cupcake burned like a Yankee Candle candle, it cooled into that plastic bubble wax looking consistency that always freaks me out. This particular scent had absolutely no scent throw which was sad because on cold sniff it seemed pretty strong. Though I find in my experience most of the smaller Yankee Candle's don't have a huge scent throw, it's the bigger ones that do and I wonder if this is the same case with this as well. Ah well, guess I'll have to buy a bigger Lemon Cupcake to find out (any excuse to buy a candle, right)!

Like I mentioned before, I love Mainstays wax melts and I use them all the time. They give off such a strong scent throw and the last for a good amount of time. Though I'll be honest, I didn't have high hopes for the candle but still this seemed like a fun spring scent so I gave it a shot. On cold sniff it was heavenly and made my mouth water thinking about getting Strawberry Lemonade myself! But again the scent throw wasn't really there. The candle itself burns evenly and very very smoothly. I loved the way it looked when it was all melted down and the flame would just flicker inside the jar. It was definitely a nice relaxing sight in the corner of my eye! I would definitely purchase these again just for the Hygge aspect of it but not so much for the scent aspect. I couldn't find this scent in a wax melt but I hope they make one for it soon! It's a lovely scent on cold sniff.

Have you tried either of these brands before?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Life | 2017 Goals Weekly Recap Jan 15-21

I thought that maybe if I did something like this, a weekly recap post every Sunday I could possibly maybe keep my goals in order and be held accountable for them. We'll see!


>> I've been working on posting up some blog posts on my book blog again and I finally gained access to my food blog again after it being locked for about 5 years (yeah, I know)!
>> I have a few video's planned for filming this week as well. I still need to get those videos edited and up.
>> I'm doing it again! I'm being too focused on if my photos look okay that it's starting to bother me! And that is not the purpose of blogging! So stop it Hazel! Stop it!


>> I didn't finish any books this passed week... eep #fail
>> I posted the recap of the 4 Graze snacks I tried last week here
>> I've picked the last 4 for this week as well

>> I finished 1 out of the 5 candles ~_~ slow and steady wins the race


>> My gathering classes are all around high 30's which is weird... I should probably focus more doing this one at a time before I burn myself out
>> I still haven't touched my BLM or my WHM much ~_~

I actually haven't spent that much time on FFXIV since I've been busy blogging and catching up on Yelp reviews all week... which is where most of my week went --- to catching up on Yelp reviews. I really want to get my Yelp Elite status back! I'm still mad I lost it!

I've been on the search for my Essie Eternal Optimist nail polish (my fav spring shade) but I can't find it! I can't find the jar I had put some of my polishes in and I swear I knew where it was.... so strange! I need to stop moving so much!

I'm still trying to get my ex to get me my Canon S90 camera back... which sucks that he even has it. I swear I hid it from him, he always hated that camera so imagine my disbelief when he said he had it... how?! Ugh.

Almost two weeks until my trip, I need to start gathering information and setting aside the things to pack to make this easier on myself soon. Sigh. I can't believe I'm getting ready to travel again so soon! The thought is tiring but exciting! I don't know how people travel for work so much, I can't imagine how tiring that must be to pack and unpack just to pack again! Then again it might be tiring for me because of my anxiety as well....

Speaking of! My anxiety was kicking my ass all week. The kitchen was wrecked so I went and swept, mopped, did the dishes (that weren't mine) and scrubbed the stove (that I hardly ever use) and I didn't feel the anxiety ease off until about the next day. I don't know why it's so hard to keep my kitchen tidy but it's driving me nuts and definitely giving me a bit of anxiety. The next place I have I'm getting carpet and keeping my kitchen spotless. I CAN NOT handle a messy kitchen it is definitely one of my BIGGEST pet peeves!

My anxiety has calmed down a bit since then, so that's good. I just need to tidy my room and sort my closet a bit more, hopefully before my trip! I also hate coming home to a messy room. I always make sure to clean, tidy and make my bed when I go on vacation. Just weird habits I have.

How are your yearly goals going so far?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Food | Weekly Graze Choices 1

A closer look at the snacks I picked for this week's Graze choices.

>> Pizza Margherita

Cheese flavored cashews, basil crunchini and mini tomato breadsticks.
You can find more info on it here.
My rating: 4/5

I loved the flavors that was going on in this one especially with the basil crunchini (think croutons but so much more savory) and the mini tomato breadsticks. I'm a sucker for anything tomato as it is so I already knew I would love this part of the snack but I wasn't prepared for how much! The cheese cashews were my least favorite as it was good but I didn't feel that the cheese + cashews mix really worked well together. This was overall a great snack to hold me over the afternoon!

>> Snickerdoodle Dip

Snickerdoodle dip with cinnamon pretzel sticks.
You can find more info on it here.
My rating; 3/5

The Snickerdoodle dip had a thicker Nutella consistency. It had a Cookie Butter taste to it. The cinnamon pretzel sticks were really good. They weren't covered in a cinnamon powder but the pretzel's themselves were flavored cinnamon which was nice. I liked this but I wasn't blown away.

>> Cocoa & Vanilla Protein Flapjack

Rustic rolled oat cocoa flapjack with mixed seeds and soy protein
You can find more info on it here.
My rating; 3/5

I haven't tried any of their flapjacks yet so I didn't know what to expect besides a gronola bar, since that's what they closely resemble. And I was kinda right. This snack was actually kind of filling. It had a good amount of cocoa in it to satisfy a chocolate craving. However the vanilla flavor was pretty much not there at all. It had a creamy after taste which I assume was the vanilla kicking in. I wasn't a fan of these just because I didn't really like the texture too much and I'm not a huge fan of a lot of chocolate.

>> Strawberries and Cream Protein Granola Topper

Oat and barley granola, yogurt coated strawberry pieces, soy protein crispies and freeze dried strawberry pieces.
You can find more info on it here.
My rating; 5/5

I freaking LOVED this! I had put it on top of lemon yogurt but I found myself using the spoon to just eat this from it's container instead. The yogurt coated strawberry pieces were like a nice burst of fruit surprise and the freeze dried pieces? I'm still dreaming about them! They were flavorful and tart, just how I like them! This was so good I slightly regret not ordering more when I made my order last week! Ah well there's always next time!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Anxiety | The Return

The last week and a half I feel like I'm just... floating on by.

It's crazy when anxiety hits you because one minute you could be totally fine and the next minute, without cause or reason, literally out of nowhere suddenly you're really really not. 

I get anxiety for a lot of reasons --- there's a lot of things that have happened recently that I know I haven't settled within myself. I haven't taken the time to grieve, to pull the events that took place apart just to put them back together to make more sense to me. I don't write about things like that anymore, I don't blog about them, I try not to talk about them. And I don't know why, I don't know why I stopped. I always feel like I can take on the world by myself; that this problem is mine and mine alone. But as of late I've just been... ignoring them. I tell myself that these things are over and done with and there's no reason to be upset or hold grudges or mourn. Like doesn't stop for anyone. So keep your head up, smile and remember that despite the things that have happened the important thing is that those days are over and they're not coming back. You're okay now. You're safe now. You're loved now. There's no need for fear or worry. There's so much in life to be thankful and happy about now. There's SO MUCH. 

But if you have anxiety, you know that even telling yourself of all the positives sometimes that shit just creeps up on you and smacks you upside the head like hey, remember me? Of course I do, can't forget someone who won't go away

I've been drained the last week and a half. I haven't felt like doing anything and I didn't get anything done. I did clean my kitchen which I think triggered everything; cleaning a mess that isn't mine and having to do this shit all over again. It's the little things, isn't it? That always fuck with your head when you least expect it. All I know is that I've been in a bad mood overall and easily irritated by the littest things and I don't like it. I don't like it at all. I've been hating hot baths, phone calls, text messages --- I don't want anyone to talk to me. I just wanna be left alone. And I keep crying. 

On the upside, I keep forgetting to take anti anxiety meds (which I only take now on weeks like this which doesn't happen often at all). So it must not be that bad if I keep forgetting, right?

And today I decided to get up, appreciate the sunshine and get back to work.

Anxiety is always going to come back, but it's up to me to decide how I'm going to handle it. 

It helps I have an amazing boy who will call even when he has work early the next morning and talk to me to calm me down and make sure that I'm really okay before he even thinks about going to sleep. Who can tell when my vibe has changed and will make me laugh or watch a movie or a TV show with me and wait until I'm ready to talk about it. He might not know anything about depression or anxiety but he sure does know how to ease most of it when it shows up and for that I'm incredibly thankful.

I've been drowning myself in slow jams and feel good music to try and change my mood. So far it's working.

Also, sorry this blog post didn't have any pictures, I just needed to talk today.