ipsy_july2017_9

Unboxing + Review: FabFitFun Summer 2017

 

fabfitfun summer 2017

 

Hello Summer! That is the perfect headline so FabFitFun got it right! The Summer FabFitFun box is chock full of items that scream summer! I was super excited to receive my Summer box because the spoilers made it super hard to resist. Just so many amazing things… you’ll see!

FabFitFun is a seasonal lifestyle subscription box that contains everything from beauty to fitness items. Honestly one of my favourite subscriptions because I haven’t unsubscribed to this one yet like I did for so many others already! If you would like to try this subscription, please use my link here.

 

fabfitfun summer 2017

 

Before we begin this unboxing, can I just say that this box looks amazing? Because it does! And bonus points for being purple because that’s my favourite colour! 😉 

 

fabfitfun summer 2017

fabfitfun summer 2017

 

Every FabFitFun box comes with a magazine and this time around, it came in the form of a newspaper. Within this newspaper, you get the details of all the products in the Summer box plus many articles that are relevant to the items you receive. As usual, there are the items that everyone gets in one variation or another and then there are the Choice items that you get to choose based on some vague hints. But before we take a look at those Choice items, let’s take a peek at the stuff that is found in each and every Summer box.

 

fabfitfun summer 2017 michael stars ruana

fabfitfun summer 2017 michael stars ruana

 

Let’s start with the Michael Stars Ruana ($54.00 USD). If you are like me, you are probably asking “So… what is a ruana?”. Forgive me! While I’m in the loop with beauty, fashion is not my forte! 😉 Well, I did some research and essentially a ruana is a poncho-style garment originally from the Andes region of Venezuela. It has so much versatility because you can wear it as a scarf, sarong or even a shawl. Check out the many different ways you can wear it in this video by FabFitFun. I received the blue colour variation (there are three patterns and colours available) and it feels so soft and light! I’m going to have to experiment with this one.

 

fabfitfun summer 2017 bkr bottle

 

Next, I received the BKR Little (500 ml) Water Bottle ($35.00 USD). To be perfectly honest, I have wanted one of these for a long time now so imagine my excitement when I saw that this was included in my box! I received the pink bottle (which is also available in blue). It’s a glass water bottle that is so cute. I will definitely be using this at work! I need to get a carabiner so I can use the cap loop to hook it on to my bag. 

 

fabfitfun summer 2017 cargo hd highlighter

 

I also received a makeup item in my bag and being the highlighter junkie that I am, I was glad to see it! The Cargo HD Picture Perfect Highlighter in Bronze ($30.00 USD) is beautiful! I love that is’ a compact with a mirror. It’s going to be great for travel! The consistency of this highlighter feels very smooth and it looks very pigmented. You can apply it lightly or really build up that shine! Looking forward to using this!

 

fabfitfun summer 2017 juice beauty

 

The Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate ($29.00 USD) is probably what I was least excited about. I haven’t been a big fan of the Juice Beauty products that I have tried in the past. Granted, I’ve only tried their Green Apple line which this product is not a part of. Instead, it contains grape, aloe and carrot juice so I may actually like it. It’s worth a try. We shall see!

 

fabfitfun summer 2017 avene

 

Another skincare product I received was the Avene Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($24.00 USD). Perfect for summer! You always need a sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. This one is great for sensitive skin and is lightweight enough to use on your face. I’m sure I will be using this product! It’s super practical, in my opinion.

 

fabfitfun summer 2017 kris nations

fabfitfun summer 2017 kris nations

 

The next one is so pretty! I received the turquoise Kris Nations Mystic Bar Necklace ($58.00 USD). Turquoise promotes balance, discovery and confidence. Fort he record, this was missing from my box when I first received it so I was super disappointed. But I contacted their Customer Service right away and they were very quick in sending out a replacement! I received it about a week after… which is pretty good considering the box itself seems to take forever and a day to get to Canada sometimes! I’m so glad they sent it right away because I love this! The necklace came in a cute glass jar and ti’s so delicate. I’m glad I receive the turquoise one because it goes with pretty much most of my wardrobe. I can definitely see myself wearing this necklace a lot! I love it! Probably my fave item from this season’s box.

 

fabfitfun summer 2017

 

This last one is a sponsored freebie. The Vital Proteins Marie Collagen is an unflavoured drink mix. It is drinkable collagen (first I have ever heard of this!) that can be added to pretty much any hot or cold drink. It is gluten free, sugar free and non-GMO. And again, there is a card that gives you 3 months of free access to Salted. Salted has cooking classes videos and recipes. There’s something for the chefs out there! If you like cooking, you can take advantage of this code.

And now on to the Choice items! The Summer Box came with two Choice items and I gotta admit, I like having the opportunity to choose something… and it’s even better that it’s still a surprise!

 

fabfitfun summer 2017 salted

fabfitfun summer 2017 salted

 

For Choice 1, you got to choose between the following themes: traveler, artist and chef. While I do love to travel and do artsy things (I mean, paint night anyone???), I chose the Chef option. Boy, was I ever glad that I did! I received the Salted Himalayan Pink Salt Kit ($26.00 USD). It comes as a small block of himalayan salt and includes a wooden stand that you can display it on when you put it in your kitchen. A small metal grater was also included and the wooden stand has a spot for that, as well. It’s said that Himalayan pink salt is bet used to sprinkle on top of your food to finish dishes. This is such a unique item! I love it! To cover all our bases, the Artist choice would have been a Ready, Set, Creat! Art Kit which includes a canvas, brushes, acrylic paints and an alphabet stencil and the Traveler choice would have been an Understated Leather On The Road Again Travel Set which contains a passport cover and luggage tag.

 

fabfitfun summer 2017 klorane

 

For Choice 2, you got to choose between the following themes: fitness and beauty. I went with Beauty, of course! I received the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($20.00 CAD). I have tried this before because I received a travel size of this product in one of my previous Topbox’s. I really liked it so having a full sized can is great! Just an FYI – choosing Fitness would have gotten you the Way of Will 03 Soothe and Cool Massage Oil.

So that’s it! That’s all for my Summer FabFit Fun box! The value of my box, including the two Choice items I received, came to $276.00 USD (which comes to a whopping $343.00 CAD in today’s exchange rate!) which is amazing! While it doesn’t appear to have as many items as previous boxes, the value is still very much there and because I received many great items that I will be using, it’s totally worth it for me!

What was your fave from this season’s box? Were you happy with your choices? I love seeing my readers thoughts in the comments! 🙂

ipsy august 2016

Disclaimer: I pay for this subscription with my own money.  All opinions are mine and mine alone. This post contains referral links.

ipsy_july2017_9

Blogging Spaces: Designing Your Dream Office

It’s a new year! I don’t know about you but it gets me thinking about what changes I can make in my life. Most of the time these changes involve a personal decision – the most common being of the “trying to be more active and eating healthier” type of goals – however sometimes it can involve other aspects of my life. Like changes when it comes to home decor.

We don’t redecorate very often… if at all, really. But something that has really been neglected in our home is our home office. It seems to have become a bit of a catch all. We don’t nearly spend as much time there as we used to when we played more video games. For a time, we didn’t really have a use for a home office but now that I’ve started blogging more, I wouldn’t mind a nicer space to do that. 

When wayfair.ca approached me about the idea of writing a post and sharing what my Blogging Battle Station looks like, I just wasn’t ready to share that. However, that being said, it gave me motivation to at least start thinking about what I would do to that space if I were to turn it into my “dream office”. Turning it into my dream office would not happen overnight. I knew that. But at least this gives me a bit of a nudge to start letting my creative juices flow and start gathering ideas about it. 

Wayfair.ca gives you a super easy way to keep track of your ideas with their concept of Idea Boards. Similar to how Pinterest works in that you would “pin” websites to your Pin Boards, users can create Idea Boards and add products to it while browsing the site. So if you see something that you might be interested in and would like to go back and take a closer look in the future, you can use this feature to make that easier. Plus, by seeing all the piece altogether on your Idea Board, it gives you an idea as to whether or not the different pieces go together. Perhaps that turquoise office chair clashes with the orange rug you fell in love with. You can see what works (or in this case, may not work) right away because you can see the products next to each other on your Idea Board. For example, here’s the one I started for my Dream Office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at each item that’s on my Idea Board.

So when I first started browsing the site, I wanted to start with the focal pieces that would make up my dream office first. Like a desk. I found this Computer Desk by Monarch Specialties Inc. that was a simple yet modern design but had the functionality of drawers which are handy if you want to file some papers or keep some spare stationery in. I also really liked the grey-silver taupe colour of the desk. This would be perfect to just put my laptop on it and blog away! Plus it seems like a good size for our office space.

Customer Image Zoomed

Now that I have chosen a desk, naturally you would need an office chair. Seeing as the desk is a more neutral colour, I chose something that will add a pop of colour! This purple Alves Mid-Back Mesh Desk Chair fit the bill! Looks comfortable and ergonomic so it’s perfect! 

Customer Image Zoomed

 

Desk. Check. Chair. Check. What’s next? How about a few things that will add personality to your office space? There looks like there is plenty of real estate on the desk that you could add a few things to it. One things that caught my eye is this Simple Structure Pencil Cup in mint.  I have a huge love for stationery so I need a pencil cup, for sure. Maybe even two? This one is fun because it does double-duty – it looks good as decoration BUT it also provides function. This Kikkerland Grass Pen Stand is pretty awesome. It looks nice and decorative by itself but if you need a spot to put a pen or two, this works for that too.  Just put your pens in the grass.

 

Customer Image ZoomedKikkerland Grass Pen Stand

Lighting is also very important in a home office. You need to be able to have enough light to accomplish what you are working on. In my case, I really gravitated towards this Adesso Holbrook 26″ Table Lamp. The mid-century desing looks lovely and it has a swing arm so you can control where you want more light to shine on your workspace. And honestly, the rose gold accents just makes it look fantastic! It’s not just your boring black swing arm lamp, that’s for sure!

Adesso Holbrook 26" Table LampLark Manor 6.25" Mantel Clock

Do you ever lose track of time when you are work on something? Sometimes I get really focused and before I know it, time just flies! At least this Desktop Mantle Clock by Lark Manor might help. And I love how rustic it looks! It would give my workspace a lot of personality!

To really personalize my desk space, I’ve chosen a mug that screams “Olivia”! If you are not aware of my handle on Instagram, it’s pixelhearts so how in love was I when I saw this Morph Pixel Heart Mug from Kikkerland! I do like to enjoy coffee or tea while I am blogging so this was absolutely perfect! PERFECT! And how fun is it that the heart goes from empty to full when you fill the cup with a hot liquid? 

Customer Image Zoomed

 

Last but not least, I thought a nice area rug would pretty much pull everything together. How about this one? Mercury Row’s Psyche Sky Area Rug is cozy and inviting and the aqua matches a lot of what I have chosen and would look great with the grey taupe desk!  Plus, it’s a shag rug so it’ll feel comfy with bare feet. 🙂

Customer Image Zoomed

I think I have a good start on planning a new dream office. I’m sure it will change a number of times but so far it is looking good! Perhaps one day, my dream will come true!

What does your workspace look like? What would you recommend I add to my “dream office”? Share your ideas in the comments below! 🙂

ipsy august 2016

Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links on this post. Pictures are from wayfair.ca and are not my own. Only my dreams are mine. 🙂

ipsy_july2017_9

Unboxing + Review: Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016 – Celebration

miss blanco joyful box december 2016

 

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great New Years! I had a wonderful holiday season, spending Christmas and New Years with family and friends.

Another year of blog posts gone by! Here’s to another year more. I plan on some new blog series, more unboxings and more actual product reviews this year! I hope you stay and enjoy the ride with me. 🙂

The very first unboxing for 2017 is the December Miss Blanco Joyful Box. I received this just before Christmas (literally – it arrived on December 23rd!) so I am just getting to my unboxing now. I was so happy to see it come just in time for Christmas! And the theme for December is Celebration, which is the perfect theme for the season.

For those of you who ware not familiar with this subscription: Miss Blanco Joyful Box is a lifestyle box sent straight to you each month containing five items that are a mix of deluxe or full sized beauty times,  hand-curated items and lifestyle items.  It is priced at $38.00 CAD (or $28 USD) monthly.

Miss Blanco Joyful Box does offer a VIP member option in addition to the standard subscription. This is just an option – you are not required to opt into this – but for $30.00 CAD per year, you can opt into this program. Please note that you must already be a subscriber and that the cost is on top of your monthly subscription cost. BUT you get a full year of extra perks and surprises for $2.50 CAD per month.  If you do decide to join, please put my name in the field where it asks who referred you – Olivia from starpixel. I would very much appreciate it! 🙂

 

Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016

 

There is a lot to cover for the month of December so we should get started. December’s box contains two artisan items that are hand made, two beauty items and one lifestyle item for regular members or two lifestyle items for VIPs.

The first item isn’t really an item in the box but I would like to take notice of it anyways! Love this magnetic Miss Blanco Joyful Box 2017 calendar that came in my box! I will definitely be putting this up somewhere at home or at work. I’m not sure where yet. This is super practical and perfect to kick off a new year!

 

Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016

 

The first of two artisan items I receved is a Bath Bomb in the scent Hot Chocolate from Sunbasilgarden Soaps ($7.50 CAD, one full sized bath bomb). If you are a chocolate or a vanilla lover like I am, you will think that this smells delicious! I love hot cocoa during the colder months so this was perfect for me! There were three other scents availalbe – Mistletoe, Sugar Cookie and a Minty Peppermint one – but I’m so glad I received this one because it smells delish! I love bath bombs but I will admit, I don’t take baths as often as I probably should. I really should make a better effort because bath bombs are the perfect thing for a night in if you just want to relax!

The other artisan item was this gorgeous heart ornament from Crate Charms ($10.00 CAD). This piece features a heart with scalloped edges. This can easily turn into a lovely ornament that you can put on your Christmas tree… or wherever else you may want to hang it. Perhaps from your rear view mirror in your car or even on your purse.

 

Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016

 

Moving on to the beauty items! This first item – or two items – are not a stranger to me. This is kind of a 2-for-1 deal because you are getting two nail polishes instead of just one! I received two Essie nail polishes in the shades Russian Roulette (a classic red orange shade) and Getting Groovy (from Essie’s Winter 2016 line, a lovely palladium gold) ($17.00 CAD). Of the two, I think I prefer the gold shade, because honestly, you can’t go wrong with a bit of sparkle during the holiday season! Wear one shade alone or wear them both! I myself see myself wearing the red polish as is with the gold being on an accent nail.

 

Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016

 

This other beauty offering was a shampoo and conditioner deluxe sized duo from the brand Bain de Terre  featuring their Lavender Color Enhancing Shampoo and Keratin Phyto-Protein Strengthening Conditioner ($8.00 CAD). I have never heard of this brand before but it smells really good so I am willing to try it. From what I can tell, though, the shampoo and conditioner are from different product collections. The Lavender Color Enhancing Collection is brand new and the shampoo looks good seeing as it’s a paraben free product. The Keratin Phyto-Protein Collection is both sulfate and paraben free. I do colour my hair so the shampoo will be nice to try next time I get my hair done. I love strengthening products so the conditioner will come in handy, too.

 

Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016

 

Last up are the lifestyle items. Depending on whether or not you are a VIP member, you may have received one or two lifestyle items.

All members received a Gold Gladiator Hair Band ($31.00 CAD). Wow, this is the high value item in this box! Not sure if that is the going rate for these types of hair bands! This is a beaitiful gold headband that can easily be incorporated into an evening look or as a fun piece with a cute top and jeans for casual days. It is definitely a pop of gold, regardless of what you are wearing! Seems pretty versitile to me. I personally don’t wear hair bands myself other than the headbands I use when I’m putting on makeup to keep my hair out of my eyes or when I’m working out or when I just need something to keep my hair in check when I’m having a lazy day at home or while camping. My head bands are definitely not as glam as this one. Glad I can add something like this to my  accessories collection!

 

Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016

 

If you are a VIP member, you also received an extra item – a Gold Scarf ($24.99 CAD). I will be honest, this isn’t really my style but it’s still a beautiful scarf! And it coordinates great with the gold headband! I have not see anything like it so it’s very unique in style and super light to go with almost any ensemble.

 

Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016

 

So that’s all for December! The total value of the box is $73.50 CAD for regular members and $98.49 CAD for VIP members. That’s pretty good value for a lifestyle box! More than double what I paid for.

The December box had a nice variety of items but I personally preferred my October and November boxes. That being said, I will still use most of the items from December.

What are your thoughts on the December Miss Blanco Joyful Box?

Until next time! Have a Happy New Year everyone!

ipsy august 2016

Disclaimer: I pay for this subscription with my own money.  All opinions are mine and mine alone. This post does not contain referral links.

 

Miss Blanco Joyful Box December 2016

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ipsy_july2017_9

Unboxing + Review: Miss Blanco Joyful Box October 2016

miss blanco joyful box october 2016

miss blanco joyful box october 2016

 

Greetings folks! After having a very long week last week, receiving this in the mail was a lovely surprise!

This unboxing is a little bit different for me because I know the girl who started it. Well, I don’t know her in real life but I know her online from a Canadian Facebook beauty group or two and she is the NICEST person! I know Yoanella (Miss Blanco herself!) put in a lot of hard work and research into this. She even asked a group of beauty box subscription lovers about their thoughts around beauty boxes, such as, what they love and don’t love about their current beauty box subscriptions in preparation of kicking off her very own beauty box subscription service. After all that preparation and hard work, Miss Blanco Joyful Box was born!

This week I received the very first Miss Blanco Joyful Box. The October box was chock full of amazing goodies! Not only do you get beauty and makeup  items – which is a pretty standard offering in beauty box subs, really – but Yoanella expanded what her boxes offer to include both handmade and lifestyle products, as well. When we go through the contents of the box, you’ll see what I mean.

For the month of October, shipping was free so the box cost $38.00 CAD. Starting in November, the price of the box will be $38.00 CAD plus $6 CAD for shipping to Canada and $7 CAD for shipping to the US (to be converted to US Dollars).

Now that we have the logistics out of the way, what are we waiting for? Let’s begin this unboxing! You have no idea how excited I am to share this with you! 🙂

When I first opened the box, I noticed a cute Thank You card! 🙂

 

miss blanco joyful box october 2016

 

Underneath the card were the goodies. Let’s start with beauty, shall we?

The first item I received was the Manna Kadar LipLocked Priming Lip Wand in the shade Joie ($31.00 CAD, 2.5 g, full sized). Joie is the word “joy” in French – how perfect is it that I received this shade in my Joyful box! Joie is described as a “Muted Rose” and it really is such a gorgeous colour. Usually I am not a big fan of lip crayons due to how dry some of them can be but this one isn’t dry at all when I put it on. It goes on smooth and is nicely pigmented.  Other pluses to this product? It’s paraben free, cruelty free and allergy tested.

I would still suggest that you use a lip scrub and lip balm to ensure that your lips are smooth when you use this if you have dry lips like me. Though it applies smooth, I found that to be because my lips were drier than usual (due to being sick and taking cold medication for the last few weeks, ugh), it would start to settle in the creases on my lips after awhile. The lip balm also adds a bit of gloss, making the muted rose colour shine and pop. This really was the perfect colour for me and I’m really happy that I received it! I have a feeling I will be toting that around with my new fave lip balm in my purse cause right now they are my “dynamic duo” of lip products. 😉 

This next one was not on the card because I believe it was a little bonus surprise in my October box! I received a Lord & Berry 20100 Maxi Matte Crayon Lipstick in the shade Intimacy ($20.00 USD, 1.8 g, full sized). From the looks of it, the website shows that this is a limited edition product.

Yes, I already received a lip pencil but ohmigosh. Again, this is the perfect shade for me! This is darker than the Manna Kadar Lip Wand but it’s in a similar shade family and I do love those rose colour lippies! This lipstick crayon is also very easy to apply and the pigmentation is really great. It’s a very wearable colour for day-to-day at the office or for running errands on the weekend! Super happy with this as well. This lip junkie likes this too. 🙂

 

miss blanco joyful box october 2016

 

Here are some swatches of the two lip pencils.

 

miss blanco joyful box october 2016

 

I also received another product from this brand. The Manna Kadar Radiance Split Pan Bronzer and Highlighter Duo ($28.00 CAD, full size) is fab! This year has been the year of the highlighter for me and I really can’t say no to a lovely bronzer so I thought this was great! I have tried this product before receiving it in this box and I’m happy to have a backup now. Both the highlighter and the bronzer are super silky and very pigmented. The shades are perfect for my medium skin tone but by the looks of this, it looks like it would be great for most, if not all, skin tones. It’s very versatile that way. And hey, it’s also perfect for travel! You won’t need to bring a separate highlighter and bronzer because this takes care of it. I will be putting this in my makeup bag when I go on holidays!

 

miss blanco joyful box 2016

 

miss blanco joyful box 2016

 

The final beauty product in the October Miss Blanco Joyful Box was the Barefoot Venus Lilly Pilly Shea Butter Hand Cream ($6.75 CAD, 50 ml). Such cute pink packaging! I am a big fan of Barefoot Venus. Everything that I have tried from them so far, I’ve loved! It’s also great that this product is paraben free and also does not contain any synthetic colours, mineral oil or propylene glycol. And I love shea butter lotions. This one is no exception. This is a great hand cream. A little bit goes a long way! It’s a thick hand cream with a light scent. It’s quite nice! This is perfect for me right now because my hands are so dry from the colder weather. And this will be fantastic to take on my holiday. Big thumbs up on this one!

 

miss blanco joyful box 2016

 

So just because we finished talking about beauty doesn’t mean we’re done this unboxing yet! What I love about this box is that it also included one lifestyle item and a handmade item.

The lifestyle item for the month of October is an adorable handmade soap in the shape of a cupcake ($6.00 CAD). How cute is that! It’s Canadian-made in Waterloo, Ontario and made exclusively for this subscription. The scent I got was in Pink Clay. I wasn’t sure what Pink Clay was so I had to Google it and came up with this description:

French Pink Clay is a combination of red and white clays. […] French Pink Clay can be used to cleanse and detoxify the skin, remove dead skin cells and create an overall refreshed appearance. It can also be used to treat acne and other skin ailments; poor blood and/or lymph circulation and sun damaged skin.

It has a soft scent but it smells really nice! I’ll be honest with you – it’s almost too cute to use! I could totally put it on display on my vanity. We’ll see what I end up doing with it.. it really is a toss up! Enjoy the lovely scented soap in the shower or display on my vanity… tough. Tough decision. 😉

 

miss blanco joyful box october 2016

 

Last but not least, the handmade item is a little crochet purse ($21.00 CAD). It was available in three colours and I just happened to receive the mint one! Perfect! Other than purple, greens are my fave colour. 😉 This crochet purse is perfect to keep in your handbag to for your loose change or other tiny items.  I love receiving practical items in sub boxes!

 

miss blanco joyful box october 2016

 

The overall value of my Joyful Box for the month of October was $92.75 CAD PLUS a lippie with a value of $20.00 USD as a bonus surprise. That is amazing, AMAZING value!I am thrilled with my first Miss Blanco Joyful box! I can’t wait to see what November has in store. 🙂

If you want to try out this subscription, there is a coupon code available right now. Use the code MISSBLANCO10 for 10% off your first box!

Not ready to commit to a subscription yet? Boxes are available for one-time purchase for the upcoming month (in this case, November and December boxes are available in the shop now) and sometimes Yoanella has special surprise boxes that contain fewer items but is less expensive so you can get a taste of what you could receive if you do subscribe.

What can I say? So far, so good. This really was a box full of joy! 🙂

ipsy august 2016

Disclaimer: I pay for this subscription with my own money.  All opinions are mine and mine alone. This post does not contain referral links.

 

miss blanco joyful box 2016

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ipsy_july2017_9

2014: A Year in Review of the Girl Behind Starpixel

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic 2015 so far!

I am not feeling so great today as I’m battling a cold. Armed with a cup of my favorite green Earl Grey tea (Yes, they do exist! This one in particular, called “Earl Grey de la Creme Green”  is my favorite from Steeped Tea), I thought I would do a quick “year in review” write up on starpixel today.

Looking back at the last 12 months, 2014 was overall an excellent year. Granted, I had to make a few changes in my life but they were all for the better.

The year before was very toxic to me. While 2013 brought some positive changes (like a new job) it was a mostly negative year that introduced negative things and negative people in my life. I refused to carry this on to 2014! So early on in 2014, I wondered what I could do to be happier and to bring positivity to my life. In no particular order, here are a few of the highlights of what made 2014 a great year for me.

I Got Married!

I would say this is a milestone event… so even thought I said these were in no particular order, this is number one in my books! Yes, I got married to not only my love but my best friend. I really could not have asked for a more amazing hubby because he is pretty darn amazing. 🙂 While most of our wedding day was a blur, I remember being very happy and super excited to have been spending the day with my hubby, our families and our friends.

sp-br1

sp-sh1

sp-ck1photography by our ever talented wedding photographers, melissa rae photography

Honeymoonin’ in Aruba!

If you know us, you know we like to travel. So what better way to celebrate your honeymoon in a brand new exotic place? Aruba! It is a relatively small island in the southern Caribbean Sea, just 29 km off the coast of Venezuela in South America. It was super hot and the constant wind took some getting used to but the island is amazing. We really took advantage of this time and had many beach days during the two weeks we were there. The water just off the shores of our resort were great and sometimes even had fish swimming about which made me squeal a couple of times! But my favorite part was the food. There were so many great restaurants near our resort that we were glad we didn’t choose an all-inclusive!

Here are a few pictures. I won’t put too many up because I would like to do a travel post on our trip.

our first sunset in aruba was breathtaking
our first sunset in aruba was breathtaking
the shirts our resort gave us along with a bottle of wine. you can guess that the 'honey' shirt was mine and hubby's was 'mooner' ;)
the shirts our resort gave us along with a bottle of wine. you can probably guess that the ‘honey’ shirt was mine and hubby’s was ‘mooner’ 😉
hubby is very much a cat person so this picture always cracks me up. staredown with a stray kitty! the kitty wanted our dinner from fish night!
hubby is very much a cat person so this picture always cracks me up. staredown with a stray kitty! the kitty wanted our dinner from fish night!
in front of one of the 'i love aruba' signs
in front of one of the ‘i love aruba’ signs

I Rid Myself of Negativity

This isn’t necessarily a thing that happened to me but rather personal growth. 2013 was very negative so I was determined to leave it all behind. By January 2014, I had been at my new job for six months. I surrounded myself by mostly positive people. I say ‘mostly’ because you can’t possibly be positive all the time. People need to vent sometimes. Heck, so do I! But I tried to phase out the people who were always negative. You know, the ones who didn’t have anything nice to say about anything or anyone or just constantly complained. I limited my interaction with these people because in 2013, there were quite a few of these people in my life and it did nothing but bring me down to the point where I was just down all the time. I didn’t need that. At all. And since I’ve limited this interaction, I noticed a vast improvement in my mood. I was no longer negative and I looked for the positive as much as I could!

I Kept My Family and Friends Close

I have always had a strong support system from my parents. Always. But it was nice to also be able to see some of the relatives that have been strangers to me in years! This is what happened at my wedding. It was so great to see them!

I also made a conscious effort to be a better friend and I hope I succeeded. I saw my closest friends more often this year than in the past – which is hard to do when you’re all essentially “grown up” and busy with things in your own life. It also helped that my closest friends were in my wedding party. I hope to keep up with my friendships going forward rather than isolating myself like I have done in the past.

Camping, Camping, Camping

Over the years, we always knew we were going to by an RV. The question was always ‘When?’. Throughout the years, our friends started buying them up to the point where there were times when we would be the only ones tenting. So in 2014, we bit the bullet. We bought an RV! Due to our busy year, we only went a handful of times but we are definitely looking forward to more camping next season with our camping buddies!

 

Woke up to this beauty of a day! #pigeonlake

A photo posted by Olivia (@pixelhearts) on

 


That is all for now. I hope you all enjoyed a little bit more of a personal glimpse into my life! I know I don’t get too personal on here but I hope that changes this year.

I am still working on what my resolutions will be. I’m sure I will be writing about that topic soon! Once they all get sorted out that is. 🙂

Best wishes, health and happiness to you all in 2015!

xoxo