Things That I Really Liked in January

Holy cow, January has flown right by. So much has happened. Well. Not that much, but it feels like a lot. I finally got funded by the university, so I’m a teaching assistant now. I’m responsible for three classes and a total of about 200 students, and on top of that I’m spending this semester studying for the comprehensive exam. I’m lecturing for the first time on the 31st, which is both exciting and terrifying.

Anyways, one of the things I’m working on this year is to be better at maintaining this blog. So I thought I would start with one of my favorite things, a list. Specifically, a list of things I actually used and loved this month. Yes, I’ve become one of those people, one of those people that makes a favorites list.

At least it’s not a video. Thank every god I hate being on camera.

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Look at that impressive flatlay. I am so proud of myself.

The first thing I want to talk about is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette. I got this for my birthday last month, and I swear I’ve used it every single day since. Except those days where I was being lazy and didn’t wear any makeup. The shadows are incredibly pigmented and compliment my skintone so well. My problem with a lot of makeup in general is that I have yellow undertoned skin, and if something is just a little bit too blue or red toned, my skin looks super muddy. So this has rapidly become a holy grail product, and while it’s been out for quite a while, I’m glad I found it now.

The next thing I’ve only owned for two days, but I love it already. It’s the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. This is an ultrahydrating overnight mask for your lips, and I’ve been eyeing it for ages and bought it over the weekend. I hate clothes shopping and needed to bribe myself, and happened across a Sephora, so I bribed myself. I love it. It smells like berries, and goes on so smoothly. My lips get super dry in the wintertime, so this was a perfect new find.

My absolute favorite thing on this list though is that teeny tiny vial of perfume. It’s Fougere, by Deco Scent Lab. It’s actually made by one of my favorite people in the world, my cousin’s wife, Susan, who in the past year has become the big sister I’ve always wanted. Her website is here.

Rounding out the beauty products, I got this Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in I believe November. My brother gave me an Ulta gift card for Diwali and I used it on this. Previously I would use drugstore brand eyeliner pens, like Revlon and Maybelline, and while these are perfectly good brands, Stila is on a whole different level. I get my eyeliner so sharp it could cut a bitch, every. single. morning. On the first try. This is coming from someone who usually takes a solid half hour to do eyeliner alone.

Moving from makeup to something else close to my heart, school supplies, I finally used all the pages in my old notebook, and splurged on this Moleskine dotted notebook. I wanted to get into bullet journaling (and my friend Kat got me a super fancy Leuchtturm 1917 to do it in) but for everyday things I make a ton of lists. Like this one. So I got this Moleskine, in a neutral color, surprise surprise, and adore it.

I write in my Moleskine with a Zebra F-301, the 0.7mm ballpoint version. It’s super smooth, and the ink doesn’t skip.

Those headphones were a Christmas gift from my mother. They’re Satechi Aluminum Wireless Headphones. I originally was drawn to them because they’re rose gold and match my phone, but turns out they’re amazing headphones as well. And since I’m in the TA office now, headphones are a must.

The last thing I’ve got on my list is a bracelet. Desiree put me on to the practice of buying myself a present when I start a new job, and since I started a new job in April, I bought this single pearl bracelet from TheVioletGoat on Etsy. I’ve really been into minimalist jewelry, and I’ve worn this bracelet every day since I bought it. I’m probably going to buy something else from her when I get my first paycheck from this new job. I really like the idea of supporting small independent businesses, and have an extensive list of things I love on Etsy.

I’m going to try to be a lot more active on the blog and Instagram this year. This is my favorite creative outlet, and as grad school gets more intense, this forces me to focus on something other than crime and deviance. I hope you enjoyed my list of January favorites, and be sure to check out my Instagram, @thisisnotaquickstory.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of the things on my list!


Thoughts After My Very First Barre Class

My bum is sore.

I’ve tried to go to various gyms on and off over the past few years, and I always tend to stick to the elliptical and zone out while I just get through it. I’ve been looking into getting a membership to a class based program, but time constraints due to work and school prevented that, and it’s so expensive.

However, I finally got funded by the university, and hopefully this means that some of the money that used to go to tuition can be rerouted to paying for barre class.

The studio I want to go to offers a complimentary class if you sit through a brief “orientation” which is basically the same stuff that’s on the website. So I did that, and then attended the barre class immediately following.

It was intense. But not how I was expecting. It involved a lot of small movements, mostly on a yoga mat. It’s like if hot yoga and pilates had a baby. In a 98.6 degree room. Good gravy that studio was hot. I don’t understand why people try to put yoga in a hot room. My people invented yoga, and let me tell you, the OG yogis did it on a beach at dawn wearing linen skirts.

The small movements left me shaking. It was surprising, because it looked super easy, but was a pretty tough work out, especially since it was my first time. I’m fairly flexible, but a lot of the stretches were new to me and I wasn’t able to do them all the way. I was also the heaviest person in the room. I felt awkward in front of the mirrors, especially since the ladies on either side of me looked like they’d be blown away if the instructor turned the fans on. So I avoided looking in the mirror.

Something else that was difficult was doing anything that relied on resting any weight on my right wrist or ankle, which I hurt nearly ten years ago in an old soccer related injury. I tried my best to work around it, but I can definitely feel both two hours later.

Overall I enjoyed it, and if my budget allows, I’d like to continue going.