Reflections on 2018 + Setting Intentions for 2019

2018 was a such a good year for me. It was a crazy year of growth. I had many big life changes, accomplished major goals, but as everyone does, I also made mistakes along the way and had to learn from them.

A look back at 2018…

January – I started my last semester of college.

February – April – pretty much everything from the beginning of my semester through April was just studying and hustling incredibly hard.

May – Graduated with my degree! After working full time and going to school full time (at a school an 1+ hours away from where I lived), to say I was happy I was done is an understatement.

June – The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup and I just about died from happiness. Also, Donnie got the opportunity to transfer down to Wilmington, NC for his job and you wouldn’t believe how fast we jumped on it!

July – We looked for and got a place to live in Wilmington.

August- We officially moved to Wilmington! Side Note: When we moved, I kept my job in Virginia and transformed it into a telework position. So much adjusting has been happening in that aspect of my life since.

September – Hurricane Florence hit only 2 weeks after moving and we were forced to evacuate our new home and hoped for the best when we returned. (We were incredibly lucky!)

October- Decided to finally start the blog I’ve wanted to start since I was in high school.

November – December – Still trying to adjust to our new life, teleworking, figuring out how to run a blog and also having the busiest season of work yet. I also bought a new car.

So many amazing things have happened in 2018. I learned, accomplished, grew, gained and kept moving forward no matter what. In 2019, I want to continue to grow in every aspect in my life.

Going forward in 2019…

Setting goals and resolutions for a new year is the #1 thing people do. This year I’ve decided instead of setting just goals or resolutions, I’m going to set INTENTIONS and goals.

So, what is the difference between goals and intentions? Goals are WHAT you want to achieve in the future, while intentioned are HOW you will act in the present to achieve your goals.

Intentions for 2019:

1. Believe – I will believe in myself and believe I will reach my goals because I believe in myself.

2. Balance – I will consciously create balance in between my work and personal life.

3. Be Present – I will spend less time look at screens and more time being present to everything around me.

4. Get Active – I will create a weekly plan and get moving 5 days of the week.

5. Track – I will update my intentions monthly throughout 2019 so I don’t loose track of where I am and where I want to be.

6. Speak – Say what I feel needs to be said. Speak up for myself and for others.

Goals for 2019:

1. Make significant growth in my work life.

2. Work towards living a healthier lifestyle by getting active 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day and feeding my body to heal instead of to harm.

3. Save for a house and actually SAVE MONEY for this specific goal.

4. Step out of my comfort zone when occasions arise my own mind is holding me back from.


 So, while setting goals is important to move you forward, setting intentions are even more important. Intentions are the cause to the effect. Intentions are what make us feel full upon reaching a goal.

What intentions will you be setting for 2019?

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

 

3 Ingredient, No Bake Oreo Snowballs

These Oreo snowballs are ALWAYS a big hit with everyone who tastes them and the best thing is you don’t have to bake anything!!


Ingredients:

1 pack of Oreos

1 8oz tub of cream cheese

12-18 oz of melting chocolate

Instructions:

1. Crush your pack of Oreos. You can use a food processor, blender or place them in a plastic baggy and pound until crushed. (Obvi food processor or blender are most efficient)

2. Pour your crushed Oreos into a large bowl. Mix in your softened cream cheese until you cannot see any cream cheese.

3. Place in your freezer or refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

4. Melt your chocolate as directed on packaging then take your Oreo balls out and dip them in your chocolate until completely covered. (Add sprinkles or other festive fun at this time).

5. Place your, now chocolate-covered Oreo balls, in a container or cover with plastic wrap and store in your fridge.


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12 Days of DIY Christmas- Day 5: How-To Wrap a Gift

Are you a gift-wrapper or gift-bagger?? Well either way I’m here to show you how to easily wrap a gift, so your wrapping doesn’t look like a 5 year old did it… you know who you are!

1. Pick out your perfect Christmas wrapping paper!

2. Take whatever you are wrapping and measure out exactly how much paper you will need to cover each side.

3. Starting where your box ended, plus an inch more and cut your wrapping paper.

4. Start wrapping by taking on end of your wrapping paper and covering your gift so the side and top are completely covered and tape in place.

5. To make sure you have a clean line, fold 1/4 inch of the edge and continue to wrap rest of the box.

6. Now, because of the style of wrapping paper I got, I had a lot of excess on the sides that I don’t need. So, I measure how much I need to cut off.

7. Cut any excess off the sides that’s needed.

8. Throw it away! (Or save for later on a small gift or project)

9. Lastly, pick the right or left side to start with and fold in and tape. Repeat for other side. Then, take the top and bottom and neatly fold down and tape.

10. YOURE DONE! They perfectly wrapped box. No more wasting paper because you didn’t cut enough to cover the whole present.


More Tips:

1. The key to perfect wrapping is making sure you keep your lines tight, so be sure your creasing folds and edges as you’re going along.

2. Don’t be afraid to use the tape! I typically space out multiple pieces of tape when taping down edges to help prevent crinkles and gaps.

3. Remember you’re just wrapping a gift, it’s not the olympics… if you just aren’t good at it… use a gift bag. Lol

12 Days of DIY Christmas- Day 3: Rice Heat Pad

Day 3 of DIY Christmas and I’m going to show you how to make a DIY heating pad. These make a great stocking stuffer and are GREAT for the winter sniffle season! After you make it, a great addition to this gift is a few essential oils so they giftee can put a few drops on after they warm it up!

Peppermint essential oil is great for the sniffles and putting it on your chest, throat or head, or lavender for a relaxing heating pad sesh whenever you’ve got a ache or pain.

Supplies:

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pieces of fabric ( I used some old T-shirt’s, but you can use socks, sweaters, or even buy small fabrics squares from the craft store)
  • Rice
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Paper/Card
  • Pen

How to make:

1. Cut your fabric into whatever shape you would like. If you are using a sock that you don’t need to cut anything. I used an old shirt so I cut it into squares.

2. Turn your fabric to whatever side you want on the inside of the pouch is on the outside, and line the two piece up to each other.

3. Pick one corner and and start stitching from one corner to the next until you have sewn each side and have about one inch left on the last side and stop. (I hand stitched, but you could always use a sewing machine)

4. Flip right side out and using the one inch opening, fill with rice. The amount of rice will depend on how small or large your heating pad is. Just make sure you don’t over fill it.

5. Stitch together the one inch opening and you’re done!

6. Write on a little note card or piece of paper: “To use: Heat for 1-2 minutes in microwave”

7. (Optional) Add a couple bottles of essential oils to give along with the heating pads for the perfect, cozy and useful present!

Xoxo,

DIY Santa

12 Days of DIY Christmas – Day 1: Yarn Wall Hanger

Day One of Blonde by the Shore’s 12 Days of DIY Christmas is here, and today I’m going to show you this super simple DIY wall hanger. Wall hangers are not only very “in” right now, but they’re also super easy to make! I love how easily customizable they are for any decor. That is why I feel they can make the perfect gift! Now, let’s get into how to make it…

Step One: Gather your supplies

Supplies:

  • 2 Wooden Embroidery Hoops (Make sure to get 2 different sizes so one is larger than the other)
  • 2 different colored yarn (I also opted for 2 different textured yarns)
  • Scissors

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Step 2: Pop the inner hoop out of each embroidery hoop.

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Step 3: Cut your yarn DOUBLE the length you want it to be. (As pictured below)

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Step 4: If your yarn is not already folded in half as above, do so now. Then place the looped part under the hoop.

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Step 5: Take the end of your yarn and loop it through the top loop and pull all the way through.

Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 until you’ve covered at about 1/4 of the hoop.

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Step 7: Repeat the above steps for the smaller hoop. IMG_5552

Step 8: Line up the tops of the two hoops.

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Step 9: Take yarn of your choosing and tie the tops of the two hoops together and leaving a loop out at the top to be able to hang, and you’re done! IMG_5554

This gift is super quick and so easy. You can make it any color, add braids, beads, or even make it more intricate than this one. The possibilities are pretty much endless and make the perfect gift for anyone.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog by email so you don’t miss the rest of the 12 Day’s of DIY Christmas.

Happy Holidays, friends!

Holiday Make-Up: Full Face Tutorial

Today I’m going to show you how I went from the left to the right. This simple glam holiday look is super easy to achieve, just follow my step by step tutorial below!

P.S. Links to all the products and shades I used are located at the bottom of the post.

Step 1: Apply an eye shadow primer, or if you’re like me and don’t have any (LOL), just use a little dot of concealer on your each eyelid. I used Tarte Shape Tape today.

Step 2: EYESHADOW. I used the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette for most of this look. So for my base color I used the shade “Stark”.

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Step 3: EYESHADOW. Using the same palette, using the shade ” apply it to your crease. It doesn’t have to be perfect, mine was actually quite messy. This gives you the slightest bit of dimension on your eye lids.

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Step 4: EYESHADOW. I set the UD Naked 2 palette aside for a second and grabbed my ColourPop eye shadow pod in the color “Jinxie” and applied that just to my lid.

Step 5: EYESHADOW. Picking up my UD Naked 2 palette again, I went back into my crease and the outer corner of my eye lids with the shade “Primal”. This creates a little more dramatic look without going overboard.

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Step 6: EYEBROWS. I do my eyebrows how I do them everyday. I use my NYX Brow Pencil and start off by making a line on the bottom outline of my eyebrow, then do the same to the top. Next, I fill it in and then blend it out with the brush end of the pencil. (Below I show you it with one done, then both done).

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Step 7: FOUNDATION. I use my Burt’s Bees BB Cream in the shade “light/med” (honestly too dark for me, but I haven’t gotten a lighter shade for winter yet). I apply this to the back of my hand then take my beauty blender and make four dots on my face (both cheeks, chin, and forehead), then I blend it out.

Step 8: CONCEALER. I have been loving mixing these two concealers lately. I apply as below and then blend out with my fingers as much as possible. If I feel the need I will also blend it out with my beauty blender.

Step 9: SETTING POWDER. Now that my concealer is all blended out, I take my translucent powder and set everything with it. I use Dermablend Professional Loose Setting Powder, as pictured below.

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Step 10: BRONZER. I take my little tiny LilyLolo Bronzer and apply that in a 3 formation on each side of my face. I start at my temple then bring it down to just under my cheekbone then bring it down one last time to my jaw line. (If you haven’t checked out Lily Lolo cosmetics, I highly recommend it and it’s all organic!!) IMG_5043

Step 11: BLUSH. I take my Avon Blush that I’ve literally had since high school and some how haven’t ran out of yet. Like seriously, I’ve had this same compact since high school.

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Step 12: HIGHLIGHT. Next, I take my ELF highlight pod and apply it to the tippy top of my cheek bones using my EcoTools Fan Brush. (Seriously my favorite brush)

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Step 13: MASCARA. Next you are going to apply mascara. I use a combo of Loreal’s Voluminous Primer and CoverGirl’s Lash Blast in shade “brown.”

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(This combo is EVERYTHING!!!!!)

Step 14: & THE VERY LAST STEP!! LIPSTICK. Apply your favorite red lipstick to take this simple gold eye and launch the whole look into full on holiday mode! (I used ULTA Lip Crayon that they don’t sell any longer).


Links:

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (Shade: Fair Neutral)

Urban Decay Naked Weightless Concealer (Shade: Light Neutral)

Burt’s Bees BB Cream (Shade: Light/Med)

DermaBlend Loose Setting Powder (Shade: Translucent)

NYX Micro Brow Pencil (Shade: Taupe)

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Primer

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara (Shade: Brown)

Lily Lolo Waikiki Bronzer and Simmer (Shade: Waikiki)

E.L.F. Baked Highlighter (Shade: Moonlight Pearls)

Avon Ideal Luminous Blush  (Shade: Warm Flush)

EcoTools Highlight & Define Brush Duo

EcoTools Powder Brush

EcoTools Beauty Blender Duo

Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

The Girl’s Guide by a Guy to Holiday shopping for her boyfriend, husband, brother, or dad!

(Click on image to shop. As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.)


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Eddie Bauer flannel-lined chinos

(These pants are so good, my boyfriend has 3 pairs!!)

Burt’s Bees Men’s Care GiftSet
Bose Wireless SoundSport Headphones

(I have these head phones and I don’t know what I did without them!)

RayBan Sunglasses

Windshield Snow Cover

(GAME. CHANGER. for snow)

Perfect Flannel for Winter

LifeStraw Water Bottle #YES

Universal Socket

McQuire’s Car Care Kit

Perfect Cookbook for guy in your life!

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This BBQ Toolbox would be perfect for tailgates and camping!!

Nike Workout/Lounge Shorts


Other great gift guides for guys:

Gift Guide for Dad/DIL

Stocking Stuffers

*As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.