Sunday, January 31, 2016

PRODUCT EMPTIES: VOL. 4


It's that time again loves!  The empties have swiftly piled up and I bring to you my trash.  Sit back, relax and enjoy these brief reviews of products that I actually reached the bottom of...

Skincare:

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Cool & Creamy Face Wash - My favorite morning face cleanser ever!  Even though I finished this bottle, I had three bottles on back up...your girl is prepared.  My skin personally reacts much better to tea tree oil than your standard salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to ward off spots and acne and I love the cooling and minty effect of this face wash on my skin.  I would highly recommend this creamy variety as opposed to The Body Shop's gel and foaming versions,  as tea tree oil can get a bad rap for drying out your skin.

Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentré - This is one of my favorite morning moisturizers and a great multi-tasking skincare product every girl should have in her arsenal.  This cult favorite can be used as a makeup remover, a post-shave soother, a primer, and of course a moisturizer.  Infused with aloe vera and shea butter this rich formula absorbs into the skin beautifully, works well with sensitive skin, and lies beautifully under makeup.  I need to get a replacement pronto.

Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment - Ughh I love this product so much, but I feel like I go through it so quickly!  After using this product for years I have seen a positive improvement in the texture of my skin, reduced redness, and skin that looks and feels plump, youthful, and hydrated.  But at $56 a bottle I always cringe at purchasing a replacement.  What's a girl to do?  If your bank account can afford it you will love this liquid moisturizer.  


Body & Haircare:

Philosophy Loveswept Body Lotion - If you are in the market for a body lotion, you need to try this offering from Philosophy. Enriched with shea butter and natural oils this "luxurious, hydrating body lotion infused with a refreshing spring bouquet scent," is one of my favorites.  I get compliments every time I use it for it's intoxicating aroma and it's deeply moisturizing while still absorbing quickly into the skin.

Lush Ocean Salt Scrub - A tried & true favorite, this LUSH face and body scrub smells like a margarita and is packed with sea salt, fresh avocado, and coconut.  This is the first time I tried the "self-preserving" version and I have to say I prefer the original.  This version felt a bit chunkier and more grainy, where as the salt in the original felt like it almost dissolved as you rubbed it into the skin. Would highly recommend this gentle, but effective scrub to slough away dry skin, but next time I'll be sticking with the original. 

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray - If you're looking to add some volume and texture into your styling routine and bored with dry shampoos, you will adore this.  This product is a staple in my haircare collection and gives my fine slippery hair that je ne sais quoi.   After finishing this bottle I was without my Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for a week and was a lost puppy with limp hair. Swiftly bought a replacement at Blue Mercury and everything was right with the world.  


Makeup:

Buxom Lash Mascara - I liked the unique wand of this mascara and it did an amazing job of lengthening and separating my lashes, but seriously lacked in the volume department.  Womp womp.  I will mention this mascara wore well (no raccoon eyes presented themselves) and washed off with a simple face wash.  Thus, if you're looking for lash definition and length, and already set in the volume arena, you may love this product.

Nivea A Kiss of Cherry Lip Care I am so bummed I went through another tube of this, need to get a new one stat!  I picked up this product on a whim a couple years pack and it has been a staple in my handbag ever since.  It's moisturizing and provides a flattering sheer red tint.  It's great for days when I'm wearing zero or minimal makeup and want my lips to have some natural color.  I can't rave about this stuff enough, and it's only $3.

And those are all my product empties as of late!  Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.  Have you gone through any products you've loved lately?  Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo Nicole

Other posts you may enjoy featuring these products:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

IS BLOGGING CAUSING US ALL TO SPEND WAY TOO MUCH MONEY?


Ok, here it goes…so I’m going to talk about money and blogging today.  Taboo topic, I know.  **Everyone clears room and hides behind their Givenchy Antigona Bag.**  Within the past few years social media and blogging has grown tremendously and with that the climate of consumerism, especially amongst our millennial generation, has reached a breakneck pace.  We are in a society that is shouting BUY! BUY! BUY! and it seems as though no one is really talking about the consequences or implications of that.  I know I didn’t really want to.  (Please don’t make me look at my Sephora bill, I beg you.)  But with this month being all about financial acuity I wanted to start a conversation on this topic and throw my two cents into the ring.

I started my blog a little over a year ago because I loved writing and beauty and thought blogging would be the perfect outlet to put those two together.  And what could be defined as superfluous spending before I started Brazen Brunette only increased when I began my blog.  The newest product launch?  A drugstore dupe?  I was there and felt like I needed to buy it not only for my own curiosity and love of makeup, but now I was writing reviews and didn’t I have a loyalty to my readers?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been strolling through a store or online shopping (a habit that is only magnified with wine consumption) and been on the fence about buying something and thought “Ooh, but that would be perfect for the blog!  And I could do ___ post!”  So many items that I probably would’ve passed on somehow ended up in my possession in some way related to my blog.  We as bloggers and blog readers become the ultimate consumers.  So what’s the big problem?  Well homegirl has some shopping issues and needs to save more money.  

(I want to quickly interject here that I completely understand that even being in a place to talk about excessive consumerism is a first world problem. And girl if you’re making six figures or come from money, please get on with your bad self.  No judgment.)

So this begets the question what exactly are we buying into?  The idea that our life will be better if we buy this shirt or wear this lipstick?  I’ve definitely been culprit to this.  And with the talk that social media doesn’t portray people’s true lives and it’s all staged, blah blah…well that’s true!  Bloggers are selling a product, they’re selling an idea and an image.  We are following them because we want to be them, we look up to them, we have drank the kool-aid.  And sometimes, actually a lot of the times, it can feel hard to live up to or aspire to those images we see.  The image they’re projecting can be so unrealistic.  Who is wearing full makeup everyday? Where are women wearing a crop top and midi skirt ensemble?  Albeit adorable, but seriously what is the occasion??  And while many successful bloggers look at their blog as a business and have free stuff sent to them, participate in sponsorships, and make great money off their blogs there are thousands of bloggers out there (myself included) who are barely making any money from their blog.  And some of us are spending money we don’t have, on stuff we don’t need, to put in already overstuffed closets and vanities.   The idea of overspending is so glorified in the media and on social accounts that it’s important to look at the long term ramifications of this behavior and the emotional distress that can accompany it.  Does anyone remember the Sex & the City episode where Carrie doesn’t have enough money to buy her apartment after splitting up with Aiden and realizes it had all been wasted on shoe shopping, $40,000 to be precise.  Do we want that to be us? (I have vivid nightmares of tallying up all of my Nordstrom purchases and realizing I could have purchased my own island.)  Today’s media has caused us to envy (and expect) lifestyle norms well beyond our means and make excessive consumption appear natural and normal.  For those signed up for LIKEtoKNOW.it you know the feeling of all these blog approved goodies landing in your inbox ready for purchase on the daily. 

So there’s actually some psychological research behind why we buy so much stuff and seemingly can’t stop.  We as humans are culprit to two big psychological phenomenon.  One being the arrival fallacy, as coined by Tal Ben-Shahar, which is the idea that once you reach a certain destination, or achieve a goal, or purchase that dress you’ve been eyeing you’ll be happy.  And this never works out in our favor because once we reach that destination or buy that dress there’s something else we’re striving for and we’re not nearly as ecstatic as we envisioned we would be.   Big let down.  The other concept is called hedonic adaption.  This basically states that as euphoric as something may feel in the moment we inevitably drift back to our baseline of happiness and existing.   This was proven true by a famous study finding lottery winners were no happier than non-winners 18 months after they hit the jackpot.  Proving the point that while we may experience the “shopping high” and relish in all the positive feelings that come from snagging a new purchase it's not true happiness.  It's found many individuals shop out of boredom or to fill an emotional void and I know for myself that the two times my shopping habits were the worst was when I moved to Spain by myself and then last year when I moved to Tampa on my own and felt really alone and missing my family.  And while I have a running wish list of things I want to buy and tell myself that once I allow myself to splurge on those Prada shades I'll be done and won't buy anything for a month (promise!) I soon come to realize, as I’m sure we all have, that there is always going to be a pair of Prada shades or new beauty launch that we “need"...the wish list never ends.  So how do we intentionally reject excessive consumerism while still participating in blogger culture?

I got my master’s degree from a very pricey private college and currently work in mental health.  I’m no Donald Trump ladies & gents and my student loans are insane.  So while the concept of “Keeping up with the Joneses” has reached a whole new level because of social media I will have to pass on jetting off to Capri and collecting designer handbags like some of my peers.  The trips blasted all over our friends Facebook pages, watching YouTube shopping hauls, and seeing outfit posts on Instagram featuring high end designers...All these things somehow feed me this unrealistic idea that hey I can do that to!  And I should buy that stuff so I can feel as happy as that person looks in that photo!  We are romanticizing the idea of excessive consumerism.  And I have totally been guilty of this!  Just the other week I posted my Sephora VIB Rouge card, proud of my baller status reached only by all the money I spent at the beauty mecca.  But the harsh reality is being broke sucks.  I’m worried about the women putting themselves in financial peril and debt trying to emulate a lifestyle that is putting them at a financial risk.  The freedom that comes with financial security is unparalleled and there is no feeling worse than being stuck because of poor money management and being forced to rely on others. With the rising costs of college today and a difficult job market it is more important than ever that 20 somethings are putting themselves in a good place financially so that they can eventually buy a house and start a family and all those wonderful things that come with growing up.  

I hope it's conveyed by this post that I have thought long and hard about this topic this past month.  I have found myself going back and forth between a deep desire to buy out Nordstrom's shoe department and a yearning to renounce worldly goods and move to Bali.  There has to be a happy medium though.  There has to be a place where I can feel that I'm not promoting frenzied shopping to my readers, but still being authentic in my love for all things beauty and fashion.   I'm struggling guys.  What I have come up with so far is to put myself on a "splurging budget."  Instead of spending blindly I will set myself a monthly limit for blog/beauty related items as a way to still treat myself, but in a healthy controlled way.  And while I'm sure the occasional slip-up will still occur, and that's ok, I want to be cognizant of the image and message I'm portraying on social media and to my readers.  You guys mean the world to me, so hopefully we can start an honest discussion below and commiserate over our expensive tastes and struggling bank accounts.  What are your thoughts on a consumerism?  Have you ever struggled with this issue as a blogger?  Let me know!

xoxo Nicole

Saturday, January 23, 2016

THE CONSENSUS IS IN: BEAUTY GURU FAVORITES OF 2015.

best beauty makeup skincare 2015

Don't have time to sit through all the YouTube videos, blog posts, and magazine articles chronicling the beauty picks of 2015?  Don't worry I've already done it for you.  As I was watching and reading through all the reviews I noticed certain products were mentioned again and again, and again and again.  Easily making the 15 items below the beauty standouts from this past year.  I can't wait to get my hands on a few of these to try them out for myself and if you're in the mood for a beauty splurge these would be your best bet.  Walk, don't run to your nearest beauty counter to try these lovelies out.   


Have you tried any of these products?  What was your favorite beauty item from 2015?  Let me know in the comments below and hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

xoxo Nicole

Thursday, January 21, 2016

REVIEW: ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS DIPBROW POMADE.

anastasia dipbrow pomade soft brown

How is everyone’s week going?  Admittedly it was a little rough getting back into the swing of things after a three day weekend, but I can’t believe tomorrow is already Friday and another weekend is upon us.  (Thank god! I have some serious Netflix to catch up on.  Has anyone been watching Jessica Jones?  It’s amazing.)  But I wanted to pop in today to share with you a quick review of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade.  I am sure a lot of you have heard about this product, as it has gotten a lot of hype in the beauty community, and I have been trying it out for the past 6 months collecting my thoughts.  So what drew me to this brow pomade in the first place?  Well, I had a lot of quick go-to brow products in my arsenal, but was lacking something that could achieve a full bolder brow look when I really wanted to put in the extra effort with my makeup.  As much as I loved my Benefit Brow Zings and Gimme Brow they just weren’t cutting the mustard when paired with a smokey eye.  So I snagged a pot of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown along with the accompanying #12 eyebrow brush and let the magic begin…

Now my first impressions of this product left me feeling a little scared.  I didn’t think I could be so intimidated by a brow product.  But after some trial and error and viewing several YouTube tutorials (This one was a huge help!) I got the hang of it.  Bottom line, the application of this brow pomade has a learning curve.  You need to use the TINIEST amount on your brush, applying in short feathery strokes outlining your ideal brow shape, to get your achieved look.  As I learned the hard way in the beginning the application of this can get out of hand quickly.  But nevertheless, once mastery is achieved the skies open and you leave the house thinking BROW GAME ON FLEEK.  

anastasia dipbrow pomade review

This pomade retails for $18.00 and features 0.14oz of product encased in a sleek glass jar with a black plastic lid embossed with copper lettering.  The product comes in 11 shades and can easily be picked up at Ulta, Sephora, or Anastasia’s website.  And while many may find the purchase of the brush superfluous I found it to work amazing with this product and am so happy I splurged.  (But I’m sure any angled eyeliner brush in your collection could work as well as long as the bristles are short and stiff.)  I also loved using the spooley on the end to comb through my brows and as a quasi blending brush for my finished look.  

anastasia brow brush 12

What I loved most about this product was the staying power and variety of looks you can achieve.  The promises of a “smudge-free” and “waterproof” formula hold up.  Once on, this product does not budge and stays looking crisp all day.  The product also contains wax keeping your brow hairs in place and making it ideal for those with oily skin or individuals living in humid climates. I also loved the versatility of this product and quickly swept through you can achieve natural, but fabulous "she's born with it" brows, or going the extra mile you can pass as a doppelganger for Lilly Collins with standout brows perfected.  You also get a ton of product for the moderate $18 price tag.  I can't even imagine making it through a full pot of this.  And while I haven't had any problems with mine drying up a quick tip if you do have this issue, or with any other potted cream product, is to add a drop of beauty oil to the mix, such as Josie Maran's Argan Oil, and voila moisture will be restored.

For your viewing pleasure I've taken a close-up of my brows so you can see the before 
and after when I'm going for a natural look. ;)

As I said before, some may be put off by the learning curve of this multi-tasking pomade.  It does take a little extra time and skill and many may prefer quick and easy alternatives such as the Benefit products mentioned above.  I would also say this product is an unnecessary purchase for those already blessed with full, thick brows.  You just don't need it.  But for individuals who lust after full defined brows, but stuck with thin sparse hairs, this will be your jam.  My brows are on the thinner side and when I have tried to achieve a fuller look with other products in the past the result has looked so unnatural.  But that is where I feel this product really shines, even if you have no brows this product somehow comes off looking natural and fabulous every time.   And while some may be put off by the $36 price tag for the pomade and brush bundle, I have yet to try anything comparable from the drugstore and feel the quality of this duo warrants the price. 

Have you tried the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade?  What is your favorite product for creating thick, luscious brows?  Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo Nicole

Saturday, January 16, 2016

FINANCIAL ADVICE FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT. (GUEST POST)

financial advice women budget

So how have I been doing so far with my financially fit January?  We'll go with moderately well.  While I haven't had any wine induced online shopping sprees I did have a slip with a $13 Target  sweatshirt.  I rationalized it by the coziness factor and the appearance of temps below 60 degrees in Florida.  (If you're just catching up you can check out my original post about my financial goals for January HERE.)  But the point of today's post is to hear from someone who has a little more self restraint and knowledge in the fiscal department.  That person is my darling mother.  My mother has been a beacon of financial smarts since I was young and always my go-to when I had a money related question.  What's the difference between an IRA and TSP?  Is it better to pay off credit card debt first or set aside money for savings? What kind of student loans should I take out? She knows the answer.  So without further ado sit back, relax, and take in some sage financial advice...

I would like to introduce myself as Mimi, mother of the oh so brazen brunette, Nicole. As you have read through her blog, she loves to shop, travel, and definitely enjoys the finer things in life. But don't we all up to a point? That is why saving is so important.  By saving you can enjoy all of those things and not have the feeling of stress that comes with credit card debt or lack of having money set aside for an emergency.  I have been on my own since I started my first job at the age of 21 and have worked for the same company for 34 years. I have learned a lot along the way and would like to share some of that wisdom with all of you…

‘Pay Yourself First’ -
Society today has bills that were unheard of 25-30 years ago.  I remember when cable TV came out it cost 15 dollars a month!  There were no cell phones so no one had these astronomical phone bills, not to mention college debt.  That is why it is more important than ever to try and save a little each week. First and foremost the old adage still rings true, “pay yourself first.”  Regardless of how many bills you have, or the thought “I can’t possibly save any money,” if you don’t start saving something every week through an automatic withdrawal with your bank you will never have any money.  Even just $10.00 or $25.00 a week is a start. 

Start an Emergency Fund -
It is very important to have an emergency fund set aside separate from your savings account with a few months’ salary in case you lose your job, your car needs to be repaired, or some other unforeseen incident causes you to pull out your credit card because that is your only recourse. It always pays to have money set aside for life’s little unfortunate surprises and this fund should be used strictly for emergencies only.

Plan Ahead -
When you start your first job always participate in whatever 401K plan your company is offering.  Especially if they match a portion of what you contribute that is like free money in your account. Every time you get a raise, increase the percentage you contribute (even if it is just one percent) and it will make a big difference in the long run.  When you are young you don’t think about needing money when you retire because it feels like a lifetime away, but the earlier you start the better off you will be when that day comes.

Spend Money on Experiences Not Things -
I agree wholeheartedly with Nicole that we should spend our money more on experiences as opposed to material items. I wish I had followed this advice 30 years ago…who can remember what they got for Christmas last year, not to mention your birthday? But you would remember that cabin you rented for a week on a beautiful lake in the Adirondacks one summer, or that weekend ski trip you took to Vermont with friends. Things just give us temporary fulfillment, memories last forever. 

Invest in Quality Items -
I think people have too much “stuff” today that causes some of us anxiety and a feeling of losing a bit of self-control.  There are countless books and classes out there just to tell us how to get rid of all of this “stuff” we think we want or need and just have to have so badly.  Cheaply made clothes today is a culprit of all of this.  Just watch the documentary "The True Cost" on Netflix and you will see how much the fashion industry has changed.  Years ago the majority of clothing was made here in the US and made well, lasting for years with fashion trends changing only a couple times a year.  Today a lot of clothing revolves around “fast fashion,” cheaply made clothing that doesn’t last long and that we are quickly bored with.  Spend your money on what you love and feel beautiful in not splurging just because something is on sale or marked down.

I have been pleased to share my thoughts in this "guest post" for my witty, charming, intelligent, and beautiful daughter Nicole. I hope you enjoy reading her blog as much as she adores writing it for all of you!

I hope you guys enjoyed this special guest post!  I have to send a huge thank you to my amazing mother for writing down and offering to share her wisdom.  While I may not listen to everything she says (guilty as charged) I am trying to get better and completely agree with her on the importance of spending your hard earned cash on experiences as opposed to material items and the freedom and security that comes with staying on top of your finances.  Thank you so much for stopping by and please share a piece of sage financial advice you have received over the years in the comments below!  I would love to hear them!!

xoxo Nicole

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

9 NEW BEAUTY LAUNCHES TO GET EXCITED ABOUT.

new beauty launches products skincare


New year, new beauty products.  And while many of us may have fallen prey to the post-holiday slump these fresh launches are sure to cheer up the most hibernating of beauty babes.  A little skincare, a little makeup, and an assortment of products from both high-end retailers and the drugstore this round-up is sure to have something to get everyone excited.  Hold on to your wallets gals, this bevy of new beauty products will be a welcome addition to your beauty arsenal this season.

1. Butter London Sheer Wisdom Nail Tinted Moisturizer - A tinted moisturizer for your nails you say? Oh, yes.  This new sheer tinted nail treatment comes in a range of natural shades to compliment every skin tone and a "Revolutionary Micro Smart Active Technology that delivers a controlled release of ingredients to lock in moisture and help repair nails over time."  If your looking for a natural look that leaves your nails feeling polished and healthy this will be a welcome addition to your lacquer stash.

2. Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara - Packaged as, "An ultra-volumizing mascara that delivers instant dimension for epic lashes," this new offering from Marc Jacobs has me feeling butterflies in my stomach.  Already receiving rave reviews around the beauty community I can't wait to try this out as I'm already a huge fan of their original O!Mega Lash Mascara.  And it's said this product was inspired by Marc's first beauty memory of his mother shaving fibers from a velvet ribbon to create her own faux lashes.

3. Philosophy Renewed Hope In a Jar Microrenewal Hydrating Mist - Philosophy's Hope in a Jar moisturizer was the first "fancy" skincare product I ever purchased and I have been in love with the high quality line ever since.  This refreshing facial mist promises to impart a dewy radiance along with lasting hydration and the ingredient list includes glycolic citrus, mandelic, and asian fruit extract.  This new products warrants the buzz facial mists have been getting lately and stands as a definite contender to add to the collection.  


4. MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour - Liquid lipsticks have been all the craze as of late and I can't wait to get my hands on this newest version from MAC.  The super matte formula comes in 15 stunning shades and promises not to flake or dry out your lips.  We can be sippin' rosé all night long smudge free and moisturized.  Basically the dream.  


5. Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders - Hold the phone.  Stop everything.  Hourglass has a new face powder launch and it's magnificent.  I am a huge fan of their ambient lighting powders in setting, blush & bronzer form and can't wait to try their newest collection of Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders.  Adding to my cart right now.  


6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer - Could we possibly get better than the cult favorite brow wiz?  Well Anastasia could have possibly outdone herself with this latest launch.  Already receiving lots of buzz this triangular mechanical brow pencil offers an impressive color range and promises to fill in sparse areas in one swipe.  This may be just what us girls have been missing who found the brow wiz point a little too small to work with. 


7. Pixi Glow Peel Pads - The cult classic Pixi Glow Tonic now comes in pad form.  It's a revolution people.  This affordable skincare product offered at Target and widely found in the UK features 20% glycolic acid to gently exfoliate skin revealing a brighter, healthier, and more youthful looking complexion.


8. GLAMGLOW Plumprageous Lip Treatment - Was one of your new years resolutions to achieve that Kylie Jenner pout?  Well this product can help you get there. Infused with high potency botanical plumping actives and a pro lipid complex this clear plumping gloss delivers visibly fuller lips without any stinging.  


9. Maybelline FaceStudio Master Contour - The skies have opened and the angels have finally delivered a decent contouring and highlighting product to the drugstore.  Hallelujah.  If you have been lusting after the pricey contour palettes at Sephora, but it's not in your budget this is a great affordable option that offers a contour powder, blush, and highlighter.  And even better yet they have different options to best suit your skin tone.  

Have you tried any of the products above?  Is there a new launch you're dying to get your hands on? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo Nicole

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

MONTH ONE: STOP SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY.

money, management, financial advice, consumerism, budgeting
Image via The Glitter Guide

Your homegirl needs to stop spending so much money.  Like, for reals.  I am your classic haul loving, beauty blogging, impulse spending, millennial living beyond their means.  Please don’t leave me unsupervised in Sephora and if I think I’m getting a good deal I will spend my shekels on just about anything.  (I know I will eventually find a use for that vintage tea set I picked up at the flea market last week.)  What it boils down to is that I need to make some changes.  Everyone wants to be financially smarter for the security and freedom it brings and with this being “My Year of Choosing the Bigger Life” (you can check out that post HERE) my first month will be dedicated to whipping my poor butt into shape. 

Now it could be a lot worse, I don’t have any credit cards so I’m not in over my head with a large amount of debt, but I do want to get much better at saving my money.  These past couple years have been a bit tumultuous and it would have been much smoother sailing if I had an emergency fund set aside, or as financial counselors recommend 6 months of your living expenses.  There is a lot of traveling I want to do and investment items I want to save up for ie. a house, but instead I have found myself indulging in little impulse purchases here and there that don’t seem like a lot at the time, but added together are substantial and ultimately keep me from these bigger goals.  And we all know that studies show spending our money on experiences brings longer lasting happiness than a material product.  I have definitely fallen prey to the idea that snagging a new handbag will bring me joy, but ultimately it leaves me feeling guilty and defeated staring at my bank account longingly.  It’s time to make some changes.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods.  You can really like your material stuff.  You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you.  In contrast, your experiences really are a part of you.  We are the sum of our total experiences” – Dr. Thomas Gilovich, Psychology Professor at Cornell University

Now if I was married to Donald Trump I would be strutting my stuff in Louboutins daily wearing the latest fashion launches and traveling throughout the Italian seaside on my pink moped.  But who really wants to be around that atrocious hair all day long?  So it’s time to face my financial reality and below you will find my specific goals for the coming month…
Month #1 Goals:
1. Look at past spending habits (even if it isn’t pretty) and use this to create a budget for myself and stick to it.
2. When I do make a purchase only buy things I deem investment items.
3. Track all of my spending. 
4. Call my bank and have a certain amount of money automatically transferred to my savings account each time I get paid.
It’s gonna be rough ladies.  I will be checking in throughout the month to let you know how things are going and there will also be a guest post from a very special someone this month.   For you financial mavens out there please leave any advice or tips in the comments below, I would love to hear your suggestions!  And for those other ladies who are struggling to save in this climate of consumerism like me please leave a comment below letting me know I’m not alone.  Oh and one more thing, if I blackout shop in Target again someone please hold me accountable…

xoxo Nicole