TJ Maxx Beauty Finds

Vitamin C face mask

One of my favorite things to do when out shopping is to see what beauty products they have available. TJ Maxx not only has a pretty big selection of beauty products, they almost always have some really great finds to try out.

This Vitamin C face mask is my latest Maxx find. I normally try to stick to all natural products, especially for my face, but I break my own rules every now and hen if I find an item that seems worth trying. This one was only $5.99 so even if I didn’t like it, I wasn’t going to be out much money. I’m really glad I picked up this jar because I absolutely love it!

It’s a clear, thick serum that truth be told is a bit messy to put on, but the delicious smell of oranges coming from the jar makes the mess worth it!

You lather the serum all over your face (make sure to avoid your hairline because you don’t want to pull little baby hairs out when removing the mask, trust me!). Once it has completely dried (about 20 minutes), gently peel the mask off revealing smooth, soft and glowing skin!

This is one TJ Maxx find that I hope to find again 🙂

Canvas Painting – Learning As I Go

Wednesday nights art project – Lilacs in a jar

Have you ever discovered something that brings you peace and calmness? Painting does that for me. I started self-teaching myself how to paint not long into quarantine. It began with poured paintings and I’m still working on getting that down. I’m getting a little better at it but I still need to work on getting my technique down good. But like with all things, practice and try again until you get where you want to be. I know it will take time and I just have to be patient with myself.

I was starting to get frustrated with not getting the results I was hoping for on my attempts at poured paintings so I decided to give my mind a break from that and focus my creativity on another aspect of painting.
I’ve been invited a few times to “sips and strokes” events but since I’m not a drinker, I’ve never been. I know, I know, I can still go just for the painting and time with friends but I just haven’t. I definitely will be going the next time I get an invite though! These were my inspirations. I knew there had to be some of the step-by-step videos on YouTube and away I searched.

I found one I really liked and didn’t seem too difficult to complete. It was a simple, yet lovely painting of a few lilacs in a mason jar. I loved it! Luckily, I had all of the required paint colors for this one so it seemed to be the right choice to try out.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to give it a go. The blooms of the flowers were made with q-tips which was something I would have never guessed to use for painting but boy does it work!

I must say, I’m pretty proud of the outcome with this being my first attempt at a painting like this!! I’m going to keep working on these and make a series of flower paintings to add to my Etsy shop. I still only have my handmade jewelry on the site now but will be adding crafts very very soon. I’d like to add some paintings as well once they are worthy 🙂

What kind of paintings or crafts would you like to see on my Etsy page? Comment below and let me know! Make sure to check out what necklaces are left in stock now if you haven’t lately :):)

Have a great Thursday, Friends!

A Necessary Beach Day

Happy Tuesday, Friends!
My Husband and I finally ventured out of the house to somewhere other than the grocery store this past Saturday. We haven’t been anywhere else, other than him being back in the office part time, since the March. A beach trip was long overdue. We figured that was the perfect place to go since social distancing isn’t an issue when you have the entire shore line and beach.

I have always loved the beach since I was a child. I grew up in the country in Tennessee and didn’t see the ocean until I was about 5 years old. We took a vacation every summer and my sister and I wanted to go to Disney so off to Florida we went! My cousin John, who went with us each year on vacation, told me the whole way there (like a 10 hour car ride) that the ocean was full of sharks looking for little girls to eat. I was terrified and told my Nanna I wasn’t going near the beach when we arrived.

Oh how things changed once I laid my eyes on that big, never ending body of water. They couldn’t keep me out of the ocean once I got in. I absolutely loved it and knew that was where I belonged. It took me until I was almost 30 years old to live near the ocean but I can’t imagine living away from it now. It truly is one of my favorite things on this Earth.

We got up bright and early Saturday morning and headed west to the ocean. Living in Southern California, we have tons of beaches to choose from. We tend to favor Orange County beaches and Laguna is one of the cleanest and most beautiful. We also wanted to go to a more secluded spot normally not too crowded.

We arrived a little after 7am and there were only a few locals walking their doggies along the beach. It was a beautiful sight after being locked away for 4 months!! We walked up and down the shore line, took in the beautiful scenery, saw a group of dolphins swimming, checked out a spot with lots of ocean creatures living and layed in the sand and soaked up the morning sun. It was glorious to say the least.

The only downfall to the day was the drive back out of Laguna Beach. Sadly, by this time of the day the streets were packed with people and lines poured out of all the local eateries. Hardly nobody wearing facial coverings and little to no social distancing at all.
I get it, we are all over it and want life to go back to some sort of normalcy again. We have to do what is right in order to get to that point. California was on its way back to better Covid numbers, and then Memorial Day came along and everyone forgot all the hard work and sacrifices we made and now we are even worse than before. Everyday records are broken for cases in the area. We have to all do our part to end this or at least be able to manage it somewhat.

Stay safe, wash your hands and don’t forget to social distance! I know it can be hard, but sickness, death and burying our family and friends is harder.

Looking for longer, thicker eyebrows and eyelashes? Look no further!

Another Amazon find 🙂

Everyone wants longer and thicker eyebrows and eyelashes, right? Well, I for one certainly do! Lucky for me, I’ve always had pretty long eyelashes so they have never been an issue for me. My eyebrows on the other hand, now that’s a different story.

My left eyebrow is decent. It could definitely be a little longer, but hey, I know it could also be worse. Which brings us to my problem child, my right eyebrow. It’s like it’s missing both ends. It’s been like that my entire life. I learned from my older sister back in the 90’s when it was the ‘in style’ to pluck the living daylights out of your eyebrows until you were left with a thin little line of hair above your eye. I knew that was just not the look for me and thank God for that because hers never fully grew back and I imagine I would be in the same hairless boat with her had I taken that route back in the day.

I’ve thought about getting them microbladded, but honestly, I’m way to scared to let someone tattoo my face. My face. I just can’t put that kind of trust in someone, sorry. I’ve tried different types of makeup remedies to get the eyebrows I want (full, but not bushy and from corner to corner of my eyes) and let’s be real, I’ve never been able to get it down just right.

So I did what I always do when I need information, I turned to Google to see if there were any home remedies that would possibly work to help grow the hair naturally. That’s when I found out about castor oil. There were tons of reviews from women who had tried using this castor oil on their eyebrows (and eyelashes) and had great growth results.
I hit up Amazon, found a good organic kind with good reviews of course 😉 and placed my order along with a pack of spoolie brushes to apply with.

I started using the castor oil on my eyebrows and eyelashes (because why not!) and within 20-30 days I was already seeing results! Each night I put a light layer of oil on the spoolie brush and brush each eyebrow with it, really focusing on where I want the hair thicker the most. I then apply the remaining oil on my eyelashes, just like you would apply mascara (*be careful to not use too much on your eyelashes as it will get in your eyes and trust me, that’s not fun).

My eyebrows were noticeably thicker and fuller and not to mention super soft! My eyelashes were even a little bit longer and I certainly ain’t mad about that!! I wish I would have taken a before picture so you could see the difference a month makes!

Have you found anything that you use to thicken your eyebrows? I would totally recommend giving castor oil a try if you want yours to grow, too!

Another 2020 Mystery – My Beautiful Night Blooming Cactus

In full bloom

I am a nature and flower lover. Always have been, always will be. Growing up, my Nanna always had a vegetable garden and multiple flower beds. One of my favorite things to do was to get up in the morning and water all of the plants outside around the house. I have carried that on into my adult lift also. Part of my daily morning and evening routine is watering all of the plants around my house.

About 6 years ago, my Husband and I had traveled back home to Tennessee for a few days for a family visit. While we were there, we stopped to visit my late Mother’s best friend, Carole. Carole is actually the person that named me when I was born. As the story goes, my Mother told her she was going to name me Chauncy and Carole said no, name her Courtney instead. Thankfully my Mother took her advice!

On this visit, Carole gave me a plant that was just a bunch of long, green leaves. She told me it was a Night Blooming Cactus and that it would bloom for just one night, once a year, in the fall time. We took the plant back home with us to California, put it on the back patio of the apartment we were currently living in, and let it be. Over the next 3 years, the plant never produced any blooms at all. Honestly, I forgot Carole had told me that it would even bloom. It was still a nice leafy plant so it never fazed me that it hadn’t gotten any flowers.

Around year 4 of having the cactus, we were now living in a house and the plant was residing by our front walkway, growing like crazy in it’s new home. In early October of that year, the plant had produced one very large flower bud. We watched it for a few weeks waiting for it to bloom. One early morning, on our way out the door to head to work, we noticed the flower was in full bloom and boy was it gorgeous! All around the plant smelled like someone had sprayed the most glorious perfume you had ever smelled in your entire life. Good ole Google let me know that when the flower bud opens it releases the heavenly fragrance. By the time the sun is fully up the morning after bloom, the flower closes and dies. You only have a few hours to bask in it’s glory. I saw several videos of the buds opening and was determined that I would get to witness it happening the next year.

Year 5, I was ready. This time, there were about 15 buds ready to bloom in October!! (Google also told me each year the cactus should get more and more blossoms!!) We missed the first 2 bloom and caught the the following morning. We could tell the others would be opening that night as they were starting to spread on their tips. We made ourselves a spot on the walkway by the plant, had the phone ready to get some epic photos, and waited for magic.

It was soooo worth it! Watching 13 flowers all experience their only hours long lives was unlike any other garden experience I can think of. It really is something of wonder and awe.

I was so excited for this year to see how many blooms we would get since we got so many more last year than the year before that. And her comes 2020 and it said, what else can I mess with in this world that is just unnatural?? Well friends, we are just in the beginning of July, July people. No where near fall time. It’s going to be 103 degrees tomorrow. And guess what? The cactus just bloomed 11 buds the night before last!! I couldn’t believe it! I’m just going to look at it as the world knew we needed some beauty added to it and didn’t want us to have to wait until the fall time.

Either way, I’m so thankful I was given this long, leafy plant that turned out to be something magical!
Have you ever seen any plants like this or do you have any yourself? Let’s talk about them 🙂

DermaRoller – My Skins New Love

Honestly, I was terrified of dermarollers when I first looked into them. The thought of a bunch of tiny needles rolling over my face did not sound like my kinda thing.
Lucky for me, one of my friends had recently purchased one at TJ Maxx so she got to be my guinea pig for this ‘in’ facial treatment! She tried it out and she absolutely loved the results after just one use. She assured me that the needles weren’t as bad as you think it’s going to be and it not going to actually make your face bleed. Thank God because that is exactly what I had pictured, hundreds of tiny, bleeding holes in my face.
So I took a leap of faith, headed of to good ol’ Amazon, looked for a dermaroller with good reviews and made the purchase.

My main focus for the dermaroller are the devilish fine lines that somehow had the nerve to start showing themselves around my eyes (like seriously, how freaking rude).
When I was reading reviews, everyone said to make sure that you have a great serum to put on your face after using the roller so it goes directly into your skin, hence, the purpose of poking a bunch of little holes into your face. I went with a vitamin C serum that I have since fallen in love with!

Another Amazon find 🙂

The key to using the dermaroller correctly, is to use pressure, but don’t stab yourself. You have to find the right amount of pressure for you. (Make sure to follow the instructions on the dermaroller that your purchase. Especially the cleaning directions as using dirty needles can cause irritation or infection to your face and nobody wants that!)

Immediately after using the roller all over my face (except for my nose, lips and eyelids) I lather my face and neck in the vitamin c serum and let it soak in for about 2 minutes. I then apply a sheet face mask (I prefer rose water sheet masks) and let the mask do its magic for the next 20-30 minutes, depending on the masks instructions.

For the next 3-4 days, my face is visibly brighter, tighter and has a more even tone. You literally can see and feel the difference. I love it!

I use my dermaroller every other week. I could use it weekly but I don’t want to overwork my skin so bi-weekly works better for my.

Have you used a dermaroller before or are you thinking of trying it for the first time? Let’s talk about it below 🙂

Me Time: Finding ways to relax and destress

“Me Time” is super important in my opinion. I think everyone can benefit from taking a little time, no matter if it’s a day, a weekend or just 15 minutes, for themselves. It gives me clarity and a free head space, even in the times I don’t realize I need it.

I make Sunday afternoon’s ‘Courtney Time’. I spend a few hours to clear my mind, renew my spirit and get mentally ready for the upcoming week. Do I get this time every single Sunday, no, of course not. Life happens and that’s perfectly ok because I know there is no fighting that. I do try to take that time each week as often as I can, which is most weeks, and I’m very grateful that I am able to take a little me time.

I have a pretty set routine for my relaxation time. It starts with a warm bubble bath while using a hair mask (I use one by Wen that is Amazing!!). I lay and let my troubles of the past week soak away. This is actually my favorite part 🙂 Soaking in a hot tub just does something for the soul I think!

Up next, facial time. A few months ago I introduced a dermaroller into this part of my routine. Yeah, it consists of poking little needles into my face, but trust me, it’s soooo worth it!! I’ll do a post soon about that and the benefits 🙂

After using the roller, I slather on vitamin c oil and a face mask and lay on my bed in complete silence for 20 minutes. I don’t think about anything, I let my mind go free. It took a long time to be able to free my mind like that as I couldn’t seem to keep the list of thoughts running though my mind all the time. Or at least after 30 seconds or so of silent thinking!

Another thing I do to relax and easy my mind, I stay off of social media for a week or 2 at a time. I don’t open it, look at notifications, nothing. If you are like me and are looking at social media most days, taking that time away is so freaking good. Try it out and see for yourself how much more clear your mind is without clouding it with the nonsense on there and seeing what everyone else is doing. Does it matter? Does it do anything for your life? I think it’s just so normal for us now that we don’t realize how it affects our minds until we let it go for a while. (*I do still work my business page as they are scheduled posts and lets face it, social media keeps businesses going at times like these)

It’s not much, but it’s what I need for that push to keep going, especially now in these crazy times. Getting that time in to escape it all and just focus on me and peace, makes my week!

I hope this gives you some ideas of ways to take time out for YOU!!

How do you relax? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Crafts on crafts on crafts….Poured paint

My very first try! I really love the color combos of this one!

Happy Friday! We made it through another week of 2020 which these days, is a true accomplishment. I hope you all are having an amazing week and big plans for your weekend 🙂

As most know, I’m always into some sort of craft project. I’m even getting plans together to start on this years Christmas crafts! I recently have started working on poured paintings. I came across a video on YouTube one day of a lady creating one and n ext thing I knew I was down a YouTube rabbit hole of painting videos!!! Hahaha! I was in love with not only the final results of the masterpieces, but the process. I find crafting to be very therapeutic and soothing for me. I can just lose myself in the art and I simply love that.

I purchased some canvas’ and paints (hello JoAnn’s clearance section!) and starting working on making some of my own. I even got my Husband in on it and he’s not the crafting kinda man! The process drew him in the same way it had drawn me in initially with the videos (seriously, check some out online 🙂 )

I definitely still have a ways to go but I’m loving the fun of learning! The things I need the most work on are mixing the colors in the correct order (apparently this makes a huge difference when the colors start mixing) and getting my pouring technique down. I’ll get there!!!

Have your tried poured painting? If so, what tips or tricks do you have to share? Comment below 🙂

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful weekend!!!

My Beauty Favorites – Coconut Oil

coconut oil aka Jesus in a jar

My journey to start using more natural products began several years ago and that is what let to my introduction to coconut oil, or as I like to call it, Jesus in a jar. Yes, it’s that good 🙂

I was looking for an alternative to regular shampoos and had began using Burts Bees shampoo and conditioners. While I loved (and still do) the shampoos, the conditioners just weren’t doing it for my hair. I have seriously thick hair and washing it alone puts it in ridiculous knots (super annoying). I began Googling what options were out there to help this hair but avoid chemical filled conditioners. That’s when it happened, one of the first results to come up was to use coconut oil in place of conditioner. At first, I was a bit skeptical because I hate coconut as a food, which was all I knew it as at that time. I figured I’d give it a try anyways since it wasn’t going into my mouth!

I bought a jar at the grocery store and tried it out. It was amazing from the first try! Before I got into the shower, I covered my entire head in the oil and massaged it all the way to the ends of my hair (which were super dry and totally soaked it up). Once in the shower, I rinsed the oil out and shampooed as normal. It made my hair so soft I could hardly believe it!!!

That was almost 7 years ago and I haven’t used a regular conditioner since!!! I started looking up other uses for this newfound glory oil and was surprised at all it can be used for. Here are some of the ways you can use coconut oil in your everyday beauty routines and life!

If you have other coconut oil uses, let me know in the comments!!

My Top Ways to Use Coconut Oil
makeup remover (put a little on a cotton ball and your makeup will come right off!)
lotion (I lather my entire body, face to toes, before getting out of the shower and it feels amazing)
cuticle lotion (I have really dry cuticles and the oil has basically cured that)
lightens dark spots on skin
add shine to dry hair (put a little oil on your fingertips and run it through your hair for a great shine)
face wash (I use this as a face wash if I’m out of Burts Bees face wash)
face highlighter (lightly put on areas your want to highlight and add a bit of shine)
shaving cream (ahhhh the best shaving cream ever!!!)
heal rough heels and feet (cover your feet in the oil and put socks on and go to sleep)
great for dogs! (I use this on my dogs pads of their feet to soften them, on their skin to keep it from drying out in the summer heat, a little on their nose for them to lick off as a special, and healthy, treat)

Let me know how You’re using this miracle oil in the comments!!

The glasses you need even when you don’t need glasses

I actually think I have pretty good vision. Granted, I haven’t actually been to the eye doctor for around 6 years. I do notice that a lot of screen time tends to give me a headache, which I’ve been told is in fact vision related. Still, I didn’t feel that it was a big enough issue to go to the doctor to get it checked out. When I went 6 years ago they told me I had great vision, aside from having astigmatism in one eye.

Fast forward to today’s world where I, like most of us these days, spend even more time on looking at screens. I’m pretty sure this was another case of Google listening to me because no later than a few days of me complaining to my husband about the screen time getting to my headaches again, I start getting all these ad’s coming up online about blue blocker glasses to help with issues from straining your eyes from too much screen time. Coincidence, I think not, I’m on to you Google!! hahahaha!

I looked up ‘blue blocker glasses’ on Amazon and there were lots of results to choose from. Let’s be real, I wanted to find a semi-cheap pair to try them out before committing too much money for something I don’t even know if I’ll wear once I get them.

I ended up choosing a pair in the middle price range, $14.99, that had some good reviews (I’m a sucker for a good review of a product). I went with the brand Feirdio (link below). It came with 2 pairs and you can choose what colors you want for each pair. I opted for black and a clear pair.

To my surprise, they work amazingly!!! I can tell such a difference in wearing them while on the phone or laptop (I personally can’t tell much difference with the TV). My husband tried them out and he even likes them which is a big deal if you know my husband!

If you have issues with screen time like I do, I highly suggest trying these out, or any brand of blue light blocker glasses.

Have you already tried some? If so, let me know your thoughts or if you have other remedies for screen time eye strain, please share away 🙂