In case you are living under a rock, today is Thanksgiving. That precious day that rolls around each November on which we try as hard as we can to do the impossible and be grateful for everything we have. Let's face it, it is human nature to be ungrateful--to want more. So I am going to be honest--I am unhappy about a lot of the things in my life right now. I am at that age where a lot of stuff goes awry, and that's not fun. I wish that I had a better perspective on school, and that I knew how to handle the mistakes that I make. I wish that I could be more appreciative of the options I have, rather than wanting better, more exciting ones.

By the same token, though, I am grateful for the mistakes that I have made. Not in the "wow I am so blessed" way, but in the way that kind of makes your stomach sink. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned, no matter what the cost may have been. Without the mess-ups in my life, I wouldn't be anywhere near the person that I am today.
<a href="http://www.hypersmash.com">www.HyperSmash.com</a>
So, yes. I am thankful for my family, friends, community, job, education, and all of that. But today I am most grateful for the struggles that I have endured. They have made me stronger, wiser, and overall just better. I know that God has a plan for me, and though I may not see it now, He is preparing me to face something more. He is reminding me that there is more to this life. And I am grateful for that.



It's been a while...

Hey, everyone!

Let's address the issue at hand.

It's been months since I've posted on this blog.

Why? I've been crazy busy! My life these past few months has been INSANE. But I'm started to get my sh*t together, so now it is time for me to get to blogging!

Honestly, I am not going to even try to catch you up on my life...That would take days. But I can tell you where I am headed now!

I just switched my major to Journalism with and emphasis in magazines, so hopefully my life will be a bit calmer next semester (no more math or chemistry!). That means more posts!

I was going to do a post on my favorite going-out makeup, but I had to get a new phone yesterday and lost all of the pictures! I will re-do them soon, though.

Okay, I know I said I wouldn't catch you up with my whole life, but here is the SparksNotes version of the past semester:

1. I am in love with Luke Kuechly (Carolina Panthers LB)

2. Branching off of #1, I have discovered my love for football

3. I got bangs! I love them.

4. OBSESSED with the Justin Bieber Believe album (I know I'm kinda late on that)

5. I think I want a camera for Christmas...This one is my favorite!!!

That is all that I can think of right now, but I'm sure I will think of more later! And yes, a cliche Thanksgiving "What-are-we-grateful-for" post will be coming soon. Brace yourselves for the cheesiness.




I saw this on Pinterest today, and it struck me.
The thing that really caught my attention was the last part, about instructions.

Over the past few years, I have tried time and time again to change my life. Be it how I look, how I act, who I am with, or what I do, I have wanted to change it at some point in my life.

A set of instructions would have been nice.

It seems that the same struggles have plagued me for my entire life. Nothing has changed, really. But no one wants that for themselves. We are dynamic creatures. Or at least, we are supposed to be. Yet I have been stuck in this rut for a long, long time and no matter how many resolutions or promises I make, I am in the same place now that I was four years ago.

So about these instructions. I think that they are out there, somewhere. And I think a big part of life is finding those instructions. The only problem is that, when we fail to find them at first, we give up and stop trying to find them. 

But I have to try harder. I have to reach further, look harder, listen more carefully. 

I have to think.

I can't avoid the realities that I am scared of, like the fact that I might fail, or that maybe I won't like what I find. I can't stay still anymore. 

I'm finding the instructions. Somehow.


Suave Professionals: Keratin Infusion

Hey everyone! I am going to to a quick review on Suave Professionals: Keratin Infusion Shampoo and Conditioner.

I bought these a few days ago after running out of my favorite shampoo and conditioner, thinking that I would try something new and save a few bucks.


I don't know what the deal is, but my hair has all this buildup in it from like, three days of using this new stuff. It's crusty and sticky and I honestly can't even believe it is on the market. I definitely don't recommend buying it! Save yourselves!

That's all.


What To Spend Your $$$ On In College

Hi there! We all know that money is tight for college students. Spending it is something that should not be taken lightly! But I have some suggestions on what you should spend your extra cash on.

1. Pedicures. Okay, this may sound frivolous, but let me tell you something. Feet get gross in college. You walk all the time, out in the heat... Your shoes become like little nasty saunas. Also, it is hard to get your feet really clean, due to the fact that you wear shower shoes (or at least I hope you do). So, once a month, I recommend getting a pedicure to rejuvenate your feet and keep them from getting really bad!

2. Underwear. Laundry has been the bane of many a college student. Already, I am finding myself trying to put off laundry day for as long as possible. The biggest risk for this is running out of underwear. That can't happen. It is one thing to re-wear a pair of shorts, it is another to re-wear underwear. Don't do it. Just buy some extra panties. Please. For your own sake.

3. Party Clothes. The first thing I realized once I got to college was how few party outfits I had! In high school, I had no reason to have booty skirts and sexy tops. My high school experience was...pretty dull. But anyways, I have had to go shopping for party clothes a couple times, so save up for that! I will say, though...Ladies, keep it classy. The other night I literally saw a woman's entire ass because her skirt was so short and she was so drunk. Try to avoid that. Seriously.

Like I said, money is tight in college! But just be smart about it and you will be fine! Hope this helps!


Things I've Learned...

Well hello there!

As you probably know, I have just recently started college. Already, I am learning so much--not just academics (in fact, those have yet to really pick up), but about...oh, I don't know...SURVIVAL.

The last post I did was all about staying healthy in college. Well, I have a confession.

I'm sick.

Like, really sick, and I have been for a least a week. Everyone else has gotten the same cold, but mine has REFUSED to get better. Usually, I am not sick for more than two or three days when I have a cold. But I know why this time is different.

I didn't follow my own advice!

I've been eating so badly--lots of sugar. SO MUCH SUGAR. And, you might also know that I'm gluten intolerant, and yet I have been eating gluten out the wazoo since getting here. As a result, my feet stink (yeah, it happens when you eat gluten if you are intolerant), my appetite is off, and I'm sick as a dog.

So, seriously, heed my warning: eat well in college or you will regret it! Seriously. So seriously.


Anyways, now that I am sick, I am using this as a "teachable moment" as my mother says. I have stopped the gluten intake (or at least I'm trying to), I bought a $30 humidifier for my dorm (so cool--it uses water bottles! Go to CVS and get one. Now.), and I'm really focusing on giving my body what it needs.

Please use my misfortune as an opportunity to avoid this wretched state. I'm going to be sick at a concert tonight (Roscoe Dash and the Ying Yang Twins!), for the first football game of the season, and for visiting my friends back home on Sunday. Yeah, it sucks. Don't do what I did.

Make good choices!


The New S&S! Also Some College Tips.

Hey everyone! As I mentioned in a previous post, Sparkle 'n Spice is undergoing some changes-- a re-vamping, if you will. My life is changing, and I think it is only fitting that the blog changes with me. My posts will probably be geared a lot more towards college life from here on out, but I'll still keep the same idea of the blog--to provide a place for young women to go to get inspired and feel good about themselves.

So anyways, here is the first post of the new and improved S&S!

It is not even close to being a secret that college students aren't the healthiest of people. I mean, I've met a few who have managed to eat well so far, but personally, I have eaten pretty shadily since moving into my dorm. Whether it is because I am too lazy to go to the dining halls or because I am eating junk food just because I don't have as much access to healthy foods, the result is the same--a lot of carbs and sugar and not a lot of fruits and veggies.

Now, I am not saying that you should try to eat only bunny food, or even that you should completely banish all sweet treats. I am, however, going to give you guys some tips to stay as healthy as possible without having to obsess over your food intake in college.

1. WATER. I know that I've mentioned this before, but water is SO IMPORTANT if you want to get/stay healthy. Your body is over 60% water--your blood is around 90% water and your muscles (brain included!!!) are about 75% water. So, while you are eating all those nasty delicious foods, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to flush the toxins and such out of your system. As a plus, you will feel more alert and your skin will be clearer and brighter.

2. WALK. This depends on which campus you are on, but most colleges are walk-able. Don't drive to your classes, don't take a bus...Walk! It's revitalizing and it is an easy way to burn calories and tone up.

3. CHILL OUT. I know everyone reacts differently to stress, but I tend to eat whatever I can get my hands on when I am overwhelmed rather than focusing on what I need to do and solving any issues. If you are the same way, relax! Meditation can help a lot, as well as listening to calming music. Also, I know that there are infinite social opportunities in college, but once in a while, stay in your room! Eat dinner, then go back to your dorm, shower, put some PJs on, and just relax! Watch some TV, have a little dance party with yourself...whatever you need!

4. STOCK UP. It is so tempting when you go shopping for your dorm to buy popcorn, candy and soda, but resist! Okay, obviously you can buy some--live a little! But also buy some easy-to-prepare fruits and veggies like pre-cut carrots and apples, just so that when you feel like eating well, you actually can!

More tips to come!

Stay healthy!


Gel Nails

Hey everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful end to the summer. I thought I would tell you guys how I feel about gel manicures, because I got my first one the other day! I know people have a lot of questions about the difference between a gel mani and a regular mani, so I'll try to clear up as much as I can.

First off, the main difference between gel polish and regular polish is that it lasts a whole heck of a lot longer. I use really strong cleaning products at my job all day, and the gels stay mostly in-tact up until I left for college. Now, granted, I only worked for a few days in between my mani and move-in, but I was still impressed with it's durability.

Secondly, the gels feel different. Something about the hardness of the polish or the smoothness of it--I'm not sure. They feel so slick and wonderful! That also means that the gels are SUPER shiny. I always think my nails are really shiny after I get a professional manicure, but the gels are at least 10 times shinier than a regular polish.

If you don't know this already, the gel polish is painted on in intervals--one coat, then a few minutes with your hands under a UV light, then another coat, then more time under the light, and so on. This means that the polish is basically bonding itself onto your nail, so DON'T TRY TO TAKE GEL POLISH OFF ON YOUR OWN! You should go back to the salon and ask them to remove it--otherwise, you could destroy your nail. I've seen it done, ladies. Be careful.

One last perk to having gel nails is that they are dry before you walk out the door of the salon. After your last sesh under the UV light, you are good to stick your hand in that chock-full purse and grab your wallet to pay. It's crazy! So, I definitely recommend giving this special manicure a shot.



Hot Mess.

That is the only phrase that can describe me right now. I move into my dorm tomorrow morning, and I am so not ready! Not only have I not finished packing, but I haven't ordered my textbooks or completed this alcohol and drug awareness online seminar (dumb). Anyways, between working all the time and all of that, I am about ready to run through the streets with "I QUIT" painted on my naked body. I will probably end up in an asylum shortly after that.
So this post is not just for me to vent about my stress. It is to try to seek calmness for myself, and hopefully to help some of you out there along the way. It is so easy to allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by our lives. We practically welcome stress, because it somehow makes us feel accomplished or even simply functional to be over scheduled.
But I think it is high time to take a step back--to transcend our daily lives as take a look at the bigger picture. When you feel yourself start to get stressed out, ask yourself these questions:

What do I want out of this life?

Where will I be a week, a month, a year from now?

What is it that truly makes me happy?

I will go ahead and answer these questions for myself. What I want out of life is to be fulfilled. To one day have a family, to have made myself proud by working hard, and to have shown those close to me how much I love them.
A week from now, I will be started classes at the University if Georgia, and hopefully I will have found a sorority that likes me as much as I like it. month from now, I will have completed my first month of college! I will have made new friends and discovered a new piece of myself. A year from now, I will be entering my sophomore year, having hopefully figured some things out, but also having new, exciting questions.

Another way to calm down when you are feeling overwhelmed is to try and focus on one thing at a time. When you are at work, focus on being at work. When you are, say, packing, focus on packing--not on the million other things that you have to do later. It is important to live in the moment without losing perspective.

I hope this helps! Keep coming back--there are gonna be some changes at Sparkle 'n Spice soon!



Swoon-Worthy Saturday: Ed Westwick

You've seen him before--he is one of Hollywood's favorite It-Brits, having made a name for himself as Chuck Bass on the CWs insta-hit Gossip Girl (seriously, I don't think I've seen a more beautiful cast). He was also in the recent J. Edgar, and is rumored to be appearing in a new rendition of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as Tybalt. Should be interesting!

Anyways, enough with the introduction, here's what you really want:




I just came across this tumblr on pinterest, and I was automatically obsessed! Such a cute idea, and it reminds us that there are so many reasons to smile. :)

Click here to go to littlereasonstosmile.

Also, any requests for the next Swoon-Worthy Saturday?

xoxo and remember to smile,


Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner

While in New York this past week, I stopped by Sephora to look around. I ended up buying two Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner eyeliners, and I love them!

This is a subtle, every-day look that I did with them. The top color is a deep brown with tiny copper sparkles (puppeteer). On the bottom, I lined my waterline, inner corner, and up a bit onto my upper lid with the pearlescent pinky-white color (broken doll).

Top: Broken Doll
Bottom: Puppeteer

They are waterproof, but not so much that you have a hard time getting them off. They glide onto your skin very smoothly, and show up much more than you can tell in the first picture. 




Music Monday

1. Feel So Close by Calvin Harris

2. Some Nights by Fun.

{seriously OBSESSED with this song}

3. Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode



Femininspiration: Holland Roden

Hey, everyone! In a recent post (see it here), I mentioned Holland Roden, one of the stars of my guilty pleasure, Teen Wolf. I know I haven't done many Femininspirations, but I've chosen Roden (ha.) for a post.

The reasons I love this actress are very many--the first of which is her personal style--I can't really think of how to describe it, but I have yet to see her in an outfit that I wouldn't want for myself.

Other than her wardrobe, though, Roden has proven herself to be honest and down to earth in all her interviews (or at least the ones that I have seen). She is smart, too-- she actually attended UCLA and started as a pre-med student before switching to Women's Studies (gotta support that!).

Click here and here to see some interviews with the starlet.



Swoon-Worthy Saturday: Ian Harding

I don't really watch Pretty Little Liars, but I have to admit, it is an entertaining show. One big reason for that is this week's SWS! Ian Harding, who plays Mr. Ezra Fitz, may be one of the most attractive men ever to walk this planet. Or at least I think so. Handsome and cute at the same time! Gotta love it. Well, enough gabbing, here he his!




Headed to the Big Apple!

Hey everyone! I'm about to board my plane for new york city! I'm with my sister and we are both ready to get this show on the road.I think you guys will appreciate this: a few weeks ago, I saw this hilarious makeup bag on pinterest, but couldn't find where to buy it. It is canvas and says in black lettering, "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, PUT MASCARA ON YOURSELF BEFORE HELPING OTHERS". As my sister and I were walking to our gate today, I saw it sitting in a vending machine, begging me to buy it. So, I snatched that baby up! $22 for a makeup bag and Stila mascara? Yes, please! xoxo!


Favorite Reds + What's Coming

Well hello! Today I've decided to show you my two favorite red lip colors! I have an insane collection of lipsticks/lipglosses/lip stains, and only about half of them are red... :P So, the fact that I only picked two means they are pretty darn great.

Here is the first: It is Revlon Colorburst Lip gloss in 018 Fire.

I wear this one a lot--it has great pigmentation and is super easy to apply. The only down-side is that sometimes, it kind of bleeds outside of my lip lines. The way I deal with that is probably not the best way, but I just check it every half hour or so and clean up the edges. 
I actually bought this last summer, after watching the first season of Teen Wolf. I noticed how much Holland Roden's character wore red lips, and they were always perfect and not chalky or dry looking. I saw this product in the drugstore and thought "hmm, maybe I can get that same look." I would say that it's pretty darn close!

The next red is a lipstick: Kat Von D lipstick in Adora

I would classify this color as more of a fall/winter one, because it is kind of dark and has some golden undertones, making me think of autumn and Christmas. :)

It can be slightly dry, so I often pair it with a sheer red gloss or even just Aquaphor to make it look a bit more youthful.

Between the two, this one is definitely more expensive, but also definitely worth it. I do not regret spending the 18 or so dollars one bit!

Before I sign off, I have some exciting news: I'm headed for NYC tomorrow! I am going to try to post while I'm there, but if I don't, I promise I will update you when I get back! I'm so excited!!!