March Beauty Haul

Hello friends!

I came home last night from work and found five packages in the mail waiting for me! Super excited that all my packages arrived on the same day. It’s like a late birthday present from me, to me!

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Pura Vida, Target Beauty Box, BirchBox, Boxy Charm & Ulta

The first was from Pura Vida. It was my first purchase from them and I am very impressed with what I got!

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Rose gold lotus charm, original bracelet rose quartz and lil wave mini ring

I really like what Pura Vida does. Each purchase helps provide full-time jobs for artisans worldwide. I’ve followed Pura Vida on Instagram for a while now and never committed to purchasing anything. I finally went ahead and made this purchase and I’m so glad I did! Everything is such amazing quality and super adorable.

Next up: Ulta. I had gotten an email from Ulta that if you spent $50, you would get a free Smashbox sample set. Spend $60 and get a free Smashbox makeup case. So, of course, I went ahead with it. Plus, I had $20 in rewards credit, so why not!

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Smashbox case, samples, Anastasia Soft Glow palette and Anastasia mini liquid lipstick
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Smashbox samples

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This is the first time I got a palette when it first came out. I love the colors of the Soft Glam Anastasia palette and I honestly cannot wait to use it and try out all the colors. I also am happy with the samples I got from Smashbox. I have heard nothing but good things about Smashbox primers, so seeing them as samples made me very happy.

The next box is the first subscription box I received. I didn’t even know that Target has a subscription box until I was on their website and saw it. If you didn’t know, I am obsessed with Target, so I had to get this beauty box. Plus, it was only $7 + shipping, so it was a no-brainer. IMG_6857IMG_6858IMG_6863In the box was Olay Cleansing Infusions Body Wash, No7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum, St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer, Nexxus Dry Shampoo, Pantene Foam Conditioner, Clairol Color Crave Hair Makeup and Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Quad. On the back of the green card was a description of each item, plus a few tips and tricks for the samples, plus a coupon for beauty products. Honestly, I love everything that I got and can see myself using it all. This one is definitely a subscription I’ll keep.

Next up: BirchBox. I was debating between this one and Ipsy, but I’ve heard better things about BirchBox, so I wanted to try it out.

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Exact same Smashbox sample that I got from Ulta (the colors are the same, the lighting is just off)

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Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed. It was all hair products & I was expecting more makeup. In the box, I received Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo, Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow – Stardust, Number 4 Jour d’Automne Smoothing Balm, Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer and Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner. So, more Smashbox, which I was okay with. Probably not going to be continuing with my Birchbox subscription.

And lastly, I got my first Boxy Charm box. I never heard of Boxy Charm until my friend Maya told me about it. So, I figured I’d check it out. I looked at the Instagram pictures and their website and pretty much subscribed on the spot.

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Overall, very impressed! In the box was Pür The Complexion Authority Eyeshadow Palette, Bellápierre Cosmetics Volumizing Mascara, South Mane Beauty Under Eye Gels, The Vintage Cosmetic Company Smokey Eye Makeup Brush Set and Pretty Vulgar Make Them Blush. Again, so impressed with what I got. The samples are full sized and not travel sized like Birchbox and are high quality. The smokey eye brushes are so soft and amazing quality, the blush is a great consistency (I forgot to swatch it) and I was surprised to see under eye gels!

Such a great Beauty Haul this month! I’ll definitely be getting Boxy Charm and the Target Beauty Box again.

Do you subscribe to any beauty subscription (or other) boxes? Let me know what your favorite is!

Good Morning: Birthday Recap

Good Morning, friends!

This past weekend was my 22nd birthday!

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Oh yeah, I went there. #tswift

I had the most amazing birthday ever! My four best friends and I stayed at Art of Animation at Disney in the Lion King Suite. Honestly, the Art of Animation Resort has to be one of my favorite resorts because of the theming. (I’ll do a review of the Art of Animation Resort in a later post!)

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Our first stop, after finally checking into our Lion King Suite, was EPCOT for the Flower and Garden Festival. Honestly, this is probably one of my favorite festivals for all the amazing topiaries!

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All checked in and ready to go!
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Katie, Maya, me, Kara & Mayrelis
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My must have from the festival: Violet Lemonade!

Aren’t our ears ADORABLE!? They were a surprise from Maya (at least it was a surprise to me!) We recieved so many compliments on them, which led to Maya opening her very own Etsy shop: MinniesbyMaya! Seriously, go check out her shop and grab a pair of custom ears, perfect for Flower and Garden!

After eating our way through EPCOT, it was off to Magic Kingdom!

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I love this group of girls so much ❤
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Big Thunder Mountain!
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Love is an Open Door 
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Maya got a new phone case and was a bit excited about it 

We spent some time at Magic, saying hi to some of my friends who work there and watching Happily Ever After (my absolute favorite fireworks show). We then headed over to the Polynesian to visit one of my favorite bars on property: Trader Sams. Unfortunately, the line was an hour wait. So instead, we ate dinner at Capt. Cooks and got extra Spikey Pineapples on the patio. For those who don’t know, a Spikey Pineapple is a dole whip (Pineapple ice cream/frozen yogurt, call it what you want) made with Barbancourt Pango Rhum blend. The extra part is a shot of rum on top. Delcious.

The Poly is my next favorite resort, so it was fitting that at the stroke of midnight, I turned 22 in the lobby.

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Minnie Van ride back to the Art of Animation
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Minnie Van group pic, this time with Austin on Facetime

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This was the first time I took a Minnie Van, since there was no easy way back to Art of Animation from the Poly. For $25, split between the 5 of us, it really was a great deal. And, our driver (who is a cast member) was super nice and even offered to take our picture once we got back to Art of Animation. Now I want to take a Minnie Van every time I’m on Disney property.

The next morning, we had breakfast reservations at the Grand Floridan Cafe. This time, Austin joined us.

If you eat breakfast at Disney and don’t get Mickey waffles, did you really eat at Disney?

Honestly, I had such an amazing birthday and I’m so blessed to have such amazing friends. Maya, Mayrelis, Katie, Kara: Thank you so much for helping me celebrate my 22nd birthday. You are the best best friends a girl could ask for!

Journey to Happiness: Week 1

Hello all!

If you follow me on Instagram (@justmemaddyk), you would have seen that today I am starting my journey to happiness. I haven’t been happy with how I look for a while and I keep telling myself that I’m ready to change, but that change never happens. I’m finally sticking to it this time. Part of my New Year’s Resolution was to go vegetarian and that was in part with wanting to be healthy and happy. It worked for a while, but then I started to slack off. I’ve been doing great at eating vegetarian, but healthy has still been a problem. I’m working on changing that.

I’m going to start chronicling my journey here to help keep me accountable. I think that will be my biggest motivator, besides wanting to be happier with myself. I’d love to hear stories of others who have gone through a similar journey. Next week, I’ll post an update of how week 1 went, but for now, here’s to happiness!

Good Morning!

Hello friends!

It has been a bit. I keep telling myself that I need to get better at keeping up with my blog, but then I went and got sick… not fun. However, I’m better now and I can finally tell you about my Valentine’s Day! We couldn’t actually do anything on Valentine’s Day, since I worked during the day and he worked at night, but we were able to grab breakfast at Keke’s! He also brought me millenial pink roses, chocolate covered strawberries, Thin Mints and the most adorable picture frame with a picture of us!

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I got him a shirt that he has been wanting: The Hanger Bar shirt from Twenty-Eight and Main. Plus, The Hanger Bar was our first date, so it was the perfect gift!

After breakfast, it was back to work for me. We made plans to meet up after he got off of his other job, so we met at TGI Fridays for dessert and drinks.

It was such an amazing first Valentine’s Day together, but the real celebration was on Sunday, when we celebrated Valen-Versary, since our one month anniversay was on Saturday. He surprsied me with a reservation to Maria & Enzo’s, a new Italian restaurant at Disney Springs. Delicious! TDuNZmyaRPa4l0IrvTgMyw

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Made with prosecco mionetto superiore, st germain elderflower, passionfruit purée, flowers
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My caprese sandwich

After lunch, we rushed over to EPCOT to see Ashely Brown and Josh Strickland for the Disney on Broadway Concert. They were incredible! So glad that we were able to see them. Plus, I’m pretty sure Austin has a man crush on Josh Strickland 😉

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Once the concert was over, we raced over to Magic Kingdom to watch Happily Ever After. When I say rushed, I mean it! We were literally running through EPCOT to get to the monorail to go over to Magic Kingdom. We walked in as soon as the fireworks started. It was our first time seeing Happily Ever After together, so we are planning on going back to watch them not all sweaty and out of breath.

It was such a magical and perfect day. Austin, thank you for such an amazing day and being a wonderful boyfriend. I can’t wait for more Valentine’s Days and anniversary dates with you.

Sunday Funday at Magic Kingdom

Hello Friends!

Yesterday, I had a much needed girls day with my lovely friend Katie at Magic Kingdom. (Side note: Katie is a fellow blogger, so go check out her blog!) It has been about a month since I last visited my favorite park/second home, so I was very glad to go back, even if it was crazy busy and a bit on the warmer side. Florida winter is now over and its on to sweating season. Yay…

I follow quite a few Disney blogs/Instagrams, so when I can’t be at the parks, I can still keep up with what is new and exciting. Something that I was very interested in trying was the new Loaded Tots at The Friar’s Nook. IMG_6697IMG_6700

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The tot options: Loaded Buffalo Chicken Tots, Loaded Fiesta Tots & Loaded Greek Tots
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Loaded Fiesta Tots
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Katie’s Loaded Greek Tots

I got the Loaded Fiesta Tots and Katie got the Loaded Greek Tots. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Coming in at over $10, I probably wouldn’t be getting this again because I don’t feel like this is worth $10. The portion was a lot smaller than I was expecting for the price. I could made it at home for less than $10. However, I still highly recommend at least trying it once.

Being vegetarian, I have to be more concious when I get nachos/anything “loaded,” since that usually means there is chili or some kind of meat on it. These tos weren’t very vegetarian friendly. I’m not a fan of Greek food, so I passed on getting the Greek one (which is veggie friendly). I asked for no beef on mine and they couldn’t accommodate. So, I was stuck eating around the ground beef.

I love taking pictures at Disney, especially with my Canon. I’m still working on perfecting my picture-taking abilities, but it is kind of become a hobby of mine. So, I snapped a few pictures on our way out.

 

Happiness

Why, hello friends! Happy Monday!

What a week this past week has been! Back in early December, I posted Dating Sucks and for the longest time, that was holding true. Then, things turned around for me. While on Bumble, I matched with this guy named Austin. Right away, I was interested because he had a picture of him at Disney and he said that he likes Disney. In case you didn’t know, I like Disney a bit. So meeting someone who likes Disney just as much is a huge plus for me!

Anyway, we hit it off right away! I can’t remember ever clicking with someone so much. We ended up meeting  up for drinks at the Hangar Bar at Disney Springs last Monday and stayed until last call. I didn’t want that perfect first date to ever end. So, we made plans to hang out the next day, which we did. Again, didn’t want that date to ever end. Then, just when I thought he would want a break from me, we got to date number three! I can’t remember the last time I made it that far with anyone. I was nervous that he was going to get sick of me and not want to move on with more dates. But, he wanted to see me some more! At this point, when I knew that he wanted to keep seeing me, I knew that I wanted to only see him. Maybe it was too soon to know that, but we clicked and everything felt right. So, I told him that I didn’t want to see anyone else. Turns out, neither did he! So we went from date three to dating exclusively to making it Facebook official!

Everything about him and about us feels 100% right. I defintiely believe in soulmates and I feel that he is my soulmate. When you know, you know. We are still taking things slow and getting to know each other and I love learning more and more about him. I’m so excited to get to know him more and I can’t wait to see what is in store for us!

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Wow, we are cute!

Also, he became my personal photographer at Animal Kingdom, so enjoy some of the amazing pictures!

We also created an Instagram to share all our future Disney trips and adventures on, so feel free to follow along! @madaustin0117

Don’t forget to follow along with me! @justmemaddyk

My Decision to go Vegetarian

Hi friends!

For about two years now, I’ve been semi-vegetarian, but was never able to commit to it. I have never been a fan of meats, especially red meat. I did some research on going vegetarian and thought it would be a good idea. Plus, it would be a good way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet.

Growing up, chicken was pretty much a staple in our family diet. From a young age, I wasn’t really a fan of hamburger meat/beef. I only remember enjoying hamburgers from McDonald’s and we know that that isn’t real meat. Any other meat that my mom or dad made for dinner, I wasn’t really a fan of. So, I stuck with chicken, turkey on sandwiches and occasionally pulled pork. That was about it.

One day, during our trip to Canada, I realized that I really didn’t enjoy meat. I was only fond of a few types of chicken or the turkey sandwiches. We were eating at Red Robin, a burger joint, where I ordered a burger (I can’t remember what kind). After eating it, I felt sick because it was just this big hunk of red meat. It didn’t sit well in my stomach. So, once we got back to our hotel room, I started looking into vegetarianism.

At the time, I wasn’t an overly adventurous eater. I stuck to what was familiar and that was it. Looking at the recipes and food that was common in the diet of a vegetarian, I knew that I was going to have to really step out of my comfort zone. That is hard to do in a family of picky eaters.

Now that I’ve lived on my own for a few years and I’ve had to feed myself, I’ve gotten more adventurous with my meals, eating things I never thought I’d eat before. Like the other night, I made a mango fish and cauliflower rice dish. It was actually really good and something I’d make again. I also made black bean burgers which came out better than I thought they would! Not only have I become more adventurous in my eating, I’ve learned to cook more. I now own a crock pot and food processor. #GoMe

This year, I’ve decided I’m really going to stick to no meat and go full vegetarian. It is part of my resolution to be happier and I want to be happier with myself. I can’t wait to find new, yummy vegetarian recipes to try!

Are you vegetarian? Let me know in the comments!

What I Learned in 2017

Hi friends!

Well, we have survived our first week of the new year! It’s crazy that it’s already 2018.. I’m still getting used to writing that.

2017 was definitely a crazy year. For me, I think it was one of my hardest years, especially toward the end. Once I graduated college back in May, I joined the thousands of other graduates in the job hunt. It was not easy and honestly stressed me out to the extreme. Luckily, I had my job at Disney and my internship in public relations to pay the bills and give me more experience. But, I couldn’t survive off the hourly wages at Disney and the work of an unpaid intern. So, I kept applying for jobs until the perfect job fell in my lap. I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life – quitting Disney.

This all taught me that things do happen for a reason. Even though I had to leave a job that was fun, albeit stressful at times, and leave some amazing friends, it gave me the opportunity to focus on what I really wanted to do – public relations. I know have been working with this agency for about four months now and I adore this job! Honestly, I wake up and am excited to work because I love my job.

 

A lot was thrown my way in 2017 and it was hard to not let it get the best of me. I won’t go into the boring details of what happened, but things really do happen for a reason. I was knocked down so many times, but I kept getting up. Honestly, I also learned that I have some AMAZING people supporting me. I couldn’t have gotten through 2017 without them.

2017 wasn’t all bad though. I did get an amazing job and met some pretty amazing people. And, I finally started blogging and have learned more about myself. Thanks you all of you for sticking with me as I get this blog started and here’s to a great 2018!

Happy 2018!

Happy 2018, friends!

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful New Year! I can’t believe that 2018 is already here. Honestly, going into this year, I was incredibly nervous because I didn’t know what this year would hold. But, I guess that is exciting, too!

I’m really bad at keeping resolutions, but I thought by blogging them, I’d have to hold myself to them. One of my biggest resolutions is to stick to blogging. I’ve really enjoyed my experience in blogging these past few months and I love finding new and exciting blogs because of it. My other resolution is to be happy. Genuinely happy. That has been my resolution for a few years, but I’m really holding myself to it this year. My happiness comes first.

As nervous as I am, I have a good feeling about this year. I rang in the new year with one of my best friends, which started this year off right. I have an amazing full time job and I have some wonderful friends. I’m happy with where my life is now and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me!

What are your resolutions this year?

Happy 2018!

Holiday Eggnog Yule Log Recipe

Hello friends!

The Confidante Miami Beach released a recipe for their holiday Eggnog Yule Log! I can’t quite make it down to Miami to try it at their restaurant, Bird & Bone, but I’m really looking forward to trying it for Christmas Day dessert!

Ingredients (Yields 12 servings):

  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • 3 tsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Filling:

  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 cups pastry cream
  • 2 cup Ganache
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate
  • Meringue Mushrooms to decorate

Process:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line 2 half sheet trays with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray.
  • Sift flour into a medium bowl add baking powder, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
  • On a double boiler combine the eggs, brown sugar and salt, whisk until warm.
  • Transfer to a stand mixer, whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes until foamy and light, turn to high speed until ribbony and thick.
  • Reduce speed to medium, drizzle oil followed by the booze and vanilla. Sprinkle flour and gently incorporate the dry ingredients.
  • Spread on baking sheets and bake until it feels firm to the touch about 15 min, take out and cover with aluminum foil immediately.
  • Cool down at room temperature.
  • Filling and shaping the cake:
  • Combine all filling ingredients and warm to spreadable consistency.
  • Remove the foil from the cake, spoon the filling evenly on to the cake leaving 1in margin all around the edges.
  • Roll the cake starting from the long side using the parchment paper, position the rolled up cake seam side down.
  • Cover the surface with more Ganache.
  • Refrigerate until ganache has hardened.
  • Cut 3 to 4in pieces on a bias.
  • Decorate with meringue mushrooms.

Let me know if you try it! Don’t forget to subscribe to get updates from my blog and follow me on social media!

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