Christmas Decor Haul!

What’s goin’ on you guys?! 😀

For my second Blogmas post, I wanted to do and share with you guys a Christmas decor haul post! I did one for Fall/Halloween, so I figure why not do another for the holiday season?!

Similar to my Fall/Halloween haul post (which I’ll leave linked here if you guys wanted to check it out), for the most part everything I picked up is affordable and not at all crazy expensive. I shopped at stores like Dollar Tree, Target, CVS (again), and the Christmas Tree Shop!!

Some are things I’ve had from last year, and a lot of them are actually new additions that I’m really excited about sharing with you guys! 😀

I figure I’ll pretty much do it the same way I did the last one, in that I’ll break the items up based off the store(s) I bought them at.

So let’s get started! 🙂

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Dollar Tree

I feel like this store is SO underrated.  Literally every single thing you pick up here is $1. They don’t say their store is a dollar or a 99 cents store but then really everything is $2, $3, $4…no. EVERY SINGLE THING IS $1. AND especially for things/occasions like this, they actually have A LOT of cute and good quality stuff for it.

Dollar Tree is definitely a go-to for me when I’m shopping for decorations for a particular occasion. It’s actually probably one of the first stores I go check out before anywhere else. Scroll down to see the things I got from there. 

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To be able to hang on my door.
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Candy cane streamer, which I hung over my bed.
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The next four are all Christmas signs that I hung throughout the walls in my room.

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I hung these candy canes right above my bed frame.
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So I hung the candy canes at a distance from each other, and in between them, put these cute little signs.

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Target:

Target, as I’m sure relatively EVERYONE knows, has really great stuff when it comes to special occasions, holidays, etc. as well. BUT, it is or could be more on the pricier side of things.

These next 2 things I got were actually from Target, but thankfully, weren’t that bad at all price-wise.

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Santa Claus fairy lights!! If you saw (and/or remember) my Halloween/Fall decor post, I got similar lights, but with pumpkins on them and I strung them over my vanity.
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So I got these in a box last year from Target. They’re little wind up toys and came with a total of 6 of them. Originally, I got them for Diego’s nephews as little stocking stuffers, but I ended up having a ton extra, so I gave some to my family and kept these two for myself. And I just put them at the tops of my vanity for decoration.

Bath & Body Works

This one is pretty self- explanatory just because in general for the most part, this entire store is for buying candles, wall scents, etc. I buy my candles from here (as pictured below), HOWEVER, they don’t have a HUGE selection, but they do also have little decorative pieces here and there aside from candles and scents, which is where I got the below figurines.

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During the holidays, these are my three absolute favorite scented candles to get from Bath & Body Works. Ugh, they smell AMAZING. Light any one of these candles, put on some Christmas music, and I promise you you’ll be in the Christmas spirit instantly.

I had went to Bath & Body Works after Christmas last year (a few days later), when there were a TON of sales going on and saw these and thought they were SO cute for like $1, so I grabbed them both! 🙂

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Christmas Tree Shops

And finally, I HAD to mention my absolute favorite store of all (for the Holiday season), which is called Christmas Tree Shops!!

You guys…obsessed is an understatement. The name is super deceiving, but this place is completely decked out from head to toe in Christmas Decor. They have everything from Christmas trees, to lights and decorations, food, snacks and candy, etc.

And the best part about them? THEY’RE NOT EXPENSIVE AT ALL. Now, I wouldn’t say the prices are as cheap as Dollar Tree, but regardless it’s still pretty inexpensive compared to most places.

I didn’t get ALL that much stuff here, but I cannot wait to go here to buy all of mine and Diego’s future holiday decorations for our own place. 😀 ❤

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Some little pictures/plaques that I hung up around my room.

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More little pictures/plaques for my room, but I actually keep these in particular on my TV stand along with the other little things which I’m going to mention in a second.
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This picture is a tiny bit misleading, just because the little tree on the left was actually part of the figurine decorations I got at bath & body works, and the snowglobe on the right, I actually got in CVS. BUT, the Christmas countdown in the middle was from the Christmas Tree Shops store lol. (Also, these 3 pieces are actually my favorites from everything that I have).
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And the last couple of things I have are actually these mini light-up snowglobe type things. They’re those ones that you see in all sorts of characters, occasions, etc. that also change color as they stay on. Super cute, and they were only $1 each. These are what I keep on my TV along with the plaques I mentioned before. See below for them changing colors.

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Well guys, that’s it. Those are all of the holiday decorations I have this year (for my room anyway). I hope you guys enjoyed this post and/or that I peaked your interest with some of the pieces I had.

Leave me a comment or write to me on social media about any holiday-related posts or posts in general that you guys would like to see in the future!

Please like, share, follow, and comment, and I’ll see you guys on Sunday for my Blogmas day 3 post! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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Meeting My Favorite Author For The First Time!!

If you happen to follow me on social media (which if you don’t, you totally should…all my info for that is always left at the end of my posts), you would have seen that this past Tuesday, October 16th, was SUCH an exciting day for me.

I got to meet my favorite author and pretty much the person who is responsible for inspiring me to want to write as more than just a hobby.

The author I’m referring to is Nicholas Sparks, who I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with his work. He is the author who wrote best-sellers like The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Dear John, The Last Song and SO many others…many of which were later turned into films.

Since it’s still so fresh, and I’m still really excited about it, I thought it would be fun (like most other things that I try to do) and share my entire experience of it with you guys!

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The Waiting Process

I had literally been planning for that day for about 2-3 months in advance since I first heard about the event happening.

It was a big deal, I was SO excited.

I had actually taken off from work to be able to go to it, because I didn’t want to risk missing anything from the event.

So, I made sure to wake up extra early (at about 5-6 am I believe), get ready as fast as I could (doing my hair, makeup in about half hour which I’m PRETTY sure is record breaking time) and rushing out the door. I managed to get to the 14th Street (Union Square) Barnes & Noble store by 8 o’clock. The doors didn’t open until 9 though, so I had (along with many others) to wait outside for an hour.

Personally, although it was REALLY cold that morning, it didn’t feel like all that long of a wait (thank god for social media and YouTube).

Once the doors opened at 9 you were directed to the main cashiers to be able to purchase the book and receive your wristband for the event. After getting both, you had the option of either coming back later when the event started at 12:30 OR just hanging out in the store until it was time.

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I was still freezing from being outside AND starving, so once I got my book and wristband, I quickly made my way upstairs to the Starbucks to get my coffee and something to eat. After getting those, I thought I was being “smart” by running upstairs to get to the floor that the event was going to be at so that I could secure my good seat…I quickly realized once I got up there that a TON of other people had the same idea as me 😂. It was all good though because I still managed to be pretty close up, in like the 3rd row.

By the time I actually got myself settled with my seat and other things, it was only about 10am, so I still had about 2 and a half hours to kill before the event started. Again, the waiting really wasn’t so bad for me honestly. In that time I was able to watch YouTube videos, read the synopsis of the book and author’s note, and even walked around the entire store and managed to come out with 4 extra books then what was originally intended. Needless to say I was very entertained lol.

While I was clearly having the best time EVER wandering around my favorite store and finding more and more books for me to buy by the second, before I knew it it was 12:30 and the event was about to start.

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The Event

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The event itself was pretty cool and fun. The events coordinator for the store introduced Nicholas Sparks a little bit, then had him come up on stage to say a few words before the meet and greet/book signing actually started.

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When he finally came up, he spoke a little bit about his previous books and what led him to write this one specifically (the name of his book is Every Breath if I didn’t already mention that). He spoke about a few key points in this specific book like the characters, their backgrounds, what inspired certain details in the book and a ton of other things that I don’t want to get TOO detailed about because I don’t want to spoil anything. He also took a few questions from the audience which I thought was really nice because a lot of people don’t do that.

I even got to ask and have him answer a question!

I’m one of those people that gets SO nervous about things like that and second guesses whether or not I actually want to and/or should, even if I really DO want to. Anxiety freakin’ sucks man. BUT, I literally had to tell myself to get over myself and just ask my question because how often am I ever going to get an opportunity like this again, ESPECIALLY with my favorite author?

So that’s what I did, I got up the courage to raise my hand to ask a question, and sure enough…he picked me! 😄 My question was, “What advice would you give to aspiring writers like myself who can only hope to be half as successful of an author that you are one day?”

He answered by saying “Speaking for myself, I love to read, so you of course have to read a lot. But you know what else I think helps me? TV and movies, and you know why? Because they’re stories. And if you’re talking about TV, every 8 minutes they kind of have to end on a cliff hanger when a commercial is coming because they have to keep you tuned in. Well that’s very handy in writing as well whenever you end another chapter, because you have to end in a way to make them, your readers, want to turn that next page. So there’s lessons to be learned from any form of good story. So you have to read, learn to value stories, and to see how stories tick and wind, and practice honing reasons why one book is better than another.”

I paraphrased a lot of what he said obviously, otherwise I could’ve gone on forever with his response, but that was pretty much the gist of it.

After he answered my question was when the meet and greets and book signing actually started.

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Meeting Nicholas Sparks Officially

As if simply asking him a question from afar wasn’t nerve-wrecking enough, I was about to finally meet him officially too!!

The whole process went relatively quick, I mean obviously right? There were over a hundred + people there waiting to meet him and get their book signed so of course he had to keep the line moving.

But regardless of the fact that they (his people?) were trying to keep the line moving smoothly and relatively quick, I thought it was really cool and interesting to see the interaction he had with each of his fans. He was really friendly and managed to go out of his way to speak to his fans individually as much as he could, and was even willing to sign as many copies of his book as you bought.

At one point I even saw that there was this girl who had brought every single book she had of his in hopes of getting them all signed by him, and he actually did it. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I just think little things like that says a lot about a person/celebrity (in a good way), because he could’ve easily said no since there were so many people waiting, but he still made the time to do it in between signing his recent book for others.

Anyway, once my time came up, I was SO nervous. I didn’t actually know what to say to him, I wanted to make sure the picture(s) came out nice and a million other things were going through my mind too.

Ultimately, I actually got a couple of good shots of our interaction (see some of them below) and as for what I said to him, although it came out all jumbled up and I’m sure he didn’t understand half of it, I told him that he was my absolute favorite author and one of the main reasons that I decided to take my writing more seriously and hopefully become a successful author one day like he is. He said thank you so much, encouraged me to always keep trying and writing, gave me my signed book and I was on my way.

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Overall, although it wasn’t the ‘longest encounter’ ever, generally, it was a really great,  and very much worth it experience.

I don’t typically tend to do things like go to events like this, ESPECIALLY by myself because of my anxiety, so that alone was a BIG deal for me. Being able to step out of my comfort-zone to meet my favorite author, get to ask him a REALLY important question (to me anyway), get my book signed by him AND get a few pictures with him…what better?! He was also really nice about it all which made it even better.

I can’t even tell you guys how inspired and motivated I felt leaving the event that day, like I had so many different ideas for the blog going through my mind, so many things I wanted to start working on with my writing, etc. It made me really excited for not only my future, but my WRITING in the future. I’ve got some really exciting things coming soon for you guys and I can’t wait for you to see them.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post. Thanks so much for reading, please like, share and follow if you aren’t already, and I’ll see you guys in the next one! 😊

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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My Everyday Makeup Routine

Hey guys! For today’s post I thought it would be fun to share with you guys my everyday makeup routine.

This is actually the look that I did the other day when I went apple and pumpkin picking with Diego and our friends/family. It’s simple as heck but always still manages to make me feel pretty and “done-up.”

I’m going to be sharing with you guys the products I used and what I used to apply each of them. I also did my best to take certain pictures to show you guys the individual products on my face before taking pictures of the overall final product. Does that make sense? You’ll understand better as I actually move along lol.

Also, something to quickly mention before I start is that I’m obviously in no way, shape or form a makeup artist, nor am I trying to be. But, these are products that I’ve really been loving lately and are my typical go-to products whenever I want to do a nice, little calm beat and I just felt like sharing that with you guys, so that’s what I’m doing today 🙂 .

Lastly, I took all of these photos with my iPhone XS in my naturally lit room, so if the colors or lighting or any of that look off, that’s why!

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 So the first thing I do before anything is make sure that my face is nice and clean then put my moisturizer on. For my moisturizer, I more often than not reach for my Dermasil Dry Skin Treatment Original Lotion.

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Honestly, there’s no particular reason why I reach for this one as opposed to any other one, other than the fact that I just generally like this one a lot.  And even when I don’t wear makeup, this tends to be my everyday moisturizer in the mornings and at night.

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The next thing I do after moisturizing my face, is put on primer. Now the primer that I’ve been using recently is fairly new to me still, but overall I’ve found that I like it A LOT and has been my go-to lately. The primer I’m talking about (which also doubles over as my setting spray after everything) is the Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer and Setting Spray.

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At the moment I only have the ‘trial size’, but once this one is finished, I’ll probably end up getting the full-sized one. I originally got this as a trial size just to be able to test it out and now that I have for a while, I’ve realized that I really like it, which isn’t much of a surprise since I have the original Hangover Replenishing Face Primer and loved that one for a while too.

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This next step 2 steps kind of just always depends on how I’m feeling that day, because I’ll either do one or the other first, but regardless I do end up doing both and it always ends up working out. HOWEVER, for this look in particular and the day I did it, after priming my face, I went in with my foundation. The foundation I’ve really been reaching for lately is my Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation, in the shade Medium Neutral.

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Just foundation on my face, at the moment.

I bought this foundation a couple of months ago when it first came out pretty much because of the concealer. I figure that I loved the concealer so much, so why not try the foundation too? And sure enough, I loved this as well, and ever since I’ve been using it like crazy. It has very quickly become a favorite of mine. To apply my foundation, I use the E.L.F. Cosmetics Ultimate Blending Brush.

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After my foundation is on I went in to do my brows. The only brow product I really ever tend to use is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in the shade Ebony.

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Only foundation and brows on. I do usually tend to go in with concealer to clean and sculpt them out a little more, but I was sort of in a rush and didn’t have a chance to do that this day.

I have yet to find another brow product that does it for me the way that this one does. And don’t get me wrong, I’m open to trying anything new, ESPECIALLY if I’m going to end up loving it, it’s just that at the moment, I haven’t found anything that I’ve liked more than the Brow Wiz.

As for brow gel, I always go in with the ABH Clear Brow Gel, because it’s my favorite at the moment, and similar to the Brow Wiz, I have yet to find one that I love just as much.

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After I finish my foundation and brows, I go in with my concealer. Now, even for my everyday makeup looks, I don’t typically tend to use one specific concealer. Every time I do it, I’ll use a different one and there have been quite a few that I’ve REALLY been liking lately, but for this look in particular, I went in with the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in the shade Medium-Light Warm.

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Like I said, there’s been quite a few different concealers that I’ve been really liking lately, but this one in particular tends to stand out THAT much more for some reason. It does a pretty good job at covering my dark circles, really doesn’t crease all that much (of course I have to set it a bit, but nonetheless), and blends pretty seamlessly with me. To blend out my concealer I actually use the Red Beauty Blender, which I won’t show because it was kind of dirty….lol.

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I don’t typically set my entire face with powder, because I don’t usually need to. I don’t find that I get creasing on my forehead or smile lines or even around my nose (thankfully, not trying to brag about that). I find that although I have combination skin, it tends to be more on the oily side then on the dry side these days.

However, to set my under eyes a little bit, I went in with a BRAND NEW powder that I recently bought and just from using it that one time, I think it’s already going to end up becoming a go-to. The powder I’m talking about is the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder.

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Let’s keep in mind that it was only the first time that I had used it, BUT it did SUCH a good job at setting my under eyes and not having them crease up on me. I typically tend to struggle at finding a good under eye powder that helps me avoid creasing, so the fact that this actually was great at that, made me REALLY excited.

This day I had finished my makeup at about noon, and by the time I got home from everything I was doing and checked out how my eyes were doing, it was about 8pm and only then did I start to see minor creasing. That’s 8 hours..not too shabby if you ask me.

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After setting my under eyes, I go in with my bronzer. Now similar to concealer, I’ve actually been really liking and going between using about 2-3 different ones lately, but for this look in particular I went in using my Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in the shade Bronzer. 

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Foundation, Brows, Concealer, Powder and Bronzer.

This is probably my FAVORITE drugstore bronzer of all time. I have yet to find one that tops this (which if you happen to have one you like and/or think is better, please free to share with me 🙂 ). It blends really easy, always looks pretty on the skin and smells AMAZING. I’m sure you guys have heard a zillion times that it’s like the ultimate smell of a tropical dream lol. SO good, and cheap at that too, so what could be better? I always use my Too Faced Mr. Right- The Perfect Powder Brush to blend this and any bronzer out really.

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*This is about the time when the pictures started going downhill and I stopped, because I was really rushing at this point lol.*

After my bronzer, I always apply my blush. I attempt to try new blushes every so often, but for the most part I almost always stick to this one in particular which is the Nars blush in Orgasm.

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I have literally always loved this blush since the very first time I saw and used it more or less a year ago. I just think it’s the prettiest, perfect pinky blush for my skin tone and gives me a nice little flush to the cheeks. It’s definitely my favorite, although I have a few others that I don’t mind switching it up for every so often, I do almost always grab for this one. I always apply my blush with the Real Techniques Blush Brush.

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After my blush, I always curl my lashes and go in with my mascara. My eyelash curler is nothing special which is why I didn’t feel the need to take a picture of it and show it to you guys. Although, if I remember correctly, it’s from Revlon.

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However, the mascara that I’ve been absolutely OBSESSED with recently is this Lancome Monsieur Big mascara. This mascara is probably the best mascara of all time (I’m aware at how bold of a statement that is, but it’s the truth!!). I naturally already have really long lashes, but this intensifies that SO much more in the best way possible, while also giving me really great volume. I literally cannot say enough good things about this product other than that it’s definitely a favorite.

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While I’m waiting for my mascara to dry is always when I take the opportunity to go in with whatever highlight it is I want to wear that day. For this look, I wanted something that would be subtle, but you would obviously still notice that it was there, so I went in with the Wet-n-Wild To Reflect Shimmer Palette in Boozy Brunch. 

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Guys this highlight is SO pretty. It really gives such a beautifully subtle glow to the face. And personally, whenever I put it on, I can pretty much build it up as much as I want and it still doesn’t ever look too chunky on my skin or like it’s just sitting there you know? Definitely a great quality drugstore highlight. To apply my highlight I believe I used the Sigma F03 High Cheekbone Highlighting brush.

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And finally for my lip product. For this look originally I was really excited to try a new liquid lipstick that I had recently purchased, which was the Beauty Bakerie Matte Lip Whip in the shade Gingersnap…..HOWEVER…..although I didn’t take a picture of it on my lips, after I put it on (literally like a minute or two later), it looked really weird and like patchy.

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It was the weirdest thing and I have never really had that happen to me before with a lipstick. But it looked all broken up and transferred A LOT when I would purse my lips together like I would typically do after applying. I don’t know, all I had underneath was my usual lip balm that I literally ALWAYS wear under my lipsticks, so I doubt it was that. But it kind of (unfortunately) turned me off to it altogether. I have another shade from them that I’m going to test out before coming to a final conclusion about it, but yeah, so far I was really disappointed and it was a pretty bad first impression.

But, after I immediately removed THAT from my lips, I decided to go in with one of my FAVORITE liquid lipstick shades to wear around this time of year which is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Lolita.

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Well that’s it guys, that’s my everyday makeup look. See the final product below. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you guys enjoyed it.

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See you guys in my next post!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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