5 Things I Am Loving

Hello friends. ☺️ It’s been a while since I have posted. So, without further ado, here’s a peek into my life and current loves.

1. Returning to Wellness

I have enjoyed this winter, and have left my sweet spot for my comfort spot. I am ready to get back into fitness amd healthy eating. Here are my two goals: complete Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Challenge and eat my recommended amount of vegetables.

2. Birthday Goodies

I had so much fun getting free birthday goodies! I received a Bite lipstick birthday from Sephora, and a mini Nars blush from Ulta. I also enjoyed two delicious pastries from Panera Bread.

3. Makeover at Sephora

I had a fun makeover at Sephora, where I was introduced to my perfect red lipstick. It is called Maneater by Smashbox, and is a metallic liquid lip. I will turn to this lipstick again and again!

4. Building A House!

Ben and I are building a house! I am ecstatic for the colors we have chosen, and most importantly, my chandelier. ❤

5. Before the Rain Falls

This novel is intense, beautiful and riveting. It is a story about a woman who is charged with murdering her sister and her journey as an inmate in the 1940s Texas prison system.

[Trigger Warning: There is a rape scene in the book. While it is handled with care and complexity, please keep this in mind while deciding on whether to read.]

And that’s it for now, my friends! What are some of your favorites at the moment?

Zenni Optical Glasses


I want to share one of my best kept secrets -Zenni Optical. People shower me with compliments and ask me where I bought my glasses all of the time.  I think my favorite compliment so far, has been, “Those green glasses just slay me!”

My green glasses have become part of my signature look, and are so fun to wear.

In fact, I love Zenni’s glasses so much, I now own three pairs.

zenni optical green glasses
Shop my Glasses at Zenni Optical 🙂


zenni optical purple glasses
Shop my glasses at Zenni Optical 🙂


zenni optical green glasses 2
Shop my glasses at Zenni Optical 🙂

I love that all of Zenni Optical’s glasses come with automatic uv protection.

Zenni now offers prescription sunglasses- a must have for my sensitive blue eyes. I can’t wait to order a pair!

If you are looking for trendy, affordable eye wear, I really recommend Zenni Optical. ❤



Tuesdays With Heather Marie: Empties Review!


heather and me

Hello everyone!

I am excited to announce that I have a new blog post series in the making. Once a month, I will feature a guest post from Heather Marie! She will give reviews on beauty, fashion and other budget friendly products. Heather Marie is a wiz at finding great deals, and pretty much awesome all around. I promise I’m not biased -even if she is my little sister. 🙂


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For today’s post, Heather will be giving reviews on 5 beauty empties. In case you don’t know, an “empty” is a review on a completely finished product. Instead of a review at the initial buy, she can give you a much better picture of how that lipstick or skin care works.

Without further ado, let’s welcome Heather Marie!


A little about Heather:



“My name is Heather Gooss and I’m a cook, a card crafter, a painter, an amateur pianist, a skilled movie watcher, and a book lover. Professionally, I’m almost done with my degree in applied mathematics and am working part time. While I’m not sure where I’m going in life right now, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the ride!”

Empty #1: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion



I bought this lotion with a coupon that made it free! I didn’t think much of it at first; I just bought it because it was free. However, the more I used it, the more I liked it. It is a very creamy lotion that feels very hydrating and luxurious. It is not greasy and has no real scent. I like to put it on before bed and allow it to soak in overnight. It makes a big different for my dry, cracked hands. I definitely plan to buy Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion again!

Rating: A Beauty Must-Have!


Empty #2: Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum



I was given this travel size skinny serum and have added it to my morning routine. I have medium to loose curls and normal hair, aka not fine nor thick. I think it helps with my hair not being too frizzy. However, I am not satisfied with using it alone. I use it in conjunction with a curl defining cream and hair spray. Since adding it to my routine, I feel like my hair stays styled longer. I will probably try an alternative when I replace this one.

Rating: Meh, It’s Okay…



Empty #3 Alba Botanica Hawaiian 3-in-1 Cleansing Towlettes in Deep Pore Purifying Pineapple Enzyme


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I like using make removing/cleansing wipes each night to clean my face. I tried these because they were a dollar cheaper than my normal wipes (mentioned in the next review.) They cost $5.29 at a Walgreens in Washington State. I thought these were okay, but not ideal. I have very oily skin, so I thought they would be okay. But, they were more drying than I’d like. They removed my makeup but I had to rub a little harder than I have to with other wipes. I also noticed that I was getting a little more acne with them. I’m not sure if they wipes weren’t cleaning my face enough or if they solution on the wipes was irritating my skin or otherwise causing the acne. Either way, that was a bummer. Overall, I do not plan to buy these again.

Rating: Bottom of the Waste Basket! 



Empty #4: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Facial Wipes with Tea Tree Oil & Calendula



These are by far my favorite face wipes! Again, I have very oily skin, and these clean me right up. I love how well they remove my makeup, which is a definite plus. They have a more greasy feel to them, however they do not give me acne. In fact, I’ve seen an improvement since I started using them. They have no real scent to them. Overall, having a simple routine for the evening helps me be more consistent with my skin care, and these are perfect. I will definitely buy the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Facial Wipes again!

Rating: A Beauty Must-Have!


And there you have it! 4 Fantastic Empty Reviews! We’ll see Heather Marie again in September!



Note: Just so you know, this post includes affiliate links.   This helps me to find more hidden deals and review more fantastic beauty products! As always, I only link to beauty items that rate a Beauty Must-Have. Thanks for your support!

Blogger Spotlight: Refashionista


Here is one of my thrift-shopping, treasure-hunting heroes! Her name is Jillian Owens, and she is the blogger at Refashionista. While thrifting blogs are great, I love the added twist of looking at an outfit differently and transforming it with a needle and thread.

Jillian Owens created a Dress A Day challenge, where for 365 days, she refashioned a dress every single day. That is just amazing to me! A whole year seems too intimidating to me right now, but I plan on doing a mini-version, and refashion one outfit a day for a month.


Refashionista is one of my biggest blog inspirations. Every time I read a blog post, I start looking at my own clothing to see how to modify and change it. I love this quote by Jillian –it sums up exactly how I feel about thrifting, refashioning and the relationship with our clothing:

“We just go to a store and idly flick through racks of almost identical-looking clothing, try it on, purchase it, wear it and discard it. Refashioning is a radically self-reliant and involved process that makes you actually think about what you’re wearing in a more meaningful way.”

Here are 3 of my favorite blog posts at Refashionista:

1. Wanna Be Wednesday: Ressica Edition


I love to see how she creates celebrity and fashion designer look-a-likes from clothing that has seen better days. Even if an outfit is ugly at the thrift store, it can experience a beautiful rebirth!

2. Finding Fashion Inspiration with the Refashionista 


Jillian Owens is also a featured blogger at the The Good Life blog, owned by Goodwill. I love how she talks about finding sources of inspiration for our wardrobes. Inspiration can be found in all sorts of places!

3. Viva Las Vegas Dress



This refashion post is right up my alley. I adore sparkly evening dresses, but have no excuse to wear them. And even worse -I love vintage so much that I often choose “grandma” clothing. I love how she refashioned it into a more modern, wearable dress. It could be fun to make shirts /tunics as well!

In short, Refashionista is awesome! What do you think of me doing the 1 month challenge? 🙂


Disclaimer: I am not being compensation in any shape or form for this post. My opinions are my own.



Budget Haul: $20 at a Yard-Sale



This past weekend, I was able to find some amazing treasures. I had a lot of fun going to yard sales with my friends Kara and Keely. I learned quickly that the correct term in North Dakota is rummage sale. 🙂 I also found a couple of finds at the Free Digger Sale at the Seeds of Hope thrift shop.

And for twenty bucks, I got all of this! Here is the break down for the clothing:

  • Long black tunic: $0.75, yard sale’d (Fishbowl)
  • Black shrug – $3,  yard sale’d (Limited)
  • Gray and black waffle shirt -$0.50, yard sale’d (New Boundaries)
  • Peach button-down shirt $0.75, yard sale’d (Faded Glory)
  • Mint button down shirt:$0.75, yard sale’d (J. Crew )
  • Blue striped button-down shirt: $0.75, yard sale’d (Ralph Lauren)
  • Ivory button down shirt – $1.50, yard sale’d (Ruff Hewn )
  • Peach, sparrow motif sweater –  $1.50, yard sale’d (unknown, tag ripped out)
  • Mint skinny jeans -$2, yard sale’d (YMI)
  • Denim skinny jeans – $1, yard sale’d (Blue Spice)
  • Denim boot cut jeans -$0.25, yard sale’d (Arizona)
  • Faux leather leggings -$3, yard sale’d (Teenage Runway)
  • Velvet scarf hanger -$1, yard sale’d
  • Green peace sign scarf -$0.50, yard sale’d
  • Brown Cinch Belt -free , yard sale’d

(No pictures of outfits today. I’ll feature them in a future post.)

As you can tell, I was definitely in a button-down shirt kind of mood. Hints of fall are already here in Bismarck, and I feel the need to wear long button-downs, sweaters and tunics with my skinny jeans. Pair them with a cup of hot cocoa, and life is perfect. 🙂

Another funny thing….I don’t know how I do it, but every time I come home with clothing from thrift shops, flea markets and rummage sales, I manage to choose them in a matching color scheme. I don’t even choose the colors consciously. It just… happens. I guess my brain likes color coordination. 🙂


Also, I found some other awesome treasures. Here the breakdown:

  • 180 page Notebook, free, yard sale’d
  • Fortune cookie greeting card, free, yard sale’d
  • Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Gailbraith, a.k.a. J.K. Rowling: $2, yard sale’d —One of my favorite books. It’s dark and a little gritty, but that’s how I like my mystery novels!!
  • 7 Fragrance samples  -$1, yard-saled (Chloe, Romance de Provence by Catherine Malandrino, Clean Cool Cotton, Tocca Florence, Girl by Pherrell Williams,  Vera Bradley Apple Berry Champagne, and Mystic Pearl by Raw Spirit)
  • 2 decorative glass bowls -free, thrifted, Seeds of Hope
  • Red photo gift box -free, yard sale’d
  • Light house print -free, yard sale’d

Twenty dollars can go a lot farther than you think! 🙂



Canadian Candy


Okay, okay, just one more post about Canada, I promise. 😉 Ben and I love candy, so we had to bring some back with us.

So, quiz: Do you know what a Canadian Smartie is? It’s not the same as American Smarties! A Canadian smartie is similar to an M&M, except crunchier. In my opinion, they taste way better (although, I don’t like M&Ms…)


In Canada, what we call smarties are actually called Rockets. Apparently when Smarties Inc. brought this candy to Canada, they gave it a new name to reduce confusion. 🙂


Here are the many candies we brought back: Milka, Mars, Bounty, Nestle Aero, Dolfin dark chocolate bar, KitKats, Turkish delights (box and bar), Scottish fudge bar, Smarties, and Rockets. We also brought back a bag of ketchup flavored chips (yuk!)

We noticed that at least in Winnipeg, KitKat bars are really popular. They had chunky and mini style, white chocolate, dark chocolate, and specialty flavors like mint chocolate.


Ben had to get this bounty bar. Bounty bar, Bounty hunter… get it? Oh, those Star Wars puns…. Anyway, it is basically a milk chocolate Mounds bar. Since Ben doesn’t like coconut, I ate it.

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I’ve really wanted to try Turkish delights since reading the Chronicles of Narnia. And voila, here they are! These are flavored lemon and rose. I like the rose, but Ben said it tastes like a thousand rose petals, and not in a good way.


At one of our dinner get-togethers, we busted out that bag of ketchup potato chips. Spencer refused to have any, because he had already tried them… and hated them. We all crowded around the bag of chips trying them. Ugh, I didn’t like them! But one of  our friends, Celeste, did like them. She ended up eating the entire bag. 🙂

Next time I head back to Canada I am stocking up on smarties and KitKat bars!