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2018, I see you! #GOALS

Tackling goals with flannel in tow.

This is IT – it’s the last day of 2017, and wow, what a year it has been! I wish I had some sort of epiphany to write here, some sort of something to be able to explain to you why I’ve been a little less open about my life since October, and why I’m still not quite sure what “The Plan” is for this blog.

Right now, my plan is to write when I feel I have something to say, and for the first time in the 10 years of having this blog, that means I’ve got no schedule, no content calendar. It’s time to roll with it. But what I DO have a plan for is 2018. My list of goals for 2017 was quite hefty, and it served me well, so I’ve got an entirely new batch of goals for this year. Here goes:

Raise the Standard. I have always strived to live my best life in the things I do and the goals I set, but I have done a really bad job of evaluating those I choose to put into my life. That ended in 2017. I don’t care if my life has less people in it – I want quality over quantity. I’ve been blown away by the amount of cool people I’ve met since I moved to Austin, but I’ve quickly learned that “cool” or “nice” doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be a part of my life. Only I know what (and who) is best for me, and I’ll do everything I can to protect the life I’ve created for myself.

Get more Involved in the Local ZTA Chapter. A sorority sister in Austin was kind enough to invite me to observe a day of recruitment at the end of the summer, and it was really neat to see! It was refreshing to see so many young women coming together for a cause they feel passionate about and I was inspired by their drive and positivity. I’m not sure what ways I can help this year, but I’m willing to try!

Don’t Wait for Tomorrow. In 2017, my motto was “Just do it”, and it really served me well – it got me to schedule all of my medical appointments, take my first blood test (ugh, I know), book flight tickets, and ride a questionable roller coaster. I don’t regret a BIT of it! In 2018, I’m reminding myself to be present, that I only have today, and tomorrow isn’t promised. Don’t wait. Just get it done.

Attend an Estate Sale. I have always enjoyed digging through clearance bins for a great deal, hitting up thrift stores for unique finds, and I love spending hours in Goodwill just browsing through the racks. I’ve never been to an estate sale and I just want to see what it’s all about – and let’s face it, see if there are any good jewels or fantastic art.

Write, just to Write. For a few years, I have had a small fear in the back of my mind: if I’m writing for this blog five times a week, when will I have time to write, just for the sake of writing? And in 2018, I’m taking advantage of my need to be a little less public. I suffered a major blow in 2017 when I realized just how much information I was putting out into the world, and it was providing a peephole into my life for people that don’t deserve to see it. Because of this, I’ve started a journal (an actual paper journal) where I can write exactly what’s on my mind and it’s likely that no one will ever see it. I’m writing just to work on my craft, and that’s for my eyes only.

Treat Yoself. I’ve worked really hard the last two years to pay off debts and put aside money to save and money to travel. And I’m finally at the point where I can treat myself some. Part of this means more travel and life experiences, but part of this is much smaller than that. For years, I’ve had issues with buying nice things and then if I do buy them, I never use them! It could be a nice perfume that I never use because I can’t stop thinking about the cost – it’s silly. I’ve finally started “using up” my nice beauty products on my shelves, or actually wearing the nice shoes in my closet. YOLO!

Take a Road Trip to Marfa, Texas. I’ve been wanting to head to Marfa for a few years now – it’s a small town in West Texas known for its art installations. It’s about a 6-hour road trip, and I’m already dreaming of the tumbleweeds and adorable bed and breakfasts. Let’s hit the road!

Pay off two more Credit Cards. I paid off my first (and with the highest interest) credit card in 2017 and I’m on a roll – I’ll be able to pay off another one before March. I’m not going to lie, I have checked my $0 balance at least five times in a celebration of victory. I’m slowly making my way to living debt-free!

Less Time on Social Media + Less Social Comparison. Social comparison has always been a thing. But damn you, social media, now we’re able to see everything about people we knew, know, and DON’T know at all! Parts of it are cool, but honestly, it’s detrimental, and no offense, but I need to be doing other shit with my life. Social media is literally my 9-5 job, so I’m aware I can’t just quit the stuff. But I can stop mindlessly scrolling and wondering about a random person’s vacation or wardrobe. It’s ridiculous. So I’m putting a time limit on my social media use. I’m not quitting it, but I’m also not going to be sucked into it this year. No, no!

Meditate + Show Up for Yourself. I started going to yoga regularly toward the latter half of 2017 and I’ve slowly been able to work on my breathing, focus, and balance. This year, I want to take it a step further and begin practicing meditation. I want to be a little more present for myself instead of just going through the motions. I’m currently on the hunt for a good app to guide me through meditation – if you have recommendations, please share!

Don’t try to Please Everyone – It’s Going to be Okay. I know I pissed some people off in 2017, and well, that’s never going to change. I cannot please everyone, and frankly, that’s not what I was put on this earth to do. Next? But really, I put a lot of pressure on myself to smooth things over as fast as possible, when sometimes, it just can’t be done. And that’s going to have to be okay.

…And I’ll be livin’ this dream with you. 

-Khalid, American Teen

…So, what goals are you setting for yourself in 2018? I’d love to hear them! Happy New Year everyone!

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‘Mariah’s World’: Mimi’s Anniversary.

Mariah is baaack...

Mariah is baaack…

Happy New Year! Can you believe it? 2017 is finally here! I wokeup yesterday around 10, and while I was getting my morning coffee going, my smoke detectors blessed me with a glorious ring because their batteries were low! It took me a solid 16 minutes to drag out my ladder and at least get the noise down to a tolerable chirp until I could get to the store.

I then went to the store (I had to get my bean soup prepped first) in my pajamas and slippers and bought batteries and a Cherry Coke Zero. I didn’t even know that existed! I love Cherry Coke, but only allow myself such a treat on very rare occassions. So, I can honestly say my first negative experience of the year was totally overruled by a great one.

So, on to last night’s episode of “Mariah’s World”… well, first, let’s talk about Mariah’s performance on New Year’s Eve. I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch any of the countdown specials – instead I was watching a marathon of “Tiny House Nation”, which we can talk about at a later time. But, I first heard about poor Mariah’s performance while watching Kim Zolciak’s SnapChat feed.

When I checked Twitter yesterday, it was allll I could see. Oh, boy. So, I watched a video of it… if you want to see it, you can Google it. I mean, it wasn’t as terrible as what I expected. Is it a shock to know she was planning to lip sync the performance? Not at all. I’m not really sure what the right way to handle something like that would have been – I actually thought she handled it pretty well.

Having now watched half the season of “Mariah’s World”, I can say two things about Ms. Carey: 1. she has surrounded herself with many people who don’t really know what they’re doing, and 2. When they mess up, she fires them.

So, I can assure you, that whomever had the bright idea to skip the soundcheck on that performance is probably job hunting today.

Anyway, onto last night’s episode!

So, it’s Mariah’s birthday, but she calls it an “Anniversary”, and the staff wants Tanaka to jump out of her anniversary cake.

But before this happens, Stella’s assistant Molly, decides to dress up as the Easter bunny and she looks ridiculous and scary, simultaneously.

Mariah’s anniversary falls on Easter, and to commemorate the day, she’s wearing a rose mini dress that’s completely beaded. Because why not?

Meanwhile, Tanaka is feeling pretty nervous about jumping out of Mariah’s cake – which very oddly makes me nervous about it, too.

At the gathering, Mariah agrees to prank-call Molly, and she instantly picks up a fantastic Jersey accent. Mariah tells Molly to pick up mozzerella sticks, and asks her what she’s wearing. It’s actually pretty funny; probably just because Molly was squirming.

So, they load Tanaka into this cake… where he waits for at least an hour and is sweating as he waits for Mariah. But then he jumps out of it and is like “Magic Mike” up in there – I think Mariah blushed a little.

But, everyone in the room is starting to feel awkward… because remember, she’s engaged.

Later, Stella’s kids get sick and Molly is nowhere to be found, because she’s out getting a tattoo of “the globe emoji” to remind herself how lucky she is to have the job.

Needless to say, Stella is piiiissssed and we all know what happens then. She ended up firing Molly, but it was no easy task, mainly because she wouldn’t come out and say it and I wondered if it was for unemployment reasons. Stella just kept saying, “I think this job is just too demanding for you…”

Awkward.

In the preview for next week’s episode, it appears things are getting heated between Mariah and Tanaka, and there is also talk of the wedding… oh man.

In other news, much of America has one decision to make today: whether or not to watch the season premiers of “The Bachelor” or “Celebrity Apprentice”?

Let’s start with “The Bachelor”. I used to LOVE watching “The Bachelor”! I also liked watching “The Bachelorette”, but not as much as “The Bachelor”. I stopped watching it a few seasons back, though, for many reasons. For one, I was getting pissed off that the main contestant always picked someone that just wasn’t right.

It was also becoming painfully obvious that the season was more scripted, and very fake. I mean, why was there no diversity in the people on the show? Not only in terms of culture or race, but I felt like even the women contestants were all the same – they all had great jobs or trust funds, they were all unbelievably gorgeous, and I noticed during the hometown visits, they all came from happy families that lived in large homes. Only recently did I see a divorced family featured on the show.

And in a way, all of that made the show appealing. I get it – pretty people make great TV. But come on, now!

The other thing that’s really tough about “The Bachelor”, is the time committment. Every episode is two hours long, and sometimes there are additional specials and tell-all epsiodes – it’s a huge time suck. So after you’ve invested 35 hours into the show and your person doesn’t pick the one you’ve been rooting for all along, yeah, you want to throw your case of wine at the television.

The latest season, season 21 (can you BELIEVE that?!) of “The Bachelor” premiers tonight, featuring Nick Viall as The Bachelor. Here’s the season preview:

Wow, ABC sure made him look like the coolest guy at the party, didn’t they? But Nick Viall is probably the least cool guy that has ever been featured on this TV show. Here’s why:

We first met Nick on “The Bachelorette” during Andi Dorfmann’s season. He won her over with handwritten poems and he even made it to the final two, but he was dumped.

And then we were #Blessed when he appeared on the “After the Final Rose” special and told the entire country that they slept together in the Fantasy Suite – BASTARD!!! It was horrid.

Then the little weasel appeared on yet another season of “The Bachelorette”, when Kaitlyn Bristowe was the main contestant. Little did the audience know they’d been chatting online before she began filming the show, so he swoops in mid-season, and is all “Hey dudes, I’m about to win this bitch”.

So, he joins the cast, sleeps with Kaitlyn, makes it to the final two, and then gets DUMPED. So, he gets an invitation to appear on “Bachelor in Paradise”, where he makes his comeback, and chooses not to propose to his girl on the show. And ta-da, now he’s The Bachelor.

Will you be watching “The Bachelor” this season? I don’t think I can stomach it, but we’ll see.

The other show premiering tonight is “Celebrity Apprentice”,  which used to be hosted by our now-President Elect, so the new host, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will be taking over. Le sigh.

I have ALWAYS been a fan of “Celebrity Apprentice”. I have loved it for the celebrities it features, the challenges they have, and I loved the slight inside look at the Trump family and their business. Of course, this was before I knew how gross he was.

But now, I still know Trump is a producer on the show (weird), and I am not really a fan of Arnold. So… do I watch? Here’s the promo:

…There’s a few contestants on there I want to see, so I very well might be watching this tonight.

What about you? Will you be watching anything new tonight?

#Goals in 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Whoop — first blog of 2016! I thought it would feel more weird writing that number, but I feel like I’ve had my eye on 2016 for awhile now. Perhaps it’s just because a majority of my 2015 totally sucked.

But it’s a fresh year, and although I feel like I make New Years goals/resolutions and never pay attention to them again, here I am setting a few things up for myself.

For starters, I’m really working to figure out how to manage my time better. I got a new planner for Christmas and I’m getting in the habit of writing everything down that I need to do, and the places I need to be.

I feel like, by the time I get home from work, it’s already time to get to ready for the next day, and start winding down for bed. And that makes me feel like all I do is work. That can’t happen. So, I’m going to manage my time better to have more time for myself. Even if I’m watching TV, I’m usually on the computer or searching for things online with my phone. I rarely just relax.

My biggest goal this year is to clean up my finances. I’ve still got some credit card debt that I’m working to pay off; it’s something that’s been holding me back for years, and I’m ready to finish it off and close a few of my high interest cards. If you’ve got any budget tips (aside from Dave Ramsey – I’ve got books on books on books), let me know!

And, speaking of books, I really didn’t read at all last year, which is really unlike me. So, I bought a few new books recently, and I’m pretty amped to crack them open.

As for my love life, it should come as no surprise that I’m getting tired of being single. I know that I’m supposed to be waiting for this possibly imaginary guy to come my way, but I at least need to get out there and go on a date. So, that’s my goal this year. I want to meet some people in Austin, maybe they’ll just end up friends, but I think I need to make a real effort to get back out there. It’s been way too long.

So, what are your goals/hopes/dreams/resolutions for 2016? I’d love to hear them!

NYE: Give ’em lip.

Okay folks, it’s New Year’s Eve, and if you’ve been around The Bitter Lemon for a bit, you know I’m not too big on NYE festivities. I don’t exactly know why – I think the main thing that bothers me is that everyone is out to make it the #BestNightEver …and then it just ends up in total disaster.

Because of this, I usually spend NYE at home, by myself, with a giant box of Kung Po Chicken, watching some TV marathon in the comfort of my sweats and slippers. But, this year, I am venturing out (it took some coaxing, believe me) and celebrating with other people. Can you believe it?

I hate to admit it, but there’s no way I’d be doing this if there wasn’t a cute guy involved. So this year, it’s all about that midnight kiss, and I’m obsessing over getting my lips ready for the perfect pout!

Here’s how I’m making it happen:

Best lip scrub!

Best lip scrub!

I’m starting off with a clean slate, using Bliss’ Fabulips, which includes a lip wash (it foams up and everything), followed by a lip scrub, a lip plumper, and a lip balm.

I bought this kit almost two years ago, and have barely made a dent in it. It’s seriously good stuff, especially during the winter months when you get dry lips. You definitely do not want that for The Kiss, or even if you’re just trying to sport a bold lip color.

Which brings me to my next point: color. I feel like people are going BOLD lately… and I like it. I kept seeing some really great reds and plums on Instagram (follow me @OrangeJulius7) and, wanting to mimic that look for New Year’s, I went on a hunt for some great shades.

I randomly caught a sale on NYC lip products and bought a lip primer (City Proof Twistable Perfecting Lip Primer), a plum lip crayon (which has a glossy texture) in “Gramercy Park Plum“, a plum lipstick in “Berry Me” and a nice, classic red lipstick called “Red Rapture” — this is the one I’m planning on wearing.

I immediately went home and tried the plum crayon, topped with the plum lipstick. While it looked okay, I could already notice two things: 1. I rarely wear lipstick, so it wasn’t applied very well, and 2. At any given second, it was going to start bleeding outside of my natural lip line. Big no-no. So, I got online and purchased a nude lipliner from Melaleuca (here’s a similar one from NYX).

Now, it’s been a few weeks since all that happened, so I think I’ve got this whole bold lip routine DOWN. But before I go into the “how”, I’ll let you know that it’s not exactly easy, and after you finish it, you’re not going to want to run off and kiss anything or anyone in fear of messing it up. But that is something I’m just going to have to deal with come midnight, right?

Okay, so after you’ve got your lips scrubbed and clean, make sure they are completely dry. Next, apply some powder to your lips. Sounds funny, but this is what’s going to make the lipstick really stay put. I use a translucent highlighting powder (that I also apply on my cheekbones), but you could also try a setting powder.

Next, line your lips with the nude pencil. This is going to create a little barrier that tells the lipstick where it must stay! Now, apply the lipstick working from the center, outward. Blot and fill where necessary.

Then, using a lip brush or your ring finger, apply the same powder (or HD Powder) to your lips and apply another layer of lipstick. Finally, use concealer to clean up any areas around the lip. If necessary, use a Q-tip and eye makeup remover.

Ta-Da! Now you’re ready to hit the party — or wherever you’re heading off to tonight! Tip: if you can subtly do it, my mom said to lick the rim of your champagne glass before taking that first sip. Supposedly, it’ll keep your lipstick from rubbing off onto the glass.

Cheers to ringing in 2016 in complete style, and I hope you’re all kissing someone fine as hell tonight! See you right back here on Monday, folks!

All the lipsticks!

All the lipsticks!

PS. If you’ve got a goal to start your blog in 2016, I’m offering 16 people the chance to take my online course, Blogging for Beginners for just $16 (reg. $59)! Happy Blogging!