Halloween, my favorite day of the year. Where I can wear weird outfits and be an actress, and it to be socially acceptable. My favorite part of Halloween is creating a costume, by myself or with friends, that is unique. Here's a little snapshot of Halloween from the past few years.
Han and Leia - Star Wars
Halloween 2015: My Aunt Jess MADE the Leia dress and the belt is from Savers. Han wore a pair of his own pants, shoes lent to him, a work shirt, and a small vest from Savers. The hairdo is actually my own hair!
Darla - Finding Nemo
Halloween 2014: The WORSE Disney Villain. While going to Disney for Halloween, I decided to make the SCARIEST villain out there. The purple shirt is from AC Moore, my Mom pressed the iron on, the boxers are from Target, the fake teeth were from a party store, and I made the head gear wire myself. The fish was from a toy store and I cut a Ziploc baggie, too.
Melanie Daniels - The Birds
Halloween 2012: The Birds! I purchased the suit off Ebay, the fake birds at a crafts store, and the fake blood at a Halloween store. Heels were from Payless.
Coraline, a book by Neil Gaiman and a film directed by Henry Selick. A creepy and enchanting film that is very underrated. My Aunt Jess. who made the Leia dress, made the INCREDIBLE Coraline doll. I found costume pieces and patched them together to make this costume, years ago.
Other examples of creative costumes
Toga Day In High School
Because if I'm going to wear a bed sheet, it must be DAMN fabulous.
Lady Gaga Concert 2010
My hair can do amazing things
College threw me for whirlwind. With all the stresses and assignments, October hit hard and by the time I checked the calendar, I couldn't believe how close I was to Halloween!
I barely thought of my costume this year. I imagined being Harley Quinn but with the recent success of the film, I didn't want to be another repeat. I decided to think outside the box!
Keeping the same theme, I decided to go as Poison Ivy and Amiclubwear helped me!
The Clothes You've Always Wanted:
Shirt: Rue 21
Purple suit: Salvation Army
Dress: Target (2013)
Shoes: Dr Marten's
Fall, also the season of passionate vocal opinions of “pumpkin spice this” and ‘pumpkin spice that” and “where can I get my favorite treats minus the process of baking?”.
As a lifelong (self proclaimed) bakery and coffee expert, I can provide some direction.
The Red and White Sign
Driving down the streets of your hometown as the fall atmosphere flourishes, you may crave the familiar fall flavors: rich pumpkin spice, sweet maple, and fruity cranberry. You may scratch your mind for the place that gives you the most bang for your buck. Often overlooked, the coffee chain with the red and white sign is the destination you’re missing.
Honey Dew Donuts® was first created by Richard Bowen in 1973. The Honey Dew Donuts® franchise now has 145 units and over 65 franchise families. Spanning from New Hampshire, to Massachusetts, to Rhode Island, Honey Dew Donuts is a staple to New Englanders everywhere.
Honey Dew Donuts® is home of classic and unique products. Some unique staples include French Toast bagels, Red Bull® infused smoothies and teas, Oreo Cookie Blast Smoothies, Mocha Madness, assorted sticks, Bacon Egg and Cheese on biscuits, and muffin tops (is your mouth watering yet?). But when fall makes its arrival, Honey Dew Donuts® brings classic flavors as well as items that makes them stick out from the other guys.
Fall Food For the Win
Honey Dew Donuts® has introduced several new delectable products for this season: Apple Cider Donuts, Country Fried Steak Sandwich, Maple Cream Coffee, and Cranberry Apple Sticks made with Ocean Spray® Cranberries. I was fortunate to try the NEW Pumpkin Iced Cappuccino and the NEW Pumpkin Croissant.
Food for Thought
Now, to start off, I’m VERY picky about Pumpkin. I don’t like Pumpkin Spice that’s too “nutmeggy” or has too much spice. I hate when the flavor is overshadowed by the other hints. So when I tried the new Pumpkin Iced Cappuccino, I was absolutely impressed by the flavor.
One sip and I was twelve again apple picking with my sister and mother. One sip and I was six again trick-or-treating with my best friends. One sip and I felt the comfort and nostalgia of what is the fall season.
The flavor of the pumpkin in the Iced Cappuccino is so authentic. Not too sweet, not too “nutmeggy”, absolutely spot on. All the years of searching for the perfect pumpkin coffee and Honey Dew Donuts® was down the street.
Trick-Or-Treat Yo Self
So listen: I’m a college student. I don’t go out to eat all the time.I have to bargain shop and make my money stretch. Buying a treat for myself is a rarity. But one treat that can’t be missed this season is the Pumpkin Croissant.
Paired with the Pumpkin Iced Cappuccino, the Pumpkin Croissant is a match made in heaven. As previously stated, I feel like I am an expert in this area. I’ve had fall pastries time and again AND AGAIN and they’ve fallen flat. I’ve tried pumpkin pie donuts: dry, one monotone flavor, not enough filling.
The Honey Dew Donuts® Pumpkin Croissant is what I’ve been waiting for. Sweet icing drizzled on top of a flakey and buttery croissant and filled, GENUINELY filled, with pumpkin pie filling. This filling is unlike any I’ve had before; hints of spices, creamy and comforting, it’s terrific and well done. It gives you the bakery sense, cooking with Grandma during the holidays feeling, being a kid again emotions. The flakey croissant paired with the inner filling is a texture that’s hard to come by.
Next time you’re driving down the highway, cruising with your friends, and looking for that fall nostalgic treat; I recommend you giving your attention to Honey Dew Donuts®. Year round, their products are always fresh and delicious, but these fall flavors cannot be ignored.
Enjoy the local flavor.
the perfect pair
Pumpkin iced cappuccino
On October 10, 2016, I had the pleasure of joining my friends in volunteering with the organization “Food Not Bombs” in Providence, Rhode Island. When I first heard the name of the organization, I was automatically drawn in.
A Quick History Lesson
Food Not Bombs is an organization that brings kindness, respect, dignity, sustainability, and the community together while combating the issues of hunger within the homeless community. The organization first began in the 1980’s due to a public outcry asking “why are we paying for war but cannot feed those in need?”. Volunteers receive food donations from restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and more that have a surplus of food.
From there, volunteers come together to cook and serve those in need of a hearty meal. Rather than the act of “dumpster diving”, homeless community members can be served the food that would originally hit the trash in a respectful manner.
The organization serves vegan and vegetarian food to anyone who is hungry. There is no discrimination, no identification needed, and no judgement.
Chapters can be started in any location and I was fortunate to volunteer with the Providence chapter. Food Not Bombs stands for “Solidarity, not charity” and there is no hierarchy in the organization; everyone is equal.
Food Not Bombs is more well-known on the West Coast but it is hoped more chapters will be developed on the East Coast.
Listening to Laura
I had the pleasure of speaking to a volunteer named Laura. Laura is originally from Boston and is now living in Providence. She is 29 and is a member of the Providence chapter. Talking to Laura opened my eyes about the significance of the organization.
She was first attracted to Food Not Bombs due to the principles of the organization. She enjoys cooking and being with friends and creating a positive impact on others. She is proud to be providing this service because shelters cannot keep up with the demand for food and Food Not Bombs helps with this issue.
One thing Laura stated that truly impacted me was police officers usually don’t like the organization because it creates a large gathering of the homeless population. I was disgusted at the idea that Food Not Bombs is impacting and saving those less fortunate of hunger yet the view of a group of homeless people cause the police to want to break up the peaceful and gratitude-filled events.
Talking to Thalia
My best friend Thalia was the person who put Food Not Bombs on my mind and made me want to get involved. Thalia is 19 years old and is from Worchester. She currently lives in Providence and is a part of the Rhode Island Chapter. She helps publicize the organization through running the Facebook and Instagram accounts. She is also the creator and president of the Johnson and Wales club, The Style and Design Association (SDA).
Thalia was scanning the web for organization that SDA could volunteer their time to and stumbled upon Food Not Bombs. After being moved by the mission of Food Not Bombs, she became involved. She states, her “mind was blown” and was amazed with the volunteering and being around like-minded people who wanted to do good and to positively impact the lives of others. She instantly felt a connection to those involved. “Nothing brings people together like food”, she exclaimed.
In Thalia’s life, she has seen restaurants throw away food and has thought to herself, ‘why must it hit the trash rather than going to those who are hungry’? This being one of the reasons Food Not Bombs has attracted her to being involved. She affirmed, “people don’t think things are a problem unless it affects them”.
Do Good, Feel Good
After feeling moved by the mission, I HAD to get involved. I came to Providence on October 10th, Indigenous People’s Day. I met with all of the volunteers at Laura’s house and the cooking was in full swing. Vegetables being chopped, roasted, and diced. Stews and soups being prepped and boiled. Bags of vegetables being separated. I knew two people in the room of the house but by the end of cooking the meals, I felt like I gained a family.
We traveled to the Kennedy Plaza where the PRONK Festival was held. We served food such as apples with sweet potatoes, roasted beets, mixed green salads, bread with Nutella, and more. As a line grew and more and more people gathered, other organizations at the event donated food and trays. No person was turned down and EVERYONE received at least one plate of food.
One of my favorite parts of the event is guaranteeing those who are hungry will not be hungry tomorrow. We gave out bags of vegetables and salad mix as well as loaves of bread, peanut butter, rice packaged, and more. We offered everyone food to take home as well as food to share with their family and friends throughout the event.
As PRONK ended and the guests shuffled out, the homeless population still strayed at the Kennedy Plaza. There, we gave the rest of the food to whoever wanted some. It was comforting to see so much gratitude, thankfulness, and love by those who came to the Food Not Bombs tables and was given meals they may not have had if we were not there. Having my hand shook by strangers, praise and thanks booming throughout the day, and seeing how much we had impacted those who were in need… absolutely made my day.
Join the Revolution
If you are interested, please check out the Food Not Bombs Facebook page here
Let’s be honest, I’m a broke, cheap, busy college student. When it comes to picking purchases with my own hard-earned (and dwindling) dollars, price usually comes before quantity. Even if I’m craving decadent 5 star restaurant cuisine, I have to go for the fast-food garbage. This is the same with a lot of beauty products I buy, I’d love to have the lavish hair care treatment shampoo, but I have to choose a cheaper option.
First impressions are everything. When I first laid eyes on the shampoo and conditioner, I couldn’t deny how LOVELY the packaging is. Both bottles are mainly pink, the soft and warm pink that is similar to the Pantone color of the year from not too long ago. The shampoo bottle is clear and displays the contents with a background with a floral print. The conditioner is also pink but isn’t clear. There are designs representing how Herbal Essences uses natural ingredients (which gives off an earthy, comforting sense). Even the cap to the shampoo and conditioner is beautifully designed!
Talk Clean To Me
Language plays a tremendous role in packaging. Whether you flip the bottles around to read the directions or ingredients, some people do and the language must be reflective of the brand. I loved the strong and infatuating language; “infused blend of Rose hips, vitamin E and Jojoba extracts”, “smooth hair as nature intended”, “enter a world of botanical bliss” BOTANICAL BLISS!!!!
My Tears Have Dried, My Hair Is No Longer Dry
You know the saying, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone?”. This goes for both crappy and awesome things. I had no clue my hair was as dry and damaged as it was until I lathered my hair with this product. As i wet my hair in the shower, I prepped for part one; shampoo. The first thing you recognize is the fragrance of the shampoo. It’s rich, it’s floral, it’s homey to me. I could smell it on my hands and hair as i shampoo’d. As I lathered and rinsed and washed my hair, I could FEEL my hair becoming softer. I have never experienced this in my life. I proceeded to condition my hair and the same lovely, peaceful, fragrance transported me to spring mornings as my hair became noticeably softer.
The Confidence to Conquer Anything!
After I showered, I blow dried my hair. My hair is very thick and naturally wavy. As i brushed my hair while drying, I noticed I had little to no knots. Usually post-shower, I’m stuck ripping through my hair, begging for the pain and knots to end. KNOT TODAY!!
As I blow dried, the fragrance of the products filled my room. I have never experienced this before, I was shocked with how lasting the scent was. I could see my hair lacked the frizz it usually has post blow drying. My hair was luscious and beautifully scented, something my snapchat friends commented on. I became more confident using this product; my hair has become softer, smoother, and smelling great in only one shower.
A day later, I’m at my internship. Everyday I wear my hair in a bun due to the thickness and frizz - such a distraction when you’re trying to work! My coworker that buzzes me in the front door didn’t even recognize me on the camera. She raved about my hair and said it was BEAUTIFUL down! As I sat and worked, I could still smell the fragrance from the shampoo and conditioner.
Herbal Essences Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner…. Where have you been all my life?
About the Website
Bzzagent is a free site where you fill out surveys, are offered campaigns, and are sent free samples to review and “bzz” about.
Stress and I have been in each other's company for as long as I can remember. But, stress isn't an enemy to me; it is the motivation that kicks me to continue onward. So how did I befriend stress instead of letting it eat me up?
List, List, Write It Down
A lot of the times we're stressed out is because we feel overwhelmed by tasks and to-dos. Then, we grow more stressed out when we forget about our to-dos and more issues rise! "Oh god HOW did I forget about my Psychology exam on Monday?", "Dammit, I was supposed to run to the post office a WEEK AGO." "I have SO MUCH to do, I don't know where to start!".
Keeping an agenda or portable calendar of important dates is a great start. As a student, you're able to see that your 10 page paper for Biology is due in 4 days and there are club meetings and work on days A, B, and C. Having a visual outline of your week can help you better plan and prioritize your mental list of to-dos. I personally prefer a physical agenda rather than a digital due to that sweet feeling of crossing out a task, event, or assignment that passed or was completed.
Having a designated notebook for a to-do list is also a great way to avoid the stress. Throughout the day, you can jot down thoughts of tasks you'd like to complete ("Okay, I have to do a chapter of reading for English tonight, have to email back my boss by Tuesday, I should register for that campus event before Friday, and I really should organize my room before the weekend..."). Having the portable notebook allows you to avoid forgetting an important task as well as actively write down your unfinished business and see what is left to do by the end of your day/week. Crossing out a to-do is a sensational feeling and I recommended keeping a to-do list notebook to guarantee to-dos aren't forgotten!
Cozy Home Base, Cozy Days
Wherever you end your day, whether it's your dorm or your home, making sure your space is comfy and safe allows the stress to shrink.
Lights Make A Difference
If you struggle from seasonal depression or can relate to feeling down from the dark autumn days, you know lights play a big role in our lives. A sunny, bright day is more likely to make you feel positive and motivated while a dark, rainy, gloomy fall day may make you want to curl up and die (C'mon, we all feel the same way). Assuring your space has proper lighting can lessen the stress and allow you to stay motivated and empowered.
I currently own white Christmas lights that add a warm glow to my room. In addition, I own a pink lava lamp which displays a hypnotic and calming show. On my desk, I also have a Himalayan salt lamp which lets off a comforting glow (and has a bunch of health benefits including lessening anxiety and helping with allergies, to name a few). I also own candles in my favorite calming scents. Alternating through this light sources help calm me during a rough day and I highly recommended using lighting to your advantage.
Tidy Room, Tidy Life
When I feel like the stresses are about to swallow me up, that I can't move because they're everywhere around me, I think of how to mentally clear a path from the stress. The same goes for my room. After a long day, coming back to a messy, disorganized room can cause unneeded stress. Rummaging through drawers and boxes looking for things because of disorganization can damper your mood. Waking up an extra 10 minutes every morning to make your bed and tidy up can make your return home THAT much better. Seeing a neatly made bed ready for you to peel back the covers and seeing a room with organized clothing and desk drawers can make you feel like a million bucks.
Stress Stopping The Zzz's?
After a long day, and a lot on your mind, hitting the hay can be an uphill battle. How do you win and catch your 9 hours?
Take out a pen and a piece of paper (or your to-do notebook) and jot down everything you're imagining. Do you have a list of things to do tomorrow that you're worried about? Do you have some things bothering you? What's on your mind? Jotting these thoughts down allows yourself to move on and find peace of mind.
Travel Without Leaving Your Bed
You've heard in movies "imagine you're on a beach in the Caribbean under the warm sun" or "you're watching the sunrise on a summer night". Get yourself dream ready by transporting yourself to one of these destinations. Download or stream some music such as "beach sound effects", "birds chirping", or "raining falling" to calm down and focus on relaxing imagery. I use the IPhone application Sleep Machine to create specific tracks and sound mixes to get me into the calm, dreamlike state. My favorite sound effects include a train passing in the distance while crickets chirp and an air purifier.
Life isn't easy, everyday we all have our own stresses. In my life, I use agendas, notebooks, lighting, writing and sounds to help alleviate the stress. I hope my blog post has given you new ways to ditch the stress and feel your best.
Cheers to more positive and stress-free days!
I am a member of the site BzzAgent and I was sent FREE L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Masks. After trying and testing them out, I wanted to tell you all about my experience and what I liked and disliked about them.
About the website
Bzzagent is a free site where you fill out surveys, are offered campaigns, and are sent free samples to review and “bzz” about. I have been sent BIC Soleil razors (which I LOVED) and I was recently sent the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Masks.
About the Product
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Masks come in three different types: Eucalyptus treatment mask, Red Algae treatment mask, and Charcoal treatment mask. All three masks have different properties and have different effects.
Eucalyptus Treatment Mask
The face mask I used first from the three pack was the Eucalyptus mask. The first aspect I noticed was how clean and fresh the scent was. The mask smells and feels like one you would receive at a professional spa.
The directions state to apply a thin layer and leave for 10-15 minutes.The cycle should be repeated 3 times a week. As the face mask sits, it tightens on your skin. If you smile or laugh, it’ll crack. As this occurs, you feel fresh and clean.
After the time passes, you wash the mask off with water. You’re left with clean, glowing and healthy skin. This is my favorite of the mask sets and worked very well with my oily skin and my acne .
Red Algae Treatment Mask
The Red Algae Treatment Mask also has a fresh scent and has a grainy quality. The directions state to apply a thin layer and leave for 10-15 minutes.The cycle should be repeated 3 times a week. When removing, wash with water and rubs in a circular motion to exfoliate.
I really enjoyed this mask and I used it on my forehead and my chin. These are my spots where I frequently have acne. Removing it felt great and I could feel my skin exfoliate and become fresh and clean.
Charcoal Treatment Mask
Not only did I try this mask, my boyfriend did. The directions state to apply a thin layer and leave for 10-15 minutes.The cycle should be repeated 3 times a week. The scent of the mask is very calming and fresh, leaving you feeling like you just stepped out of the spa.
I really enjoyed using this mask but it was my least favorite. My boyfriend and I were hoping the mask would harden and peel of the the skin and remove deep blackheads. The mask tightens and it is removed by washing it off with water. It doesn’t remove the tough and tricky blackheads but it leaves your skin clean and fresh.
Overall Thoughts and Tips
The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Masks are products I am glad I tried and will buy again! Skip the spa, save some cash, and mix and match face masks from the comfort of your own home. I loved dedicating a lazy Sunday to a “me day”: I lit candles, got into cozy pajamas, and put on the masks while catching up on my favorite shows. The scent alone of the masks will put you in a calming state and the effects will have you feeling clean and fabulous. The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Masks are definitely my favorite face masks I’ve tried and I will remain a repeat user.
Some quick tips: Use a face cloth to remove the face masks. Use warm water while removing. Be very gentle while wiping, mostly when using the clay exfoliating mask. You skin may become red and blotchy if you're rough while removing.
Thank you, Bzzagent and L’Oréal Paris for allowing me to try and test these great products!
Cheers and Happy Sunday!
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Brand Ambassador Life
Product Reviews 2016
Product Reviews 2017