[DOWNLOAD] Stop Dreaming, Start Blogging! Easy 6-Step Checklist

Stop Dreaming, Start Blogging!

  1. Are you passionate about a subject and want to spend more time on it?
  2. Do you wish you could make income from home, or extra income?
  3. Is there something missing from your life?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, Blogging is a good avenue for you to venture. 😉

Blogging allows you to revel in your passion and share it with others. It’s an outlet that is all your own, for you to explore and enjoy.

And Blogging doesn’t have to be hard!

Even if you know nothing about web design, domain names, or how a web site works, anyone can use my checklist and get started right away.

All you have to have is a passion and the drive to create.

stop-dreaming-start-blogging-easy-6-step-checklist

 

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Must try: My Favorite Drugstore Mascara

Favorite Drugstore Mascara 2017
Favorite Drugstore Mascara 2017 | EmilyGetsElegant.com

I never liked mascara. In fact, I used to skip the step altogether. I guess one of the biggest reasons why was because it was such a pain to remove. Ugh!

But I’m realizing now that mascara and lash length is highly regarded in the beauty world.

Now, mascara is quickly becoming one of my favorite items of makeup. So much so that I now have a fast-growing collection of both drugstore and high-end products.

The wands range from long, fluffy, stiff, short, curled, mini and even hourglass-shaped. Some I love, some are OK, and some I just wear to get rid of. I have full size and trial-sized versions.

Of all the ones I’ve tried from the drugstore, the L’Oreal Voluminous Feline mascara is my current fave. The wand is straightforward and feels good in your hand. The brush is soft and doesn’t pull on your lashes. It provides great coverage and lash length. The packaging of gold/emerald is eye-catching, too, and is a nice addition to your collection. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it! 😉


Do you have a favorite drugstore mascara? Share below! I’ll happily try anything!

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Force an extra 15 minutes on yourself & change your whole day (and life!)

In keeping with one of my 2017 resolutions to wake up earlier/have better mornings/plan a better day, I have tried to start getting up when my alarm goes off.

Now, you probably just read that a few times and thought, uh… what? What do you mean when your alarm goes off?

What I mean is, when my alarm goes off the first time. I am a serial snoozer.

Force an extra 15 minutes on yourself & change your whole day (and life!) | Emily Gets Elegant
Force an extra 15 minutes on yourself & change your whole day (and life!) | Emily Gets Elegant

No matter how many times I’ve read about the “benefits of waking up earlier”, “what successful people do in the morning” and “DO NOT HIT SNOOZE WHATEVER YOU DO!!!”, I continue to do it. This is a serious bad habit I want to break in 2017.

My thought process is this when my alarm goes off: holy crap i was just in the middle of a dream i am still sooooo tired omg these blankets are so nice and warm i totally have time to snuggle with hubby a bit longer 💤

And then I hit snooze at least one two three times.

Now I’ve lost 45 minutes of precious time. I finally (groggily) get out of bed, slowly move about the room, and when I have my wits about me, I rush rush rush to get ready and get out the door or to my desk. Usually without washing my face, putting on makeup, styling my hair, or (on particularly bad days) all three. 😒

By the time I’m “ready to work”, I’m gulping down my coffee, still half awake, and trying to get my thoughts together for the work day, which has already started. Occasionally the phone already starts ringing when I’m not even dressed yet. Talk about feeling unprepared and un-confident when you answer the call.

This rushed, uncoordinated me lasts through most of the day, until I get into a “groove” (about 2-3pm) and get, what I call, a “grasp” on my day.

This is a pattern that occurs almost every day, and I’m starting to really hate it. Here is my thought:

If I get up when the alarm goes off, (no matter how much sleepy-me tries to persuade successful-me otherwise), then I will be a better, more confident me.

So if you’re like me, we need to break this habit. Even though you think you’re getting extra sleep, that 15-45 minutes has a negative, domino effect on the rest of your day. I put the word “Force” in the title because so often we don’t think we need or deserve this extra time on ourselves. Here is inspiration for me, and, hopefully, you!

What can you do with that extra 15 minutes in the a.m.?

Care for your skin.

Take some time and treat your skin so you’ll have that glowing, healthy look all day. I love Clearasil’s Morning Burst Facial Cleanser. It smells slightly citrus-y and contains brightening beads that tingle your skin and make you feel very refreshed and awake. Using cold water also helps me to wake up quicker.

After washing, I use Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisurizing Lotion. It has a light, nutty scent to it, and feels soft on the skin (bonus – it contains Dimethicone, the same key ingredient found in makeup primers!)

Do your makeup with purpose.

Nothing makes me feel more confident and ready to take on the day quite like wearing beautiful makeup. Once I have this done, I feel like no matter what happens that day, I know that I will at least look my absolute best.

I’ve been listening to several beauty YouTuber’s recently talk about why they love makeup. NikkieTutorials talks about how makeup was her “armor” of confidence. And I LOVE that sentiment!

Slowly and purposefully putting on makeup and making yourself look FANtastic is a wonderful way to kickstart your day.

Have a great hair day!

I am currently at odds with my own hair, but I’m trying to love it more. I guess what it boils down to is I’m lazy and my hair requires more than 5 minutes to maintain.

When I don’t do anything to it or hastily throw it up in a bun, I feel “OK” but lackluster.

When I do spend the time to blowdry, style and spritz, I look great and feel confident about it for the rest of the day. It’s a lot of work (gah! that word!) but each time I do it, I so appreciate it for many hours afterwards.


Hey girl, do you struggle with waking up in the morning too? How do you get ready for the day? What do you wish you could improve? Share your thoughts below! ❤️

Here’s to you as a more confident, productive, boss babe in 2017!

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5 Tips for Making Meaningful New Year’s Resolutions

It’s official: 2017 is upon us. 🎇

2016 was full of some major ups (I got married to the love of my life! Woo! and we both got horses!), and major downs (home remodeling, the stresses of trying to run your own businesses). It’s tempting to say “This year will be the best one yet!” but I’m hesitant to say that. I want to start off slowly. Kind of dip my toes into this year before I leap into it, so-to-speak.

Normally I’ve had time to sit down and write up my yearly goals by now. But instead, I’ve been thinking on them for days. I haven’t written down anything. My goals are spinning around inside my head.

I do want this year to be the best one yet. As such, I want to deeply consider my goals. Perhaps you want to seriously consider how you want your year to be, too.

I’ve been researching the best ways to write resolutions, and here they are to share.

1. Don’t rush into your resolutions.

As I said, it’s been days (a week now) since January 1. Holiday time has passed and the year is upon us. It’s tempting to quickly jot down a list and go about your business.

But this year, take some time to consider your resolutions. Set aside time specifically for this task. Remove distractions. Make this a purposeful time, and write your resolutions with determination. Grab a mug of coffee and really ponder what you want to accomplish this year; take it seriously!

2. Think about the year as a marathon, not a race.

I’m a strong believer in goal setting. My husband and I have met goals this year we set out 5-6 years ago, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

When you think about a full year, it seems daunting to have that many days to try and meet your goals. Try sectioning out the year into easy-to-chew chunks. Quarters. Weeks. Months.

And then make a point, at the end of each section, to review your goals and see where you’re at. You’ll need to periodically gauge your progress to make sure you’re not going off track.

3. Write them down.

Don’t keep your resolutions in your head. You’ll forget them, and you won’t see them. The act of writing helps you remember, and then you’ll have a physical copy of your goals. Put it by your bedside and see it every morning. Keep yourself accountable.

4. Stumped? Consider the these old standbys.

Lose weight. Exercise more. Drink more water. Catch up with old friends. Cultivate current relationships. Be a better husband/wife. Be more organized.

Just remember, when making your resolutions, that these are great ideas to get you started, but be specific and make them measureable! How else will you know when you’ve actually met your goal?

5. Lastly, consider these thoughts collected by elderly people reflecting on their lives.

And finally, I’ll leave you with tidbits from a wonderful article about an Australian nurse who polled dying patients about their regrets in life (a sad thought, but their laments really make you think):

1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

With those things in mind, make 2017 count, and do make this a year to remember. 😊

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Why you should be using Toner as part of your skincare routine

I had never used Toner until a few weeks ago. I didn’t know what Toner was.

I didn’t know if it was a makeup remover, a moisturizer, something I needed, or just some additional beauty product companies were pushing you to buy.

I researched. I found out that at any age, any stage, Toner can work wonders for your skin. Toner is also supposed to help with breakouts and oily skin. I’ve been breaking out pretty badly on my forehead due to an increase in humidity – hello, late summer in Florida – and huge amounts of stress due to home renovations.

So I purchased a bottle of Thayer’s Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol-Free Toner ($9.85, from Amazon) to try out for myself.

The beauty of toner is that most of them are all natural and alcohol-free, so they won’t dry out or damage our skin. And they’re pretty gentle enough for all skin types.

After a few uses, I quickly found out I LOVED using Toner. Here’s why!

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[REVIEW] GlamGlow YouthMud(tm) vs. Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud Mask

I am a huge fan of self-pampering for relaxation, and just because. My #1 self-pampering activity has to be wearing a mud mask.

  1. It feels like spa-at-home experience
  2. Your skin gets a good, clean, tightening/brightening feeling
  3. And there’s TONS to choose from!

Which brings me to my review. I have read all the raves about GlamGlow’s YouthMudTM ($69 for full size 1.7oz, Sephora) mud mask, so I decided to buy the sample version (0.5oz) for $22. Which, to me, $22 for a mask is a bit pricey (and HELLO $70!) but I thought, what the heck, might as well try it.

Conversely, Freeman Feeling Beautiful Masks are easy on the wallet, and just as easily one of my absolute favorites. I have the Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask as well as Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress Mask and love them BOTH. So when I saw that they had a Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud Mask I SO wanted to try it and review it, immediately.

I had seen on Pinterest that these items were dupes, and being that I love cheap dupes for expensive ones, I had to try them. Last night I put GlamGlow on one side of my face, and Freeman on the other.

[REVIEW] GlamGlow YouthMud(tm) vs. Freeman’s Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud Mask

Here are the results!

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You won’t believe how dirty these are (makeup brushes, that is!)

you-wont-believe-how-dirty-these-areOmg. So I let my brushes get very, very dirty recently. We’ve had so much going on, I let them go for quite a while. I knew it was time to clean them about two months ago /ashamed to admit. My face had been breaking out too, which I’m sure is partly stress but another part had to be what I was putting on my face.

I read on Pinterest a few years ago how to effectively clean makeup brushes. You need only 3 ingredients:

  1. Dawn Dish Soap
  2. White vinegar
  3. Hot water

A quick how-to guide to clean your makeup brushes!:

  1. Gather up your makeup brushes, no matter how often or rarely you use them. Make sure to get any specialty brushes (i.e. the brushes that come with eye shadow palettes!) And don’t forget those Beauty Blenders!
  2. Fill a small glass jar with 1 part vinegar, 2 parts dish soap and 3 parts hot water. Take a brush, swish it in the water (try not to get the metal connector part wet, if possible, because it’ll wear out the bristles faster). Rinse the brush with hot water, swish in the cleaner mixture again, then rinse again with hot water.
  3. Repeat with other brushes. If your cleaner mixture starts to get cloudy and change color, dump out the water and start anew with a new batch of Dawn, vinegar, and hot water. You will need to dump and refresh several times.
  4. Lay the brush out to dry. Leaving the brush bristles out over the edge of a counter top so that it can get the ultimate air circulation is the best. Let dry overnight.

What about my Beauty Blenders?

  1. Fill a small container with Dawn Dish Soap and hot water.
  2. Take your Beauty Blender and soak it in the mixture, squishing it in so that it fills with the clean water.
  3. Repeat several times.
  4. Rinse the Beauty Blender with hot water and repeat. You will probably need to dump out the Dawn + water mixture a few times, depending on how dirty your sponge is.
  5. Once you are pleased with the cleanliness of your sponge (aka when it’s returned to its normal Pink color… or black or white or whatever color it is), place it in a microwave-safe container.
  6. Microwave the Beauty Blender for 20 seconds.
  7. Take it out (caution: HOT!) and let it air dry overnight.

There you have it! It does take some time, but you’ll definitely be glad you cleaned your brushes. Your face will appreciate it, too.

 

 

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My Favorite Travel Tips: One Night Hotel Stay

favorite travel tips for one night hotel stay

 

As I write this, I am at a hotel. About once a week my husband and I grab a hotel for the night since he works pretty far from our house. We’re in Orlando and there are TONS of options, so I’ve gotten pretty hotel-savvy over time.

If you’re planning on staying just one night at a hotel, there’s plenty to consider as far as what to pack, and how to get the most out of your time.

My favorite travel tips for staying at a hotel for one night:

1. Create an official packing list

You will always need certain things when you travel. I used to make the same lists over and over each time I would pack, and they would include the same constant things. Now I just have an “official packing list” of things I have to have.

My key items: phone, identification, phone charger, hair brush, hair straightener, toothpaste, toothbrush, feminine products, contact solution, contact case, and deodorant. These are my “must-haves”; the rest I could theoretically muddle through without (*cries inwardly* “but my makeup collection!!!”).

2. Pack smart and pack light, do’s and don’t’s

Pack light: Try your best to pack lightly. Plan your outfits exactly, and stick to them. Packing light is not only liberating, it saves your back/arms because you’re lugging less crap around.

Pack smart: Check the weather beforehand so you’ll have an idea of what to expect, though it’s always a good idea to pack a jacket and a mix of warm/cool clothes, just in case. Pack clothes that can be re-purposed.

DO bring multiple pairs of underwear and socks, because you just never know if you get stuck (flight delayed, anyone?)

I DON’T suggest trying to use the provided drawers or storage areas for clothes. In fact, I highly suggest you only hang up clothing that needs hung, and leave the rest in the suitcase. Whatever you un-pack, leave out in highly visible areas — You don’t want to spend hours re-packing the next morning.

3. Try to check-in early

While most hotels state their official check-in time as 3 or 4pm, sometimes they have availability as early as 12 or 1pm.

If you arrive at your destination early and it’s convenient, it wouldn’t hurt to stop by the hotel or call them and see if they have a room available for you. 80% of the time I am able to check-in early (like today!).

Conversely, most hotels will let you check out later, without paying any fees. Just call the front desk the morning of and see if they’ll let you check out late. Most of the time they’ll give you an extra hour or two if they’re not booked up.

4. Research the amenities

It’s useful to know what’s available at the hotel before you go. If they have a gym, pool, microwave, hairdryer, fridge, free Wi-Fi, free coffee, free breakfast, free local shuttle and more, this can help you know what to pack AND save you money!

You can bring or buy snacks at a local store and stock your fridge, maybe even cook in the microwave, if you feel like it. If there’s a gym or pool, you’ll want to bring exercise gear and a bathing suit (if you think you’ll have the time to enjoy such things). A free local shuttle could save you on needing a rental car, if it’s close enough!

Also check for negative attributes like a resort fee (found near theme parks) or a fee for parking. Good to know before you go!

5. Book early or wait until the last minute

One time my husband and I took a spontaneous trip to Cancun. We didn’t have a hotel booked until we were boarding the second leg of our flight, which was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. We ended up snagging an awesome deal on a timeshare for a week!

My favorite “book early” travel websites are Kayak and Orbitz (I have had terrible experiences with Expedia, grrrr, see their “refunds-HA! policy”). Kayak.com lets you search dozens of websites at the same time which saves you time, while Orbitz.com gives you “Orbucks” when you book with them, which is basically free money that you can apply towards your next reservation.

Another travel tool I love is HotelTonight. If you have the flexibility to be spontaneous, try the app. They show hotels in any major cities that need to fill rooms at the last minute, so they give big discounts to get reservations. Plus you can experience neat hotels that you may not have known about before, and the app is free! If you use my promo code “EWRIGHT32” you’ll get $25 off your next booking of $135+. Pretty sweet, right? (btw they didn’t ask me to write this post, I just genuinely love their app!)


Do you often stay at hotels for just one night? What are some of your favorite tips? Share below! 🙂

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5 must-haves for when you absolutely have 0 time for makeup

5 must haves for when you have 0 time for makeup | Emily Gets ElegantYou’ve seen the videos on YouTube:

  • “How to do your makeup in 5 minutes”
  • “Do your makeup when you’re running late”
  • “Look made-up when you’ve just woken up!”

LIES.

With 5 minutes, you still have time to actually sit at your vanity/stand in front of your bathroom sink.

You have a freakin’ MIRROR.

Some of us can’t afford those luxuries when you decide to commute with your husband to work and you woke up at an ungodly hour. Did you even get time to shower? … And FORGET the hair. But luckily you somehow managed to grab a few makeup items on the way out.

Sometimes, I’m doing my makeup at 70 mph on the highway (disclaimer: in the passenger seat, y’all)

Sometimes, I’m doing my makeup in the parking lot.

And by now I’ve gotten pretty good at doing my makeup super-fast and still look decent.

So ladies, pull down your visor or aim your rearview at that pretty face. Here’s how to do your makeup when you are squeezing every moment out of the 0 time that you have.

What’s in the bag?

1. Spare sponges

Do yourself a ‘fave and the next time you’re at the store, purchase those triangle-shaped makeup sponges.

They are useful for EVERYTHING. You can use and throw away and not feel bad, because they start at $2.

2. Light coverage foundation — preferably with its own applicator

Last thing you want to be doing is applying anything with your hands or touching your face in this unsanitary environment (I am SO against touching the face with hands. Oil, dirt, grime and God-knows-what-else can be on your hands).

Makeup with its own applicator is a win. Plus, less to carry.

I prefer L’Oreal Lumi Cushion Foundation because it goes on with a nice, light coverage, makes you look fresh (see: Lumi), and comes with its own super soft sponge applicator.

If you want to use a different foundation without its own applicator, grab one of those spare sponges you bought and blend away!

3. Eyelid primer

Eyelid primer will ensure a smooth color on your eyelids, whether or not you have time to dust on eyeshadow or not. A quick swipe with a sponge on both eyelids and you’re good to go.

ELF’s Eyelid Primer is one of my makeup essentials. And it’s about $2, found at most big box and drugstores.

4. Gel eye liner

In my extensive experience with eye liners, I’ve found that a gel-based eyeliner works best as far as easy application and staying power. Once it’s on, it can essentially be smudge-proof. Just let it dry thoroughly after applying (fan your eyes a bit).

Coupled with the eyelid primer (and maybe some eyeshadow, if you have some, you lucky dog you), the eyeliner will frame your face nicely. If you try to use eye liner without primer, you can end up with an oily eyelid and smudgy lines. Yuck.

DO take a bit of time on applying this as you MUST have even lines, otherwise you’ll look like you had 0 time to put your makeup on (see what I did there 😉 ).

I’ve been using Marc Jacobs High Liner Gel Crayon in Black that I got as a sample from Sephora.

5. Tinted lip balm

There’s NO time to make sure you get the perfect pout (maybe after lunch?), so glide on that tinted balm, like CoverGirl’s Oh Sugar!

You’ll get a hint of color, moisturize those lips, and no need to worry about lipstick on the teeth or bleeding color ’cause, ****, by this time you’re already late! 😮


Ok, so you need at least 30 seconds to 1 minute for this makeup routine…

But anyone can do this while sitting in their car, at a red light, or running to the bathroom before being seen by co-workers!

Do you often find yourself doing your makeup at the last minute? Let me know in the comments below!

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