Weekend Roundup of OOTDs and Favorite Things

Happy weekend everyone! I will be with my family celebrating my amazing Mom's 66th birthday! 

Here are a couple of my latest Instagram #OOTD pics with shopping details, and then I will talk about 3 things I am loving lately. I always love reading what other people are reading or drinking or cooking or watching on TV, so - hopefully you will love this section too! 

White Lace Tank & Shorts:
Earrings: Similar
Necklace: Similar
Ring: Exact
Bracelets: Misc. Skinnies & Charm Bangles
Tank Top: Exact 
Denim Shorts: Exact 
Purse: Totally MM (Discontinued LV)
Sandals: Exact 

Trucker Hat & Yellow Shirt:
Trucker Hat: Exact
Necklace: Similar \ Similar
Earrings: Similar
iWatch Strap: Custom
T-Shirt: Similar \ Similar \ Similar \ Similar 
Denim Shorts: Exact Brand, Darker Color
Purse: Exact
Flip Flops: Exact 

Red Tank & Distressed Jeans:
Hat: Exact 
Sunglasses: Exact 
Earrings: Similar 
Necklace: Similar (same brand) 
iWatch Strap: Custom
Tank: Exact 
Jeans: SimilarSimilar \ Similar (same brand) 
Shoes: Exact 
Purse: Exact

Hopefully I can do one of these round ups weekly for you guys! 
  1. Book: I just finished and loved the audiobook: Braving The Wilderness, by Brene Brown. BTW, I also created a Media Highlights on my Instagram stories, so I can post any good stuff I am reading or watching! 
  1. TV Show: I am a few episodes into the new season of OITNB on Netflix and it is a GOOD one! Anyone else watching? 
  1. Beauty Product: I just finished a sample of this Bobbi Brown Concealer in the color Beige & I am ready to purchase it! Great color and full coverage for sleepy under eyes. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post - let me know, and let me know what you would like to see more of! Love you all! 



July Empties

Happy August friends! But first, lets talk about my JULY Empties! 

I hope life has been good to you all. Quick personal update on me - I just finished 5 rounds of Plasmapheresis over the course of 2 weeks at The City of Hope Hospital, and I will wait and see how it affects my progress with my health. You may see the Hickman Catheter on my chest in some upcoming photos or posts. I am just going to keep it real and try to own it and love it because it is helping my body with this process. It is uncomfortable and hard to care for, so in the future, I may try using my arm veins, but for now, I am keeping it in for a monthly appt.

Anyways, let me know if you have any more questions about that. I know my blog is a mix of health, beauty, fashion and lifestyle - I am hoping to write up my vision and focus more on branding here soon, assuming I will feel better and be able to do that - so prayers for that!! 

Let's get down to it! Here is what I finished up last month, and I will link and describe them below going in a clockwise direction starting at the far left.

  • Vaseline Spray Lotion - $5.49 in the Cocoa Radiant scent, I have loved this spray lotion for quite some time now. I like the Aloe scent too, but this one just feels more moisturizing to me. It is easy to just spray on quickly after a shower, it doesn't take a lot of effort to rub in a little, and it can be used any time of day, super quick, super easy without getting it all over your hands.
  • Makeup Brush Cleaner - $11.50 for the 4oz size linked. I used up the 2oz size, which I think can be purchased by the cash registers in-store, but I don't see them online. This is another product I buy on repeat because I am obsessed with it. It uses citrus oils that I just spray on a paper towel after I do my makeup, then I swirl my brushes around in the spot I sprayed in order to clean the brushes after each use so I don't have to do a heavy duty weekly clean. I try to do this daily, then a deep clean maybe once a month. 
  • Night Face Cream - $80 for this fabulous age reversing wrinkle cream that I always repurchase when I am almost to the last drop. I do a search online when I am ready to rebuy, to see what retailer is offering a free gift with purchase. I can usually find a great one at Nordstrom, Macys, or even on Estee' Lauder's website, and it lets me try other products by the brand for free. I really feel like this is the best cream I have used for my face, I also use the AM cream, and I think they both help with dullness, dryness, moisture and radiance. 
  • Tinkle Razors - $5.80 for a 9 pack is the one I just repurchased. You may remember this from last month's empties post! Apparently I didn't buy enough. They dull quickly and you don't want to cut your face when you are shaving off that peach fuzz, so I like to replace them after a couple of uses, especially if I use a face oil with them, which I like to do sometimes vs. a dry shave. 
  • Lash Paradise Mascara - $8.97 with free Prime shipping! I used the color Blackest Black and this was a REALLY good drugstore brand mascara that I would definitely buy again. Super good for volume and length, love the super black color, and it didn't smudge on me like some mascaras do. I am currently trying out THIS fancy $26 mascara, and I am really liking it so far. Let me know if there is any other awesome ones I should try! 
  • Hand Sanitizer - $6 for a 5-pack. This scent, Honolulu Sun is not currently being sold online, but it was a good summer scent for me! I repurchased the Vanilla scent recently to replace it, but the variety packs are also cool so you can try a few different scents based on your mood or time of year. I usually have at least 1 in the car, 1 in my Mom's car, and 1 in my purse. 
  • Matchbox - I am not sure how much this matchbox costed, as it was a gift. It had long black matches with different bright colored tips. Super fun and it was probably around $10 and was super cute just for decor. I looked on the website that it was purchased from, and only found THIS higher end matchbook case currently being sold at $48. This would be a great house gift for someone. If the link doesn't work, click Candles, then Accessories. 
  • Foaming Facial Cleanser - $30 for this 7oz. size. This has been my favorite face cleaner for some time now. I love that it takes my makeup really gently and easily.  I love the smell of it and that it doesn't leave any residue on my face. It has African red tea extract and vitamin C in it to purify, hydrate and revive skin. I did repurchase it, but I am also going to try THIS line soon, because I have heard so many good things about it! 
  • Foundation Stick - $43 in the color Soft Sand. I am mostly using THIS foundation since I started selling with the company last year, but I still had this Ultra HD stick leftover and I think I still have a backup somewhere in my makeup collection as it was a really good color for me, and an easy makeup to apply in this stick form. I would apply it then blend it out with THIS foundation brush. 
  • Asleep Oil - $7.99 for this essential oil blend of lavender, chamomile and sage. I use this for relaxing baths - a few drops in the bath at bedtime along with THIS epsom salt and THIS body wash are my personal favorite "relax before bed" mixture - oh, also with Alexa on, playing my meditation station on Pandora! 
  • Chapstick - $5 for this Strawberry 2-pack on Amazon. It is moisturizing, 100% natural, and this is just a really awesome flavor/ scent. I always have a chapstick in my nightstand drawer, in my car, in my purse, at my desk, and in my bathroom with my makeup. I also love THIS one when I need extra sun protection in the flavor Key Lime. 
  • Wrinkle Releaser Spray - $7.99 for a 2-pack of this travel size. I love to keep this by my closet for wrinkle releasing in a pinch before or after I get dressed. It is good for odor eliminating, fabric refreshing, static removing, and can even be an ironing aid apparently. This is the light fresh scent. THIS is my other favorite wrinkle remover spray. Both are good choices and I like having both handy!
  • Scented Candle - (Not linked) I received this Lotus scented candle tin as a gift and it doesn't have a company name on it, so I don't know what brand it is. I haven't purchased many candles other than THESE, since I have been selling for the company. I used this one up quick though because it smelled so good! I would definitely buy a candle in this scent again. 
  • Beauty Sponge - (Not linked) I got this mint colored one in a holiday gift set, so I am unsure of the brand, but this one started to not expand as much when I ran it under water, so I replaced it. I love and own sponges by both THIS brand at $20 and THIS brand for only $13! 
  • Deodorant - $9.61 for a 3-pack of this anti-perspirant and deodorant in Powder scent. 24-hour invisible solid, this worked really good and I like the scent, but I have since started trying out some more natural deodorants for health reasons. I have both THIS one for $14 at Sephora and THIS one, $16 for a set of 2 on Amazon.  I like them both, but haven't settled on a favorite yet. Let me know if there is a good natural deodorant that you love! 
  • Clear Brow Gel - At $22 and last but certainly not least, this brow gel is my favorite way to "set" my brows after filling them in. It goes on and dries clear, a tube of this stuff lasts forever, the brush is awesome for taming my brows, and I have not found a great drugstore dupe that does the same job! I currently have 2 trial sizes of this exact product that I am trying to use up before repurchasing a full size again. 
Wow, 16 empties for July! Hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. I always have fun putting it together for you. Now, I am off to the recycling bin to recycle all these containers! 

Let me know what you used up last month, or any of your current favorite products that are MUST haves! Thanks for reading and staying in touch with me. 



Amazon Prime Shenanigans

Hi, my name is Gretchen and I bought some things from Amazon Prime this past week when I was trying and couldn't sleep late at night. 

Some were deals, and some were normal purchases. It felt like Christmas! LOL. Can't wait to hear about your Prime Day Shenanigans. I guess we should really call this Prime WEEK, right? Click the title of the items listed below or on each photo image to view or shop on Amazon! (FYI: Some, but not all items mentioned are in this photo below.)

  • $6 - Oprah Magazine Subscription: Apparently I decided that since I am not currently getting any actual magazines, this one would be a good soul + food + women's talk, etc. magazine to get in the mail. And, the price is really good! I will have to let you all know how I like it. Make sure you turn off the "auto renewal" feature under each magazine you subscribe to on Amazon, unless you know for sure you want to keep it for the next year too. 

  • $11 - Interlocking Drawer Bins: I plan on using these to organize either a couple of my smaller bathroom or desk drawers. I think that this is a great deal, because there are 8 pieces at different sizes that you can make work in your drawers for your stuff. 

  • $5 - Wireless Charging Pad: I have an iPhone 8 Plus now, and I am supposed to be able to wirelessly charge it by laying it on a charging pad.. but they don't provide you with one at purchase. Weird, so I wanted to try it out. And - GOLD, hello? Duh.

  • $22 - Bamboo Wood Charging Station: I have high hopes that this will help me organize my iPhone, iPads, and iWatch, maybe old iPods? on a nightstand or side table in my room. I have cords everywhere and don't know where to charge everything, so I am thinking this will be a good solution for me! 

  • $12 - Macrame: The Art of Creative Knotting Book & $10 Handmade Cord Rope: My friend Kimberly recommended this book and rope to me, and I love a new craft, so I decided to order myself a kit too! I already have a pretty macrame tapestry hanging in my room, but I thought placemats, planters, and some other things in the book looked like fun projects to try when I am feeling up to it! 
  • $11 -  Rug + $19 -  Rug: The smaller rug is for the side of my bed so I don't get any dirt from the floor (AKA traveling cat litter) in my bed when I climb in! The larger size is for right outside my bedroom door. These are the grey/blue color, but there are other color options available too. I think they are beautiful and SUCH a great price! Non-skid too. 

  • $23 -  Cloth Storage Bins (6): Less than $4 each when you do the math, these collapsable bins are a steal! I got them to go under my bed, since I don't have much storage and the color blends well with the floor and my furniture if the comforter doesn't hang down low enough to completely conceal them. I really recommend and like these. Glad I purchased them. 

  • $20 - Fairywill Electric Toothbrush (Pink): I was cleaning the inside of my old Oral B Electric Toothbrush and the large part where you replace the head was so dirty I almost gagged! Ok, I did gag and it was super gross, so I went on Amazon ASAP and ordered this little guy. I actually think I paid more than this on Prime Day, but that is fine! It has a few different speeds, comes with 3 heads and you charge it with a USB cable. Super cute, travel friendly and works really good. 

  • $30 Label Maker: This label maker is bluetooth you guys! I downloaded the app on my iPhone, I just type the label I want to print and it prints at my desk, or wherever I have it plugged in. I am such a nerd, this is hands down my favorite Prime Day purchase. I highly recommend it! I also purchased some colorful tape options to go with it, because - why not!

  • $12 Anti-aging hand cream: This hand cream has retinol in it, SPF 20, and I am a sucker for a good beauty product with good reviews on Amazon, so that is what happened here! I don't really think my hands are aging too bad, and I have plenty else to worry about, but - preventative care doesn't hurt, right?! 

  • $10 Clear Lipstick Caps (12 pack): Less than $1 per cap, and you don't have to open and potentially smash all of your beloved MAC lipsticks to see what color you are grabbing. Boom - I think this is a genius idea and I already love it. 

  • $17 Jade Roller for Face: These are super trendy in the anti-aging skincare market right now, so I wanted to try one for myself. Someone recommended this particular one to me, and it came in a nice box. I am super excited to try it for puffiness, to boost collagen production, and just as a treat for my skin! 

  • $6 Tinkle Razors (9): I use these to shave my face! This was a good deal for less than a dollar per razor. For me, they get dull quickly, so I only use them a couple of times before trashing them. Helps your makeup go on smoothly, and no you won't grow back a big man beard if you shave your face. LOL

  • $50 Wireless Earbuds: I actually bought these right before Prime Day, so I probably missed a great deal, but I love them! They had good reviews and rightfully so. You can charge them on-the-go as long as the actual case is charged. They are bluetooth, so you can use them anywhere, and they are super comfy in my ears. I am not a big fan of Apple's earbuds, these are more comfortable to me. 

  • $30 External Battery: I will use this for charging my iPhone when I am not at home. It is smaller than the Amazon brand one I used to use, so I am excited about that. It comes in a cool carrying case, and also is available in red. 

  • I bought several practical misc. storage and hanging devices, too. I am just going to list these out for you and link the text, since I bought several items and I don't think it would be really that exciting to show you photos of each one! LOL.. Ok, I actually do think they ARE exciting, but you may not. I could be wrong though! Misc.: 
  • $6 Bath Hook - I actually bought this to hang up another older Amazon purchase, (this $10 Pink Soft Silicone Body Brush is supposed to be more sanitary than an old loofah that hangs on to your dead skin cells!) EW!
  • $4 Clear Razor Holder - I wanted this for my shower so that the lotion stuff in the razor didn't make a mess where I set it down or get washed away by the shower. I ended up putting my toothbrush in it too. Works great! 
  • $6 Cable Clips (6) - Good deal at $1 each, I wanted these to help keep some of my cords on my desks or countertops in place. I like the color variety too. 
  • $4 Round Cord Clips (4, Clear) - I ordered these to help hide some of my extension or power cords around my desk and nightstands. 
  • $4 Smart Phone Station (1, Clear) - Ok, I know I got the bamboo station above for all of my devices, but I just thought this would be good for right beside the bed so I am not tripping over my phone or drawer looking for my phone. (I bought this similar Remote Control Holder a few weeks ago, and I really love it.)
  • $9 Heavy Duty Packing Tape (3 Rolls) - I recently bought a roll of the same sort of tape in the Up & Up Target brand and the quality was thin and SO bad that I had to get some decent tape. I sell a lot of mine and my Mom's clothing on Poshmark (you can use code: GRETCHSTARS to save $5 if you are new to the site) and Mercari (you can use code: TWTVPF to save $10 if you are new), so this tape is a lifesaver for me! And, just a quick tip: I usually package up the clothing I sell on these apps in old Prime envelopes or boxes, to recycle them! So, that is the entire reason I bought all this stuff! HAHA. 
That's it. I know it was a lot. I have not gotten out much lately and I can't sleep and let's get real - why am I making excuses. I needed some things, and Prime Day made me think I needed more things! I am ok with it. 

Hope you enjoyed reading, and let me know what you bought! 



June Empties

Hi friends!!! I have some June empties to blog about! 

Quick health update: I have had 3 more IV steroids and am back on a high dose of oral prednisone. My new doctor is working to get a new treatment approved however, that I am equally hopeful and nervous for. The hope is to get me improving with the new treatment and decrease my steroid dose, since the side effects are not good. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers, I really appreciate it.

I hope you enjoy this blog post! I cannot blog as much as I would like, but I am thankful to be able to today. I just take breaks and finally am finishing it up today. I hope all of my readers are doing well. Would love to hear how you are doing and what your empties are in the comments!

Lavender Spray - $13, I use this at night to spray on my pillow and bed sheets. The bottle says "Natural Hand Mixed Fragrance for Relaxation and Mood Enhancement." It is made with pure essential oil and helps get me relaxed and ready for bed.

Beauty Blender - $20, This black Beauty Blender has seen its last days. You can read this article I found so you know when to replace yours. I also have since switched over to the Maskcara Beauty Perfector Sponge, which I sell, I like better, and it is $7 cheaper! It comes in blue and pink. Use party #3936 if you end up shopping, and contact me if you want more info about the makeup or want to get color matched for free!

CBD Oil - approx. $65 - RW Optimize Tonic, I bought this at a local dispensary. I live in CA, so it is legal to buy CBD Oil here, and it has NO THC in it, so you will NOT get high. I use this to help relax me due to my autoimmune disease, and I am hoping it will help me get off some anti-anxiety medications. This one is created by a former pro football player from San Diego and it tastes like a relaxing tea due to the blend of oils in it. I really recommend it, if you can find it. It doesn't look like they sell online right now.

Body Wash - $12.50 for the full size. It looks like this Wild Madagascar Vanilla scent may be retiring, but it smells so good, so grab it now, just in case! They always have deals where you can buy 3, get 2 free or buy 1 get 1 free, and you can get the lotion or body spray to go with it in that bundle.

Face Razor - $4 for 3 razors! I do shave my face, but I haven't been as consistent as I used to be. These are the best razors for face shaving, use them carefully in a down motion to get rid of all that peach fuzz. I love how easy my makeup goes on when my face is smooth from shaving.

Eye Makeup Remover -$6.50, this has sleek new packaging now, and mine was a smaller bottle, but this stuff is really good for removing eye makeup. It is really gentle and oil-free, so I love that and use a cotton ball or cotton round with this before I wash my face at night.

Eyeliner - $20 for the full size @ Sephora, this is my ride or die liquid eyeliner that I have repurchased over and over again. I always get the black color, Trooper.

Candle - $20 for the medium size. Ginger Lime is my favorite scent that Gold Canyon carries. Use my party #P724904 if you end up shopping! This candle should burn 65 to 85 hours. Obsessed.

Face Primer - $34 for this full size, and they also carry a smaller size for $16! This tube lasted me forever and I will definitely repurchase this. It has coconut water, and its silicone free. It smooths and brightens your face, getting it ready for the rest of your makeup and kind of gives you a dewy fresh look. Love it.

Leave-in Conditioning Spray - $14 for 4oz. Love this after I wash my hair, before I comb it out. It is supposed to do "10 things instantly", including repairing damaged hair, adding shine, and protecting against heat from your hair dryer, flat iron or curling iron.

Lavender Essential Oil - $7, I bought this at a local shop, "Temecula Lavender Co.", but they don't sell it online, so I linked the one I just purchased on Amazon to replace it. I put a few drops of this in my bath at night with epsom salts to help me relax and get ready for bed.

That's it! I get satisfaction from using my products up because then I feel like I got my money's worth!

Make sure when you are shopping, that you also check Ebates for cash back!! You can add a little button to the top of your browser, and it automatically will check coupon codes and cash back opportunities for you. I recently found out that you can also add your credit cards to your account, so you can not only get cash back for online purchases, but also in-store purchases when you use that card. So awesome.

What did you use up last month? 
What kind of posts do you want to see more of? 
Let me know, and thank you for reading! 



May Empties

Hi lovelies. 

I just had my 2nd of 3 IV steroids yesterday, so I have some energy tonite and I am very emotional today. It is 7:30, so I am hoping this will get me through some of the night, then I can watch a movie perhaps with my parents. I miss blogging and feeling clear and happy. I  miss my independence and creativity. I hope it all comes back in spades. My birthday is coming up in 8 days and I just want to be ok. Prayers are appreciated. I love you guys so much.

Here are my empty beauty products from probably both April and May. Details below! 

  1. Kleenex Makeup Remover Wipes  - Nice starter kit for less than $15! 
  2. NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray - My favorite, long lasting and natural setting spray. 
  3. Ole Henriksen Foaming Face Cleanser  - This small size is only $10!
  4. Maskcara Beauty Amber Highlight Tin - <$15 and use party #3936 when you checkout!
  5. Butter London Nail Scrubbers - Love these for removing nail polish quickly and cleanly.  
  6. Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter - My fav for putting on my feet before bed! Smells good. 
  7. Up & Up Hand Sanitizer - Fresh Tangerine- Less than $1, tons of scents - good for your purse. 
  8. Neutrogena Rainbath Shower and Bath Gel - Pear & Green Tea - My go-to shower gels always!
I hope you enjoyed - let me know if you have any questions. 

What did you use up last month? 
Any fun plans for June?



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