May 2014 Favorites

May 2014 Favorites / https://makelittlejoys.wordpress.com May 2014 Favorites / https://makelittlejoys.wordpress.com

May flew by! It was quite enjoyable nonetheless and we’re finally grilling out on the deck more (a favorite activity, for sure). Here are my favorites for this month:

  1. Dainty Necklaces – These feminine and delicate necklaces are the perfect accessories for the airy tops I like to wear in spring. My mom bought these from her trip to Atlantic City recently. Both necklaces were made by local artists which make them extra special. I love the minimalist style!
  2. BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask ($6.95) – This was definitely a good choice for my first Lush purchase. I leave it on for a whole episode of Vampire Diaries and, when I rinse it off, my face is instantly softer and smoother. It feels really cooling on application, too, since it is supposed to be left in the fridge. My only gripe about this is the 3-week shelf life.
  3. Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Everlasting Honey ($18) -Finally, a lip and cheek product that actually works well on both! This was an impulse buy for me but it’s well worth the money. On the cheeks, it looks like a natural, “just got out of the gym” flush. There is a dewiness left on the skin that acts as a healthy highlight. On the lips, it starts off glossy and sets into a tinted lip balm look and feel. Highly recommended for dry skin.
  4. Revlon Nail Enamel in Flirt ($3.97) – Long before Pantone announced Radiant Orchid as the color of the year, I have swooned over this nail polish color – very reminiscent of the popular shade. It’s just the right mix of lavender and pink and isn’t quite as intense as Radiant Orchid. This formula goes on opaque after two coats and stays on for a few days with a top coat. It’s the perfect spring nail polish!
  5. Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Colour in Baby Lips ($23) – My mom also gave this to me because it didn’t work for her but it worked wonders for me! This color is the perfect “my lips but better” shade and it’s comfortable to wear.

Which  Lush mask should I try next?

Advertisements

A Budget App for the Newbie

Budget View

This post originally appeared in my former blog, Make Little Joys.

Budgeting was a challenge when I first started. It was painful realizing that, for the first time in my life, I won’t be able to enjoy my whole paycheck on leisurely things like makeup, Michaels shopping sprees, and food. Bills and savings were looming over my paycheck like an impending storm waiting to rain on my parade.

But, alas, I must budget if I want to survive so I did. It was easy enough to set aside money for savings and specific amounts for certain expenses like grocery and the car insurance. What’s hard was keeping track of all of it.

The Budget Envelopes app (free trial and $2.99 on iTunes) helped with that. It’s a user-friendly app that allows me to visualize my budget. After entering the set amount for each expense category, it lets me itemize my expenses for that specific category and show me in a simple bar graph how much I have left. It became so easy to tell myself to chill out while shopping for groceries when I’m looking at a mostly red graph.

It also lets me set a budget cycle for repeating expenses like my train ticket and the electricity bills which takes even more work out of budgeting every month.

The other features come in handy, too, like the Income tab which allows users to keep track of money coming in. The Budget Envelopes app uses that information to compose reports that show how money is used over time. In the Reports tab, it offers different report options like Expense vs. Income Graphs, Day/Week/Month/Year Reports and even Expense Reports per category. This feature makes it so much easier to observe spending habits!

Reports View

This Budget Envelopes app was a crucial tool for me when I first started having financial responsibilities. It helps me make better short term and long term choices when it comes to spending without doing anything more complicated than typing in what I bought. And for someone as forgetful as I am, it’s nice to always have an answer to, “Where did all my money go?