The Brahmin Olivia Rose Satchel

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I was thrilled this weekend when my new Brahmin Olivia Satchel in Glimmer arrived. Its the perfect ladylike shoulder bag, and in a great neutral color that’s anything but your basic. I have wanted one of these bags for quite some time, but was not going to fork over $295 for it. Thanks to eBay I was able to score this never used handbag for $100, which came out to a lot less since I had some Paypal credits! This bag is a perfect addition to my rotation,
I can see myself wearing this with jeans and a basic peplum top, to work with a pencil skirt and blouse, or out to dinner with my boo, with some black leggings, killer heels, and a flowy shirt.

Becoming the Woman I’m meant to be

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Over the course of my adulthood, one thing that has been so important to me and is a constant theme is that I am always trying to become the woman I know I’m supposed to be. As a mother, a wife, in my career and in my personal relationships, I am constantly striving for more, for improvement, for betterment. I feel that life is a journey, I can never be stagnant, I can never be status quo, I must show for myself and also for my children that one must always be striving. 

Not to get this confused with never having or being enough, which is more of a materialistic view of things, I want to be comfortable with who I am, I want to know myself intimately, I want to emulate peace and calmness and sophistication and class, by working not just on my outward but on my inner beauty as well. Life is a constant balancing act, as a woman and a mother and a wife I have so many roles to fulfill, and it is important that I do not get bogged down in any one thing. Much like this blog, where I originally intended for it to be exclusively about makeup, I realized that even though makeup is something I am truly passionate about, it is mainly in the context of still trying to find the best products for me, that I can feel good about using and that make me look good. So this blog is evolving into something more for me, and I am just allowing it to undergo its metamorphosis. 

I also allow myself to change fluidly, and try, as Bethenny Frankly says, to come from a place of yes. I also give myself valuable time just to think and to read and to explore. I think there are a lot of women out there that don’t give themselves this time, and it’s such an important thing to do for oneself.
As Abraham Maslow said ” Whereas the average individuals “often have not the slightest idea of what they are, of what they want, of what their own opinions are,” self-actualizing individuals have “superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general.”

Another great quote I found- Retire into yourself as much as possible. Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one. People learn as they teach.- Seneca

Ladies what do you do to become the woman you’re meant to be? How is your journey going? I’d love to hear from you, compare notes with you and grow with you. Let’s teach each other and remember that learning and growing is lifelong.

Always- Jenny

My bag addiction

It sounds so childish to say that I have an “addiction” to bags. But I really do. At the very least a severe obsession, definitely a neurotic one. I am constantly spending time online looking at bags. I also spend time in person, looking at bags. Sometimes I take my lunch hour just to visit one of my regular stores to look at bags. This obsession is also coupled with another obsession of mine, which is searching for deals. Which is why I spend so much time searching, because I refuse to pay full price for expensive bags, and so I must constantly keep on the lookout for the best deal. Which leads me at times to purchase bags and then return them, which I did three times in March alone when I purchased a Banana Republic Bag, a Cole Hann, and a Brahmin, all of which I returned in a matter of days.

There was a time when I truly believed that I would find the perfect bag, and that it would make my life somehow different. Every outfit I owned would magically be enhanced by this bag, and people would be able to tell just by looking at me that I have it together. Women would be envious and men would wish their women looked like me. It sounds so silly, downright stupid to put all this down in writing, but these are the thoughts that run through my head as I search through bags.

I recently realized after purchasing three of my most coveted bags, that even the bags that I spent so long wanting, did not make me happy. What should have been a revelation merely led to disappointment  and keeps me searching for ways to relive this disappointment.  I have been trying to come to terms that this obsession is the sign of something else. I find that when I am particularly stressed in home or life, is when I have an intense need to go shopping for bags. This need clouds my rational thinking and leads me spend money that I really can’t afford on things that I really don’t need.

Right now I probably have over 20 purses. I have several black ones, in different shapes and sizes, all leather. I do not like to purchase bags that are not brand name or leather. That means that most of my bags will last me a very long time. Which is also a reason that I should not need to purchase more, because I have so many and they are all so durable. I have Coache, Dooney and Burke, Cynthia Rowley, Micheal Kors, Perlina, Fossil, The Sak, Tignanello, Brahmin, Cole Hann, Guess and Calvin Klein. Granted these are not the $1,000+ bags that most fashion bloggers and magazine covet or promote, but they are still costly especially when my income level and bills are taken into consideration. These bags, while all of them have been purchased at discounts, represent hundreds of dollars that could have been spent enriching my families lives, on education, or on bills. Or even just put into savings.

So what’s a girl to do? Knowing is half the battle, right? I’m taking a major step in fighting the good fight, and I have given myself a goal to not purchase another bag until at least August, which is my birthday month. That will be my fall bag, and I have been looking for another bag that will keep my things more organized.

See ya soon!- Jenny

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Beauty Minimalism….is it possible?

I have to admit something. My love for all things beauty is beginning to fade. Maybe not fade, more like transform. I am hitting that point of my life, after a few years of really indulging myself in retail therapy, where I finally realized that I really don’t need another eyeshadow. I probably have that color anyways,and if I don’t, its most likely because it doesn’t look good on me. I realized that my spending habits have gotten out of control the past few years as my income almost doubled and for the first time in my life I was able to buy expensive, brand name things. At first being able to buy these things felt good, it felt like an achievement. But now it feels empty, and almost painful.

I’ve been doing research on budgeting, living within your means, and believe it or not saving my money is looking so sexy to me. In the process I’ve decided to change the direction of this blog. While it will still be a beauty blog, I’m also going to document my journey of doing with less, using what I have and living within my means. I hope you decide to come with me.

In the meantime read this great blog post from ManRepeller here. Though let’s be honest, my finances are nowhere near the level where I can buy a bag over $150, or shoes that cost more than $75, let alone the ridiculous amounts these women pay. And for the record, why does every fashion or makeup blog out there seem to focus exclusively on things that are highly unattainable for the majority of women out there.  Where the fuck do these broads live anyways? ( Oh, that’s right, New York….where all is faaabuulous, and everyone seems to be rich. Except I got lots of family in New York, and they all broke…and definetly not fabulous.) My problems are more of wanting what I can’t have, and trying to buy things to take the place of that. Though I realize that if I were to stop buying all the little lesser priced items, I would have money in the bank for those items I’d really like. Something to work on, for sure.

Jenny

My Summer Reading List

Girl reading a book.

I am one of those people who absolutely love to read. As a child I was never without a book in my hand, even taking showers with them. (I ruined many a book that way!) Reading has always been important to my life, as an escape, as a way to get to know myself, as education. I read almost everything I can get my hands on. This summer I’m reading, have read, or will read:

The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer

I actually have had this book for over 8 years. My friend “lent” it to me, but we haven’t seen each other since then so I haven’t given it back yet. It was sitting on my shelf until one night when I saw a PBS special with Dr. Dyer and I was so into his message that I ran to my bookshelf and started reading the book. It truly has been something that I think I wasn’t meant to read until now, I don’t think I would have been able to get the message  8 years ago. The book is about manifesting your own reality, and paying attention to the hints that the universe gives you to help you along your path. This is the type of book you read over and over every few months, so that you can “refresh” the message.  Definitely a must have.

Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss

I haven’t quite finished reading this book. I am almost exactly at the mid-point, where all the “work” begins. Caroline is working off of a theory that the famous psychiatrist Carl Jung had that all human beings have to work within basic archetypes that once we determine which ones are dominated in our psyches will help us to figure out our owns selves, our motivations, and most importantly our “sacred contracts”, which are our missions here on earth. It is some pretty heavy reading, but she tells some really great stories and if you are interested in the human condition, or if you are just someone who likes reality tv, you will find this very interesting. She also goes into how astrology can help us to work with our archetypes, but since I have not made it to that point yet I can’t give any more details on that.

A Storm of Swords,  A Feast for Crows- George Martin

I love love LOVE the Game of Thrones series, and I just honestly felt like I needed to know what happened to the characters after this season.So I brought A Storm of Swords and I could not put the book down for an entire week. I was reading at the beach, in the car, on my lunch breaks, in the bathroom….I almost took it in the shower with me but it was too big to hold with one hand! ( That there is the secret for taking a shower with a book, it must be able to be held with one hand!) Then I finished that book, and it was right around the time that I posted the No-Buy that I planned to do all summer, but then….. I had to know what happened to everyone! It was just too much! So yes, I violated my own no-buy, however the no-buy was for makeup and clothing, and non-essential items, and I consider feeding my brain to be very essential! So I bought the fourth book of the series, A Feast For Crows. I am 1/4 of the way through and it is really good! I am not going to spoil it by even telling you what happens, but all I can say is the next season is going to be bad ass! I can’t wait!

Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll

My aunt gave me this book after she told me that she doesn’t think she will ever find a husband. ( how sad) I truly hope that she does find a husband because my aunt needs someone to love her  and she deserves it more than anybody else I know. So far I have skimmed through it, gotten some good nuggets of advice, but I haven’t really sat down to read it through yet.

The Kid by Sapphire

This book is the sequel to Precious, also by Sapphire. I don’t even really want to read it, but I am the type of person that commits to a story. So after I read the Feast of Crows this is next on my list. Honestly Precious was the most gut wrenching movie that I ever saw, and it was something that stuck with me and really cut me deep. It was painful to watch and I know this book is going to be painful to read. I read part of the actual novel to Precious, and I couldn’t do it, it was just too much. But I am hoping that there is a happy ending for this kid. I really am.

When I was younger I worked for a temp agency that placed me in a section 8 housing project. The place looked nice enough, the property manager was very good about upkeep, and she even planted an award-winning butterfly garden for her residents. I was only there for a few weeks, about two months I think, and there was a story she told me about a young boy, whose mother had died. This poor little boy watched his mother die of AIDS in their apartment, he was about 8 years old, he spoke no english, neither did she. She wasted away in a back room, with no help, no medicine, no comfort, while he watched. It was the most awful thing that I think I have I ever heard and I have been stuck with this story in my head for almost 10 years.

I feel like this book might give me a better ending to that story.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

I have to admit, I first heard about Ayn during an episode of Mad Men where Cooper asked Don if he had read something of hers. I looked it up and downloaded a free e-copy of her book Anthem, and I was instantly captivated by her style. I briefly started reading this book, so I don’t have much to tell about it, but I am so intrigued by this writer, by her philosophy of objectivism, that I think I will be reading more of her things as time goes on. She is definitely someone that I want to get to know.

So there you have it, my summer reading list. I’ll probably add a few more books as summer goes along, we are only in mid-July, and we have a whole other month.

See ya later Jenni Lee

Love Yourself

I always try to get myself a little something special for whatever holiday were up to, and this Mother’s day was no exception. I ordered this small bottle of Tocca Cleopatra perfume for only $10 from Sephora, and I absolutely love it! Just seeing the box made me feel special, and the inside flap, Love yourself, couldn’t have been more perfect. I love collecting mini bottles of perfume, their a great way to flirt around with different scents and their also so elegant to display. Their also perfect for throwing in your purse for a night out.
Ladies, how do you indulge yourself?

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Erin Fetherston Beauty Filled Train case

 

I am soooo excited today I finally got my Erin Fetherston Beauty Filled Train case from Beauty.com. It’s a fabulous gift with purchase available with your $100 Beauty.com purchase. I plan to review it this weekend, but for now I just wanted to share how happy I am that it finally came in!

Oh my!

Karen 1/2

Karen 1/2 (Photo credit: -gigina-)

The days are flying by and  before I knew it almost a whole month has passed by without me blogging. I keep coming up with ideas for posts, but I’ve been sooooo lazy about actually doing it. I’ve been content to just read others blogs, awestruck at the creativity that is expressed out there. So I thought I’d share with you a list the blogs I read every day. These are the blogs that nourish me, though I admit some of them are purely a junk food addiction.

# 1 Makeupandbeautyblog: I love Karen! This is the blog that I stop by first! She has such a unique way of expressing herself, and her reviews have really helped me to make decisions on purchases.

#2 Temptalia: You can pretty much count on Temptalia to have a swatch of every makeup you might be inclined to purchase. Her reviews are extremely technical, and she has a great foundation matrix that will help you match any foundation. I love her.

#3 K.loDotcom: This one is from a girl named Katrina. I have to admit, I have a slight girl crush on her. She’s from my neck of the woods, and she seems to have this effortless class and beauty that I wish I could emulate. Her family is too die for and you can see that her son and her fiance just worship her. In a way she inspires me to live more elegantly.

#4 The Strugglers Handbook.- He writes so well. Everything that I have read on his blog is interesting, well written, funny in a sly sort of way, and smart. So smart.

# Nouveau Cheap: She focuses on drugstore beauty, so whatever you find on her blog won’t break the bank. I love that I can go to her for the latest wet and wild reviews and she even details what on sale that week at the local drugstores, from CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.

#5 MFAMB Home: Okay so maybe I am biased because we’re both named Jenny. But I love this chicks voice. She is just the shit!!! She curses, she’s funny, she’s sarcastic, I love her love her love her. I hope that I can be half as witty as her!

 

So there you have it, my top five blogs I visit daily. I also check my email 13 times a day, even though I hardly get any emails except for junk mail. I also repeatedly visit sites like Bobbi Brown, Sephora, Macy’s, Dillards, and sometimes Drugstore.com. My budget can’t handle real shopping but I love to “window” shop and I research items endless, even though the majority of my purchases are drugstore.