Beauty Vloggers: My Top 5 Beauty Channels on Youtube

Major Obsession

15209251_10153468610732168_1500846666_nIf you’ve ever met me, you know that I have an obsession with makeup. I spend an embarrassing amount of free time watching beauty vloggers, hoping to master their techniques. I love learning

how to do new things. Over the last few months, my makeup game has stepped up quite a bit. My eyebrows aren’t as square as they were and my face is consistently blended seamlessly down into my neck. The countless hours spent watching these videos is obviously helping.

Because my routine and look has improved so greatly, I thought that maybe some of you would find the videos useful as well. All of the ladies that I am recommending to you today are definitely worth the view. Furthermore, they’re worth subscribing to. Always hit “Subscribe” if you really enjoy their content! With that, I present my top five favorite beauty vloggers.

Chloe Boucher

Chloe Boucher

If you’ve never watched her videos but you’re really into makeup and hair, you should check her out. Her looks are always absolutely stunning. One of my favorite things about her, aside from her accent, is that she goes into detail about the products she is using. From brushes to products, she gives you the brand, color, and/or number of everything she uses to create the look. She also includes links below the video allowing you to easily access those products for purchase. I love how detailed she is in each of her videos and how perfect her looks are.

I didn’t have to work today and my kids are at school, so I spent some time watching a few of her videos for the 100th time. Watching her do her eyebrows, I realized what I’ve been doing wrong all this time. Well, I am pleased to announce that today is the first time I’ve ever managed eyebrows that look natural rather than being harsh and square on the ends. My real eyebrows are really pale blonde, so I have a really hard time with them. I was really pleased with how they turned out today.

Chloe Boucher – Youtube

Jordan Hanz

beauty vloggers
Jordan Hanz

What can I say about this girl? She’s incredible. Not only does she create absolutely flawless everyday looks, she also creates some out-of-this-world costume looks. As if that weren’t enough, she sounds a lot like me when she talks. She doesn’t filter herself or worry about what others are going to say. She just does her thing and keeps it real. Also, her Pop Art Harley Quinn is one of my favorite Harley Quinns and I’m hard to impress in terms of Harley Quinn. Being a huge fan of the character, I’m highly critical of any recreations.

Definitely, definitely check this girl out. She is amazing!

Jordan Hanz – Youtube



Carli Bybel

beauty vloggers
Carli Bybel

This vlogger became one of my favorites when she created a Selena look for Halloween this year. If you don’t know, I was/am a huge fan of Selena Quintanilla-Perez. No one can doubt that she was inspirational, beautiful, and insanely genuine. She loved what she did, she loved her fans, and she left us way too soon. All of Carli’s looks are absolutely stunning, but her Selena look spoke to me on a much deeper level. She’s highly informative when creating her looks, which is incredibly helpful if you’re looking to buy the products that she uses.

Check her out at:
Carli Bybel – Youtube



Christen Dominique

beauty vloggers
Christen Dominique

Of all of the beauty vloggers that I watch, Christen’s personality is my favorite. Bubbly, silly, and infectious. One of the best things about her is how she engages with her audience. Not only does she go step by step with the looks she creates, she also keeps the mood light and fun while doing so. There are so many vloggers who create their looks to music without ever bothering to speak to the viewers. They do not describe their steps, they don’t provide you with information on the products. You literally just listen to music the entire time they put on their makeup for you. It’s uncomfortable.

Christen isn’t like that at all, though. She explains everything she does, tells you about the products, dances, makes silly faces, and really engages. The looks that she creates draw you in. Her personality makes you want to click “Subscribe”.

Christen Dominique – Youtube


Evelina Forsell

maxresdefaultIf you’ve ever watched Evelina, you know that she creates looks that, while being everyday, come off as a bit more edgy. “Edgy” is so appealing when creating whatever look I’ll be wearing that day. Even if I’m just going to work, I want my look to make a statement. Just because my job is boring doesn’t mean my makeup has to be. That’s where Evelina comes in. Her looks are a little less basic, bringing in an almost goth couture appeal. For me, she’s in a category all on her own in terms of beauty vloggers.

Evelina Forsell – Youtube



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What No One Tells You About Being a Mom

So You’re a Mom

And, just like me, you’ve probably realized that there are things no one tells you prior to becoming a mom. It is, for better or worse, one of those things that
you have no idea what you’re getting

yourself into until you’re already in the thick of it. As I sit here typing the post, my kids are in their rooms arguing about something. Who knows what it is? This is their 30th argument since coming home from school. I’ve stopped asking questions at this point. They’ll sort out whatever it is that has them so riled up. Instead, I’ll grab myself a cup of coffee and lament over the things I wish someone had told me.

Social Media

I’ll start with parenting related Facebook accounts. In theory, they’re fantastic. These accounts are filled to the brim with so many different kinds of parents. Just a glance at the comment sections no-mom-is-betterand you’ll find new moms, over-opinionated moms, curious dads, experienced moms, experienced grandmothers, and so many others. It is a virtual smorgasbord of parents from all across the globe looking to either receive or give advice or, in some cases, escape from the day in, day out of parenthood.

Some of the advice doled out by some of these parents, moms and dads alike, is fantastic. There are so many who are experienced in so many different scenarios. The downside to this is that there are so many who are waiting at the ready to rip apart others for the advice being given. The way one parent suggested isn’t something another parent would suggest, so the claws come out. In a lot of cases, differences of opinions just aren’t welcome. In that type of environment, drama becomes prominent and the pages lose their appeal.

No Filter

Children have absolutely no filter. Honestly, I may have known this before becoming a mom, but I don’t think it registered fully. Children are brutally honest until they aren’t. They will over-share things that they really shouldn’t and lie about silly little things that don’t matter. It is absolutely astounding. How they decide whether or not to share is beyond me.

We live in town, yet out in the country. Our home is close enough to town to be considered “in town”, but there isn’t much around us. Four other homes and lots of wide-open spaces is what you’ll find here. Last winter, we found ourselves having a bit of a mouse issue. We cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, but they just wouldn’t go away. The problem lasted on into summer and we were at our wit’s end. In September, however, our neighbors found a kitten abandoned on their porch. We took her in, cleaned her up, gave her a name, and she became a member of our family. The mice, of course, vacated the premises.

During all of this, my kids would tell everyone they encountered, stranger or otherwise, that we had mice. It didn’t matter if they had known the person for five seconds or five years, they felt the need to share. When we took in the kitten, they began telling everyone that we got a cat to get rid of the mice. Things I wouldn’t share with anyone, they share with the world. The funny thing is that they tell things like this to the world but lie when I ask if they ate a piece of candy without asking.


loki-and-thor-sibling-rivalryThe tattling. Oh, the tattling. Even my oldest child is guilty of this. They tell on each other over every little teeny tiny thing. Cadence, who is my youngest, will tell on her siblings if they look at her in a way that she finds offensive. Jack comes running if either of his sisters step even a toe into his bedroom. Ava loses it if the other two start messing with whatever she’s building in Minecraft. It is a never-ending battle.

After finally deciding that I’ve had enough of it, I started thinking of ways to curb the issue. When my older two children were in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, respectively, their teachers had “tattle bears” in their classrooms. Okay, one of them was actually a tattle horse. Regardless of species, though, they were one of the best ideas. The idea is that the kids would go tattle to the animal and the teacher would decide if she needed to intervene. Brilliant!

Upon remembering this idea, I decided to put it to use. My children now tattle to the cat. As they’re tattling, I listen and decide whether or not I should get involved. This tool, when used correctly, helps in so many ways. First, my kids know that I listen to them, now more than ever. They get it. I’m listening to every word they say, even if it seems like I am not. Second, based on my reaction (or lack thereof), they learn which situations warrant telling an adult and which ones do not. Third, I spend less overall time mediating minor disputes over questionable looks, toes in bedrooms, or destroyed virtual houses.

Summing Things Up

I love being a mom. This journey that I began almost nine years ago is second to none. There are so many little moments that I would not trade for anything in this world. Most moms can agree that a bad day is worth it when a tiny child bounds up to you, smiling brightly, wraps their arms around your legs, and says “I missed you, mommy.” It makes every second of every awful day dissipate, for the most part. I just wish someone had let me know, in advance, about the judgmental, catty moms. I wish they had told me that my kids would tell everything they shouldn’t tell to everyone they know and don’t know.

Being a parent, though, is, of course never black and white. There are so many books written on how to be the world’s best parent. Those books, however, forget one tiny detail. Whether child or adult, most human beings are anything but textbook. Most human beings defy all of the rules that have been set for us. Honestly, the journey wouldn’t be anywhere near as adventurous that way.




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Hometowns & Other Things We Don’t Appreciate Enough

Hometowns & New Beginnings

When I was in high school, I constantly made jokes about my hometown. It was “that little blip on the map” that no one knew existed. That tired old place that I just couldn’t wait to get away from. After high school, I “spread my wings” so to speak and left as quickly as I could. Life was waiting; life that didn’t include that town. A few mistakes later, I ended up back in that sleepy little town. I lived with my mom for a few years and made sure to under-appreciate that as well. I gave birth to two amazing kids and watched as my first marriage came and went. At that point, I decided it was time to spread my wings again.

In 2011, I moved out west. By “out west”, I mean Texas. I took on my second marriage, my husband’s deployment to Afghanistan, and my third pregnancy that year. That was when I first started missing my hometown and, more importantly, my mom. I was living in a new area, completely on my own, with two toddlers and a baby on the way. My mom has always been my biggest fan and my strongest support system. Being home with her, in a town that is familiar and comfortable, was something that I desperately wanted. What I needed, however, was the experience that came with all of this. The experience helped me mature; it showed me just how strong and capable I am.

Nowadays, I am living in a small town in northwestern Oklahoma. It’s one of those quiet little towns that people spend their entire lives in; the kind of town that most teenagers dream of leaving right after high school. Everyone here knows everyone and that can be both a good thing and a bad thing. In terms of good, there’s always someone willing to lend you a hand. On the flip side of that, though, there’s a whole lot of gossip. Woodward is a genuine “hometown” kind of town. It just isn’t mine.



While browsing my news feed on Facebook recently, when I came across a few beautiful pictures of my hometown. Taken from a drone flying up above the town, they provided an absolutely stunning perspective. I sat there for a brief few moments looking at them and it hit me. In that moment, I realized just how much I missed my family. My sister gets on my nerves better than anyone else, but almost every moment with her is an adventure. Hanging out with her, going to eat, catch a movie, or shop with her is the best thing in the world. My mom and I butt heads more than anyone I know (because we’re stubborn) but her home-cooked meals are my favorite. She gives some of the best advice and is always there to listen, even when she’s mad as hell at me.

The town itself is small and quaint, but it’s close enough to the big cities to not be completely cut off from everything. Where I currently live, it’s a three hour drive to get to anywhere worth going to. Walmart is the place to go if you’re bored, because there’s really not much else. The photographs served to make me realize that I deeply miss my home. I came here to follow my husband and ended up being cut off from everyone else that I know. This town is quiet, but it’s perhaps a little too quiet. I prefer being a bit closer to the conveniences of a city.


If you grew up in these “blips on a map”, you know that we spend most of our adolescent lives dreaming of getting out. It isn’t until we get make it that we realize what we were running from. These towns shape us, mold us into the people we will become. We make it out but the towns we escape from never actually leave us. At one point or another, we all realize just how much we miss those places. We take them for granted during our time there because we don’t understand just how important they are. That little blip on the map is more than just a blip; it’s who we are. Some days, I’d give anything to be back in that town. Other days, I realize just how much I need this independence, this experience.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life trying to escape the things that made me who I am. We all eventually realize just what we were escaping. Sometimes, the escape is just and necessary. Other times, however, we’re escaping something that we needed, even if we didn’t know we needed it. For me, this sleepy little town is one of those things. I was so desperate to leave that I didn’t even realize what I was giving up. Moments with my family and precious time are among the things that I lost. Those moments are some of the things that we appreciate the least when we’re in them and miss the most when they’re gone. We could all use a lesson in appreciating what we have before it is gone.

Thomasville, hometown
Thomasville, North Carolina | Photograph by Russell Williams & Wilbur the Drone
Thomasville, North Carolina | Photograph by Russell Williams & Wilbur the Drone
Thomasville, North Carolina | Photograph by Russell Williams & Wilbur the Drone
Thomasville, North Carolina | Photograph by Russell Williams & Wilbur the Drone
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My Addiction: World of Warcraft & Why I Love It

World of Warcraft, Legion, Blizzard Entertainment, WoW
Image by Blizzard Entertainment

My Addiction Gets Me Through the Bad Days

Everyone has something that they are completely addicted to. Our addictions are usually the one thing that gets us through everything in life. They bring us through the bad days mostly unscathed and provide an extra bit of a boost on good days. Since 2004, World of Warcraft has been that thing for me.



Picture what you’d consider to be a typical World of Warcraft player. I bet you’re imagining someone with no job who lives in their parents’ basement surviving on Mt. Dew and Twinkies. I wouldn’t blame you. That seems to be what most people imagine. That, however, is mostly an incorrect stereotype based on an episode of South Park. In most cases, we have relatively active social lives. We also see sunlight on a normal basis and do things outside of our homes. Some of us are students. Some of us are parents. There are those with standard hourly jobs and those with very successful careers. Even actors like Henry Cavill, Vin Diesel, and Mila Kunis have played at one point or another.

I’m a full-time mom with a full-time job in retail. In 2004, when World of Warcraft launched, I was living in an apartment with my big brother. I was fresh out of high school working as a cashier at a local grocery store and I had no clue what I was going to do with my life. My brother bought the game for himself but told me I should try it out. I created a Night Elf priest named Lunasia on the server known as Thunderlord. He was kind enough to show me the ropes and then left me to play and explore on my own.


Time Flies…

Within an hour of starting, I was hooked. I didn’t just quest with the purpose of leveling my character. I made friends, explored as much as possible, and made so many silly mistakes that I’m surprised I ever progressed at all. Hours went by without me even noticing it. If you’ve ever built a house in The Sims, you know how entirely possible it can be to pass hours worth of time without realizing it. I went to bed within a couple of hours of needing to be up for work. After work, I’d come home and get right back to playing. World of Warcraft was the best thing ever.

Now, I may be a little bit anti-social. I socialize at work because I have to. When you work in retail, it is imperative that you socialize with others. How else would you ever get anything done? Outside of work, though, I just cannot be bothered with dealing with other people. By other people, of course, I mean those with whom I do not reside. I want to be left alone. If I’ve had a bad day, that’s even more true than normal. At the end of a bad day, I just want to slay internet dragons and talk to my in-game friends.

In-Game Friends are Among the Best

Speaking of in-game friends, the people you meet in online video games can be some of the best you’ll ever meet. They come together from every corner of the globe to kill pixels and appreciate what Blizzard built for us. Though there are trolls and jerks within the mix, most of the players are decent people. Unlike people in real life, they aren’t judging you based on your appearance. If they’re going to judge you at all, in fact, it’s probably because of your ability to play your character.

Some of my best friends, though, have come from World of Warcraft. There are some I’ve never met in person who are kick-ass people nonetheless. I have gone to the beach with a few. Best of all, I married one of them. Yes. You read that right. I married someone I met in WoW. Funnily enough, there’s a saying about relationships that start in World of Warcraft. “It’s all fun and games until someone buys a plane ticket.”

Always Worth It

While you probably think I’ve wasted tons of times playing this game, I could never say that I agree. For me, the time I’ve spent in game has ALWAYS been worth it. The time I’ve spent there will always be worth it. I’ve had the privilege of being part of something so incredibly vast. And it isn’t just vast in the metaphorical sense. It’s physically vast. Millions of people from around the world play this game. People from all over come together once a year at BlizzCon to show their love for this game.

The art, the music, the encounters, the worlds.. They are all things that serve to make the experience entirely worth while. From my first days in Teldrassil as a noobish Night Elf priest to where I am at now, a Blood Elf mage wandering the Broken Isles, I have always felt that my experiences here were worth every second.

As Blizzard Entertainment goes into the weekend celebrating the 10th anniversary of BlizzCon, I can’t help but tell you how pleased I am with their work. They are absolutely brilliant, excelling in both game development and customer service within the industry. They’re one hell of a something to geek out over.

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The Anti Bucket List – Things I Will Never Do

Everyone has heard of a bucket list. In fact, most of us have a bucket list of our own, even if we don’t have it written down somewhere. I’ve never bothered with jotting mine down, but the list exists. I intend on visiting Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine, California someday. I will also take a trip to the Kitt Peak National Observatory (I’m a bit obsessed with space). My bucket list isn’t long, but it exists. How many of us, though, have an Anti Bucket List? That is, of course, a list of things that you will never do.

Up until recently, however, I had never considered my Anti Bucket List. A situation in which a coworker found himself is what prompted myself and a few others to consider the Anti Bucket List. I’m not going to divulge the details of his situation, because that business is not mine to share. I will, however, share with all of you the list of things I will NEVER do. Perhaps I shouldn’t say never. There are a lot of things I’ve said I’d never do and I ended up doing them anyway. These things are static, though. They won’t be budging from this list ever.


It’s just not..

I will absolutely never be arrested. This is something that retains a consistently top spot on my list of things to avoid. Most people don’t set out to be arrested. It’s just not something that we see happening to ourselves. To me, though, it goes a bit further than that. I find myself completely unwilling to ever put myself in a position that could result in my arrest. I don’t mind being a rebel, but my rebellion won’t consist of breaking laws, thank you very much. Breaking the law is just one thing I’m not willing to do.


I will never shot, stabbed, robbed, hit by a car, severely burned, or bitten by a poisonous or vicious animal. Listen, I know we all have to leave the physical realm at some point. It’s inevitable. I also realize that it is nearly impossible to go through life without ever experiencing some sort of injury. It becomes even less possible if, like me, you find yourself being slightly accident prone. That, however, does not mean that I want to ever be seriously injured. I do not want to die a horrible, painful death and I also do not want to live with severely painful injuries. No, thank you.


I will never find myself on the receiving end of an FBI or SBI investigation. There are some things that I know with absolute certainty. For instance, Harry Potter is f’ing amazing, spiders are downright creepy, cottage cheese has a horrible texture, and the ending to How I Met Your Mother sucked. I also know that if you find yourself on the receiving end of an investigation by a government agency, you probably did something really, really wrong. The potential outcomes of that investigation probably aren’t any better than whatever it is that you’ve done to result in the investigation.


I will NEVER do hard drugs. This one is easy for me. Drugs in general have never been appealing to me. The hardest thing you’ll catch me doing is taking far too many shots of whiskey. I enjoy alcohol occasionally, caffeine always, and hard drugs NEVER. My skin, teeth, physical well-being, and mental health are far too important to involve myself in that nonsense.


I will never expect my husband to wear matching t-shirts or t-shirts that state what kind of wife I supposedly am. There are days when I am a seriously kick ass wife. I get everything right those days. Those are the days when I manage to wash, dry, and FOLD the laundry. I also remember to check everyone’s pockets before putting a load into the washing machine. There have been more instances than I am willing to admit where I have accidentally washed markers, pens, or my husband’s wallet. Then there are the days when I forget everything, including dinner. Those are the days when, coincidentally, I also find myself looking for my phone while it’s in my hand. Also, I think husband-wife matching shirts are stupid.


I will never attempt to force my religious beliefs on others. It is not my job to shape the beliefs of others. I will never shove mine down anyone else’s throat. At the same time, however, I will not tolerate ANYONE shoving their’s down mine. Period.

Photo by Zoe Hansen


I will never again compromise my self-identity to please another human being. During my teen years, I spent so much time being someone else in hopes of having friends. I loved the smell of books, playing video games, and watching science fiction movies, but I wouldn’t admit it to others. It just wasn’t cool.  It took a long time to understand that real friends accept you for who you are. While the trademark geek of pop culture isn’t exactly representative of real geeks, that’s what I was and am. I geek out big time over lots of things. Star Wars, Harry Potter, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, makeup, and shoes are some of the main things on that list. If that’s not something you can handle, I hate it for you.




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Emergencies, Non-emergencies, and Life

Emergency or not
Image by Tracitodd


Being a mom isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Some moms are super moms. They have this built-in pro-mom gene that just sets them apart from the rest. Some moms are everything the Mila Kunis represented in Bad Moms. If you haven’t seen that movie, watch it. There are the ones who know what an emergency looks like and some who freak out over everything.
I’m the latter. Or, I was. Nine years into parenthood, I’m finally learning when and when not to go to the hospital. I’m learning when a doctor visit is necessary and when it isn’t. I use to go take my kids to the doctor for every little thing. Not only that, but I would get incredibly annoyed when a doctor didn’t take the situation as seriously as I wanted them to. We all want them to take us seriously, even when it isn’t serious.


When my oldest child was a toddler, she was running through the house. She had realized that socks on a wooden floor made for a whole lot of fun. Watching her slide across the floor and erupt into an adorable bought of laughter was fun for everyone. It was fun up until the moment that she slid head-first into a door facing. Laughter and joy quickly transformed into tears and screaming. I gathered her up in my arms, completely panicked, and noticed it immediately. There was an enormous purple goose egg on her forehead.


Wrapping her in a blanket, I ran out of the house and loaded her into the car. I drove as fast as I could to the local emergency room and quickly explained what had happened. We sat in the waiting room for about an hour before being called back. That should have been my first clue that it wasn’t an emergency. Once we were called back, they looked over her head, suggested ice and Tylenol, and sent us home. I was in disbelief, but they were right. It wasn’t an emergency. It was just a knot on her head. The knot would fade within a few days and she would be just fine.


Flash forward nine years and you’ll find me at the moment when I learned what is and isn’t an emergency. While at work one slow Sunday morning, I stopped for a moment to check my phone for the time. As the screen illuminated, I noticed that there were ten missed calls. All of them were from my husband. If he calls that many times in a row, something is wrong. He only ever calls twice consecutively before giving up. I called him back immediately,wondering what could be so urgent. He hurriedly explained that our four-year-old was at the ER and would possibly need stitches. I shoved my phone back into my pocket and quickly made my way to a supervisor. I told him what was going on and insisted that I needed to leave. With his consent to go, I ran to my car.


Wasting no time, I made it to the hospital in record time. I walked quickly into the lobby and asked to see my child. As they showed me into her room, I looked at her and gasped. There was a large, deep cut in her head. While the details of what had occurred were fuzzy, all that really mattered was the fact that she was hurt. At about that time, the doctor walked in with a small table that was prepped for stitching up a wound and asked me to hold her hands down. Once I was at her side with her hands down, he immediately got to work.


Three stitches and countless screams about doughnuts and pancakes later, we were leaving the emergency room and headed to the store for medicine. That was when I realized it. While so many of us are so good at worrying or even panicking over every little thing, it isn’t always an emergency. A bump to the head isn’t always serious. Slight coughing doesn’t always warrant a visit to the doctor. Breathe for a moment, think about the situation, and decide on an appropriate response.


Breathing and thinking things through is not only the best advice for motherhood. It is something that applies to life in general. So many times, we react to situations without thinking. A lot of the time, we overreact. We don’t stop to consider whether or not the situation is worthy of the reaction. Not every action deserves a reaction. That’s something to really consider when you go to respond to someone else’s actions. Are those actions really worthy of the response? Is the offender worthy of your precious energy?


Feel free to comment below. I love hearing the opinions of others, whether or not I agree. Differences are what make us who we are. Our differences are what make our species so beautiful. Far too often, we forget that. We spread hate when we should be spreading love. Remember that how you treat others is how your children will treat others. They watch everything we do because they’re learning from us. Teach them to love, not to hate. The world just doesn’t have enough love. Going into the holiday season, try to remember that.


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