From Pot Luck to Best Friends + Meet Michelle

The beginning of college is one of the most exciting times in your life.

  • You are moving away from home.
  • You are on your own for the first time in your life.
  • You get to make new friends.
  • You get to reinvent your life.

When I got accepted to Auburn, I was going to room with someone I knew from high school.  We were friends, but something happened that summer, and we decided collectively to not continue on with our roommate plans.  We both let the school know and then we got paired with new roommates.

pot-luck-to-best-friends

I didn’t meet my freshman roommate until she got to Auburn.  We had only talked on the phone and chatted with each other on AIM.  I didn’t really know what to expect with her and just knew that we would make it work.  I mean, you have to when you are in a dorm room.

Auburn Football Gameday

Auburn Gameday 2004.

The funniest part of our friendship story is that a song brought us together.  Stigmatized by The Calling was that song and it is what will always be the thing that brought us together.  You see, she played this song constantly, and finally I asked her what it was called because I knew all the words, but didn’t know the song or artist.  And our friendship was born.

Auburn Football Game - 2002 - From Pot Luck to Best Friends

Auburn Football Game -2002

I was so lucky with my pot luck roommate.  We have managed to stay best friends through a lot and I love her dearly.  For instance, she came to realize that after being at Auburn for 3 and a half years, Auburn wasn’t the best fit for her.  At that time, I didn’t know what to do or if we would stay friends.  I didn’t know what was in our future, but I stood by her decision to leave Auburn even though it was hard for me.  I had to reinvent myself again, which was challenging, but I knew it was best for her.

Lane Hall Dorm at Auburn University

Lane Hall Dorm – Where we met in 2006.

Despite it all, we were able to remain best friends.  We were in each others weddings.  We were with each other through huge life decisions.  And even though she lives in Orlando and I am in Atlanta, we make it work.  We make time for each other.  We try to talk on the phone at least once a week and we see each other whenever we can.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Auburn University party

Auburn Party – 2005.

When I was deciding who was going to be in my wedding, there was no question that Casey would be a part of it.  I was in her wedding, and I knew that I wanted her to be standing up there with me (even though she had an 8 week old baby with her).  She was a trooper and stayed with me the whole day.  She even held my veil after the ceremony during our impromptu receiving line.  She was a great bridesmaid and is my best friend for life.

Wedding bridal picture with Casey

Photo courtesy by Jason Hales Photography.

How was your college roommate experience?


I am so excited to introduce you to Michelle.  She blogs over at Blogs Like A Girl is has become an every day read for me.  One thing that I love about her is her book reviews.  As someone who loves to read, I love reading what other books someone is reading and if they liked it.

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Michelle was a member of the Small Blog Mentor Program, and I am so glad that she joined my program.  It has been so wonderful to get to know her better and to read about her blogging goals.

She also has some great recipes (she was on Weight Watchers for a while), that I need to try out, and you should too!

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Check out these blog posts that I love:

Blog // Bloglovin // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram

From The Dermatologist to Lush Cosmetics

It’s no secret that I have some interesting skin.  It’s acne-prone, dry, sensitive and just annoying.  I recently came to the conclusion that the skin care regiment I was on for ages wasn’t working.  I hated the idea of changing things up because my skin likes to go bonkers, but I also knew that I needed to do something to get rid of the new breakouts I had been having.

While my skin is still not 100% perfect – or looks how I was hoping – it is getting better.  So, what did I change?

My Dermatologist Routine

I started going to the Dermatologist back before our wedding.  Well before the wedding, actually.  We tried a few different things, but what worked best for me was antibiotics, spot treatments and a sulfur lotion.  The antibiotics truly were the best thing for me.  And they worked for a while.

Then, I ran out of the prescription, and things got bad.  I started breaking out a lot more and I couldn’t get a hold of it.  I went back to the Dermatologist and she put me on the same prescription, but it just wasn’t the same.  It didn’t have the same affect that it did the first time around.  I heard that this is the problem with the antibiotics.  It was after that visit that I knew something needed to change.

When Jenn posted about her Lush experience, I knew I had to at least give it a try.  I was desperate at that point and pretty much willing to do anything to get rid of my acne.

From The Dermatologist to Lush Cosmetics

Why Lush Cosmetics?

I believe that it matters what you are putting on your face.  100%.  I also think that what you put in your body matters too, but what I was putting on my face was not good for it.  I knew that I needed to find something that was natural.  I also wanted something that used natural, fresh ingredients and wouldn’t completely kill my skin.  It doesn’t hurt that Lush doesn’t do any animal testing on their products and they use wonderful Ethical Buying practices.

The fact that they were natural and handmade kind of sold me.  Plus, so many people were talking about how great their products were I couldn’t possibly say no.  I mean, they give you free samples after spending an hour with you – it’s a win/win.

My Lush Cosmetics Routine

The weekend after I read Jenn’s post, I marched my booty to Lush to have them help me.  My skin was so bad that I went with makeup on (even though I knew I should have gone without it).  But regardless, they completely changed my life.  I went in and was able to try everything that they were going to give me.  They gave me generous samples of everything to try.  After I tried everything and liked the results, I purchased the products online.  The only one I haven’t had to purchase is Grease Lightening because the sample size was so much.

So what is my routine now?

MORNING ROUTINE

My Lush Cosmetics Daytime Routine

  1. Wash my face with plain old water.  I will be the first to tell you that this is weird.  It still is weird to me and I have been doing it for about 2 weeks.  I have been washing my face twice a day my entire life, so changing up this has been a challenge.
  2. Spritz Eau Roma Water all over my face.  This is basically a toner that hydrates my skin and makes it feel so fresh and clean.
  3. Once it’s dry, I apply Grease Lightening to my trouble spots.  Oh, this stuff is gold.  I absolutely love it and will be purchasing more soon.
  4. I use a dab – really, only a dab – of Vanishing Cream to moisturize.
  5. Then it’s on to the makeup.

I might try the Tea Tree Water as my toner as well.  I have heard great things about this one too.

NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

This is where things get crazy!

I take off my makeup by using the Neutragena Wipes.  It’s the best thing I have found to remove all my makeup.

My Lush Cosmetics Night Time Routine

  1. I wash my face with Herbalism.  Guys – this stuff is insane.  First of all, it’s green.  Then it’s got goodness in it that smells very earthy.  You take a little bit into your palm and add water to make a paste.  It’s weird but so good.  Then you gently scrub it all over your face.
  2. Once I rinse off my face, I spritz the Eau Roma Water.  Sometimes I will spritz this directly on my face and sometimes I will spritz it onto a cotton round and rub it on my face.  Either way, the result is the same.  Wonderful feeling skin.
  3. After it’s dry, I either put on Grease Lightening or Aczone (from the Dermatologist).  Both of these are great, but I do think Aczone has some added benefits when I have a big zit pop up.
  4. Depending on how my skin feels and the weather, I will dab Vanishing Cream to my face.  Some nights I don’t need any moisturizer, or only a little on the tight places.

The Holy Grail of All The Grails

What I am about to share with you might change your life the way it has mine.  I have never before been a big mask person.  They just never showed me the benefits of a wonderful mask.  I have (and recently found) a sulfur mask from Origins that I loved.  Until I found Mask of Magnaminty.

Lush Cosmetics Mask of Magnaminty - Self Preserving

I swear by this stuff.  It is fantastic, and gentle enough to use 2-3 times a week.  I hated the smell of the Origins mask that I had because it used sulfur.  Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty uses peppermint.  You can only imagine what your face will feel and smell like with this stuff on it.  I use the self-preserving kind (that just means that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated), and it is amazing.  I could talk this stuff up more than I already have, but I will spare you.  Just know that it’s fantastic and works wonders on my skin.

Mask of Magnaminty by Lush Cosmetics.

I was not in any way compensated for this post.  I just truly believe in these products and have bought all of them with my own money.  I can show you the receipts if you want.  

Have you ever tried Lush before?

Make-Up Saves & Splurges

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges

I’ve become quite the make-up lover of the years. It’s fun to wear, allows me to change up my look and give me confidence. Because I enjoy experimenting, plus I can’t handle not trying the next “new” product, trust me when I say I’ve tried A LOT of products, from drug-store brands to higher-end cult classics. (Insert my wallet crying here). One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from my product testing is when it’s worth splurging on a product rather than saving and vice versa, let me explain.
Save on Mascara |  To this day my two favorite mascaras are Covergirl’s Clump Crusher (retails for approx. $5) and Maybelline’s Great Lash (around $4). Now I’ve tried much more expensive mascaras, like Benefit’s They’re Real! (around $24) and honestly hated it. My lashes were a clumpy mess. Overall I’ve never found a mascara I’d consider paying more than a few bucks for.

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges
Save on Brushes | I’m hard on my brushes and hate cleaning them. Plus I go through stages were I’d rather apply makeup with a beauty blender or my fingers, so I’d rather save my money. Typically I rotate between ELF brushes ($1-$3 per brush at Target) or a set of Sonia Kashuk brushes (roughly $25-30 for anywhere from 6-10 brushes). I’m not to proud to say I will stalk the clearance section, my current Kashuk set I scored on clearance for $10! Since I spend less I’m not as worried about caring for the brushes, cleaning them or getting upset when they fall in the toilet (this has happened).

Save on Lip Products | I’m beginning to think it’s impossible for me to leave Target without purchasing at least one new lip stick or gloss. I’ve been loving Revlon’s ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lip in Ultimate Orchid ($9.39), it goes on a lot like a gloss but dries quickly ensuring my color stays put for hours. Out of curiosity I  recently purchased a NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($26 at Sephora) in Roman Holiday and was extremely disappointed. It wasn’t as pigmented as my Revlon nor did it last as long. For how often I enjoy switching up colors I’m not comfortable spending that much!

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges

Save on Eyeshadow | Back in the day I’d purchase the Covergirl Eye Enhancers (about $3.19 at Target) and end up with a pile of them in my make-up drawer. I got tired of searching through all those tiny palettes and decided to try the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($54 at Sephora), which I am obsessed with. Now I know that $54 is a good chunk of change so let me explain why I believe it’s a save. Each palette holds 12 colors, which breaks down to $4.50 a piece. Although this is more than one of my Covergirl Eye Enchancers, this palette lasts a least twice as long, wears better and has more pigmentation. I’ve purchased mine on March 16th, 2014 and I have used it almost everyday since, but am not even close to using up a single color. These are well worth the initial investment and in the end really is a save.
Splurge on Eyeliner | I love a good cat-eye but had trouble finding a lower-end brand that stayed put all day. I started to experiment with pricier liners like Benefit, and Kate Von D until I came upon Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($20 at Sephora). I LOVE this stuff, it sets quickly and does what it says, it stays all day, even on my oily lids. I’ve personally never found a drug-store brand that can do that so for me –  it’s completely worth the splurge.

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges

Splurge on Primer | Primer is probably the most important piece in my make-up arsenal. It helps to hide imperfections and pores, smooths the skin and most importantly keeps your make-up on your face, making it a worth a splurge in my book. I’m a huge fan of the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer ($18-$74 at Sephora). The price is a bit outrageous and honestly more than I typically spend (even on a splurge) but it works plain and simple and for that reason alone I will continue to purchase it. It’s important to note that a little does go a long well so one tube will last me several months. I’ve tried supposed dupes of this product like NYX’s Angel Wear Skin Perfecting Primer ($15.99 at Ulta) but at least for my skin it doesn’t come close to the original.

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges

Splurge on Foundation | I’ve been on a foundation hunt for months now, sometimes it feels like I’ve tried every single one out there! I’m not done searching but currently I am liking Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Light in Intensity 1.0 ($37 at Sephora) and CoverFx’s Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation in N30 ($40 at Sephora). Both wear well, look natural, last about five hours without changing color or compromising my coverage. Since my skin is oily, sensitive, AND acne-prone splurging here is a no-brainer for me. I need something that won’t bother my skin and stay put. I haven’t found a lower-end foundation that can do all of this, thus this is more of a splurge out of necessity.

The rest of the items I use on the daily like blush, eyebrow pencils, concealer and setting sprays/powders I tend to go back and forth on. Sometimes I splurge to try a new product or cult classic and other times I go the drug-store route, it depends on what’s working, how much money I have to spend and what I’m in the mood for.At the end of the day people can recommend brands till their red in the face but ultimately you have to find what works for you at a price point you’re comfortable with. There’s nothing wrong with saving versus splurging if you are happy with the product and how you look, but don’t be afraid to try new products (even those you think you won’t like). Purchase items at Ulta or Sephora, both allow you to return anything you don’t like.Make-up can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be! If you aren’t happy with a product, even if it’s a cult classic that is all the rage, return it! Find something you love. It’s your money and your face!

How To Be A Good Spouse

I have been married a really long time – 9 whole months – so I know a ton about being married and what makes a good spouse, right?

Today, I want to talk about how you can be a good spouse.  It’s pretty easy, actually.  So why not take some of my very good advice?

How To Be A Good Spouse

Photo courtesy of Jason Hales Photography

To be a good spouse you need to:

  1. Cook all the time.  Never leave the kitchen.  Keep pumping out dinners, lunches, desserts…whatever your husband needs, you make.
  2. Clean all the time.  First of all, this will be hard since you will be cooking constantly.  But, you can find an extra hour somewhere and magically clean your entire house.  Yep – one hour for a whole house should be enough.  And do that daily.
  3. Find the time to iron your husband’s shirts perfectly.  Now, I know how to iron but I can not for the life of me iron a long sleeve button up shirt worth anything.  Jeremy actually irons them better – so he does that.
  4. Never buy yourself anything.  Don’t spend any money at all – ever.
  5. Only watch TV together.  There is no need to actually talk to each other because the TV tells us everything we ever need to know.
  6. Don’t read anything.  Who needs a fantasy land when you have the TV instead?  Isn’t it better to have something talk to you instead of having to read?  Yea, I thought so.

I think that is a pretty darn good list on how to be a good spouse.  Right?  What did I miss?

All kidding aside, I love being a spouse and I love my husband more today than the day we got married.  That’s something, right?

Also, spouse is a weird word spelled out.  Really weird.

If you can’t tell I’m joking then this might not be the post for you.