Get Ready With Me: Everyday Autumn Makeup Look

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Hey guys! I am so excited to show you my first beauty video! It’s a very rough one, and I use about three different types of concealer, and my hair had a mind of it’s own…. but nonetheless, it’s here. Nothing fancy. I filmed it on an iPhone 5, and used natural light. All the products I used are listed in the description box of the video. I so hope you enjoy it!

Steffanie xo

Recent Reads #2

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It’s no secret that I love a good book. It’s been a good while since I’ve done a book post on here, so I thought I’d share of my favorite recently read books. I must say, this one is quite the line-up.

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Nonfiction:

Yes Please by Amy Poehler: I have to start off with Amy Poehler. It must be done. I heard from several people over on the Faceboom, that this book was pure genius. So, naturally, I powered up my Nook, downloaded the free sample, laughed out loud for a solid thirty minutes, and bought the book the next day. Her book is called Yes Please and it’s the funniest, most honest, quirky book. I am reading it slowly, because I don’t want it to end. In this book she talks about her life so far, acting, divorce, babies, Tina Fey, and her childhood. I highly recommend anyone in the mood for a good laugh and maybe a tear to pick this up. Yes please, indeed.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg: Molly is the author of Orangette, the most beautiful food/lifestyle blog I’ve ever seen. Her photography is straight gorgeous. A Homemade Life, her memoir, is what I believe encouraged my kick for cooking more meals at home. For a while, I felt I was in a serious rut when it came to cooking. Her book, though I haven’t made a single recipe from it, inspired me to crack out the ol’ cookbooks, and create some stories with my meals. It also really made me want to go to Paris, and induced a Nutella-baguette craving that I couldn’t ignore. She has another book out called Delancey that I am still on the hunt for.

YA/Fiction:

Where She Went by Gayle Forman: This book is the sequel to If I Stay, which I read about three-ish years ago. I can’t explain why I waited so long to read this one, other than that I didn’t want to really know what happened next. Mia and Adam are so all over the place, and maybe my heart wasn’t ready. I won’t go into any spoilers, but this book is so good. And I’m so glad I finally read it. I think I gobbled it up in about 3 days.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman: Um, Gayle is a freakin’ genius. A genius! She writes the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, addicting books. This one, set in Paris, the States, and Amsterdam, is a twisty, bittersweet, slightly confusing story between a girl and a boy. You may think “such is life” and that’s true, but this story had me hooked from start to finish. There is a sequel (squeeeeee!) and methinks I’ll pick it up this weekend.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider: Hello, John Green in a woman’s body. This book made me angry for a while. I won’t tell you why, but if you tend to get emotionally involved in books, tears may be shed. You may feel like throwing the book, you may even do it, and realize you’ve thrown your Nook, which will cause slight amount of panic. It’s a great book, but it does not have a happy ending. Sigh.

We Were Liars by e. lockhart: I’m starting to see a theme here….I promise I don’t always read sad books so close together. But this one, oh my. Hands down, one of the best I’ve read this year. This one left a tiny hole in my heart for a few days. It’s one of those books that gives you that “something is not right now” feelings, all the way through. I haven’t re-read it, although I did love it, because it’s that good and that sad. I’m warning you now. Huge twist at the end.

Panic by Lauren Oliver: This one wasn’t great but wasn’t bad, and definitely got better towards the end. It’s centered around this game, this illegal, secretive game, that these students play to win money. Whoever survives, and completes all the challenges, wins a huge sum of money. Each character has a motive for the money, and each one has something to lose. Tigers are involved.

Mystery:

The Secret Place by Tana French: I am convinced she will never write a bad book. I own every book she has written in the Dublin Murder Squad Series. I really liked her first two books, The Likeness and In the Woods and every one since then has been definitely on par and well-written. Her books are the kind that incorporate personal stories into her characters, victims and suspects. They’re incredible. Great books for mystery-lovers.

Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these! I’d love your recommendations as well!

happy reading!

Steffanie xo

Autumnal Lip Shades

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From left: Makeup For Ever Rouge Natural Lipstick in N9, Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Big Bang, MAC Plumful (top right), Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Petunia (middle right), Revlon Matte Lacquer Balm in Sultry (bottom right).

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying your week. Today’s post is all about lippies, specifically, autumnal lips. I love a good berry lipstick, always have, always will. I find it to be very flattering on my olive toned skin. For a berry that is almost universally flattering on anyone, I chose the MAC Lustre Lipstick in Plumful. This lipstick has probably been mentioned on almost every beauty site out there. It’s a beautiful plummy shade,  and the formula is a creamy, almost sheer consistency. This is my go to lip shade for autumn, when I am unable to decided on my color for the day. Another product that has received alot of attention lately is the Revlon Matte Lacquer Balm in Sultry (to see this in action, click here). I posted a picture of myself wearing this the other day, and so many people told me that they have the exact same one and love it. And we are all very different skin tones. Sultry is a deep rose, slightly brown-toned matte lip color. I love the formula of these because they are very long-lasting and highly pigmented. And matte, which is a nice change to sheeny lip colors. I do find that these are the slightest bit drying, so a good lip balm is necessary. Another drugstore color that I recently picked up is the Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Petunia (see picture below). This is another berry-toned one, but slightly brighter than Plumful. I saw these for the first time a couple weeks ago in my local drugstore, and I think they are a new release. The packaging is beautiful, however I wish it was a little easier to keep clean. The lipstick seems to get all over the clear case. This lipstick is very opaque. Highly-pigmented creamy, and did I mention it smells like watermelon bubblegum? I really like this one, and I want to try some more of the shades. For a more neutral shade, I have been pleasantly surprised by the Makeup For Ever Rouge Natural Lipstick in N9-Copper Pink. It’s a gorgeous, lovely, perfect neutral pink/rose shade. I received this mini as a birthday gift from Sephora. Usually, when I receive a lipstick, I end up with something way dark or way too light. However, this shade was so perfect, I almost ran back into the store and bought the full size. But I didn’t, figuring I’d give the mini a try for a while. It’s safe to say, I’ll be going back to Sephora soon to pick up the full size version. Last but not least, a product I’ve mentioned before is the Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquers in Big Bang. This is the most perfect red, in the most perfect formula. A lip stain, lipstick, and gloss combined in one beautiful package. Big Bang is your standard, middle of the road, red. Not too orange, not too purple-toned, just pretty, classic, Hollywood red. I love this color so much, and I am not usually a red-lip girl.

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                                  Wearing the Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Petunia.

And that’s a wrap! Autumn is such a good month for makeup. Let me know if you have tried any of these out!

Happy Tuesday!

Steffanie xo

basic fall outfit.

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I’ve been absolutely loving the weather we have at the moment, which has been a beautiful 60 to 70  degrees, windy, and sunny, so I’ve been popping outside quite often to read, drink tea, and play with the pup. And, to take pictures for the blog. Fall is the best season, so I’m  making the most of this gorgeous weather and the beautiful background it brings.

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I went outside to take pictures for some upcoming posts, and enjoyed a nice coffee and a sweet treat as well. My husband came out with me, and took some pics (thanks honey!) of me in my typical autumn uniform. A basic, black, top, this one being a thin sweater from H&M, Topshop Vintage Pansy Leigh jeans, and Topshop Mont2 cutout boots. I also grabbed my Whistles Rivington Chain Clutch, (which I know is not the most autumnal shade, but it is so beautiful) and my favorite jacket, a faux-leather number that my husband bought me a few years ago from Express. I’ve been mostly writing blog posts all day, and doing some much needed laundry, so it was nice to get outside for a bit.

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Keep an eye out for some upcoming posts, in which I share the products for my everyday makeup for autumn, autumnal lip shades, and a cookie recipe (above) that almost all chocolate lovers are sure to like.

Happy weekend!

Steffanie xo

The Mason Jar Chronicles on YouTube?!

I’ve done something crazy. Psychotic. Insane! I’ve started a YouTube channel. I have been wanting to make YouTube videos for a long time, but so many things have been holding me back. Rather, I have been allowing them to hold me back. I don’t have a great camera, I don’t have a Mac so I can’t edit videos the way I want, I’m crazy…etc. Finally, I decided to just give it a go. I just figured, why not? I’ve got to start somewhere, so why not whip out the ol’ iPhone and see what happens. In the future, I hope to save up for a nice camera and get some fancy schmancy videos uploaded, but for now, I have a feeling these videos will be fun to watch 5 years later, or however long I continue to do these.

That being said, my channel will be mostly about beauty/lifestyle related things, with the occasional vlog or cooking video. I am so excited and nervous, but mostly excited for this new venture.I’ll keep blogging regularly as blogging is my first love, and always will be. I’m hoping to post maybe a video once a week or once every other week, while still blogging a few times a week as well. Let me know in the comments what you would like to see. Any recommendations of good YouTubers to watch?

I’d love it if you guys gave the video a watch. I’d also love it, if you shared it with friends. I’ve got a long way to go before my videos are the way I want them to be, and I understand that. That doesn’t stop me from being any more excited!! :)

I hope you will come along with me. Cringe with me, laugh with me, and hope with me.

Love you guys!

Steffanie xo 

Empties #5

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It’s that time again, empties time! This month, I had a full Target bag of empty products. We went through quite a few, and I thought it was a good time to run through them all with you. Let’s get to it!

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Perhaps the most exciting and bittersweet empty product is this lovely, delicious box of tea. Since I live in the US, Pukka tea can be tricky to find. One day, I was in Marshall’s (I swear I’m not there all the time…) and I happened upon the Pukka Peppermint Licorice tea. I picked it up, loved it, and went on a search to find more of it. For almost a year, I searched everywhere in vain for this sweet but oh so refreshing tea. I enlisted my mother in law, a fellow TJ Maxx/Marshalls/HomeGoods lover, and she wasn’t able to find it either. I asked my wanderlust-stricken, lovely sister and her husband to keep an eye when they went to London a while back, and still no luck. Until. Recently, my sister came home from a trip to Iceland, Scotland and Ireland. She told me to come see her when she got back so they could give me my gift. In a plastic bag, with Jammie Dodgers and Crunchies, there it was. My tea!! Finally, I was reunited! Thank you Austin and Tiff, for keeping an eye out!

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Above are some body care products we used up. The Crest Pro Health Clinical Health Mouthwash, is a good one for keeping the teeth sparkly and clean. It’s a little strong, but it works great. A shampoo I recently finished up is the Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo. It smells slightly sweet and nutty, and works really well to keep my scalp hydrated and non-itchy. I’m already on a second bottle of this stuff. St. Ive’s Smoothing Apricot Body Wash is a great product for combining a scrub and a cleanser in one. Much like the facial scrub, this body wash has some scrubby bits in it to give your skin that new feeling after a wash. Smells great, and is super cheap. To moisturize after that scrubby wash, I alternated between my usual Body Shop Body Butters and the Burt’s Bee’s Milk & Honey Body Lotion. I love this stuff so much. For days when I don’t need as much of a heavy moisturizer, I use this as my daily lotion. It smells great and works so well, especially in the colder months. I think we use a bottle a month in our house. Last product to mention for body care is the EOS Shave Cream. I will never use a regular shaving cream again. This product is the consistency of a light lotion, and you can either use it to shave dry or with water. I have pretty sensitive skin, and shaving is such a pain sometimes because I feel like it strips my skin. That problem is no more since I have been using this shave cream. It smells like raspberries, and these bottles last for quite a long time. They recently just released a lavender lilac one and I am all over that already.

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The Boot’s Botanic’s Mattifying Day Cream is a cream that I finished a while ago. I liked this day cream, but it wasn’t anything to rave about. It broke me out quite a bit around my nose and I wasn’t too impressed with the hydration of it. Another Boot’s product that I finished up was the Boot’s Botanic’s Iconic Clay Mask. This product is something to rave about. It works so well to purify and clear up the skin, and I already have it back on my shopping list to pick up this weekend. I use it 1-2 times a week, and my skin feel so polished and clear after I use it. Sidenote: this product is messy. Another face mask that I really liked was The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask. This is a bit stronger than the other mask, and is really to be used for those days when you need an intense, deep-down clean. Being acne prone, this was great for the days when I had a zit that would. not. go. away. I recommend using the little sachets, because I got about 4 used out of the one I had and because I didn’t use it all the time, it lasted about a month.Highly recommend this mask. A products that my husband loved was the Anthony Oil Free Moisturizer For Men. I got this as a tester on a trip to Sephora, and he loved it! It’s very light and non-greasy, and kept him moisturized. He recommends it for any guys who have oily skin, but who still need moisture. Another face product that we finally finished up was the Boots Botanics Super Face Balm. This balm was super great for really dry face days. It’s quite thick, but if you use it at night, in the morning your face feels so smooth and soft, it’s amazing. I had this balm for about 9-10 months, and I used it every night. Last but not least, I sadly finished up The Body Shop Brazil Nut Creme Wash  which smells absolutely amazing and so autumnal.

There were a few other empties we used up, but they are repeats, so I won’t add them to this post. We are creatures of habit in this house! Now to put all the empties in the recycling bin.

Steffanie xo

The jumper.

I typically am one of those people who experiences “buyer’s remorse” quite often, meaning that sometimes I’ll see something in a store that I like and pass it up, only later to regret it. This happens especially often when I go to stores like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, because they only have so many of one thing. But not this time….

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Thankfully, I didn’t pass up this Between Me and You Cowl-Neck Jumper. It’s a long, over-sized light jumper, with a beautiful cowl-neck. The sleeves are a light khaki, while the main part of the sweater is a light grey, It’s cozy but light, perfect for autumn weather. Paired with some leggings (I’m wearing a RBX pair, also found at Marshall’s), and Nike Free Run tennis shoes, or with my favorite jeans and cute boots, I’m set for a comfy, casual day. Unfortunately, I can’t see to find a website for this particular brand. If you are able to, let me know. Otherwise, grab a scarf and your keys, and pop on over to your nearest Marshall’s. Trust me, this is one jumper you don’t want to pass up.

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Happy Fall ya’ll! :)

Steffanie xo

Makeup Additions

Fall is always such a great season for beautiful makeup. I always feel that the autumn makeup season is such a great one, because tons of products seem to launch like every week. Every time I pop into my local drugstore, something new has made an appearance. This post is about some new products I’ve tried, as well as some “new to me” products I’ve picked up recently.

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One of the newest makeup additions I received this month was from my sister. For my birthday, she gave me the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette! I was so incredibly excited about this gorgeous little palette. I am a huge fan of the original Naked Basics, being that the shades are so wearable, and it’s such a portable palette, so I was thoroughly excited about the second one! Naked Basics 2 is a more cool toned palette, while the first one was a more of a warm one. I typically go for warmer shades, but I do love a nice cool-toned neutral for fall. This palette has the same buttery, pigmented shades that Urban Decay is famous for. My favorite shades are Cover and Primal, and I like Skimp for a highlight. Beautiful palette!

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A few other additions I picked up: Rimmel ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Stick in Bad Bronze. This shadow is surprisingly long-lasting, which is a beautiful thing for someone with oily eyelids. This is a perfect coppery-slightly reddy-toned eyeshadow, perfect for this season. With this shadow, I use a few good coats of the L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara to really define and lengthen my lashes, which this mascara is great for.

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Now let’s talk about bases and concealers. I posted about the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation a while ago, so I won’t drone on, but this foundation is perfect for those just getting into liquid foundations. It’s a medium coverage foundation, perfect for everyday wear. It’s quite a dewy finish, so I always use a bit of powder on days where I will be wearing it for a while. It has yet to break me out, and for the price, I am well happy with this product. Another base that I have been extremely happy with, that is on the pricier side, is the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. I have heard so many beauty bloggers speak about how much they love this foundation, and I would say that the rave reviews are well deserved. This foundation is the epitome of the “your skin but better” look. Before I purchased it, I read loads of reviews on the Sephora website, and one thing I kept reading was that the name of the foundation is a bit misleading. Which I agree with. This foundation is not very sheer, being more of a medium to full coverage foundation, depending on how you build it up. That being said, I do find it to be glowy, and it makes your skin very dewy and fresh looking. It’s maybe a tiny bit matte when applied, but not very much at all. I love this foundation. The color match is perfect for me, and I really like how Nars accurately describes their shades. I really want to try the Nars Sheer Matte Foundation  now.

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For concealers, I have been using two new ones. One is from Nyx, and it is their Above and Beyond Full Coverage Concealer, which reminds me of a dupe for the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer. It’s slightly more powdery, which I like because of my oily skin. This concealer is great for covering up dark spots and dark circles. Another concealer I have given a try to is the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer. I don’t find this to be very highlighting, but this concealer is great for under the eyes. I usually set mind with a bit of powder, being that’s very much a liquid concealer, but it works very well for under the eyes. Lastly, for powder, I have been loving the Nyx HD Studio Finishing Powder. This is very similar to the Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, which I used to love. It’s a colorless powder, keeping things very matte and in place. It’s a great powder (I’ve heard it’s a dupe for the Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder) and although it can be very messy to use, it’s my powder of choice at the moment.

Whew, that was a long one. Keep an eye out for some of my favorite new lip products soon! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Steffanie xo

Skincare for Autumn

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As you may be able to tell, I play around with skincare products quite a bit. I have just recently begun to try out different products, serums, creams, gels, etc. This post is a round-up and a quick review of each product I am using at the moment to care for my skin in this autumn season.

With the weather moving toward colder temperatures, I’m focusing on really making sure my skin is hydrated and moisturized. I have oily skin, but in the winter I do tend to get pretty dry on my cheeks and forehead, so I try to make sure the products I use are hydrating, yet still effective at keeping oil away and my face acne-free. For my morning routine, I begin my skincare regime with the Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser I am thinking this product might be holy grail status. Seriously. This face wash is the best cleanser I have used, ever. In my life, hands down, the best. It’s like a gel formula, but it is moisturizing. It’s very herbal-ly smelling, and it is very gentle. For someone who is very prone to break-outs, especially in the last few months, this cleanser has been wonderful for keeping my skin clear and smooth and clean. After I cleanse, I use the Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion (not pictured), for my toner. Again, Mario Badescu makes amazing, gentle, but super effective products and I am a big fan of this toner. For my serum, I am still loving the Lanoline Rosehip Skin Renew Firming Serumwhich is just light enough to wear under my makeup, but effective at keeping the moisture locked in. Since using this serum, my skin is more youthful looking and brighter. To combat any acne, or to clear up any spots, I use The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, which is amazing at quickly clearing up acne. For the last step in the morning, I use the Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll On. This has a metal roller ball, which is nice and cooling, combined with cucumber to wake up the under eye area. Really nice little product. (My husband loves it!)

At night, to remove my makeup, I have been using the Lumene Finland Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover. I don’t wear waterproof eye makeup all the time, but this remover is fantastic at removing any makeup residue. It’s one of those oily-watery combinations that really helps to remove makeup, without drying out my skin. This brand is a new one to my local drugstore, and I am interested in trying out some of their other products, like their Bright Now Vitamin C+ Daily Moisturizer. I’ll keep you updated on that when I try it. After removing my makeup, cleanse, and tone my face, I use the Estelle and Thild Rose Otto Night Cream. I’ve already spoken about this cream before, so I won’t go into too much detail, but this cream is amazing for restoring moisture to the skin. I love this brand. Lastly, I apply a face mask. Now I don’t do a face mask every night, but a couple times a week, I reach for The Living Source Hydrating Face Mask with hyaluronic acid. This face mask is freakin’ amazing. It’s a clay mask with hyaluronic acid in it, which gives my skin such a beautiful soft, moisturized feel. It also, somehow, clears up my skin too. I used a new foundation about a week ago that completely destroyed my skin. It was awful. I had about a million tiny red bumps all over my face, and it was so painful and sensitive. I applied this mask, along with a heck of a lot of tea tree oil, and by the next morning, my skin was completely cleared up. Needless to say, I returned the foundation, and I am in love with this mask!

So these are the products I use for this autumnal season, to keep my face normal and clear and hydrated. Let me know if there is anything you have tried lately that you love for the autumn season!

Steffanie xo

Birthday Bags

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For my birthday, I picked up two beautiful bags and I thought I would share them with you! Using a gift card from my work girls (thanks ladies!!), and some birthday gift money, I chose to update ny handbag situation. I actually don’t own too many purses, aside from two Vera Bradley Hipsters, and a Kate Spade “Eat Cake for Breakfast” tote, which I love. I was on the hunt for a nice everyday carry purse, preferably black. I also wanted a sleek clutch or a small bag to carry to weddings, parties, and dates, that wasn’t too fussy. With that in mind, I went on a browse.

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I am a huge online shopper, so naturally I chose to check out the sites first. I happened to find myself on ASOS, drooling over their bags, when I saw it. On a major sale. The Whistles Rivington Clutch in the most beautiful, bright coral. Now, I have been dreaming of owning a Whistles clutch for some time now, ever since I saw Anna, from viviannadoesmakeup.com with her gorgeous Whistles collection of leather goods. This clutch was marked down like 70% or something crazy, and I may or may not have had a mini freak out, before quickly submitting an order. I am so happy with this clutch. Not only is it bigger than I though it would be, it came with a chain to be able to worn as a small bag. It’s sleek, bright, and incredibly roomy for a clutch bag. Whistles does a great job of creating beautiful bags and I am so excited to be the owner of one! Sadly, I can’t seem to find this exact one on the ASOS site anymore, but they do have other beauties on their site. If you are in the market for a nice clutch, I highly recommend this brand.

Next up, the handbag.

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The next bag I picked up was from TJ Maxx. They have a great selection of high-end, brand name bags for a good deal less than their original price. I picked up an Olivia + Joy black handbag with gold hardware. It;s a beautiful, roomy, heavy bag, with lots of pocket’s and an envelope style pocket on the bag. It’s a nice size, and my Whistles clutch even fits inside of it! This bag is perfect to carry everyday, to keep all my contents organized, and it is just a great bag to carry all around.

I promise this is the last birthday related post I will post. This year. Let me know what you think of the bags!

Happy weekend!

Steffanie