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Monday, October 24

Soft Surroundings 40th Store Opening!

This past Friday, I was invited to Soft Surroundings 40th store opening in the US in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Granted, I'd heard of the brand before but never really knew much about it. So, of course, I looked up the store and FELL IN LOVE with quite a few things that the women's fashion/home accessories store brand sells. On top of that, I love the philosophy the brand is built on. When it comes to fashion - 

"We can find ways to be good to ourselves through actions we take every day. Getting dressed is one example."

When it comes to your home - 

"Our exclusively designed bedding and at-home collections are devised to help you unwind both physically and mentally. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary."

Don't you agree? I definitely do. My bedroom is most definitely my sanctuary, and I want it to be as cozy and organized and lovely as possible since it's also where my desk and computer are. Between sleeping, lazing around, and working on the blog, I'm in my room more often than not when I'm not at work.

So by the time Friday arrived and I was heading to the new store, I could not have been more excited! Every single person working in the store was knowledgeable and friendly and couldn't have been more excited about the opening themselves - even though they were crazy busy the whole time I was there. 

Perk number one? As you walked in the door, media and random customer alike, there was complimentary champagne and macaroons. I was also immediately informed that beauty experts were in the store all day to offer facial spa services and makeovers if I was interested. 

After getting color matched (I can NEVER find an actual match for my super pale skin) and browsing around the store, I ended up buying a gorgeous coat that reminds me of the 20s era, a couple of hats, some perfume, and a few other things. Normally I would show you photos of each item and review them, BUT!

I'm re-vamping my YouTube channel this week and instead will be posting a video of my haul from the store along with a follow-up review video of some of the products I received as a blogger covering the opening (the first 100 people in the store after it opened received the same products as well!).

So I apologize for being a little vague, but I'm so excited about this video to show you guys everything I got! For now, I'll leave you with a few more photos showing some of the fantastic items the store has to offer.

Have you ever shopped with Soft Surroundings before? If so, let me know what you bought and what you like (or love!) about the brand! 

Happy Monday! :) 

Thursday, September 22

Munson & Brothers: All Natural Products (That Won't Break the Bank!)

This is only sponsored in the way of supporting a local creator/vendor/friend. I'm not making any money off of this post - just happy to encourage people to shop local and all natural!

I am so excited to be able to share this new (ish) company with you guys today! It's been awhile since I've done any "shop local" type of posts, and this is probably my favorite out of all the collaborations I've done.

Why, you ask?

Well - as much as I love working with local businesses and people, the company I'm telling you about today is one that makes all natural, handmade products - free of any unnecessary additives or fillers. On top of that, they also make products for both women and men. Think beard oils, balms, body butters, and beard kits for men - body lotions, lip balms, and body butters for women, and then extra stuff like mosquito repellant, shaving cream, and soaps for both. And on top of that, the products are anywhere from $5 to $25 at max, which is awesome.

Of course, I wouldn't back something that I haven't tried any of myself. Whenever I originally met with one of the owners to get photos and talk about the products, he told me that his wife loved the shaving cream because it made a massive difference with getting rid of razor burn. I also get razor burn pretty badly (which, honestly, I could buy better razors, but that's neither here nor there), so I ended up trying out the shaving cream pretty quickly.

I LOVE IT. Not only did it definitely help with my own razor burn issues pretty fantastically, it also just feels and smells better than any other shaving creams I've bought in the past. It's a subtle scent, which is nice so I don't have to worry about if it's gonna clash with any other body washes or perfumes I might use. And the way it feels is extremely close to if you've ever been out of shaving cream and used conditioner to shave instead (don't lie, you've done it!) - but without killing your razors in the process.

I could go on about these products forever, but instead - I'd rather do a giveaway! Technically, the prizes are labeled for 1st and 2nd place, but first place will get to choose which group of items they'd rather receive. :)

Need a gift for your dad, husband, boyfriend, or friend any time soon? You should enter. Wanna get some body lotions and lip balms for yourself for free? You should definitely enter. Here's what you can win:

And while this giveaway is going on, anything you buy from the store comes with free shipping with the code SHIPFREE! (Click here to shop!)

[entries for US only, sorry guys!]

Good luck & happy Thursday! :)

Wednesday, September 7

101 Goals in 1001 Days

[This post was most definitely inspired by Darrian's at Oh Shift, Y'all! I saw it and instantly wanted to make my own - I mean, I do love lists!]

So after A LOT of thinking (it's harder than you think to come up with so many!) here's mine:

Start Date: September 7, 2016 | End Date: June 3, 2019
Completed: 0/100

1. Grow something
2. Go to either a Halsey, Melanie Martinez, or Taylor Swift concert
3. Go to a wine tasting event
4. Visit another vineyard
5. Try 20 new restaurants (Kobe)
6. Write the first draft of a book
7. Read 25 new books
8. Run a 5K
9. Get all white bedding
10. Get back down to 115 pounds

11. Visit 5 new states
12. Run a 9 minute mile
13. Go back to Edinburgh
14. Be financially stable
15. Be living somewhere that ISN'T where I currently live
16. Take a spontaneous road trip
17. Make enough money from blogging to have it be my main income
18. Get new business cards
19. Meet my social media goals [FB: 5,000 | Twitter: 5,000 | Insta: 10,000 | Pinterest: 5,000]
20. Have 10 YouTube videos up

21. Create and sell an info product
22. Have a regular photographer for the blog [that's not me!]
23. Host an Instagram giveaway
24. Take a photography class
25. Learn basic coding
26. Go skydiving
27. Go bungee jumping
28. Go [legitimate] camping
29. Get another kitten
30. Have taken over 1000 polaroid photos

31. Read something of mine at a spoken word poetry night
32. Go to one of Iliza Shlesinger's comedy shows
33. Go on a second cruise
34. Write a NoSleep that gets over 100 upvotes
35. Know Spanish on more than an elementary level
36. Be living either alone or with my significant other
37. Have a fully stocked home bar
38. Master Photoshop and InDesign
39. Go through an extreme haunt

40. Visit Thailand
41. Perfect my eyebrow makeup
42. Go rock climbing
43. Have one of every main shade of lipstick
44. Get a new car
45. Do yoga every day for a month
46. Go one month without shopping (excluding groceries)
47. Get my shot glass collection to 100
48. Be able to do the splits again
49. Read at least thirty minutes every night before bed for a month

50. Donate blood
51. Get my email situation calmed down (I have like four separate emails with a lot of junk mail in many of them - ugh)
52. Host a blogger brunch/lunch/etc for local bloggers
53. Mail care packages to three people
54. Learn basic French
55. Travel to a country I've never visited
56. Watch 15 documentaries (ones I've never watched!)
57. Leave a 100% tip for an awesome waiter/waitress
58. Organize my iTunes music
59. Connect with 5 blogging friends in person

60. Buy a new laptop
61. Work out with a personal trainer
62. Go to Vegas
63. Leave an inspirational note in a book for someone to randomly find someday.
64. Fully pay off credit card debt
65. See a drive in movie
66. Organize all of my important information on my computer
67. Update my Linked In
68. Get a psychic reading
69. Finish the tattoos on my back

70. Send a postcard to PostSecret
71. Go a month without soda
72. Go a week without alcohol
73. Get another piercing
74. Have a real Christmas tree
75. Be in Times Square for the NYE ball drop
76. Ride in a hot air balloon
77. Visit a famous landmark I've never seen before
78. Complete Couch To 5K
79. Do a color run!

80. Bring food to work for an entire month
81. Complete a really difficult puzzle.
82. Fly a kite
83. Be completely caught up on Supernatural
84. Take a milk bath
85. Make 5 mixed cds to keep in my car
86. Learn to make five new recipes
87. Buy a lip color I've never worn
88. Create a sangria recipe
89. Teach myself to have an awesome smokey eye

90. Collect at least 1000 emails for blog related things
91. Try absinthe
92. Apply to work for publishing companies
93. Write a letter to my ten favorite living authors, telling them how they changed my life
94. Get a bike
95. Go to an estate auction
96. Get up when my first alarm goes off for one week - no snoozing!
97. Buy a new bedding set
98. Double the size of my horror movie collection
99. Re-put up Christmas lights around my bedroom

100. Spoil Gemma by buying her a bunch of stuff to play with/smell good/etc
101. Become (mostly) a morning person

And that's it! Sooooooo, here we go! :)
Happy Thursday!

Monday, August 15

My Cat Is My Star: Gemma

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyPetMyStar #CollectiveBias

If you've followed any of my past posts at all, you probably know that I have a cat named Gemma. She's about 2 1/2 years old now and I got her right at 6 weeks old. To tell a bit of that back story, I wasn't planning on adopting a kitten at the time. I had just moved out of the dorms on my university's campus and a friend of mine just so happened to be working at a vet's office when that happened. 
Apparently, someone showed up with his/her cat, dropped off their pet for some type of overnight procedure, then never came back to pick her up (Which makes me SO INCREDIBLY ANGRY. I mean, really?). However, the cat was pregnant whenever she was left at the vet's office and had five or six kittens while in their possession. At that time, the city I live in was in the middle of building a new humane society that would hold twice the amount of animals the first building could hold, but it wasn't done yet. That being said, my friend asked if I was interested in adopting a kitten so they wouldn't have to send them to the pound - they were worried that the new kittens and mother would be euthanized since they didn't really have enough room for new animals.

So, a little over two years ago, I hopped in my friend's car to go look at the adoptable kittens. Funnily enough, I was initially drawn to one of the boy kittens, but my boyfriend at the time fell in love with one of the shier girl kittens.

Fast forward to today - the boyfriend isn't around anymore but Gemma has become the most important thing in my life. I love her to death. I'm sure other pet owners can attest to this, but she always seems to know when I'm upset or sad or stressed, because her response is to come lay down on my chest or by my side to comfort me. I wouldn't trade her for the world and I spoil her to death, even though she has a ton of attitude. I have two roommates, but she definitely has the most attitude out of all four of us (myself included).

So when I found out that Kroger was working with Tidy Cats® to get the brand out there and more noticed, I was super excited. I've worked with other companies before, but this is one that I can completely back and say that I was a customer for before I ever partnered with them. 

If you have a cat (or cats), you know that their litter box can be extremely frustrating. I've tried a few different brands over the past two years, and it's immensely difficult to find one that doesn't scatter outside of the litter box and also provide the fresh smell that so many companies claim to give. 

I was actually already using the litter sold at Kroger before this partnership, and I will recommend this brand until the end of time: Tidy Cats® Lightweight varieties are definitely the best I've ever used. I do my best to treat Gemma like the rock star she is, and it's definitely a part of it. 

 I picked the rest of my toys and shampoo up at my local Kroger - they have fantastic options when it comes to toys and health care options for your cat (and dog!) that are also super price friendly. It's great to know that I can stop at Kroger on my way home from work (well past 8 p.m. !) and know that they have just as many options as other pet stores/department stores when it comes to making Gemma feel like the rock star she is to me. I can get all of her stuff at once - from litter to light up toys that she loves to chase in the middle of the night. When I decided I wanted to update her space in my room, I got all of my stuff from Kroger. How to update, do you ask? 

Step One: It doesn't sit in her space since it could possibly opened and spill, but buying her new shampoo that smells great is the first step I took to spoiling her. Before this, I was just using dish soap!

Step Two: These three cat toys! I don't know about your cat, but mine fetches. And I mean that literally. Sometimes I think she's a dog with how fast she'll run out, grab whatever it is, and bring it back. So yeah. I leave these little guys laying around her so she can let me know when she wants to play.

Step Three: The outside of this is something I already had laying around that I wasn't using, BUT the inside is a new scratch pad! I've never had her de-clawed and I clip her nails myself, but she LOVES to paw on things around my room so I figured this was probably a good idea. And it was! She loves it, and now I can stop shooing her away from other pieces of furniture in the room because she'll go there instead. 

So in just a few simple steps, I can have her "part" of my bedroom ramped up with her favorite toys and also get a shampoo I trust at a super low price. (I mean, even she likes it - look at her!)

But if you have a kitten or cat and are looking for a brand of litter that actually does what it's promised - Tidy Cats® Lightweight options are definitely the way to go. Not only can I tell the difference, my roommates can too. For the past 50 years, the brand has been committed to combining high quality ingredients to create a result that will fit any kind of lifestyle: from fully inside cats (like mine!) to cats that spend most of their time outdoors. The brand guarantees a lack of "Stank Face" that tends to happen with litter boxes since they tend to be inside people's bedrooms or bathrooms, and have made their products based off of that statement. Even taking into consideration the fact that you may not check the litter box every day.

To find your best match for you and your feline friend, go check out the brand here! 

Purina is also offering a few coupons (currently active!) to get some of their products with a discount. If you're like me and have a cat that you love, they're on the Kroger coupon page. However, if you're like me and want them as soon as possible, then click here for the latest coupons! There are a few for you dog lovers as well!

Overall, here are your ways to learn more and find some awesome discounts:

Coupons (For dogs and cats alike!)
Facebook Page
Twitter Page
YouTube Page

I ABSOLUTELY recommend this brand. I partner with companies from time to time, but this is one that I can definitely say is absolutely worth every penny. They're the bomb.

Happy Monday! :) 

Sunday, July 17

My Summer 2016 Playlist

There are two reasons that this ended up being what I posted today.


It's mid-summer and I haven't yet! I used to do playlists all the time. I don't know if they're your favorite posts or not, but they're a lot of fun to make since I basically get to dance around my room making Gemma (my furbaby) dance with me while I choose.


Not even gonna lie. Pokemon Go has consumed my life for the past few days. It's absolutely insane how addictive it is. So, uh, yeah. My second reason is that everything in my life, including texting people back and looking at anything other than the Pokemon Go app on my phone, has been put on the back burner. My friends would wholeheartedly agree on how ridiculous it is. Probably because they're playing too.

But anyway. This post isn't about Pokemon Go (although, I mean, if you play you should absolutely comment so we can nerd out about what we've caught, what levels we are, and what team [VALOR!] we're on). So here you go!


Niykee Heaton - Bad Intentions
Meghan Trainor - Me Too
Melanie Martinez - Gingerbread Man
All Time Low - Missing You
Beyonce - Formation
Halsey - New Americana
Sia - Cheap Thrills
Daya - Sit Still Look Pretty
Ariana Grande - Let Me Love You
Niykee Heaton - Skin Tight
Jessie J - Bang Bang
Peg Parnevik - Ain't No Saint
Niykee Heaton - Champagne
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
Ariana Grande - Bad Intentions
Childish Gambino - Bonfire
Pink - Just Like Fire
Demi Lovato - Something That We're Not
Frankie Ballard - Young & Crazy
Halsey - Ghost
Jana Kramer - Said No One Ever
Maria Mena - It Took Me By Surprise 
Melanie Martinez - Dollhouse
Miley Cyrus - Do My Thang
Panic at the Disco - Emperor's New Clothes

What do you guys think? What songs are you obsessed with at the moment?

Happy Sunday! :) 


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