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Reasons Why I Might Move to Savannah

February 28, 2014
I've been thinking a lot lately about packing up and moving, and one of my top choices would be to go to Savannah.  This is not a certain thing, but I'm very carefully considering my options.  Here are some reasons why I think Savannah would be a good fit for me...

*My best friend was born in raised in Savannah and currently lives there.  Moving to a new place is always scary, and in the past when I've moved, sometimes it was hard for me to make friends at first.  Not only do I already have a friend in Savannah, but my pal that lives down there is one of my closest friends!  Also, he would be able to help me out a lot if I moved because he is very familiar with the area.

*I would be closer to my sister Denise, who lives in North Carolina.  Denise said she feels kind of cut off from the rest of us since we are all up North and is really encouraging me to move down south.  Even though I still wouldn't be in the same state as her, we would be able to visit each other *WAY* more often because we would be about 5.5 hours away from each other instead of more than 10 hours away.  If we met halfway, we could both drive less than 3 hours each and meet somewhere in South Carolina.  It would be so nice to be able to see her more often!

*I could escape the brutal Ohio winters!  I know this winter in Ohio (and in many other states) has been particularly bad, but it really made me think, "Do I want to deal with this again next winter?"  The temperatures are still ridiculously low in Ohio right now.  Last night when I went to bed it was 1 degree.  The guy I was working with had to go outside and change movie posters and had to quit before he could do all of them because his hands got numb and he couldn't move them.  I don't like winters in general, and this winter was/still is unbearable!  It's no fun being snowed in or having to constantly cancel plans because of the weather.  Also, my car does not do that well in the snow and I know I've been on the roads a lot this winter when I probably shouldn't have been.  At one point I hit some black ice and came within inches of crashing into a telephone pole.  My car also slid and my car went completely sideways and then I almost fell into a ditch while I was on the on-ramp of a highway because the highway was plowed, but the ramp wasn't touched.   If there was someone behind me that day, I'm sure there would have been an accident.  I know that the south also had some bad weather this year, but I could deal with one or two ice storms and a few inches of snow from time to time.  This Monday the high will be 16 degrees where I live and in Savannah the high will be 77 degrees.  Just sayin'! 

*Savannah itself appeals to me because it has so much more to offer than the town I'm currently living in.  The city itself is historical and beautiful.  There are beaches, lots of attractions, good restaurants, etc.  It also hosts a very famous St. Patrick's Day celebration every year.

*There are so many things to do NEAR Savannah.  Hilton Head is nearby, there are plenty of outlet malls, there are all of those islands to explore such as St. Simons, Charleston is less than 2 hours away...the list goes on. 

*I've already visited Savannah and liked what I experienced there.  Yes, I know that staying in a place for a week on vacation is not the same as permanently living somewhere, but during the week I spent there, I got an idea of the city's vibe and what to expect so that I wouldn't be going in completely blind.

*I'm not just sick of Ohio winters.  Lately, I have been feeling antsy, restless, and bored here in Ohio.  I live in a town that doesn't have a lot going on.  Almost all of my friends have moved away (or are planning on moving away) to more exciting places.  I don't really have anything holding me back or any obligations here that would interfere with a move.

*There are many more job opportunities in Savannah than there are where I currently live.  Where I live now it is very hard to find a decent job and unemployment is a problem.  I know that there would be more options for me in Savannah.  Also, I wouldn't have to get the reading endorsement (yet) to score a good teaching job.  It's not that I'm opposed to ever getting it, I just would like to actually teach with my current degree and then go back and get it so that I'm not even more in debt!

What I'm the most scared of is not having a job set up before I move down there!  I'm terrified that I'll move there and not be able to find anything right away and then get behind on paying back my loans and accumulate more debt.  I do think the pros outweigh the cons, though, so we'll see what the future brings.

Are you happy where you're at or would you like to move? 

Sweet Gestures Get Me Every Time

February 26, 2014
In my heart of hearts I'm a hopeless romantic.  I was trying to think about the nicest things the men I have dated ever did for me, and came up with the following:

* My current boyfriend came to visit me at my apartment in Columbus and knew that I had had a long week at work.  He texted me that he was leaving, and when I came home after a long day, I noticed that he had bought me a whole bunch of groceries.  I just thought that was so thoughtful because he knew that I was having a bad week and that I was running low on food.  I didn't even have to ask him to do that--he just did it on his own!

* My friend Shayna came to visit me in Manfredonia, Italy where I was nannying.  I thought it might be fun to take a day trip with her and to go and explore the town of Vieste, which is famous for its beaches.  Just the weekend before, the weather was perfect and plenty of people were out on the beach.  Of course when Shayna and I went to Vieste it was chilly, so we knew we probably wouldn't want to swim, but we thought we'd just go and sit out on the beach and check out what the town had to offer.  We bought a bus ticket up there and enjoyed ourselves despite the weather.  It started to rain and we were started to freeze, so we went back to the bus station so that we could get a ticket back to Manfredonia.  When we tried to purchase our return tickets, the ticket seller kept telling us no, it was not possible.  We're like,"What do you mean it is not possible?!?"  We were refused a ticket and told that no more buses were going to be running the rest of the day because of a "sciopero."  At that point I knew some conversational Italian, but had no clue what the word sciopero meant and that's the one they kept repeating over and over.  I texted the girl I was nannying and she told me that it meant that the bus drivers were on strike!  I asked the parents of the family I was nannying for if they could take me back, but they couldn't.  I also couldn't get ahold of my boyfriend at the time.  Shayna and I didn't know what to do and started laughing uncontrollably because this was actually the 2nd time we got trapped in a town!  We were literally stuck in that town with no way to get back, and we had only grabbed enough cash for the day and did not bring enough money with us to get a hotel room.  I started joking that maybe we should hitchhike, and Shayna thought that was a good idea.  I felt so awkward sticking my thumb out and was only half-heartedly making an attempt, but every car would just pass us by.  Finally, a car saw us and stopped and offered us a ride back to Manfredonia, but the guys in the car looked completely lecherous.  Shayna thought about jumping in, but I told her there was NO WAY I was getting in the car with those creepy men.  We came up with Plan B, which was to "get supplies."  We bought a whole bunch of food and then found a bench to sit on.  We had our dinner of mozzarella di bufala and thought that we were going to have to spend the night sleeping on those benches like homeless people.  The worst part of it all was that it was raining intermittently and the shops were starting to close so we couldn't run inside anymore.  Finally, my boyfriend at the time called me back and told me he was so sorry that he missed my calls, but that he had been at a cooking class in Foggia.  When I explained to him what happened and how we were stuck, he drove over an hour out of his way to pick up Shayna and I after he had been at that class all day long.  The drive back was supposed to only take about an hour, but it took two because of the terrible fog.  Even though that guy and I broke up and went our separate ways, I will never forget that he did that for me.  He really did come to our rescue that day!

* The first guy I ever became an "official" couple with and I were hanging out a lot as friends.  I told him all of these past horror stories of several guys who had acted interested in me and gave me a single, red rose, but then one of them stood me up for a date and another one took me on just about the worst date I've ever had.  When my friend (who would one day become my boyfriend) and I were working he told me that he thought he left something in my car from when we drove it to Columbus together and asked me if he could have the key to go look for it.  I told him that I had driven a different car to work that day, but told him I would look when I got back to my parents' house.  Then he told me that he just remembered that he probably did leave it in the car I had brought.  I thought that seemed a little weird, but just gave him the key so he could look.  He said he didn't find what he had lost, and I didn't think twice about it.  Then, when I was going home, I saw some beautiful pink carnations on the seat with a nice note from him saying that he hoped he could be different than the other guys (jerks) I had terrible experiences with.  He really put effort and thought into that surprise, and I'll always remember that about him.

* You know the expression, "A way to a man's heart is through is stomach?"  Well, I'm no man, but if a guy can cook, that always gets me every time...mainly because I'm an awful cook.  My ex-boyfriend (the Italian one) went to cooking school, so he did make me a lot of delicious meals.  My sister and her friend both came to visit and he offered to let them both stay the night in his country house so that they would not have to pay for a hotel, and then the next day he prepared an three-course lunch for all of us.  That just meant so much to me because it's one thing to have a guy cook for me, but to have him just do that for my sister made me swoon.

What is the nicest thing a guy has ever done for you?

Someday My Prince Will Come Book Review

February 24, 2014
This is actually my first ever book review and I wasn't sure if I would ever post a book review on my blog, but I liked Someday My Prince Will Come by Jerramy Fine so much that as soon as I finished reading it I knew I wanted to write about it.  I won this book in a giveaway hosted by Jacky @ Keep Calm and Blog on, so a big thank you to her for helping me discover this book, which is the story about a girl from a small town who moved to England to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a real princess.

At first glance and judging from the cover (which I always do, despite that old saying), I thought this was going to be just another predictable chick lit book.  Even though I describe myself as a girly-girl, most books that fit into the chick lit genre have never really appealed to me.  I'm talking about books like Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Devil Wears Prada, and books by Jennifer Weiner.  I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with liking these types of books, but I've read these books and know they just are not my cup of tea because I find them to be dull.  I thought that the plot of Someday My Prince Will Come was going to be set up like the books I mentioned earlier, but it wasn't!  The whole time I was reading it, I had no idea how it would end.  It was well-written, entertaining, and at times just flat out hilarious.  I hardly ever find myself laughing out loud while reading a story, but there were several times when I caught myself chuckling like when Jerramy Fine described her experiences trying to date English "gentlemen" and when she talked about her psycho roommates.  Most especially,  I loved it when she mentioned her hippie parents and their crazy antics.  When she went away to college, her mother sent her a personalized rolling tray as a gift and encouraged her to experiment with drugs and her dad became ordained as a cannabis minister!!  Can you imagine?! 

The book held my interest because I learned quite a bit about English culture.  Before this story I never knew about Savile Row, racquets, or that Princess Diana had attended a Swiss finishing school.  I was unaware of how in England, class is all about your upbringing and what kind of language you use unlike in the U.S. where class is usually determined by wealth or lack thereof.  Just learning about a common way to sign texts (which was to use the first letter of your name and put an "x" next to it) intrigued me.  I also learned about some places I would like to visit if I ever "hop across the pond," such as the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

Something that stuck with me was the fact that Jerramy always followed her heart no matter how many people criticized her life choices.  Her friends and family would say things to her like how she should have England "out of her system" and that she should "stop floating around in her crazy English dreamland."  It made me reflect on my own life a bit and I realized that if I had listened to what people told me NOT to do, I would have never majored in French, I wouldn't have taught in Korea, and I wouldn't have dated my first love (or second love).  Sometimes you have to forget about everyone else and take charge of your own destiny! 

I'll close with two of my favorite quotes from the book.  The first one is on "the real world."

*"I had absolutely no intention of going there.  Not when my heart constantly told me to go some place entirely different."
* "I've learned that happily ever after is a state of mind that you have to create--every day, every moment--for yourself."    

What good books have you read lately?

Weekly Wrap Up #4

I don't know about you guys, but I had a jam-packed week mostly because of working two jobs.  I got to sub my favorite class twice, which was fine by me!  I love it when I know all the kids' names instead of having to say, "Yes, sweetie."  "The girl in the red...what's your name again?"  For one of the lessons I had to talk about American symbols and showed the students how to make this fun eagle craft.  I think they look pretty adorable.

During the week, I met up with a friend and the two of us went out to eat at a local pizza and ice cream joint.  Then we decided to catch a movie at the theater we work at.  We opted to see Labor Day since we were going to lose it in a couple of days.  Truthfully, I thought it would have been a lot better...it was really slow!  I also managed to get a trip to Menchie's in.  I LOVE their frozen yogurt and also the toppings, as you can tell.  :)  My favorite kind is the cake batter, though red velvet is a close second.

Even though the weather got really nasty on Tuesday night and almost every school nearby was canceled on Wednesday, the temperature got up to the 40's later in the week. I was finally was able to make some out of town plans, which I had been unable to do for awhile because of the poor driving conditions.  On Friday, I drove to Columbus and babysat for two of the kids I used to teach.  They just seem so grown up now and I'm glad that I'm able to go and visit them every so often.  I drove back to Columbus today to meet one of my close friends for brunch.  We chose to go to Pistacia Vera in German Village because I was craving macarons and no bakeries carry them around where I live.  It was wonderful to catch up with my friend, but I wish I could have stayed in Columbus longer!  I had to go back after our brunch so that I could make it to work on time.  I did end up leaving with a whole pack of macarons in assorted flavors.  They are pricey at $1.50 a macaron, but they are worth it to me because it's not like I buy them that often and they are hard to make.  By the way, I know I just made it sound like the macarons were cheap, but I got a dozen and those cost $18, so the cost adds up fast, but they are just scrumptious!!  The set I got contained an assortment of the following flavors: pistachio, vanilla bean, lemon, matcha yuzu, straberry lillet, passion fruit, blackberry violet, coconut creme, mocha hazelnut, chocolate chambord, cashew brown butter, and caramel pecan.

This week I ended up taking the plunge and got my hair cut.  I love the way long hair looks, but there was something seriously messed up with my hair after I got my keratin treatment over the summer.  I have been getting HUGE knots in my hair...I'm talking like ones bigger than the size of my fist!  I couldn't deal with brushing them out every day and decided to just be done with it and go shorter.  I'm liking the change more than I thought I would!  My drying time is like 1/8 the time of what it used to be.

What did you do last week or over the weekend?  I'd love to know!  Link up with Rachael and I below if you feel inclined to share. :)

Weekly Wrap Up Rules 

1) Follow your hosts Rachael @ The Rachael Way and Lisa @ Ameliorer la Vie.
2) Share what you have been up to this past week and link your post up with us every Monday.
3) Hop around and comment on at least two other people's posts.
4) Link your post back to us in some way. We have a cute button for you to grab. :)
5) Have fun reading about how other bloggers spent their week!

** If you would like to tweet about the link up, feel free to use #weeklywrapup.

Ameliorer la Vie

I'm the kinda girl who...

February 19, 2014
I'm joining in on this link up fun!

I'm the kinda girl who...

*will be friends forever with someone if they put the effort in/don't turn into psycho cupcakes.
*craves adventure and who loves to try new things!
*is socially awkward, but people always tell me they don't see it.  Trust me, it's there!
*is a dreamer and idealist.
*has very high expectations from others, but I hold myself to the same high expectations.
*is a freak magnet.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "People just say the weirdest things to you," then I'd be rich.
*sometimes needs a little push, but then will work hard achieving those goals.
* procrastinates terribly and frequently.
* will never stop laughing at a joke that I find funny...even years later.
* gets irritated when people treat others horribly in the name of religion.  (Gays, those who practice other religions, etc.)
* enjoys time alone, but likes to go out once in awhile, too.
* hates exercising.  I really wish I didn't and got that so-called rush that everyone speaks of.  I just feel tired, sweaty, and gross, but try to do it anyway.
* used to believe in fashion before comfort, but now just wants to be comfy.  You may catch me in a pair of Ugg boots.  #dontjudge  #iliveinohio
* always has a gay best friend.  One of my closest gay pals couldn't figure out if a guy in question was gay or not.  He said, "Lisa, why don't you approach him and if you two hit it off right away, then I'll know the truth."
* believes in fairy tale romances.
* indulges in traveling, good meals, and beauty products.
* clicks more with female friends than with male ones (excluding the gays.)
* is mostly a good girl but has been called "mischievous" on more than one occasion.
* prefers texting over talking on the phone.
* starts laughing at inappropriate times, especially when I used to go to church or when I was in class.
* is jumpy.  People figure this out and then have lots and lots of fun scaring me.
* prefers hanging out with old friends rather than meeting new people.
* has to have a water bottle with me at all times or else I feel dehydrated/instantly thirsty.
* who is typically befriended by very popular people, even though I myself am not one of the "popular ones" that people just instantly like.  I'm pretty quiet in large groups, and it's easier to get to know me in smaller groups/one-on-one.
* uses a lot of gestures when I talk, especially if I'm passionate about something.
* used to think Type A people needed to chill out, but now is becoming more Type A as the years go on.
* loves to tell stories, especially with aforementioned gestures.  What can I say?  I have a flair for the dramatic from time to time.
*can listen to a song 100 times a day and not be sick of it. 
*is fascinated by other cultures.

What kind of girl (or guy) are you?


Low Sugar Watergate Salad

When I was a toddler teacher, my co-teacher and I did a unit on cooking and asked every family to contribute a recipe to be included in a class cookbook.  One of the moms who was really into fitness and body building (she was a former model!), submitted this recipe.  I'm not saying it's totally healthy, but it is a better option than a lot of the desserts out there because the pineapple juice sweetens the dessert naturally.  I've made this dessert several times since she shared the recipe with me, and I really like it.  It's easy to make and not very time consuming, as it takes about 5 minutes!  It would also be a great choice to have at a St. Patrick's Day party since it's green from the pistachio pudding.

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Low Sugar Watergate Salad

*2 (3.4 ounce) packages of sugar-free instant pistachio pudding mix
*14 oz. crushed pineapple in juice, slightly drained (almost a large 16 oz. can)
* 1 1/2 containers of sugar-free Cool Whip, thawed (8 oz. containers)
*3 light vanilla yogurts (6 oz. cups)

* In a large bowl, mix together pudding mix, pineapple with juice and vanilla yogurt.  Fold in whipped topping.  Chill and enjoy!

What are your favorite low sugar desserts?

Working with kids=Never a dull moment!

February 18, 2014
Today I'm bringing you two jokes thought up by a kindergarten student that I sub quite frequently.

**Joke 1: Why does glue have an "ew" in it?  Because it's gross, duh!
**Joke 2: What did the toilet say to the toilet paper?  I'm going to eat you!

I don't know about you, but I thought these jokes were pretty funny, so I shared them with everyone at work.  When I told my boss the jokes, he told me his daughter's first joke that she thought of at age 4, which was, "What did the snail say when it was riding on the turtle's back?  Wheeeee!"

I was going through some old blog posts from when I taught in Korea, and while there were no actual jokes involved, I've gotta say that the following made me smile...

**Elizabeth and I were reading a story about a dog drooling, so I told her what it meant and then told her that sometimes I drool for cake.  She nodded and told me that she understood and then proceeded to use the word in one of her own sentences, which was, "I don't drool for cake like you, but I drool for Jino."  HA!  (Jino was another boy in the class.)

**I was out sick and my close friend at the time had to sub one of my classes.  His arms were very hairy, especially from a Korean's point of view.  Jimmy went up to my friend and asked him, "Are you a bird?"  My friend gave my student a confused look and asked him why he would say that.  Then Jimmy responded, "You have feathers all over your arms."  I guess Jimmy had never seen arm hair that was that long, so he thought my friend was growing feathers.  When my friend explained that it was just his arm hair, another one of my students told him that there was no way he could grow hair that long on his arms and that he really grows it out of his head, cuts it off, and then glued it on his arms.  I think I could laugh at that one until the day that I die! 

I just love the funny things kids say and do!  They keep me entertained for sure.

Two of my funniest goofballs kind of attacking me!

Weekly Wrap Up #3

February 17, 2014
Welcome to the 3rd edition of Weekly Wrap Up!

Event of the Week:  For me this was Valentine's Day!  I woke up on V-Day to find that my boyfriend bought me two dozen red roses and some K-Cups that I had been talking about wanting.  I had to work at the theater during the day and we were busy since the movie theater is probably the #1 date spot in town.  Plus, we got a whole bunch of love movies like Labor Day, Endless Love, About Last Night, and Winter's Tale.  I didn't mind that it was busy because my shift went by really fast.  Afterwards, I met my boyfriend for some Italian food at this locally owned hole-in-the-wall restaurant we like.  The restaurant is only open for a few hours each day for dinner and they only accept cash--no credit cards/debit, etc.  I find that to be pretty funny (but sometimes annoying) because I can't think of any other restaurant that is cash only.  The food is delicious, reasonably priced, and since the portions are huge, I always have extra to take home with me for the next day.  I was really glad that we went there because the other places we wanted to go to wouldn't take reservations and wait times of an hour or longer.

Purchases of the Week:  I have been doing some online shopping because last week was not a good week for me clothes-wise.  Two pairs of pants ripped, my shoes got a hole in them, and my zipper on my winter coat broke!  I ordered a whole bunch of clothes on clearance from Alloy.com.  I mainly order from them because they have a tall shop with pants that have 35" inseams and most other places have "tall" pants that are never actually long enough.  That stuff has yet to arrive, but I ordered a pair of Tom's shoes in the new Jutti flats style.  I'm in love with them!!  They're half suede and will looks so nice with a pair of dress pants or jeans.

Thought of the Week:  I have been thinking a lot about mental illness this week because someone I know is going through some stuff.  (Have to be vague here...)  Mental illness is a SCARY thing, but many people that I know suffer from it--not only my friends, but also a couple of my family members and co-workers.  I hope that the person I'm thinking of will take the next step and get some help.

Movies Watched: On Monday, I headed to the theater to see Vampire Academy.  I went in with pretty low expectations, and ended up liking the movie but was not blown away.  It held my attention, but it was pretty obvious who the secret "bad guys" were the whole time.  I liked Rose's character because she was feisty and funny.  Yesterday my boyfriend and I finally went and saw Lone Survivor.  This movie was way better than I thought!  I was glad it wasn't a bunch of propaganda.  The movie was exciting, suspenseful, and had good acting.  Yes, some parts were over the top--I don't think anyone could survive that many shots in real life and still be living, but it was a great movie based on a true story.  The slideshow at the end showing the real troops who died in Afghanistan was also very touching and it made me think about how sometimes I take things for granted.

Quote of the Week: "Sometimes I think the "real world" is just a phrase invented by adults to give credibility to the miserable lives they've created for themselves." --Jerramy Fine

This quote is from Someday My Prince Will Come, but it really resonates with me... Why do we ever do anything that makes us unhappy and lose sight of our dreams as we get older?  Forget "the real world!"     

Weekly Wrap Up Rules 

1) Follow your hosts Rachael @ The Rachael Way and Lisa @ Ameliorer la Vie.
2) Share what you have been up to this past week and link your post up with us every Monday.
3) Hop around and comment on at least two other people's posts.
4) Link your post back to us in some way. We have a cute button for you to grab. :)
5) Have fun reading about how other bloggers spent their week!

** If you would like to tweet about the link up, feel free to use #weeklywrapup.

Ameliorer la Vie

Lime Crime Velvetine Matte Lip Stain Review in Suedeberry

February 16, 2014
One of my friends bought me Lime Crime's lip stain in Suedeberry for Christmas.  Here is my take on it...

Packaging: A+

Lime Crime pretty much had me at the double unicorn, which is their logo.  Usually mailing boxes are dull and boring to open, but the uni's and the pink polka dots just gave the package a more fun vibe.  The lime green tissue paper paired with the pink is representative of the company's penchant for wild hues.  Lime Crime doesn't exactly create makeup for someone who is conservative in their makeup choices.  If you take a gander at their site, you will see what I mean.  Their newest colored Velvetine lip stains that come out this March are black, brown, and a deep burgundy, for example.  Back to the packaging, though... As I said in my Valentine's Day post, I like pink and red paired together, so I personally find the cap to be super cute!  Floral designs are always a plus in my book, too.

Availablity: C- 

This stuff isn't sold in Sephora, and Sephora usually has everything I want!  My friend Dre purchased this for me directly from the Lime Crime site.  She mentioned to me several times that she was annoyed because the shipping, which she had to pay for, took forever.  Dre told me that she was worried she was going to have to show up empty handed when it was time to exchange our gifts, and she even had to e-mail Lime Crime and ask for updates.  It took about a month for it to arrive from the time she ordered it, which not acceptable.  I don't know if that was a fluke or if it typically takes that long, but after Dre's experience, I cannot recommend ordering directly off of Lime Crime's site.  Instead, I would buy it from a different retailer such as ModCloth, Urban Outfitters, or even on E-bay or Amazon.  Plus, on the Lime Crime site, the only color of Velvetine that is currently available is Suedeberry, as Pink Velvet and Red Velvet are sold out.

Product: A

Product description from Lime Crime site: "Lip stain that goes on liquid and dries completely matte. Touch-proof, long-wearing, and utterly addictive." 

This product is a hit with me...I own a lot of beauty products, but nothing quite like this!  It is unique in my collection because I don't have any other lip products that dry to give my lips a matte look.  The lip stain did stay on and look presentable for quite a long time (over 5 hours), which is always convenient since I work some long shifts at a busy place and can't be going off to fix my makeup whenever I feel like it.  When it did start to wear away, it left an outline on the outside of my lips and it made it look like I was wearing only lip liner, so this is why I gave the product an A and not an A+.  Another aspect about the product that I appreciated was that it is vanilla scented and smells delicious.

The Price: B+ 

My friend paid $20 plus shipping for this, which is a bit on the pricier side, but not totally outrageous.  I would be okay with spending the $20 for it because it is different from all other lip products I own.  I'm not out to own the whole collection, but am very tempted to buy the Pink Velvet lip stain.

The Color: A+

On Lime Crime's website, Suedeberry is described as a "matte coral red."  I gave the color a high rating because the actual color is just like how it was depicted/described on Lime Crime's site.  It's a beautiful, retro shade.  Also, the color is vibrant and opaque, and as I said before it lasts a long time!  It is very bright, and if that is what you are looking for, I would highly recommend this lip stain.


**While my lips looked great wearing this product, I did have to exfoliate my lips beforehand.  This lip stain will draw attention to chapped lips, as I found out when I first tested the product.  The whole point is to have a smooth, matte finish and if your lips are too dry, it will not be a pretty sight.

**Use a very steady hand when applying the product to your lips.  It is very easy to go outside of your natural lip line, so I start the application from my inner part of my lips and then work my way to the outer part.  The first time I applied the lip stain, I did not do this and the color bled over my natural lip line and made me look like I was trying too hard to have fuller lips/kinda like a clown.

Do you own anything from Lime Crime?

Why I Love Valentine's Day + V-Day Swap Reveal

February 14, 2014
I didn't always used to love Valentine's Day. When I was younger, I felt bad about myself on this day for not having a boyfriend and was jealous of all those who went on nice dates, received flowers, and who just got spoiled by their boyfriends. I've changed my mind about Valentine's Day in the past years, but I promise you it is not because I have a boyfriend now.  Here's why...

Why I Love V-Day

It's so much fun to celebrate it with kids.  Even though I'm only subbing, I did get to share in the excitement of the kids bringing in their Valentine's Day boxes.  A few kids shared theirs, and the boxes are just so creative and tell you a little bit about each child.  One girl's V-Day box was shaped like a barn because she lives on a farm.  To put the card in, you have to open the barn's doors, which I thought was pretty crafty.  Yesterday when I was subbing in kindergarten, some of the girls told me that they had a secret for me and then whispered to me about what kind of Valentine's they would be giving out on Friday during their party.  They made me pinkie promise not to tell their classmates what cartoon characters were on their cards because they wanted it to be a surprise.  The kids' excitement is contagious!

It's an excuse to eat treats.  Some of the 3rd grade boys I was subbing reluctantly admitted that they also liked Valentine's Day.  I asked them why and they mentioned, "Well, we do get to have candy and chocolate."  I have to agree with them on this, although my personal favorite for this time of year is chocolate covered strawberries.

Celebrating Valentine's Day is a tradition and brings back fond childhood memories.  Every time I eat one of those disgusting chalky hearts with the sayings on them, I'm reminded of Valentine's Day parties at school, signing cards for all of my friends, and getting a few special gifts from my mom. 

I love the colors!  Red, pink, and purple are my favorite colors (besides black), so I'm certainly not sad to see more of those colors around.  During this time of year, the colors pop up more in clothing and in makeup.  I love putting on a red lipstick on Valentine's Day or painting my nails with heart designs.

I'm a hopeless romantic, so of course I'm going to be all for a holiday that celebrates love.  Even when I didn't have a boyfriend in my mid-twenties, I still had fun celebrating with my friends that I loved.  My gay best friend at the time and I bought each other V-Day treats and cards and had a "date" of our own.  Seeing other people in love gave me hope that I might one day find love myself.

The cards! You don't have to have a significant other to participate in this holiday.  I have bought cards for my friends, co-workers, and for my students in the past.  Maybe it's old fashioned of me, but I like getting actual cards as opposed to a Facebook message or e-card...especially if they are handmade.  I keep them forever! 

Why do you or don't you like Valentine's Day?

Now for my Valentine's Day Swap reveal... I'm linking up with Rachael and Ashliegh for this.

 photo ValentinesDayBoxSwapButton_zps3453c6dc.jpg"

My partner was Lola, a friendly gal from North Carolina who blogs over at Lovely Lola.  She was a great partner and was easy to talk to!  I hope that we can stay in touch through the blogging world.

What a great collection of V-Day themed treats!  I've already started eating those Twizzlers, the necklace/earring set is adorable, and no one can go wrong with B&BW lotion!  The teacher pin was a nice touch since Lola knows that I'm subbing and that's what my degree is in.  Thanks, girl!!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!! 

Fair Treasure Box: February 2014

February 13, 2014
A few days ago, I got my second Fair Treasure box in the mail.  Fair Treasure costs $35/month and in each box subscribers receive 2 to 3 handmade items from artisans around the world.  This is a "feel good" subscription because the company makes sure to only select items crafted by those who are receiving a fair wage.

Here's what came in this month's box:

First off, I was glad to see that there was an extra item this month because January's box just came with two things.  One of the items is this handcrafted card from Sanctuary Springs.  This item comes all the way from the Philippines and was made by workers who escaped prostitution.  I find the card to be absolutely adorable and just perfect for Valentine's Day.  My only gripe is that this card is so cute that I don't want to give it away!

I also received some African Shea Body Butter from Global Mamas.  Shea butter is in a lot of the body butters I use, but I've never actually tried a purer form of shea butter from Africa.  I've been meaning to and just never got around to buying it for myself, so this item was a good match for me.    My hands get so dry in the winter and need all the help they can get.  I think this item was an appropriate choice for the month of February.  Purchasing shea butter from this company supports women in Ghana who might not otherwise be able to find a steady source of income.

Finally, I received this Greenola Style Calypso Ring from Bolivia.  This is my favorite item in the box because I have a jewelry obsession, and while I liked the earrings I received in last month's box, I cannot wear them for prolonged periods of time (more than a few hours) because they are too heavy and start to hurt.  The ring is adjustable and very comfortably fits my pointer or middle finger without having to adjust it.  I just love the look of the ring overall--it's very bohemian.

Value of the box:

Sanctuary Springs Card:  $4.99
Greenola Style Calypso Ring: $16.00
Global Mama's Shea Body Butter: $12.00

Total value: $32.99

If this box is purchased on a month to month basis, the value of the items in the box is less than the $35 price of the box.  My sister bought this for me as a Christmas gift and went with a three month subscription which cost $95, or $31.67 a month, which is only slightly less than the $32.99 value of the box.  I guess I am just used to beauty box subscriptions like Ipsy Glam Bag where I pay $10/month and then almost always get items that add up to more than double what I spent.  When shipping is factored into this, buying the Fair Treasure box is still a better deal than trying to buy these items individually since with Fair Treasure the shipping cost is included in the price of the subscription.
Overall, I do love getting this box in the mail and reading about the workers that made each piece.  Another plus about this month is that the items all came from three completely different places, and on top of that they are all hand crafted.

What's your favorite item in this month's Fair Treasure box?

Treasure Tromp

Weekly Wrap Up #2

February 10, 2014
Weekly Wrap Up #2

The best thing that happened:  The parents of one of the students I substitute teach recognized me at the movie theater when I was working.  They approached me and told me that their daughter was so happy to have me as a sub and that she talked about me at home.  The mom said her daughter really loves me and grows attached to her subs, especially to me.  That meant a lot because her daughter is such a sweet girl, and I'm glad I established rapport with her.  Her comments made my week!

The worst thing that happened:  I know I mentioned on here before that I have had some chronic back pain.  Some days my back hurts a lot, then it will hurt less for a few days, but it always seems to return.  This week it has been really bad!  On Saturday it hurt so much that I had to cancel plans with my mom because it was painful to walk.  I know I'm no teenager, but I just don't feel like it is normal for my back to be this bad at my age--I need help.  I felt like senior citizens were more mobile than I was on Saturday.  I'm calling early in the AM on Monday to set up an appointment with someone who specializes in orthopedics.  

Other positive things that occurred:

*More than 15 of you linked up last week for the first Weekly Wrap Up, which was awesome!  I really had a good time reading about everyone's weeks and weekends.
* I thought I was going to lose my subbing jobs again because of the weather.  On Wednesday schools were closed because of a snowstorm, but since I was subbing for Dibels testing, the secretary asked me to sub on Thursday instead, so I still got two days of subbing in, yay!
* My new health insurance card arrived in the mail yesterday.  My insurance got canceled on Dec. 31st, 2013, so in January I wasn't covered at all because I missed a deadline for signing up.  I just feel relieved knowing that if I'm sick I can go to the doctor's and not have to worry.  Plus, it will be helpful for my back problem.
* I went to Bingo again and won a free game.  It costs almost $20 to play, so I now have another chance to win some cash without having to spend anything.
* My mom treated me to brunch at a cute cafe where I had some delicious quiche, broccoli salad, and a pistachio muffin.  It was nice of her to invite me out and pick up the bill.
* The prizes from the giveaway I won arrived in the mail and I started reading Someday My Prince will Come, which I have to say that I'm liking so far.  Thanks, Jacky!
* I found out about this mug swap!  Doesn't it look like so much fun?  I love meeting and connecting with other bloggers.
* I had some great conversations about nails with my co-worker, Dianna.  Check out her fabulous gel nails!! 

Weekly Wrap Up Rules 

1) Follow your hosts Rachael @ The Rachael Way and Lisa @ Ameliorer la Vie.
2) Share what you have been up to this past week and link your post up with us every Monday.
3) Hop around and comment on at least two other people's posts.
4) Link your post back to us in some way. We have a cute button for you to grab. :)
5) Have fun reading about how other bloggers spent their week!

** If you would like to tweet about the link up, feel free to use #weeklywrapup.

Ameliorer la Vie