We're half way through the year! The perfectionist in me wants to call this year a failure and wait until the next, but there's a bit of sanity in me that's reminding me that I still have six months left in this year to work on those New Year's resolutions. Quick Life Updates/Excuses: I got married this year. I decided working 40 hours a week while in grad school full time was a good idea (that's over now, thank goodness), and the hubby and I moved to a new place! In short, a lot happened this year, and while I often tend to focus on the things that didn't happen (like me working out), I still think it's fine to celebrate the good things. There will be posts about the wedding, and about moving of course, but for now I'm starting off simple with sharing a few of my favorite things from this year so far:
Beautiful Curls Cream
*This photo is actually the gel. I went in to repurchase the cream, but the gel was there instead! I was kind of excited though. You'll see why. Carry on....*
I'm a huge fan of a leave-in by this same company. You can learn more about that in my old posts here. I was actually looking for that other product when I found this one. I decided to try it out based off of my love for the leave-in, and I was NOT disappointed! I feel like I should probably be using a gel in this Hawaii humidity, but I typically don't like gels. I love how they make my hair look, but I hate the way they make it feel both while they're in my hair and over time. This cream gives me the best of both worlds. My curls look defined all day. They're light and bouncy, but I don't have to deal with crunch, crust, flakiness or dryness. It can sometimes get a little crunchy if I'm too heavy handed, but after a quick scrunch it feels great again. I know I just slammed gels, but this product actually makes me want to try out the gel by the same brand. It's got great reviews online, and I imagine it's a bit more light-weight. I don't think this styling cream is heavy by any means, but I'm all about volume. So if lighter exists, I'll take it. We'll see if Beautiful Curls can convince me to wholeheartedly love a gel.
Assistance League Hawaii Thrift Store
I almost wrote a whole blog post about how much I love this store, but I'm hiding it in the center of this post instead. This is because, while I'd love to tell you how much I love this thrift store, I also don't want you to go there and scoop all the good stuff up before I get there. I'm selfish. I'm sorry. Assistance League is a tiny little store, so tiny I can literally look through every article of clothing (and try on what I like) in an hour, but it's also a gold mine. From what I can tell, their clientele is older, and they have a lot of regulars. I'm assuming this based off of who I see when I'm there, how often how young I am is commented on while I'm there, and the fact that I can't remember a time when at least one customer and cashier didn't know each other by name. Simply put, I don't think most people shopping there are looking for what I'm looking for style wise, so when I visit it feels like there are just stockpiles of great stuff that's been accumulating and waiting for me. I used to go once a week at the very least, and I felt like there was always enough new stock to go through.
They also have incredible, and totally arbitrary sales. My favorite was for Memorial Day, when any clothing item with red, white or blue on it was $2. The cashier counted all of my clothes that still had white brand or care tags attached as white, so really everything with a tag still attatched was $2. Other memorable sales I've seen are $2 Women's Jeans and Slacks and 50% off Housewares. My last bit of praise for this place is the cleanliness and organization. It's the type of store where I'd bring someone who is afraid or grossed out by thrifting. The customers are relaxed, the volunteers working there are very sweet, and it's a calm, clean environment. It's a great store. Please don't go there.
The Life Coach School Podcast:
I discovered the wonderful world of podcasts this year. I started listening to My Favorite Murder, and that sent me down a dark, somewhat depressing path. So now I'm listening to a self help podcast to recover. It's a little cheesy. It's a little repetitive. There are times when I'm not on board with what she's teaching (wow I'm really selling this), but it's actually helped me a lot in teaching me to think about things differently. I've listened to 15 to 20 or so episodes. I started off going in order, but have recently started doing more picking and choosing based off of the topic the episode covers. I'd say the first ten or so are pretty general things people deal with, so I'm sure you'll find something you'll find helpful. Two of the many takeaways I've been able to put into practice very recently are: considering my own thoughts and feelings with curiosity rather than judgement, and that everyone feels anxious sometimes.
I have a whole post about my planner (check it out here), so I won't get too into this. It's been about a month since that post, and I have to say... I still love this thing. Maybe even more than before. It suits my needs so perfectly, and I think it's actually helping me make some progress.
I may have saved the best for last. When I heard about MoviePass, I was extremely skeptical. It felt like it was either a scam or just illegal, because it just felt too good to be true. Thankfully it was neither, and my husband and I have been able to see some great movies we otherwise wouldn't have since we got it. MoviePass is essentially a subscription to free movie tickets. You pay $10 per month, and can use your "pass" which acts as a debit card in conjunction with their app to buy movie tickets. You're allowed to see one movie per day, but given how much movie tickets cost these days, you really only need to see one per month to make your money back. There are definitely restrictions, though! In order to be able to use your pass for a movie, you first need to check in to that movie and showtime on the app. You have to buy tickets same day, and you have to be within 100 yards of the theater in order to check in. You then have 30 minutes from when you check in to swipe your pass to purchase the tickets. They also just implemented a practice that requires you to take a photo of your ticket stub after purchase. Basically, all of this means, you have to work a bit for your ticket, and that while you can definitely use your pass for movies with reserved seats, if it's the type of movie that's filling up fast days before, you're probably not going to have prime seating options by the time you are able to buy a ticket.
I was so nervous when I first swiped my MoviePass, but since that first swipe, my husband and I have been to almost every movie in theaters for the last month or two. Sometimes we go multiple times per week. It's a great thing to have for little date nights, and for movies you kind of want to see, but don't really want to pay for. The only con I can think of to MoviePass is the adjustments they're doing. I know it's a pretty new company, and I think because of that they're constantly adjusting and making changes. None of the sites I looked at prior to actually downloading the app myself were still accurate. I know they just started "peak pricing" which is supposed to be similar to surge pricing on Lyft or Uber. I'm not too sure how that applies to MoviePass just yet, but I'm not too worried since we typically watch movies on weekdays or Sundays, when the theater is pretty empty. Either way, I think it's definitely still worth it. Once you download the app, it literally explains itself . You make your money back so easily, and you can watch as many movies as you want without worrying about spending too much (unless of course you get crazy with the snacks like we do).
These are a few of my favorite things from the first half of 2018, I'm hoping by the end of the year one of my favorites will be "my healthy lifestyle," but we'll see about that. Let me know if you try any of these out, or have already. Happy Mid-Year!