Flashback Friday’s: New Year, New Me?

Well look at you – surviving the first week of this year! 2016 was a huge struggle for many people apparently, but it is a NEW year and we can choose to make this a time of new beginnings as well. I want to thank you for stopping in and reading – whether you have been reading my blog for years or if this is your first time here. Hello. Aloha. Welcome. Thank you!

If you’re wondering what a Flashback Friday post is – it is my way of recapping what I was up to during the week. I attempt to post these as regularly as I can, however, that does not always happen. With this new year I do plan on scheduling these out and working on them throughout the week because I am more likely to complete the post if I work on it in that way. Anywho, here is the first one for 2017…

flashback fridays hertaintedlips
This past week has actually been great. I had some stressful situations occur but I can definitely say some really great things have happened. More good than bad happened so I am hoping to ride this positive wave right into the first quarter of the year. What really put me in a great mood was getting a raise at my job. WOO HOO. Who doesn’t like to get rewarded for their hard work?

Of course a new year often means new years resolutions, setting goals and all that jazz. I try to set goals throughout the year but I do think the new year is a good time to reflect and reevaluate where you are at with previous goals, what needs to be done (or let go) and what goals you would like to set in the future. It is a new beginning.

I have mentioned before that the rough and wild ride of 2016 kept me from planning out 2017 the way I had originally intended on doing but I won’t let that stop me from doing it now. It isn’t too late. So this past week (and couple of months actually) I have been really thinking about what I want to do with this new year. This new beginning.

First thing I did this week was really purge and get rid of things that are no longer serving me. From physical objects and emails to people and relationships. It has been a very freeing experience. I have been feeling bogged down with stuff lately and letting go feels so wonderful. Another bonus is when you let go of certain things it makes room for the new.

Another thing I have been doing is planning out how I am going to take better care of my health. As many of you know my Father passed away in October. He has lived most of his adult life with several health issues and it as always difficult watching him suffer. Boy was that a wake up call.

I have intended on taking better care of myself (and have been trying off and on) but his death really reminded me that life is short and if there are things I can do to live a healthier life full of energy and minimal illness – that is the life I want to choose. One step I took so far this is I went to my ophthalmologist to get checked for any damage diabetes may have had on my eyes and was told I was not having any issues so continue to do what I was doing. Last year I significantly lowered my A1c and plan on lowering it more this year.

I have a lot more things planned this year in regards to taking better care of myself and I will be sure to mention them along the way. You can learn more about my weight loss journey and diabetes management efforts at 2bigheffas.com

Another thing I worked on this year was planning out my Avon business and other side hustle goals. I am trying to avoid having to get second part time job so organizing and setting goals should put me in a place to make the extra money required to take care of my personal expenses. I looked at how much money I made from Avon, blogging and my other freelance work last year and I know I can double if not triple it this year if I set small goals, hold myself accountable and am consistent.

So… that’s what I have been up to this week. I am taking the route of making this year about ME. Improving on who I am and the things that I do because I know it will pay off in the end. Better health, losing weight, self care and making that money.

**Cheers to a new year and a new me (and you if you so choose).**

What do you hope to accomplish this year? Let us know in the comments.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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2016: A Year In Review

Welcome to 2017. If you are familiar with hertaintedlips.com you know that we do Flashback Friday’s most Friday’s and post about what happened during the week. I like the idea of it and I did a year in review post for 2015 last year so I thought it would be fun to do it again this year even though it didn’t end up on a Friday. I hope you enjoy it!

Flashback Fridays Year In Review 2016 hertaintedlips

January
+ I moved! I ended up moving closer to my job into a small little place to call my own.

February
+ I got the flu from h#ll – so glad that I got over that but I was out from school and work for a little over a week and had so much catching up to do.
+ On the bright side, I got a lot of freelance writing and other money making opportunities – just enough to cover the amount of money I was out of since I was going to school more and had to cut back my hours at my job.

March
+ Launched a new blog project with Kristina called 2BigHeffas.com. We share about our journey to healthy living. From weight loss and working out to cravings and our favorite fitness apparel. This has been a really great project for me.

April
+ This was the month before finals so life was pretty crazy. Not much going on with the blog.

May
+ Did this month even happen? HA!

June
+ This was a great, yet a tough month! I had family members from different states come to visit which meant lots of fun, laughter and new memories with them. Unfortunately I also a horrible allergic reaction which resulted in me being hospitalized a few days and one of my Aunt’s passed away. Let’s just say I was being tested. *whew*

July (My Birthday Month)
+ I wrote about finding your passion or your “thing” and having a quarter life crisis

August
+ New semester of school started! Just four more courses left (as of August 2016) before I can graduate with my Bachelor’s Degree. Unfortunately I could only take 2 of them during this semester but I was so happy that I am getting closer to graduating.
+ I got some exciting offers in regards to moving my blog forward (business wise) so it was an exciting time to be a blogging business woman.

September
+ This month went by super fast! I was super busy with work and school.

October
+ As the year was quickly coming to a close I made sure that I spent a lot of time with family and friends whenever possible. My modified school schedule allowed that flexibility and I was so happy for that. Unfortunately, My Dad ended up in the hospital and weeks later passed away. It was a really rough time.
+ Started planning out holiday posts as best as I could considering the circumstances – product reviews, gift guides and sharing coupons and sales.

November
+ This month went by super fast and I ended up being sick so I shared my favorite ways to stay healthier (and get better quicker) during the holidays.

December
+ After a very long and tumultuous year things seemed to settle down a bit. I reflected on what happened and tried not to dwell too much on the bad things. The holidays are usually my favorite time of year because of time with family and friends but this time around it took me longer to get into the spirit. It wasn’t until I was trying to cheer someone else up by taking them to see Christmas lights that my Christmas spirit really kicked into gear.

What wonderful (or even not so wonderful) things happened in your life last year? If you have a year in review post please share it below!

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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Final Flashback Friday of 2016

Hey there!
2016 has been a year… one for the books. AMIRITE?? It has been full of lots of ups and lots of downs for myself (and apparently for others as well). So many things happened that I sorta don’t even know where to start but I wanted to post one final Flashback Friday’s post for the year because I enjoy doing them so much! Keep reading for more about what I was up to this past week.

flashback fridays hertaintedlips

Aside from being shocked by all the celebrity deaths this year, I have been feeling uneasy about the ending of this year. If have been feeling so exhausted – mentally and physically – and have had a lingering headache for 4 days already! I feel the weight of frustration and sadness slowly lifting yet my mind feels “heavy” – I can’t really put it into words. It is sort of like this irritating pressure.

I am super excited for a new year and new beginnings. I just want to let go of 2016 and all the crap that I had to endure. I have positive things coming in 2017 and I am super excited about that. I will be graduating this upcoming semester and I have a performance review coming up at work which could mean a pay raise – those two things alone have got me excited.

Another thing I am looking forward to is my Best Friend’s wedding. I can’t wait to dress up and join her in celebrating this new chapter of her life with her. I’m also having to search for a new place to live because the building I am currently residing in is being sold and I believe they may be planning renovations. Everything is going to work out towards the end of the semester so things should hopefully work out seamlessly.

I am looking forward to new beginnings!

Since I am out of school for a couple more weeks I have mostly been working and getting other things in order that I wasn’t able to the past couple of months. I have been doing a lot of organizing, planning and purging. Out with the old, in with the new. Even though I haven’t been feeling well I have been in a very positive and inspired place lately so I have been riding that wave the best I can.

Adios 2016! What are your plans for New Year’s Eve and what are you planning for 2017? Let us know in the comments.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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Flashback Friday’s: End of The Semester Edition

Dear Fellow College Students,
You can take a deep breath.
I am hoping that you had a great semester and that all of your papers, presentations and finals are turned in and no longer something on your to do list. You have done all that you could have possibly done (hopefully) to make this a successful semester.

*Cheers to you and high five if you are a graduating Senior*

You made it to the end of the semester! It is time to enjoy the Winter Break.

flashback fridays hertaintedlips

This semester was actually a fairly “easy” one for me compared to some of the more recent ones that I have had. Mainly because I enjoyed the courses and Professors that I had. It was full of great information and great people to share and learn it with. Even though my life was all turned upside down I was able to finish the semester fairly unscathed. I am super excited for next semester (and scared out of my mind) because I am taking my two Senior Projects and will be graduating (finally).

I only had 2 courses this semester and they were both online. One actually ended back in September so I am happy that I had about 2 months of just having 1 course to deal with. I’m so happy that they were online because when I went to Georgia while my Dad was hospitalized and after he passed away I think I would have had to drop the course since I was away for so long. Online courses aren’t for everyone, however, they can sometimes be a huge blessing.

I am proud of myself for getting through this semester even while I felt like the world was crumbling beneath my feet. My college career has a been a long journey and I will write about it more on a separate occasion because there are some topics I want to touch on that would do better in a different post. I will probably work on that during the winter break.

I am currently working on a post of resources for college students – it has been sitting in my draft folder since last semester – and it will be posted at the beginning of next semester so be sure to be on the lookout for that. I feel like I had so many more resources to share so I wanted to go back and edit it a bit more before I launch it out to the interwebs.

If you haven’t had time to go shopping for others make sure you check out my gift guides and be sure to check out this post featuring Companies That Give Back When You Make A Purchase This Season.

Thank you so much for stopping in and I hope to chat with you soon.

What are your plans for the Winter Break? Let us know in the comments.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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Give While You Shop This Season: Companies that give back when you make a purchase

Christmas is right around the corner and I’m sure that most of you are out there shopping in stores or online trying to find the perfect gifts. What’s better than getting something cool for someone you care about? Being able to know that your purchase will also help someone else in need or that is going through something challenging.

Every year I try to donate money, food or gifts to people less fortunate than myself. My life may not be perfect but I know I am extremely blessed and have things that I sometimes take for granted. That is why I decided to put a list together of companies that give back to those in need. So while you are shopping this holiday season make sure to check out the companies below.

This post includes affiliate links.

Sock Panda: The winter months can be cold and dreary – a cute pair of socks is not only a fashion statement but can also keep you warm as well. With every monthly Sock Panda subscription purchased they give a pair of socks to someone in need.

soapbox soaps: This soap company donates a bar of soap to a person in need in the US and abroad with the purchase of every product sold. Each of their products has a Hope Code which you can enter into their system and see which project your purchase will support.

House of Light Goods: This company empowers single mothers in Mexico to break the cycle of poverty and abuse as well as help impoverished families. They sell beautiful scarves, pillow covers and blankets.

H&M Foundation: Some of you are H&M shoppers. According to their website “For each H&M gift card sold between November 3, 2016 – January 8, 2017, the H&M Foundation will make a donation to UNHCR. The entire donation will be directed to school supplies for refugee children through the UNHCR program, “Educate a Child” focusing on education for refugee children.” Their Foundation also has other projects to help those in need as well.

Warby Parker: If you have vision problems you know how useful having a pair of glasses is. For every pair of glasses purchased, a pair is given to someone in need.

TOMS Shoes: Their One for One® program matches every pair of shoes purchased and gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

yoobi: This brand is sold exclusively at Target and they have bright and fun school supplies and accessories. When you make a purchase with them they donate an item to a Yoobi Classroom Pack. These Classroom Packs are donated to classrooms.

Avon:
There are three causes that Avon currently give proceeds to upon purchase of select merchandise. They also allow you to make monetary donations as well.

  • Empowerment:The Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program has committed nearly $50 million, in over 50 countries, to organizations and programs focused on awareness, education, direct services and prevention programs to help end the cycle of domestic and gender violence.
  • Pink Ribbon/Breast Cancer Crusade:Purchase supports the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, supporting women who are battling breast cancer and funding research to find a cure.
  • Mark M.Powerment:100% of the net proceeds from sales of the mighty pretty m.powerment bracelet ($20.92) is donated directly to the m.powerment by mark (Managed by the Avon Foundation for Women) philanthropic initiative dedicated to breaking the cycle of dating abuse and partner abuse.

Project 7: Purchases help to give back for 7 different areas of need – clean water, emergency relief (housing), tree planting, meals for the hungry, malaria treatments, school education in developing nations and anti-bullying programs.

People Water: Even though this may not be a “gift” – the gift of clean water is pretty major if you ask me. Buy a case to keep on hand for house guests. Every bottle purchased = an equal amount of clean water to a person in need.

Do you know of any other companies that give back to those in need? Let us know in the comments.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers for Her

Just because she is an adult that doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t have a stocking above the fireplace. Here are 10 stocking stuffer ideas for her.

This post includes affiliate links.

Gift Guide Stocking Stuffers For Her

1. Game of Phones – This card game requires a group of friends or family members with cell phones. Hours and hours of fun for her next girls night in.
2. Avon Care Silicone Glove Holiday Hand Cream – colder months mean dry skin. These mini hand creams are the perfect size to fit in her purse or keep at her desk.
3. Natico Decision Maker and Paper Weight – It is sort of like the Magic 8 Ball for grown-ups.

4. A pack of her favorite pens or paint brushes. I personally love Pilot G2 Gel Ink Pens in Fine Point.

5. Purse Light with Automatic Sensor – This is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Yes I’m a dork, but that is besides the point. This light senses when something is coming towards it (your hand) and turns on so you can see deep down in the crowded purse of yours. Super cool.
6. Crazy pairs of socks from SockPanda – If she is a lover of crazy socks gift her a monthly subscription.
7. A gift pack of her favorite tea or coffee flavors.
8. A travel charger for her phone so that she can keep it charged during all her trips.
9. Passport cover – for the travelling woman.
10. Gift Cards – So many options to give – Visa Gift Card’s, Sephora Gift Cards, MAC Gift Cards, Amazon Gift Cards, Starbuck’s Gift Cards and more. Think of her favorite place(s) to shop and gift her with the power to buy what she wants!

Before you even start shopping online I recommend that you sign up for ebates. It is free to sign up and you can get special savings and cash back at many of the online stores you already shop at. To make it easier also install the ebates Chrome extension and log on to your account. When you are shopping online it will alert you of cashback and deals that are available at that website and all you have to do is activate it.
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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