July Instagram Memories

If you were hanging out with me in July you probably saw literally all the emotions come out of me. I started the month out super stressed, was wiped out by a cold/fever for a week, and then ended the month on a super positive note. Mostly I’m really glad it’s over but also pretty worried about the fact that school starts in ONE MONTH. How did this happen??

I definitely need to say thank you to all of the amazing friends and family members who help me get through the bad and stressful times so that we can have amazing experiences together.

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For 4th of July I went kayaking with my family and Anna. We had a great time and got this super adorable picture out of it. I didn’t watch any fireworks but it was probably the best 4th I’ve ever had.

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Mid-month we went up north to hang out with Kara at her family’s cabin. It was perfect weather and we all had an amazing time. It was so great to see my bestie and float around together venting about how difficult 2017 has been. Fortunately things are looking up for us both.

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I also got to see my family in Minnesota since we brought TJ to the cabin with us, and that was lovely in and of itself.

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If you like what you see and what to see more, please feel free to follow me on instagram @jenrazzle. Hope you’re all having a lovely summer!

 

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Summer Goals Update

Earlier this summer I made two posts with goals for the summer. The first was travel related and the second was related to personal goals. Since the end of July is coming up quick, I wanted to check-in on my goals to see what I have accomplished, what is still manageable, and what will probably need to be pushed back to next year.

For travel, my five goals were to go hiking at Devil’s Lake, get drunk in a cabin with friends, visit Door County, explore a new cave, and visit Canada. I have done 2/5, hiking at Devil’s Lake and getting drunk in a cabin with friends. Both were lovely experiences. I will not be able to go to Door County or Canada this summer, so I will save those for my 2018 summer bucket list. I will be traveling in August so will check with friends and family to see if anyone would like to check out a cave.

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As far as my personal goals, I wanted to break even on my net worth, lose 15 pounds, spend more time with friends, read a book, and prepare to do well in school. Since this section is a little bit longer, I’ll break each one down a bit more.

  1. Break even on net worth: I don’t think that I will be able to accomplish this goal. My networth was -4k at the beginning of summer and is now -3k. I’m a little bummed out, but I am glad I have made progress. I will keep working toward this goal in August and try to get as close as I can. However, I don’t have a job anymore so there is no way that I am going to be able to pay bills, pay for life, and pay off $3k in debt.
  2. Lose 15 pounds: I have not lost any weight but I have been maintaining which is a positive. I no longer have access to a gym and would like to find a way to work out in August. I actually feel pretty good physically so I am not super worried about losing weight at the moment.
  3. Spend more time with friends: I have spent a lot of time with wonderful people this summer. I have made more of an effort to be in touch with my closer friends, and have had lunches/coffee with people who I care about. I can’t spend all my time with everyone which is a bummer, but it’s been really nice to connect this summer.
  4. Read a book: I have read TWO books 😀 – I would like to finish the book that I am currently reading and find another good one or two to read while I am traveling.
  5. Prepare to do well in school: I have been medium on this. I’ve had a lot of anxiety about starting school but am starting to get it together. Mostly I need to get started on my summer math prep class so that I don’t fail stats this fall.

Lovely lovely. How are you doing on your summer goals?

Read Your Face Off Feature

A few weeks ago I joined a summer reading group called “Read Your Face Off.” It’s a really cool group organized by a woman here in Madison and a lot of my politically active friends are members. I was inspired to join because I’ve had trouble finishing books this year and joining has now helped me finish two.

I emailed the creator of the group last week to ask a question and she asked me if I wanted to be the featured reader. I typed up answers to a few questions and thought they would be fun to share here, too.

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What do you think? Agree? Disagree? What are your reading goals for summer? Have you read any good books lately? Tell me all your thoughts 🙂

Madison: Rose Show at Olbrich Gardens

Today we stopped by the Rose Show at Olbrich Gardens. This is the second flower show that I have attended there and I have loved both. Community members grow and cut rose and bring them in to be judged. After the show, the flowers are left on display so that anyone can take a look. While I don’t really know much about flowers, it’s really neat to go and see all of the different types of a specific flower there are and the variations. If you’re interested in checking out what events are coming up at Olbrich, click here.

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I didn’t even know that all of these were roses. What kind of flower show would you like to attend?

Travel: Hiking at Devil’s Lake State Park

Last Sunday I traveled to Devil’s Lake State Park with one of my friends to go hiking. This was one of the top 5 things that I wanted to do this summer. I have been wanting to go to Devil’s Lake for several years but haven’t been able to fit it in my schedule, so we decided to go late Sunday afternoon. We were extra happy when we found out that it was free state parks weekend!

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Close to the beginning of our adventure. I was surprised by how difficult it was to walk up the trail! I workout regularly and still found it to be very intense.

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I promise I complained a lot about this IRL stair master.

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I was very excited to find a cave halfway along the way.

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This was my first time seeing this view in years, I had forgotten how pretty it is.

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Love this view and this woman.

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This was one of my favorite parts of the hike. The water was pretty, but I love the hills and green.

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Look at that little baby moon.

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An important part of a trip to Devil’s Lake is a ride on the Merrimac Ferry afterwards. My mom always brought us this way and it is a ton of fun. If you haven’t been on the ferry, you need to try it out! It’s free and there is a delicious ice cream stand.

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The ice cream is definitely one of the perks of taking the ferry.

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The beautiful view is pretty wonderful, too.

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We had an amazing trip. Do you think you’ll make it to Devil’s Lake this summer?

Travel: Top 5 things I want to do this summer

I am a big fan of getting away as much as possible and I’ve gone on more than my fair share of weekend trips over the last few years. Unfortunately for me (but fortunate for my wallet) I have taken on a weekend babysitting job that lasts from 6am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays for almost all weekends of the summer. My grandpa is also in hospice in Iowa and I would like to spend as much time with him as possible. This means that my weekend trips will be few and far between this summer. Knowing that, there are still a BUNCH of things that I want to do this year. These are my top 5.

1. Hiking at Devil’s Lake: I went to Devil’s Lake often as a teenager and I have never had a bad experience. However, as a kid we went for the beach and swimming, and now I would like to go for hiking purposes. I can’t wait to get up on the rocky cliffs and look out at the beautiful water.

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Just beautiful.

2. Get drunk in a cabin with my closest friends: Listen, I’m an adult, and if I want to safely get drunk in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with my favorite people, that’s allowed. I’m the one who has to suffer the consequences of the now unavoidable multi-day hangovers.

3. Visit Door County: A few years ago I went to Sturgeon Bay for an event and really fell in love. The city was beautiful, the shops were adorable, and I absolutely want to go back. I haven’t been further up the peninsula, so this is the number one weekend trip that I want to make happen.

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I now have a mission to find this building, hiding somewhere in Door County.

4. Explore a new cave: I absolutely love caves. I don’t think anything in America will compare to the absolutely incredible experience that I had in Belize (there were SKELETONS) but I am hoping there is some sort of beautiful cave within driving distance.

5. Visit Canada: Considering that I only live six hours from Canada, I have not been there enough. My passport only has another six months on it so I would love to head up to Canada for a long weekend. I went with my family years ago and found this beautiful place called Harmony Beach – I would love to go and spend a day or two there.

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He kept trying to splash me, so I picked him up and nearly dropped him. Love my little brother!

There you have it! The top five things that I want to do this summer. What do you have in mind?

Answer: What is sheet masking?

Last summer, a friend of mine introduced me to Asian beauty. She did so by linking me to the Asian beauty subreddit and it quickly became my new obsession. Since I had been having a difficult time with my skin, I decided to take a look at the products that were available.

I’m always interested in trying something cute and new, and Asian beauty products are certainly that. I began to research products that were specifically designed to help with acne, or products that would at least not make my sensitive skin any worse than it already was.

The first thing that I did was build a basic routine. Asian beauty experts recommend waiting at least two weeks between introducing new products, so I would order a new product every two weeks on payday. The products generally range from $10-25 so it was nice to break up the spending and take advantage of Amazon Prime shipping.

One of the first products that I ordered was a set of sheet masks. If you are someone who has wondered why I post photos of myself on Snapchat or Instagram with white sheets over my face, this is the reason. Sheet masks are thin paper masks that are soaked in an “essence” that works to specifically improve one or more aspects of your skin. Some of the common skin concerns are acne, moisturizing, aging, and whitening (which really means brightening.)

My first purchase was a ten pack of the Benton Snail Bee High Content Sheet Masks. I was excited to try the masks, although I was a little worried that the mask would react with a bee allergy that I’m not 100% sure I still have. I ordered the masks and when they arrived, I thought about patch testing but decided to just throw one on my face because.. You only live once, right?

Fortunately, there was no reaction and I really loved the mask. While I will admit that I’ve never had noticeable effects from the use of a single mask, I always enjoy the relaxation time that comes after applying a fresh mask. I especially enjoyed my family’s reaction to seeing me in a mask the first time, but I was a little bit heartbroken when my dogs weren’t at all spooked my new look.

All-in-all, sheet masks are a fun adventure. It is important to find masks that work with your skin concerns, and the Asian beauty subreddit (plus the internet!) can help you find the products that are right for you.

Beauty Review: Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Face Mask

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I was very lucky this weekend to stumble upon a real life Kbeauty store in Chicago Chinatown! I was in town with family for an event and we went to Chinatown for lunch before heading home. I kept my eye open for Kbeauty, but nothing caught my eye until just before we were leaving.

I went into a store called “Korean Beauty Store” and really loved the experience. I saw a ton of products that I have purchased during the last year, and it was neat to see some of the more “well known” products in real life. I personally love touching and smelling things, especially if I’m planning to spend money on them, so this especially exciting to me. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with the salesgirl and learn about the products right then in there without having to do my own research.

Since I have more than enough products at home right now, I decided to check out a couple of new face masks. I asked for recommendations and the salesgirl suggested the Dr.Jart+ Dermask Vital Hydra Solution Deep Hydration Sheet Mask. At this point in the day I had spent several hours outside in 3 degree weather, so I figured a super moisturizing face mask couldn’t hurt and decided to take one home.

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This was my first Dr. Jart mask, and I was pretty impressed with it. I loved the smell (roses!!) and was surprised by the thin texture. It is probably the thinnest mask I have ever used, and definitely the first one that I have had to peel off of a second sheet. I was a little worried that I would tear it, but it all went very well.

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Next, I tried the mask on. This mask did not fit as well as some of the others that I have used. The thin texture allowed the mask to cling to my skin, but it did not match my eyes and mouth. I haven’t had a problem with this before and it wasn’t much of a problem this time, though it was not ideal.

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The mask in general looked a bit silly on me. I was super tired and did not work very hard to take nice pictures.

As you can see, the mask material was very thin and allowed my skin impurities to show through.

I was ready for bed after 20 minutes with the mask on. When I took it off there was still some liquid, but it felt nice and absorbed very quickly.

All in all, I enjoyed the mask and would use another one. I paid a bit too much for the product (around $6.00) but they are available at lower cost online. The Amazon link says 5 for under $15, which is a much better deal.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this mask.