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Good Morning, 2017

As I sit here on my couch, I’m writing my annual new year’s post and I have no idea what direction I’m going to take it in this year. Of course, it will have my annual Year In Review Picture Show, but you’re also reading the birth of a thought – a thought that I need to hear myself and one that’s manifested as a result of other voices I’ve heard over the last few months. I’ve been reflecting on the past year, my life, how I want 2017 to go and what I want my life to look like a year from now. Isn’t that what we all do? Sit and reflect? Say this new year will be a better one because the past year wasn’t that great? We come up with resolutions to make our life better and then fall off the bandwagon a month or two or three down the road. Our year ends up looking like every other year … or maybe that’s just me.

How can we make this year different? And better than 2016?

Initiate the Boomerang Effect

When you look at people as a whole, we all just want to be happy and our happiness is derived from feeling loved, accepted, appreciated, healthy and successful. The best thing I’ve learned in my first year of marriage is to make the other person’s happiness become your own. And it’s hard because I’m a really selfish person and struggle with it, but when you put yourself out there for others before yourself, it ends up coming back to you. Kindness travels. Focus on becoming someone who is loving and kind to others. Focus on becoming someone who puts the needs of others before your own. It takes one person to start a chain reaction, but imagine how many more people could be reached if everyone made a change within themselves for the benefit of everyone. It would change the world.

You can’t force other people to love you, accept you, or appreciate you. Life doesn’t work that way. But if you do things for others that will make someone want to appreciate you and if you love and are accepting of others than people will want to return that not just to you, but to others as well. It becomes something like a boomerang; once you throw it out into the world it will eventually return to you – if not reaching other people before it does.

Start a Bucket List

Create a list of what you want to accomplish and do this year or even what you want to do over the course of your life. You can make a simple list or if you’re a visual person create a vision board.

I got to cross off three things on my bucket list/vision board in 2016. It was such a great feeling! Not because I necessarily accomplished something great, but because I’ve been able to say I’ve experienced something new that I wanted to experience. I did it in my lifetime and I can tell you about it. I can show you pictures from my wedding, tell you about my time in Ireland, or my experience being pregnant and giving birth to our first child. That’s so rewarding! What’s even more rewarding is saying you set a goal, worked hard to achieve it, and you did!

Get an idea of what you want so you can start setting goals to reach the really big ones.

Set Goals

You can’t get anywhere or do anything without goals. You HAVE to have them. You have to have them in order to be successful with anything. Even being healthy or financially stable requires goals. Our life is structured around it. It’s not just about becoming a millionaire or losing 100 lbs.  It’s paying the mortgage and healing from a cold. A goal is composed of an action and a time frame you need to complete the action in to achieve a certain result. For example: you have to do x, y, and z at work (the action) within 40 hours during a 5 day period (the time frame) in order to make x amount of money (the result). If you do that (the action) for 50 years (the time frame) then you get to retire (the result). It’s a formula. You can fill it in with whatever you want. Each result that you want gets broken down into smaller and smaller goals so it’s easier to achieve by focusing on something small one step at a time. The key is to figure out what you want out of life, get a game plan, take it one day at a time, stay positive and just do it.

You can’t rely on others for your happiness. You can’t hope for change and expect other people to make it. You have to do the dirty work. You have to become the best version of yourself. You have to be the one making a difference. It starts with you.

Final words of wisdom for the new year: You can’t control things that are out of your control. Make the best of your circumstances.

I love and appreciate you for finding your way here and reading this. I hope you have the best year yet in 2017. Reflect in the comments below and share with me your favorite memory from 2016, something you checked off of your bucket list in 2016/setting to check off in 2017, or a goal you’ve accomplished in 2016/set for 2017. Can’t wait to read your responses!

Holiday Party Makeup Look

holidaymakeup

Eyes 

  • Start off with Mugshot, a metallic, cooler, light brown, from the Naked 3 palette and apply it all over the lid.
  • Use Factory, a metallic bronze, from the Naked 3 palette and apply it in the crease and outer corner of the lid. Blend with Mugshot.
  • Take Darkside, a metallic, dark purple-gray, from the Naked 3 palette and apply it above the crease in the outer corner. Blend with Factory.
  • Switch to the Naked 2 palette and pat YDK, a metallic cool copper, on top of Mugshot on the lid. Blend with Factory.
  • Lastly, take Verve, a metallic, reflective, silver-white,  from the Naked 2 palette and use it to highlight the brown bone and inner corner of the eye.
  • Go back to Darkside from the Naked 3 palette and line your bottom lash line from the outer corner to 3/4 of the way in.
  • The last 1/4 line with Verve from the inner corner until it meets and blends with Darkside.

 

  • Tight line upper lash line with black eyeliner and lower lash line in the outer corner matching parallel with Darkside. Don’t draw it all the way to the inner corner – only 3/4 of the way.
  • Line upper lash line with black liquid liner.
  • And if you like to sparkle, go over it with silver glitter eyeliner. Make sure to wait for both to dry.

Lips 

Face 

  • Use a bronzer on the lines of the cheeks, sides of the forehead, and sides of the jawline.
  • Use highlighter on the top of your cheek bones and dust it across the center of your forehead, down the bridge of your nose, on your cupids bow and chin.
  • I’m also applying Mary Kay Cherry Blossom blush – my go to blush this season – on the apples of my cheeks and back against my cheek bone.

loveamanda

“I ♥ Fall” Tag

falltag

What is your favorite fall lip product?

My favorite color to accessorize with in the fall for cosmetics is always a dark berry. My go to favorite lip product is the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen.

What is your favorite fall nail polish?

Jumping on the same color band wagon is my love for the Sally Hansen MiracleGel in V-amplified. Originally, it was the Mary Kay Berry Stylish nail lacquer which has been my favorite since it came out as a seasonal item last fall making it sadly no longer available. I would not have anticipated it to be one of my favorites, but the deep tone is super pretty and V-amplified is almost identical in color with a little more red and is a gel (bonus!).

What is your favorite fall Starbucks drink?

If I go to Starbucks, which isn’t very often, and it’s fall then I will indulge in a Pumpkin Spice Latte like the majority of modern day society. However, my favorite fall drink in general is my mom’s recipe for Hot Apple Cider Wasail. And if you wanted to try it, I snagged the recipe for you!

HOW TO: Hot Apple Cider Wassail
>In the base of a twelve-cup percolator put
1 part cranapple juice
5 parts apple cider (unpasteurized)
>In the percolator basket put
6-8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 chopped lemon, including rind
>brew as you would coffee
*you can combine all ingredients in a stovetop pan or crockpot as well
>serve with lemon slice or cinnamon stick

What is your favorite fall candle?

I love the warm, rich scents of maple and hazelnut, but my favorite candle over all is Leaves from Bath and Body Works which reminds me of the smell of the cinnamon apple cider that I mentioned.

What is your favorite fall accessory?

It makes me so happy to be able to wear sweaters and jackets. My jean jacket is my go to and getting back into my boots is also a plus.

Would you rather go to a haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?

Not much for haunted things, but I’d rather go to a haunted house from the selection and a corn maze in general because it brings back good memories.

What is your favorite fall movie?

It’s a tie between my childhood favorite and my adult favorite. Both of which are a must-watch during the holiday season. My childhood favorite would be the classic Hocus Pocus because it’s simply fabulous. My adult favorite is Beetlejuice because it’s probably one of the best Burton spooktaculars to date and you can’t beat Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder.

What is your favorite fall candy?

As a child, it was banana Laffy Taffy. I was one of the weird ones. Although, you know it was a good day if you got an actual brand chocolate bar – even the minis were gold. As an adult, I’m all about those Milk Duds though.

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Dressing up is my favorite, but I haven’t been able to commit to a fancy costume this year with a newborn so I will either join him and my husband in their Monsters Inc. costumes as Boo or try to throw something together that I already have a costume for.

What is your favorite thing about fall?

There are so many things I love about fall. I love the leaves changing, the crisp air, and getting to wear layers. I love the color staples and styles in the fashion, pumpkin carving, and corn maze maneuvering. I love that fall leads into some of the most memorable holidays, but my absolute favorite thing is the memories it brings with family. I met my husband in the fall at an orchard and gave birth to my son in October.

If you’re reading this, I tag you to do the “I ♥ Fall” Tag and share it with me so I can learn what you love about fall.

loveamanda