Getting Personal #66: April Goals

Welcome to April! It’s hard to believe we’re already in month #4 of 2017!

Here are my goals for April:

  1. Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class.
  2. Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards).
  3. Buy my desk!
  4. Tackle the garage, once and for all.
  5. Finalize plans for our second wedding anniversary getaway!
  6. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!
  7. Celebrate birthdays!
  8. Start designing my custom shelving system for my American Girl dolls.
  9. Read at least three new books.

Here’s the breakdown:

Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class.

  • I only have two classes left!

Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards).

  • I take the exam one week from today!

Buy my desk!

  • Thanks to Wayfair.com, I’ve finally figured out what I want. Once I pay my credit card bills this month, this is one of the first things I’m buying!

Tackle the garage, once and for all.

  • We want to empty the garage, finally. We want to find places for everything!

Finalize plans for our second wedding anniversary getaway!

  • We have a good idea of where we want to go and what we want to do, but we want to call Jody at AAA. She helped us plan our honeymoon, so we want her input!

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!

  • I’m going to call the academic advising department next week to make an appointment!

Celebrate birthdays!

  • My dad’s birthday is on Monday!
  • Our friend Michaela Leigh’s birthday is also on Monday, so we’re seeing Beauty and the Beast tonight with my parents, her mom, and we get to meet Michaela’s boyfriend, Chris, for the first time!
  • My Uncle Richard’s birthday is next week, so I definitely want to call him and catch up.

Start designing my custom shelving system for my American Girl dolls.

  • My dad’s offered to help me!
  • He found some nice quality birch wood at Lowe’s recently.
  • I want to make the measurements soon, and then go pick it out.
  • I’m so excited!

Read at least three new books.

  • I’m six chapters into my latest book!
  • But, I also want to visit the library at least once this month to pick out a totally new book.
  • Look for these Book Reviews soon!

Do you have any goals for the month of April?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #65: March Goals Recap

what-can-be

Image Credit: Live, Love, Simple.

March flew by so fast, it almost made my head spin!

Here’s the link to my March Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class. – Semi-Achieved.
  2. Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards). – Did not accomplish.
  3. Be a volunteer for the 2017 District Orchestra Assessment at my alma mater. – Accomplished!
  4. Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. – Semi-Achieved.
  5. See Kong: Skull Island. – Accomplished!
  6. Positively geek out over Beauty and the Beast. – Accomplished!
  7. See Power Rangers. – Accomplished!
  8. Finally implement my receipt organization system. – Semi-Achieved.
  9. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation! – Semi-Achieved.
  10. Celebrate birthdays! – Accomplished!
  11. Move at least my American Girl dolls from Mom and Dad’s to our house. – Did not accomplish.
  12. Make progress with emptying / organizing the garage. – Did not accomplish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class. – Semi-Achieved.

  • I’ve learned a lot in this class! It’s been a really good experience.
  • Due to some class members not signing up for their required membership in a timely manner, the test had to be rescheduled from March 25th to April 8th (Argh!).
  • The good news – The class was extended for two more weeks, so I have class sessions through the first week in April.

Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards). – Did not accomplish.

  • I only put this because the test hasn’t happened yet!
  • Say a prayer, send good vibes, wish luck for me on April 8th!

Be a volunteer for the 2017 District Orchestra Assessment at my alma mater. – Accomplished!

  • I had so much fun on this Saturday – I want to volunteer again next year!
  • I absolutely crushed my FitBit goal that day – I logged 11,000 steps!
  • It was great seeing some familiar faces – Students, teachers, and some parents, too.

Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. – Semi-Achieved.

  • I wrote approximately 100 new words!
  • I feel great with those 100 words. I’m planning to set similar goals from here on out. It’s a good motivator!

See Kong: Skull Island. – Accomplished!

  • We went out with our friends Mike, Shana, and Austin. Austin was home from college on spring break, so it was great to see him.
  • It was a really good movie – It’s a true adventure / survivalist film!
  • There were a few moments where I had to close my eyes, but mainly because I’m a visual person and didn’t want to have nightmares!

Positively geek out over Beauty and the Beast. – Accomplished!

  • I proudly wore my “Beauty is found within” shirt!
  • We went to see it with Kathryn, Christine, and John at Paragon in Newport News.
  • I thought it was going to be a shot-for-shot remake of the 1991 animated film, but I was pleasantly surprised with what they did.
  • Emma Watson was an awesome Belle, but the cast as a whole was great!
  • We’re seeing it again this weekend at the Commodore Theatre to celebrate Michaela Leigh’s birthday!

See Power Rangers. – Accomplished!

  • Al and I saw this last weekend, just the two of us.
  • It’s a nostalgia trip, updated for 2017!
  • If you have memories of the TV show, I recommend seeing it. It’s a fun ride!

Finally implement my receipt organization system. – Semi-Achieved.

  • I labeled all my envelopes. I need to get a bulletin board now.
  • Stack of receipts – Vanish!

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation! – Semi-Achieved.

  • I took a Friday off of work to go out to the Virginia Beach campus. I knew it was spring break, but the college was scheduled to be open.
  • I got to the Student Center right after 9:00 a.m., and there was only one person working on the Academic Advising floor. That wasn’t a good sign.
  • I asked, and she said that all the Academic Advisers were in training! Noooooo. Major bummer!
  • Small consolation – I discovered, after I left, that I didn’t have my transcripts folder. So, I’m getting better organized now and planning a return trip for a Thursday or Friday in April! And, I’m definitely calling ahead to make an appointment!
  • The day was not lost – I went shopping at the local Goodwill, met Al and two of his coworkers for a delicious Mongolian BBQ lunch, and enjoyed return trips to Barnes & Noble and LUSH at MacArthur Mall!

Celebrate birthdays! – Accomplished!

  • Al’s mom had a good birthday – She’s almost fully recovered from her knee surgery. We’re hoping to go see them in either April or May.
  • The birthday shindig at my parents’ house on the first Friday was fun, although I didn’t feel well through most of it. We were there until 10:30 p.m.!

Move at least my American Girl dolls from Mom and Dad’s to our house. – Did not accomplish.

  • Every weekend was basically booked solid!
  • I’m going to take a few days off work in April, so I’m hoping this will happen on a weekday soon.

Make progress with emptying / organizing the garage. – Did not accomplish.

  • We did everything else with the house this month – Moved some furniture, cleaned out some clutter, did a deep clean, and a few more odds and ends.
  • The garage is on our list for April – Starting this weekend. Al’s tired of it, too.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to five out of 12 goals. Woohoo!
  • The four goals that were Semi-Achieved: I’m happy with them. A few were completely out of my control, but I’m happy that I made progress!
  • The three goals that I didn’t accomplish: This was far better than a month ago! Wow. I’m very pleased with myself!

Did you have any goals for March?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for April!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #64: “23 March, 2017 09:10” (Reblogged)

Wow. This photo is just stunning, and I felt I had to share it. Most of their photos instantly take my breath away! According to the tags, it was taken in Luxemborg.

It reminded me of the Beast’s castle in the remake of Beauty and the Beast!

We saw the movie last Saturday, and it was really good. Essentially, it was a shot-for-shot remake of the original 1991 animated film, but the nostalgia was there the whole time. The word “enchanted” comes to mind. I was attempting to sing the songs under my breath!

The cast was great. I was a little concerned with Emma Watson singing, having known her primarily for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films,  but I thought she did a great job.

I want to go see it again!

Have you seen the Beauty and the Beast remake?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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Getting Personal #63: March Goals

3-discipline-is-the-bridge-between-goals-and-accomplishment

Image Credit: Entrepreneur Delights

It’s already March 1st! Is it just me, or does the year seem to be flying by?

Here are my goals for March:

  1. Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class.
  2. Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards).
  3. Be a volunteer for the 2017 District Orchestra Assessment at my alma mater.
  4. Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor.
  5. See Kong: Skull Island.
  6. Positively geek out over Beauty and the Beast.
  7. See Power Rangers.
  8. Finally implement my receipt organization system.
  9. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!
  10. Celebrate birthdays!
  11. Move at least my American Girl dolls from Mom and Dad’s to our house.
  12. Make progress with emptying / organizing the garage.

Here’s the breakdown:

Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class.

  • This opportunity presented itself in the beginning of February. One of our friends, Shana, took this class last fall, and passed her exam (boards) on the first try!
  • I was lucky to get a slot – I paid about a third of the cost of a typical CPC exam prep course, and my work department graciously bought my books.
  • So far, so good: I’ve been in class since February 20th, twice a week, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on campus.

Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards).

  • I’m scheduled to take the test on Saturday, March 25th. I have five hours to answer 150 questions. Fortunately, it’s paper-pencil, and multiple-choice. That, I can handle!
  • I should know my results about a week to 10 days after the test, since it has to be fed through a Scantron machine at another location.

Be a volunteer for the 2017 District Orchestra Assessment at my alma mater.

  • I wasn’t able to do this last year, so I’m excited to help!
  • This weekend (Friday and Saturday) is when all the middle school and high school orchestras in the city of Chesapeake descend upon my alma mater, Oscar Smith High School, to perform several pieces and be assessed by a panel of judges.
  • I’ll be working the registration table for a few hours on Saturday. I’ll be rocking my Rehearse-A-Thon T-shirt from my orchestra days!

Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor.

  • I think I set this goal too high for the last two months, so I decided to scale it back a bit. I think I can handle 1,000 words!

See Kong: Skull Island.

  • This is one of those movies that we’ve been excited to see for a long, long time.
  • We first saw glimpses of this when we were on our honeymoon in Orlando in November 2015 – There’s a new ride based on the movie opening soon in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Positively geek out over Beauty and the Beast.

  • I can barely wait until the 17th, you guys. This movie looks so good!
  • I’m currently searching for a shirt online that will be worn to the movie.
  • I always dreamed of having the Beast’s library!
  • Personally, I think Emma Watson, as Belle, is a perfect fit. As well as Luke Evans (Gaston), Kevin Kline (Maurice), and Josh Gad (Le Fou).

See Power Rangers.

  • Originally, I was a little skeptical about this one. I didn’t watch a lot of Power Rangers as a kid, but I’m actually excited for this movie. It looks really sleek and modern. Bring it on!

Finally implement my receipt organization system.

  • It may be just a series of envelopes, but hopefully it will eliminate a lot of the stress I’ve had! Stacking the receipts for the month, by date, has not been helpful! Fingers crossed.

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!

  • Oh, boy. Here we go!
  • I’m really excited, and a little nervous. I think I only have one class left (Legal Writing), but I want to be absolutely sure!
  • If that’s the case, I plan to fill out my application for graduation and make sure everything is in order, all in one fell swoop.
  • It’s so close, I can almost taste it.

Celebrate birthdays!

  • My parents are having a big shindig for a family friend this weekend. I’m excited! We’re bringing angel food cake and Cool Whip!
  • We want to call Al’s mom this weekend to wish her a Happy Birthday!

Move at least my American Girl dolls from Mom and Dad’s to our house.

  • I’m tired of not having all my dolls (I have five total) in one place! It’s definitely happening this month – Hopefully this weekend!

Make progress with emptying / organizing the garage.

  • The warmer weather we’ve had recently is giving me the itch to finally empty out and organize our garage.
  • I want to put one of our cars in there by the end of the month, hopefully! That’s the ultimate goal.

Do you have any goals for the month of March?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #62: February Goals Recap

setting-goals-is-the-first-step-in-turning-the-invisible-into-the-visible

Image Credit: Quotlr

The end of February snuck up on me! Wow!

Here’s the link to my February Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Begin my journal adventure. – Did not accomplish.
  2. Finish my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. – Did not accomplish.
  3. Donate blood. – Did not accomplish.
  4. Celebrate our 6,000th donated pint at our blood drive on February 4th. – Accomplished!
  5. Finally see Hidden Figures! – Accomplished!
  6. Buy a desk. – Did not accomplish.
  7. Buy a shelving system for my dolls! – Did not accomplish.
  8. Move my huge bookcase, books, and dolls from Mom and Dad’s to our house. – Did not accomplish.
  9. Make at least three new recipes! – Semi-Achieved.
  10. Successfully co-host the PEO meeting on February 13th. – Did not accomplish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Begin my journal adventure. – Did not accomplish.

  • I didn’t write one single post!

Finish my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. – Did not accomplish.

  • I didn’t write a single new word.

Donate blood. – Did not accomplish.

  • I got close! But, my iron wasn’t quite high enough. Here’s to April!

Celebrate our 6,000th donated pint at our blood drive on February 4th. – Accomplished!

  • Hooray!
  • Mr. Barry Katz was lucky #6,000. He’s been a regular donor for years.

Finally see Hidden Figures! – Accomplished!

  • We went to Cinebistro in Hampton – It’s a great place!
  • If you haven’t seen it, it comes highly recommended!

Buy a desk. – Did not accomplish.

  • I finally started to make space for this desk in the Lady Lounge, but I haven’t 100 percent decided what I want to buy.

Buy a shelving system for my dolls! – Did not accomplish.

  • See above – I’m still not happy with my options at the moment.
  • Any tips for a shelving unit that has at least 20 inches of height?

Move my huge bookcase, books, and dolls from Mom and Dad’s to our house. – Did not accomplish.

  • See the above two!

Make at least three new recipes! – Semi-Achieved.

  • For the Super Bowl, I made Pillsbury’s S’mores Pretzel Cookie Bars!
  • Tonight, we tried Campbell’s Skillet Meals for the first time!

Successfully co-host the PEO meeting on February 13th. – Did not accomplish.

  • Unfortunately, the week before the meeting, I came down with the flu!
  • Although I was feeling better by the day of the meeting, I didn’t want to infect anyone.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to two out of 10 goals. I’ll take it!
  • The one goal that was Semi-Achieved: I want to get back to home cooking! We ate a lot of pre-packaged food this month (frozen pizza, Bertolli meals, etc.), so I want to get back on track again.
  • The seven goals that I didn’t accomplish: This one hurt, a lot. But, I’ve been busier this month for several different reasons (See more in tomorrow’s post!). Plus, being sick for the better part of a whole week was frustrating!

Did you have any goals for February?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for March!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #61: My Skin & Makeup Routines (Part 2)

makeup

Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

As promised, here’s Part 2 of my skin and makeup routines!

If you missed Part 1, here’s the link to the post:

Ready?

Here we go!


Makeup

Like I mentioned last week, my makeup routine is pretty simple. I’ve tried both foundation and powder over several years, and I’ve finally decided that I don’t want to use either one!

Here’s my current makeup routine, in four easy steps:

  1. Blush
  2. Eyeshadow
  3. Eyeliner
  4. Mascara

I remember getting introduced to Mary Kay products back when I was in middle school. Between my mom using their skin care products (She still does now!), and several friends having free facials and makeovers at sleepovers, I loved their makeup back then.

Think of a early teenage Laura Beth experimenting with shades like Cotton Candy, Lime Green, Icy Blue, and more …

Years ago, a friend started selling Mary Kay to help pay her way through college. I bought several things at that launch party that I’ve loved since:

I still like a lot of what Mary Kay makes, but I don’t have a regular rep that I buy from right now. Most makeup that I’ve bought in the last year or so has actually come from the Dollar Tree, Walmart, Target, or your average drugstore (Walgreens, CVS/pharmacy, etc.)

Three Mary Kay items that I currently use actually came from a local Goodwill store:


So, back to my current four-step routine. This is what I do, and use, on an almost daily basis:

  1. Blush – Either Sparkling Cider or Cherry Blossom. With my skin tone, I can be liberal with Sparkling Cider, but cautious with Cherry Blossom. Too much of that, and I turn into a porcelain doll!
  2. Eyeshadow – I use the Eye Definer brush for either Truffle or Chocolate Kiss, on my eyelids. I use the Eye Crease brush for Spun Silk, on the skin between my lids and my brows.
  3. Eyeliner – I normally like/prefer a crayon or twist-up black eyeliner, but recently I’ve been loving my L.A. Colors liquid eyeliner. This came from my local Dollar Tree!
  4. Mascara – I used a few different types of mascara from Mary Kay until it ran out. Then, in 2015, while planning my wedding, I found L’Oreal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara from Walmart.com. I loved the look so much on my wedding day, that I bought a second tube!

This morning – Fresh face, no makeup.

Just ten minutes later, all four steps complete.




I definitely love my Mary Kay brushes, don’t get me wrong!

But, I recently found something amazing:

Wizard Wands!!

I ordered these from Storybook Cosmetics a while back, and they are awesome!


Makeup Tips

  • Pay attention to your eye color.
    • I have hazel/green eyes, so I naturally lean toward more brown/beige/suede tones for my eyeshadow.
    • For eyeliner and mascara, I tend to go back and forth between black and dark brown. Both colors work well for me.
  • Always moisturize your face before applying makeup.
    • As mentioned in Part 1, I use Enzymion and Tea Tree Toner from LUSH Handmade Cosmetics. I’ve found that this combination, right now, works the best for my skin. I highly recommend for you to research your skin and test (and re-test) until you find something that works best for you.
    • When I wear makeup (not every day), my skin still feels hydrated and fresh all day.
  • Always take your makeup off before going to bed!
    • I cannot stress this enough – It’s so important. Your face will thank you.
    • This has never happened to me (knock on wood), but one of my friend’s wives got a terrible case of blepharitis (eyelid inflammation) the week of their wedding! It happened mainly because she wasn’t taking off her eye makeup before going to sleep. Lucky for her, she received prompt treatment and everything cleared up for their big day!
    • I currently use oil-free makeup wipes, but you can also make your own.
    • You can also use Coalface or Dark Angels from LUSH. I want to try one of these products next, primarily to cut down on the waste that wipes create.
  • If you’re interested in learning more about makeup, I definitely recommend contacting a Mary Kay representative near you. However, two other good places to learn and explore are Ulta Beauty and Sephora. If you decide to go with either of those, I suggest going into a store. I’ve found that employees at both are not only knowledgeable, but super helpful! Sephora even has the Color IQ test, where you can find out your exact skin tones (red, yellow) and the employees will help you with specific product recommendations for lips, foundation, and concealer.
  • Learn how to wash your brushes/applicators properly, and how often.
  • Make sure to read expiration dates on all of your makeup. Most companies are now required to have a jar symbol with an indicator such as 6M (six months after opening), 12M (twelve months after opening), and so on. There are different recommended dates of use for different types of makeup.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #60: My Skin & Makeup Routines (Part 1)

lush-harbor-east

Image Credit: Harbor East

Many thanks to Megan over at Freckled Italian for inspiring this post!

Here’s Megan’s original post:

Ready?

Here we go!


Skin

Some of you know that I got into LUSH Handmade Cosmetics products well over a year ago, thanks to a few friends who talked it up. I wasn’t disappointed!

It helps that there’s a store in Norfolk’s MacArthur Mall. It’s an expensive investment, but the benefits have absolutely paid off in spades.

Before I found LUSH, I was using a combination of Clean & Clear products and a few things that my mom and others had recommended. I couldn’t seem to control the oil, and I had absolutely hellacious breakouts during that lovely time of the month. I was massively frustrated. I didn’t want to wear makeup. My skin is relatively sensitive, but I never, ever realized what I was using to wash and moisturize my face could be harming it.

In December 2015, I walked into LUSH for the first time. The staff were wonderful! I was immediately entranced by everything that they offered. They update their product lines regularly, and they always seem to have something new when I visit.

The idea is to use just a little bit of the product every day. Some of my LUSH stuff lasts for MONTHS, and it’s awesome. In all of 2016, I only visited the store four times to make purchases.

This is what I have used and/or sampled since Day 1:

I liked Angels on Bare Skin and Movis, but I probably won’t buy those again. Some of the smells were super strong!

I may buy Aqua Marina again, because it has calamine lotion in it. Considering I usually get eaten alive by mosquitoes in the warmer months, I’ll probably keep a small “pot” of it at home. I will probably do the same with either Dark Angels or Coalface, since both are good to use for makeup remover.

I definitely want to buy Ocean Salt again, closer to the summer months. It smells like the beach, and I felt like I was in a spa every time I used it!

I love the variety of bath bombs that LUSH offers. The baths I have taken with them – Three since we bought our house – have been calming and soothing.

I currently have the following in my bathroom:

The one without a side label is Enzymion. The pots fit perfectly on the shelves in our mirrored cabinet.

Buche de Noel is one of my favorite products. It smells like Christmas, and it does a great job on my face and skin. I use it every day in the shower on my face (unless I just got my eyebrows waxed), and I usually scrub it all over my arms and heels. It’s really helped when the skin on my heels has been very dry and rough. It’s a seasonal item, so I try to make this last as long as possible.

Top: Buche de Noel. Bottom left: Christingle. Bottom right: Enzymion.


Christingle is a new product that I discovered on my last store visit. It smells amazing, and the cool, refreshing tingle I feel after I use it in the shower feels awesome. Like Buche de Noel, I’m trying to make it last, since I won’t be able to buy it again until later in 2017.

Enzymion and Tea Tree Water have been with me since Day 1 – I will always buy these. Enzymion is the perfect moisturizer for my skin. This has helped dramatically reduce breakouts, and my skin feels lighter and far less oily now. The Tea Tree Water is so refreshing. I spritz it on right after I apply Enzymion. In the hotter months, I like to put it in the fridge. It makes the hot and humid days bearable!

I haven’t tried Rose Jam yet. Soon!

This is just a short list of what I want to try in the future:

The other bonus – When you bring back five clean labeled “pots” after using the products, LUSH will give you a free face mask. They reuse the pots, and then recycle them later on.

I’m excited to do this for the first time soon – I had enough pots to redeem in December, but they didn’t have any face masks to give me! I’m collecting them in a box. During my next trip, I can’t wait to see what I get.


Makeup

Since Megan’s post focused on makeup, this is was my comment:

“For me, I completely skip foundation and powder – The different stuff I’ve tried over the years seems to just clog my pores and makes me itchy! I do four things on a regular basis. First, I sweep on some blush – I love Mary Kay. I switch between “Sparkling Cider” and “Cherry Rose.” Second, I do eyeshadow – Also Mary Kay. Since I have green/hazel eyes, I prefer brown/suede/beige tones (“Truffle,” “Chocolate Kiss,” and “Spun Silk.” Third, I’m loving liquid eyeliner right now – The stuff I use currently came from the Dollar Tree. Lastly, I put on mascara. I loved the Maybelline Telescoping Lashes mascara that I bought for my wedding so much, that I saved the information and bought a second tube! It probably takes 10 minutes total, but the compliments are totally worth it.”

However, since the Skin section took up such a huge chunk of this post, I’m dividing this post into two parts.

Come back this time next week to learn more about my makeup routine!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂