My Birthday Haul

For me, Christmas seems to come around pretty fast, year after year. My birthday, however, somehow almost never seems to get here–and it’s always over in a blink. Maybe it’s because Christmas is an entire season, and March 25th is merely one lovely spring day. But there’s no day out of the year that can compete with my birthday when it comes to me feeling special and blessed.

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I have to admit, writing about all of the nice things I’ve gotten, which is exactly what a “haul” is, can be a bit of a challenge. Not because the writing is difficult, but because it feels dangerously close to bragging. I wouldn’t ever want to come off as the woman who rubs her privilege in your face, and I hope I never seem that way to my charming readers. But that being said, this is something that almost all fashion and lifestyle influencers do, and on top of that, it’s a great way for me to reflect on just how lucky I really am.

So let’s begin this exercise in gratitude, shall we?

  • Really overpriced moisturizer

3_900Given to me by: My husband

In my last post, I reviewed a small handful of Olay products that I got as samples in a magazine. This was one that I liked.

But guys, it’s so expensive.

I would only use this as my all-the-time moisturizer if I considered myself wealthy, which I do not. The only reason I own a jar now is because my sweetheart of a husband spoils me beyond reason when it’s my birthday.

I sadly couldn’t find any of the daily facials–the Olay product that I liked best–so I still don’t know if they are too expensive or not. But if I ever do locate them, I will let you know.

  • The most comfortable jeans I’ve ever owned

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Given to me by: My mom

I recently reached that special stage in life when a woman can no longer fit into the jeans she’s been wearing for years, and she experiences some level of personal crisis. But to be fair, after the age of 25, the body’s metabolism naturally slows down a bit. That, and I got on some much needed anti-anxiety medication several months ago, and that made me gain a little. No reason not to be candid about it.

I can’t tell you how much better I felt about myself when I put on some jeans that actually fit me, rather than squeezing into my old ones. Mom got me the ones you see above, as well as a darker pair just like them. They’re stretchy, high-waisted, and all around the best jeans I’ve ever owned.

And I’ve learned a lot about how unfairly our society pressures women to look a certain way in order to feel beautiful. Don’t give in to that bullsh!t.

  • A couple Hot Topic t-shirts

Given to me by: My parents

I am a massive fan of Disney merchandise for adults. The stuff that modernizes or gives an edge to the nostalgia of my childhood. Alice in Wonderland is a great choice for these kinds of designs, and I couldn’t resist grabbing the two t-shirts above. They’ll look awesome with my new jeans.

  • Some nice lipstick

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Given to me by: My husband

It was mostly just luck that led me to stumble across this particular lipstick color, which is a shade I’d been wanting lately (it’s called Panko). I can now tell you from experience that bareMinerals is a quality brand. But this is another example of something outside of my usual budget. Since I said I liked it, however, Greg bought it for me.

He has a very happy wife.

  • A movie I really wanted

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Given to me by: My sister

I can’t say I’m a romantic comedy kind of girl usually (probably because so many rom-coms are so pandering and stupid). Crazy Rich Asians, however, really deserves the praise it gets. Chelsea and I saw it in theaters together, and it was awesome of her to get it for me.

  • Howlite barrettes and necklace

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Given to me by: My husband

Howlite is a type of crystal that looks a lot like marble, for anyone who’s curious. I honestly haven’t worn barrettes since I was a little girl, but I really dig these. I’m wearing the matching necklace in the photo above as well, but unfortunately the picture cut off. Just imagine a crystal-shaped pendant in the same color as the barrettes.

  • A couple of experiments

Given to me by: Myself

I ordered both of these products from Ulta out of personal curiosity. A lot of the women who do skincare videos for Vogue use some form of face mist and/or under-eye mask. I wanted to know if they really made any difference.

Rose Dewy Glow, by The Body Shop: Since this is mostly just another form of moisturizer, I thought it might be something easy that I could spritz on before bed, especially after I take my makeup off. And I love rose-scented products. This gives me what I expected, and I like it a lot. Bonus, it’s 100% vegan and cruelty free, which is always preferable if you can find it.

Hydrogel Under Eye Masks, by e.l.f: If my guess is correct, these are meant to lock in moisture in that delicate under-eye area. It’s some kind of serum…I don’t know a lot about it. But I’m pretty sure they did what they were supposed to. I didn’t notice a major difference either way, and I feel pretty neutral about the experience. But I will say there was definitely an extra glow when I applied makeup afterwards. So I guess I’d get them again if I really wanted to glow up.

  • A crystal tree

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Given to me by: My husband

I’m not one to just buy a lot of knick-knacks, but this is pretty. It suits me, and I think it suits our house. And if you haven’t noticed the pattern, this is how my birthday afternoon went: Greg pretty much just followed me around the stores we went to and got me everything I said was nice. I’m ridiculously lucky.

  • Fox socks

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Given to me by: My husband

These actually came in a small bundle with other miscellaneous animals–raccoons, owls, etc. But Greg totally got them for me because of the foxes. He thinks they are the cutest, and I do, too. If you look closely, you’ll see they even have little ears sticking up on the sides. Completely adorable.

  • Love Spell

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Given to me by: Myself

I’m a perfume girl. I wear it almost every day, and I have quite a few different ones for varying occasions. Love Spell by Victoria’s Secret has been my “signature scent” since I was about 14. I had been out of it for more than a year, and I figured there was no better time to get myself some than my birthday.

So at last I am resupplied.

  • A fine pair of shoes

Given to me by: My mom

These are shoes by Kenneth Cole. They are comfortable, easy to slip on, and, I mean, just look at them. They’re practically dress shoes. Except not quite. They are just casual enough to go with nearly everything I wear, and I can already tell I’m going to be in these until they disintegrate off of my feet.

I’m in them with bare feet in the pictures above, but they also look great with black socks, so I can wear them year round!

  • A gorgeous new journal

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Given to me by: My husband (selected by me)

If you’re a writer, or just someone who likes to keep a diary, you probably share this weakness of mine. That is, being addicted to beautiful notebooks. Even when I already have unused ones at home, I can hardly stop myself from buying the prettiest one on the shelf. And my excuse is always the same: “I’m a writer. I’ll find something to put in this.”

But since it was my birthday, I didn’t really need an excuse for this one, did I?


I had fun sharing this with you, and I hope, as always, that you enjoyed reading through it. My birthday this year was exceptional, and I appreciate every bit of the love and kindness that I’ve received.

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Spoiled to death.

Looking over everything I’ve listed above, it’s really no wonder I ended up doing a fashion blog. What can I say? My loved ones keep me trendy.

I truly would be nowhere without them.

(All my love, you guys).

Have a beautiful week.

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