The Power of Goal-Setting

This happens to me every year around the holidays. The end of the year starts wrapping up; people are less concerned about working and more concerned about spending time with their families; and we look to ourselves and our lives as we think about the closeness, and new-ness, of the next year: 2018.

I am starting to look to the new year for change. And as I do that, I look back at the past couple of years:

  • Last year around this time, things were actually pretty crappy in our lives. 2016 overall was great – we got married – but the end of it was just not good. I vowed that 2017 would be different; that it would be the BEST year, that something like that would never happen again.
  • 2017 has ended up being a year of high highs and lowwww lows. Some of the lowest lows I’ve ever experienced, that have seriously made me question my life choices. But the end of it is coming to a nice, pleasant, HIGH close. The scars from this year, though, have run so deep, that I am, once again, vowing that 2018 will be different.

One thing to notice, however, is through these highs and lows, GOALS that my husband and I put together have actually… come to fruition. A lot of 2017 felt like it was wildly out of my control, and yet, some things still managed to come together, strangely enough. And how? Here’s what I’ve learned:

Write them down.

Listening to Harv Eker has taught me a lot, but the biggest idea he teaches is to write down your goals. And it’s true: it really does work. You can’t just keep ideas/goals in your head. Writing them down not only helps you remember them, but it also makes it more real and gives “life” to your goals.

Make a deadline.

When you write them, make sure you document when you wrote your list of goals. Give yourself a timeline, or deadline. And don’t just use your deadline as a suggestion; set it as a hard date. Hold yourself accountable!

Turn your goals into edible, do-able pieces, and you’ll actually do them.

Don’t just put “learn fluent Spanish” in a deadline. That’s a large, hefty goal. Chop it up into edible pieces: maybe set a goal to practice 1 hour a week, and by 3 months, test yourself against a fluent speaker. That way you are moving forward on your goal, and you are also setting a measurable goal, because you’ll be able to see where your skills are by that third month.


It’s been my experience that when you simply write down goals, the universe listens.

Take control of your life and tell it what YOU want!

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[REVIEW] Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara – did they make it big?

lancome monsieur big mascara review by emily gets elegant

What the what? Free AND beautiful mascara?!

I’m super excited about this product because 1) I don’t own any products from Lancôme yet and 2) the packaging is SO pretty! ? Yeah, I’m a sucker for cute packaging/labeling… basically anything pink, black, or a combination thereof and I’m all over it.

Please note:
I received these products free or complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

In my Voxbox, I received the Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara, Lancôme Cils Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base, and Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover. I have tried both the mascara and mascara base but not the makeup remover yet as of this posting.

First impression:

  • The mascara packaging, as mentioned above, was a sharp-looking combination of pink and black. Very feminine and sexy. The actual wand was straight and, really, there was nothing remarkable about it.
  • The mascara base comes in a compact white tube, and also has a straight wand. The actual product is white as well.

First Try-on:

I was anxious to try this out, and when I did finally, it was a great time too as I was going out to dinner. So, as instructed, I used the mascara base first which is a product type I have never tried before. It looked like white mascara on the wand. It did lengthen my lashes quite a bit.

Lancome Before After | EmilyGetsElegant.com

Then when I applied the mascara, I could tell immediately, WOW, what a difference! Even after just one stroke, it looked as if I had false lashes on. Check out my before and after photo, yo.

Another great feature of this mascara is that it dried REALLY quickly. I’m not sure if that has to do with the mascara base or just the ingredients in the mascara, but it didn’t rub on my eyelids like I usually get. Just a few seconds later and my lashes were set. Also, I did about 5-6 strokes, and I noticed there was little to NO clumping whatsoever. And the mascara base does not feel like any more weight on your lashes; both products together feel light and comfortable.

I’m not sure if this is waterproof but this mascara did not budge at all for about 5 hours until I went to remove it. I used my regular eye makeup remover from CVS, I’m going to try the Lancôme makeup remover tonight.

Overall:

I would definitely say this hits all points out of the park. 10/10. The packaging is simple, the wand is straightforward, there’s nothing crazy remarkable about the packaging. But the product itself has AMAZING results, hands-down, probably the best mascara I’ve ever tried.

What do you guys think? Have you tried it?!

Please note:
I received these products free or complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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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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