Beauty

Makeup… The Adult Equivalent of a Lisa Frank Binder

Ladies, remember how you loved Care Bears and Lisa Frank and gel pens when you were a kid? Oh, you still do? Well, me too, honestly. I still get excited over school supplies and even the smell of Play-Dough. However, I also get the same joy over makeup and shoes and sundresses now. So I figured I’d share some of my favorite makeup products with you since we’re all going to have different tastes in shoes and clothes. (And you don’t need to see pictures of my 150+ pairs of shoes and 100+ Lilly Pulitzer sundresses/skirts/skorts/shorts/shirts/etc. because it would bore you to death.)

But I do understand that not everybody gets excited over makeup like I do. Still, it’s an essential part of being an adult. You do need makeup in certain situations. Period.

I won’t teach you how to apply makeup because there are tutorials on YouTube that can guide you far better than I ever could. I’m not a professional at applying makeup. I just do my own thing. If I have a specific tip, I’ll share it, but, in general, I’m just here to share my favorite makeup products!

I’ve shared my favorite skincare products with you here and here, and I still stand by all of my recommendations. So after I’m finished putting on my toner and moisturizer, I start with my makeup!

  • Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, $3.63. 
    • If you don’t have oily skin, you probably need a different primer, but if you do, the price is right, and this primer is AMAZING. It lasts all day. There’s not much else to say about primer other than that, really. That’s kind of all you’re looking for.
  • Make Up For Ever HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation, $43. OR Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $48.
    • Okay, so these are quite a bit more expensive than the primer, but SO worth it. The Make Up For Ever has a little more coverage than the Laura Mercier, so it depends on what you’re looking for, but they’re both great foundations. (I know Laura Mercier has SPF, but this is just a reminder that you NEED to use sunscreen before you put on your makeup, even if it has an SPF. I use this one underneath my moisturizer — which you also need even if you have oily skin. One thing I like about these two foundations is they neither dry out your skin nor do they make it oily looking. They’re great for any skin type. And if you accidentally put too much on, it’s easy to fix. I go with cheap makeup whenever I can, but these are worth the price.
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, $6.59
    • This is the sponge I use for my foundation. It’s better than any sponge I’ve tried. To be fair, I haven’t tried the $20 Beauty Blender — and I don’t plan on spending my money on it — but this blender is great, and I highly recommend it over sponges that cost the same amount.
  • Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, $30.
    • Well, this is expensive, too. But I swear, it’s worth every penny. Dark circles? What are those? Do you have adult acne? You don’t any more! (And here’s how to apply it the right way to get rid of those dark under-eye circles! The triangle method is the best, by far.) 
    • I’ve also heard people rave about Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30, but I’m not letting my Tarte Shape Tape Concealer out of my cold, dead hands, so I can’t personally recommend that one.
  • Real Techniques 4 Pack Miracle Mini Complexion Sponge, $8.99.
    • I use these to apply my concealer. I find them more manageable than my large foundation sponge, and $8.99 is not much for a four-pack. Also, you can wash them like you can any other foundation sponge, and use them repeatedly. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t spend $9 on four tiny sponges.)
  • Sonia Kashuk Brushes, varying prices.
    • Speaking of applying makeup, I generally use Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target to apply my powder, blush, highlighter, eyeshadow, etc. I have a couple of ELF and Wet & Wild brushes, and I use this eyelash comb, but I’ve had my Sonia Kashuk brushes since college… fifteen years ago (oh, my god… that is so sad), have washed them a zillion times, and they’re still in great shape. I could not recommend them more. To this day, I still do not need new ones. Sure, you can probably find better makeup brushes, but these are probably cheaper, and I can tell you from experience that they’re a great buy.
  • NYX Professional Makeup #NoFilter Finishing Powder, $11.99.
    • I LOVE this NYX powder. I’m honestly not sure if they make it anymore since it’s no longer on the Ulta website, and there are only a few colors on Amazon. (Guess I better get another one while it’s still there because they also no longer make my second favorite pressed powder — Make Up For Ever!) This is basically just a setting powder, and I am obsessed with it. There are a few other powders that can achieve this, though.
      • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Matte Setting Powder, $37.
        • I know I said I like to use the cheap stuff, but I won’t lie and say this stuff isn’t amazing AF. Besides, it’s one of the only other ones I’ve used that I’m going to recommend. It’s awesome. I try the cheap stuff first, but if you don’t like to, then this is what you should look at!
      • NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Matte Setting Powder, $12.
        • This looks like it would be comparable to the Make Up For Ever Setting Powder. I find NYX to be a good dupe for many brands, so I usually recommend it. However, this can only be found on the Ulta website, so you can’t try it in person. 
      • NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop All Day Mattifying Powder, $9.50
        • If you’re like me and you like pressed powder, this might be the one for you! Again, I always tend to recommend NYX over other cheap brands because it’s an excellent dupe for so many things.
      • Coty Airspun Face Powder Translucent Extra Coverage, $5.72.
        • The price is right on this one, and it has RAVE reviews on Amazon. Seriously. It has over 100,000 reviews and has 4.5 stars. I would personally love it myself (and choose it over Make Up For Ever, which I’m sure you can tell I LOVE by now), but I just prefer pressed powder. Still, I can’t help myself from recommending it anyways. Everyone likes different things in their powders, so I think I’ve given some options for everyone!
    • Physicians Formula Monoi Butter Bronzer Matte Light Bronzer, $12.99.
      • I honestly haven’t used this yet, but I’m buying it today. I looked up the bronzer I do use, and Neutrogena doesn’t make it anymore. Then I realized that I’ve had it since I was fifteen. I’m about to turn 36. I think it’s time to throw it away. I’m not one to ever throw makeup away, but I think twenty years is too long. I looked it up, and the shelf life is supposed to be two-three years… yikes. (Don’t worry, I follow the rules about eye makeup and things like that… I just have never thought about the rules of powder makeup!) It has good reviews, and the light looks light enough, even for my super fair skin. They also have darker colors if you aren’t a ghost like I am. 
    • Nars Blush, Orgasm, $30.
      • This color looks amazing on everybody. It seriously does. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is. Just buy it. Enough said. Oh, and a little goes a long way, so you may get away with purchasing the mini size!
    • Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter, Molten Rose Gold, $4.86.
      • LOVE this highlighter! The rose gold is great for my complexion, but they have several other colors, including gold and peach. A little bit goes a LONG way. I learned that the hard way the first time I used it!!!
    • Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Base — Clear Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer, $13.75.
      • Sure, there are cheaper eyeshadow primers out there. I used NYX’s primer for a long time because it had been the best I had found. But it creased more, and it showed a little bit. This is by far the best eyeshadow primer I’ve ever used. Period. It’s worth it.
    • I would usually put my eyeshadows on right after my primer, but since I want to list a bunch of my favorite eyeshadows, I’m going to list those at the end of this entry, and continue with my makeup routine as if I had already put on my eyeshadow!
    • NYX Matte Finish Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Vegan Formula, $9.50.
      • There’s not much to say about setting spray because all you want is one that works. This one works. I think it works better than Urban Decay’s, which says a lot. I highly recommend it. Check it out.
    • L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Mechanical Eyeliner, Black, $9.39.
      • If you’re not great at putting on eyeliner like me, this is a great eyeliner to use. It’s kind of like a crayon. I can’t use liquid liner, and I don’t like pencil eyeliner on the top of my eyes, so this stuff is excellent. I do wonder why eyeliner is so expensive, though!
    • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $27.
      • I don’t care what anybody says. This is the best mascara ever. I know this for a fact because I’ve tried all of the other “best mascaras ever.” Believe me, I own all of them! I’ve repeatedly said I love the cheap stuff, but I’d pay even more for this. You can pry this from my cold, dead hands. If you don’t own this, don’t wait. Buy this. Today. Now. Sadly, the waterproof is a little more clumpy, but not so much where I’d choose any other mascara over it. I’d just select the non-waterproof version over it any day of the week… unless you cry a lot or you’re going swimming. 
    • EYESHADOWS! I have so many favorites. Tarte stops making some of them after a while, but I’m going to do my best to find them. And I’m only going to include my absolute favorites on here, which will be incredibly difficult.
      • Too Faced Born This Way — The Natural Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, $49.
        • I’ve never spent this amount of money on an eyeshadow palette because the price is absurd, and even though I wanted it for a long time, it took me receiving it as a gift to actually get it. Now? I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. It is the absolute best eyeshadow palette I’ve ever had. There’s no color in here that you can’t use, no matter your skin tone, and I’m looking at it trying to choose my favorite, but I can’t. I use Glistening Snow, Shimmering Pearl, Rose Gold, Golden Light, and Sugared Chestnut the most. But honestly, I love all of them.
      • Maybelline Expertwear All Day Eyeshadow Sunlit Bronze, $12.29.
        • I’ve literally been rebuying this same eyeshadow palette since high school. The colors are so flattering! I also love how they tell you where to use them! However, I tend to use Mac’s eyeshadow in Girlie ($19.00) in the crease and Mac’s eyeshadow in Woodwinked ($19) in the outer corners.
      • Maybelline New York Lemonade Craze, $8.94.
        • This one is so fun, especially for the summer! You can make so many cute summery looks with it. When I’m lazy, I like to use Mac’s Girlie and put the shimmery Strawberry Lemonade in this palette over it instead of going for a whole look. But that’s certainly not the only great color in here! I love them all, but I am fond of Citrus and Coral Punch… they’re fun peachy colors that are so cute. However, I still haven’t figured out how to use the namesake Lemonade Craze. If you have any tips, please let me know! I would love to be able to make some fun makeup looks!
      • Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette, $54.
        • Okay, so I don’t actually own this because I can’t justify the price. But I look at it all the time and swoon over the colors. It’s so beautiful. So if you want to give me a gift, you can send me money on Cash App at $lindsaykaye04 or Venmo @blondesunshine12. Yes, I’m sure you will want to buy a wholly unnecessary and ridiculously expensive makeup item for an absolute stranger. I have no doubt in my mind that this wish will come true. I’ll be waiting with bated breath.
      • Tarte Don’t Quit Your Daydream, $18.
        • This includes some neutral and peachy colors and is perfect for spring. I found this new on Poshmark, and it’s honestly worth the price. It’s a beautiful palette! I love all of these, also, but I think my favorites are Boss Lady and Strive!
      • Tarte Love, Trust, and Fairy Dust Eye Palette, $39.
        • This is another one that’s good for spring and summer. And if you’re good with eyeshadow, you can make SO MANY unique looks with this! I’m almost to the bottom on Twinkle, Flitter, Magic, Mystical, and the middle color! (If you can’t tell from all the favorites I’ve listed so far in my favorite eyeshadows, I love a slight shimmer!!!)
    • LIPGLOSSES!!!

So those are my favorite makeup items. I listed them here and provided links because I highly recommend each of them. 

Do you really need makeup? Like, do you really need a full face of makeup? Sadly, yes. If you’re going to work or a job interview, you need a full face of makeup. If you’re going on a date, you need makeup — how much you want to wear is up to you, though.

You don’t makeup to run errands, and please don’t wear a full face of makeup to the gym, but if you want to look like a professional adult, yes, you need these things. You may not need these brands, but you need these items.

And don’t forget makeup brushes and sponges. Please don’t apply your makeup with the applicators that come with it. Brushes are worth the cost to look much better.

As for applying it, there are millions of videos on YouTube on how to do so. I’d teach you myself, but I’m certainly no professional. I’ve just learned by experience. But if you don’t have experience using makeup, please take advantage of these videos. 

I know not everybody loves makeup like I do. And that’s okay. You don’t have to wear it all of the time. But you do have to get comfortable with wearing it in certain places. And one tip — if you don’t often wear makeup, see if you can get a travel-sized item!

And if you do love makeup like I do, share what you love below! I’d love to hear about some great items I’m missing out on!

Posts

Valentine’s Day Week Posts

So I had great ideas for posts this week. On Monday (Valentine’s Day), I was going to write about relationships. Then on Wednesday, I was going to write about how to deal with loneliness. The problem is… I have no idea what to write about!!!

I have no idea what I want to write about when it comes to relationships. And despite being an extravert, I enjoy “me time,” so while I sometimes get lonely like everybody else, I usually don’t ever deal with it.

So I’m going to take a break this week, and come back to those topics at a different time when I actually have, like, some actual idea on what I’m going to write about. Because I don’t think anything I have to say would be helpful. Hell, I don’t think anything I have to say would even make for a coherent post.

They would have made wonderful Valentine’s Day topics, but my Valentine was my cat, Penny Lane (who is also the other half of my most successful relationship), and I didn’t spend the day lonely at all. I got so many cuddles and kisses that you couldn’t believe it.

My best relationship and favorite Valentine
Money

How to Get Out of Debt

So many people have debt. According to the latest report in 2020, US Consumer Debt reached $4.21 trillion. Whether it’s student loans, car payments, a mortgage, or credit card debt, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, so many people feel shame about their debts. So the first thing I want to say is — don’t feel ashamed. You may feel guilt or regret for getting in a bad situation, but you’re not a bad person for getting in the situation.

The first step to getting out of debt is budgeting, which I wrote about yesterday. There are many ways to budget, so choose whichever works for you. Everyone is going to be different.

The second step may sound counterintuitive, but it makes complete sense when you really stop to think about it. SAVE FOR AN EMERGENCY before you start paying off your debt in full. That way, when you’re paying off your debt, if you have a situation like a broken-down car or a medical crisis, you won’t have to put that money onto your credit card! Some people say you need to be able to save between three to six months’ salary, but for the purposes of this, $1-3k should be enough.

Third, stop using your credit cards. Only spend what you can afford. You can use them again once you’re out of debt. Are your expenses more than what you’re bringing in? If so, how can you remedy that? Sometimes, giving up dining out often or getting Starbucks will only fix so much. Can you move to a cheaper place? Are you able you get by with public transportation? Can you pick up a job for nights and weekends or start a side hustle?

Fourth, take a look at your habits. Are you a compulsive spender? If so, get some help. Check out Debtors Anonymous.

Then, there are some simple things to plan before getting started. First, figure out your ultimate why and write it down. Put it somewhere that you’ll see it — like your wallet. For example, “I want to get out of debt so that ____.” Personally, I want to pay off my small amount of debt to start saving for a wedding, upgrade my house in the future, and for any future children. But since that’s quite a lengthy statement, I wrote down,” I want to get out of debt so that I can start a future with my future husband.”

You also need to set your goals, and the SMART Criteria is the most well-known.

  • Specific: A goal should be clear and simple
  • Measurable: You should be able to track your progress.
  • Achievable: It should be possible within the timeframe you choose.
  • Relevant: It should play a part in getting you closer to paying off your debt.
  • Time-Bound: You should have a deadline.

Let’s say I want to pay off my $4,000 debt within 10 months. I’ve estimated that I’ll have $400 interest max, so $4,400. That means I need to set aside $440 a month to pay towards my debt. That goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

So once you’ve figured this out, how are you going to pay off your debt? There are two popular strategies, and whichever one you choose depends more on your personality. One will give you more victories in the short run, but one will save you money on interest.

The Snowball Method

Make a list of all of your debts, from the smallest to the largest.

  • Visa — $1,000
  • Mastercard — $2,000
  • American Express — $3,000

(Of course, likely there will be car payments, a mortgage, or some student loans, but I’m using credit cards just for ease.)

You’ll pay the minimums on the Mastercard and American Express each month while paying all you can on the smallest amount — the Visa card. You’ll pay it off first and have a quick success, which will motivate you more in the long run! Then you’ll attack the Mastercard, then the American Express. This is a good strategy because you’ll be encouraged quickly as you go along. However, it may cost you more in interest.

The Avalanche Method

Make a list of your debts with the interest rates from highest to lowest.

  • Mastercard — 24%
  • American Express — 20%
  • Visa — 18%

You’ll continue to make minimum payments on the cards (or mortgage, student loans, car payments, etc.) with the lowest interest rates and tackle the debt with the highest interest rate first, paying as much as you can. This method won’t give you victories as quickly as the Snowball Method, but it will save you money in interest, which is quite important!

It depends on your personality and what will keep you going the most to choose between these two methods. Will you be more motivated if you have success quickly? Or will you be more motivated if you know you’re saving money in interest? I prefer the Avalanche Method, but that’s just my personal preference. (Besides, I also only have one small debt to pay off, so it doesn’t really apply to me.)

The moral of the story is that you can pay off your debts. You’re not destined to walk the earth owing money forever. And you shouldn’t feel ashamed of yourself for having debt. Most people do, in some form or another. You are not a bad person for having debt. There is nothing wrong with you, so do not look down on yourself. I know I don’t. Sure, I got myself into my situation, and I feel guilty for that, but I don’t feel guilty for being the person I am. I made a mistake, like millions of others out there. I’m just lucky mine was small. But there’s nothing inherently flawed about me for making this blunder. And there’s nothing wrong with you, either. So give yourself a break — especially if your debts aren’t on credit cards, but are student loans, a mortgage, or car payments. You’re doing all you can do! And I promise you that you can pay off your debts. You can do it! It just may take some time.

Money

How to Budget as an Adult

I know, I know. This topic sounds thrilling. But as adults, we need a budget to get by. You may say that living with a budget is challenging. You’re dead wrong. Living without a budget is challenging. Having a budget doesn’t restrict you; it empowers you.

Decide what you realistically want from budgeting. Imagine your life five years from now after budgeting. How much will you have saved up? Will you be able to afford that dream vacation? The dream wedding? Can you afford to put money down on a house? Could you have paid off all your debts and still saved for what you want? Could you have started saving early for your child’s college fund? Maybe you have gotten a head start on your retirement fund?

There are plenty of ways you can budget. There are templates on Excel, budget books on Amazon with ideas and PDF files, apps like Mint and You Need a Budget (my personal favorite and the favorite in many budget books!), and probably so much more I don’t know about. You have so many options to budget that you can definitely find something you like! But no matter what you choose, you unquestionably need some sort of budget.

You can also use the tried and true Envelope Budget, which uses all cash, but is a little more complicated in our digital world. You have an envelope for each category and fill it with cash. You can’t go over the amount of money you have in each envelope. This may have been easier in the past when we paid things with checks, but now that we have automatic payments for bills (and you should have automatic payments to prevent late fees) taken out of our debit or credit cards, it doesn’t seem as feasible. Still, you could use this method with categories that aren’t bills, such as groceries, dining out, clothes, etc.

There’s also the popular 50/30/20 approach. You spend 50% on your necessities, 30% on wants, and 20% goes into savings. The only problem with this system nowadays is that often rent and bills cover more than 50% of your paycheck. However, this is a great budget idea, and you can always tailor it to make it your own!

When I talk about budgeting, I’m not talking about simply writing your transactions down after making them. Don’t just track expenses as you go. Instead, I’m talking about giving yourself a set limit in specific categories, tracking what you spend after you set a limit at the beginning of the month, and not going over it. You may not get it right for the first few months, but you eventually will figure out how it works for you, and you’ll get it together. (A simple way to do this is to track yourself for a week and multiply it by four, but you’ll notice all weeks are different.)

The question is not always Can I Afford This? Sometimes the question is Should I Buy This Even Though I Can Afford This? For example, how much money do you spend at Starbucks each week? Can you make coffee at home? Of course, if Starbucks is important to you, include it in your budget! Can you make your lunch at home to take to work? Can you dine out less and cook more? Can you get rid of cable and only use streaming services? You’re the only one who knows what your priorities are — and if Starbucks or dining out are your priorities, then you should absolutely keep them in your budget if you can afford it! Your obligations and priorities will look way different than somebody else’s. We only tend to feel guilt when we’re spending money when we don’t spend it in line with our priorities, or we know we can’t afford what we’re buying. What do you want your money to do for you?

It’s really tempting to start budgeting $50 for dining out when you spent $400 on dining out the month before. You may make it one month, but it’s not sustainable. Habits are changed in small doses. So don’t be afraid to go slowly if you do want to cut down on something you spend a lot of money on.

It’s also essential to save a bit monthly to be ready for unexpected expenses — maybe your car breaks down, or you have a medical emergency. Perhaps you just forgot you’re going to be charged for your Amazon Prime membership! The goal is to have at least one month’s money in advance, preferably more. I’ll be honest — I don’t personally have this yet myself, but I’m working on it. If you need to make more money, there are plenty of things you can do — there are so many side hustles these days that it’s ridiculous. A great place to look is Making Sense of Cents. And if you have debts to pay off, that’s incredibly important, as well as budgeting to spend less money.

There are a few easy ways I save money:

  1. LOVE Amazon. So I just don’t sign on. It’s difficult, but I know I’d buy something, even if it’s something I need.
  2. I’m challenging myself to a no-buy streak for the month. I told myself I could spend money on experiences (seeing friends, etc.) or essential things that I absolutely must buy, but I wouldn’t buy any frivolous items.
  3. I get my groceries delivered, or I pick them up. That way, I don’t find products that I just have to have around the store. Because if I go to the store, I always find so many things that I “need” when I actually don’t need them at all. I end up spending way too much money. Buying online doesn’t give me the chance to browse.

I challenge you to a no-buy streak for the rest of the month. If it’s a necessary product or an experience, that’s okay. But if you don’t need it, don’t buy it!

I also want to recommend You Need a Budget. It’s the absolute best budget I’ve ever used, hands down. They have a 34-day free trial (you don’t have to put in your credit card) to see if you like it before paying for it. I think it’s worth the money. It’s already helped me more than any Excel spreadsheet, Mint, or any paper budget I’ve ever used! (And I’ve used a lot of different types of budgets!) I like YNAB because it helps me avoid impulse purchases. After all, I can just check with my tracker first and see if I can afford it. It also allows me to recognize the things that are the highest priority to me and helps me figure out how to use my money to serve me best. Unfortunately, it does cost money. So even if you decide not to use it, the blog entries are invaluable! You should also check out the blog entries on Nerd Hacker. They’ve also been highly beneficial for me.


How else do you think you can save money by budgeting? Leave a comment below with some suggestions. I’ll include them in my money series this week!


I also want to give a quick shout-out to Adam and Rory, who joined my Patreon… thank you, guys! I appreciate you being so supportive! It means so much to me!!!

Uncategorized

Wardrobe Essentials for Men

Just like all women need certain items in their wardrobe, men do as well, and these are a few of them. I tended to choose the most colorful items simply because I love men in color. Honestly, if I could make every man look like a Southern prep, I would, but since that’s not everybody’s style, I tried to include a bit of everything. Men don’t always include as much color as they should, so I tried to incorporate a lot of it!

Because I don’t know menswear as well as womenswear, I often included more expensive options. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need the more expensive option or even the brand name! They were just what I knew were appropriate for what I was looking for. You can always buy something cheaper. Just choose something that is quality, and you’ll be fine!

Black and navy suits are a staple to any man’s wardrobe! While they might not be worn daily, they’re absolute must-haves. While I linked very beautiful suits, you can probably find some quality suits cheaper than what I linked here.
Another must-have for men is a pair of nice black dress slacks. These are gorgeous, and actually don’t break the bank. These are something you can wear to work, or with a polished shirt to go out somewhere nice.
A pair of flat-front khakis are the last important pair of pants you’ll need! You can get pleated-front if you prefer, but flat-front seem more modern and more youthful. They are also more flattering! You can wear khakis with nearly everything, so these are a must.
The last pair of pants you need is a classic pair of jeans. Don’t listen to the hype — you don’t need to spend $100 or more on a pair of jeans. Levi’s are my favorite jeans for both men and women. They’re relatively cheap, and I’ve never seen them look bad on anybody. Just choose whatever cut you like in jeans (this cut looks good on nearly everybody), and you’re good to go!
Unlike women, I included shorts for men, starting with khaki shorts. These are a must-have for summer. Just like khaki pants, you can wear them with everything, and pair them with the Sperry’s I linked below. They look great with a polo shirt!
I also included a pair of navy shorts and light blue shorts for summer. I feel like navy is a great go-to, but you don’t necessarily have to choose light blue. Just choose a color! Pink or red are also great colors. Pair them with an oxford and a bowtie with Sperry’s and go tailgating… okay, my Southern roots are showing. Like I said, if I could get every guy to dress like a Southern prep, I’d be a happy girl!
A navy blazer is a non-negotiable in any man’s wardrobe! Put it on with an oxford or other button-down and jeans or khakis for a quick date outfit! You can also dress it up! The real question is… what CAN’T you do with a navy blazer?
A white button down oxford is a no-brainer. It doesn’t need to be Ralph Lauren — that’s just what I’ve chosen here because I happen to like Ralph Lauren oxfords for myself. You can find plenty of white button-downs that are quality that aren’t name brand. But it’s important that you have this important staple in your wardrobe!
I chose a few more oxfords that you need in your wardrobe — a plain-colored one, a striped one (though I prefer pink stripes for men), and a plaid one. I included so many because you can wear these with everything — jeans, khakis, or shorts. Wear them with jeans and a navy blazer and you’re ready for a date! You can really do anything with these!
I included a navy, a pink (because women actually do love men in pink), and a green polo. When in doubt, choose color! Girls love color! (But navy is always a good staple, so I recommend it as well.) Polos are just as important as oxfords because you can wear them with everything also.
Something light to go over your clothes when it’s a little cool, like a Vineyard Vines Shep shirt. (Again, you don’t need to buy anything brand name. I just chose it because I personally like the Vineyard Vines Shep shirt… but you can get a zillion things like it.) This is just a cotton long-sleeved shirt you can wear when it gets cool.
A French cuff dress shirt for nice occasions. I don’t know how often men wear these, but I love them!
Mostly because you can get monogrammed cuff links, and I love monograms! Of course, monograms may not be your style, and that’s okay! There are plenty of cuff links out there, and you can find some to fit your needs!
And on a much more boring note, you’ve got to have black dress socks for your wardrobe. I’m sure you can find them much cheaper than this, though. I’d check out Ross or Marshall’s instead of buying them online.
Luckily, men can wear more interesting dress socks, too! And we love it when you do!!! Again, I’d look at Ross or Marshall’s before buying them online.
Black and brown dress shoes are obviously important for any man’s wardrobe. You can’t live without them! I don’t know the average price for men’s shoes, so these may be expensive, but I really liked them.
A black Chelsea boot is also important. I got help from my friend Heath in Connecticut on this, and he told me about these. I’m honestly not sure what you wear these with or when you wear them, but he assures me that they are very important and are a staple in a man’s wardrobe. He agrees that these are a quality pair.
Cowboy boots being a necessity in your wardrobe may not apply to you, but I’m from Texas. I admit that I don’t wear mine often myself (mostly only for tailgating and concerts), but any Texan man needs cowboy boots sometimes!
Sperry Top-Sider Boat Shoes are the perfect shoe. What can you NOT wear these with? I have four or five pair myself. They’re great casual shoes for spring and summer. You can also wear them for tailgating!
Everybody needs a good pair of tennis shoes. And the flashy ones are so ugly!
As for important accessories, black and brown belts are right up there with black and brown dress shoes. They are non-negotiable. I personally loved these belts.
A messenger bag is really only necessary if you need one for work or tend to carry a lot of stuff when you go certain places. It’s much more modern and youthful than a briefcase. They have it in black as well if you prefer that. I’ve just always loved the look of cognac.
An assortment of ties is also important! A black tie is obviously important to have, but I included a few colorful ties as well. I also included a bowtie, because if I can get one guy to dress like a Southern prep, I’ll be extremely happy. You can wear it to tailgate for the big game with your colorful shorts, an oxford, and your Sperry’s!
These are accessories that are small, but add a lot to an outfit — pocket squares! Don’t even bother buying expensive ones.
The ultimate accessory — a watch. It doesn’t have to look like this. It doesn’t have to be name brand. It can be an Apple Watch or a sports watch like that. But a watch really puts together an outfit, so just make sure it looks nice. I just happened to like this one, so that’s why I chose it!
List

Wardrobe Essentials for Women

There are certain things every woman needs in her wardrobe. These are some of them. Every female needs these items! I tended to choose black instead of colors because it’s more basic, but I recommend getting more colorful clothes in colors that suit your skin tone. Black is wonderful, but everyone needs colors! Let’s get started!

A little black dress! It doesn’t have to look like this — get one to suit your personality. But every woman needs a little black dress in her wardrobe!
A wrap dress! You can get this in multiple colors, including black, which is always a classic, but this is a color you can wear all year long. It would look so cute with red heels and a red purse!
A colorful dress! This one happens to be for summer, but you need some colorful dresses for winter as well! Wearing black all of the time is so boring!
Some black heels that are appropriate for work! These are classic and will look good with everything
A pair of brown heels that are appropriate for work. These heels are low enough to be appropriate and are super cute.
Nude heels! Nude heels go with everything! You definitely need a pair of these in your life!
A pair of heels to go out on the town in! These are great — 4″ heels and patent black. I actually own these myself, and they’re surprisingly comfortable. I also recommend a pair of black sandal heels, whether the heels are chunky or thin, short or tall.
A pair of black and brown flats! These are well-made and also super cute!
You can’t live without black knee-high boots. Don’t get me wrong — I love over-the-knee boots as well, but they’re not a necessity. But you’ll find yourself wearing knee-high boots all of the time!
What you may wear even more often than black heeled boots are brown/tan riding boots. These are a must for fall and winter!
You may wonder why I’m suggesting underwear. These thongs have no panty lines and because they’re lace, aren’t tight on top and dig into you, giving you muffin-top (even if you’re not fat at all!) Just please don’t wear them with short skirts or dresses!.
I think a strapless bra goes without saying. This one is great because it’s also backless! You can wear it with some wonderful summer dresses.
Black tights! They go with dresses and skirts in the winter. They’re always important!
The most basic necessity of all may be a pair of great jeans. I personally love Levi’s because they look great on everybody. These are stretchy, and you pull them on like leggings — they don’t have a button. They’re super flattering! You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on jeans to look great — I recommend any Levi’s jeans. They always make your butt look great!
These are simple, but often necessary — black and white camisoles. They’re easy to overlook in your wardrobe, but I find myself needing them often.
A white button-down shirt. It’s classic and goes with ANYTHING!
My favorite staple in my wardrobe is my striped pink and white Ralph Lauren oxford. I have several Ralph Lauren oxfords in several colors, but I always find myself coming back to this one. Pink and white may not be for you, but a colored oxford is always a good idea.
A crewneck sweater is so important. I showed the black one, which is classic, but I’d personally choose a colorful one. Actually, I’d personally choose an argyle one, but that’s not for everybody!
A black cardigan will ALWAYS come in handy!
Polo shirts are classic for a reason. You can wear them with anything. I recommend getting several in multiple colors — don’t be afraid to go as colorful as you can! (They don’t have to be name brand!)
My daily jewelry. Pearls go with absolutely everything. You can wear them daily. And they don’t have to be expensive!
For those of you who aren’t into pearls, a cubic zirconia necklace and cubic zirconia earrings may be a better fit. They’re also classics that you can’t go wrong with!
Black and brown purses that are big enough to hold everything are always important. These may not be for you, but I love the bows. Luckily, if you don’t like these, black and brown purses are incredibly easy to find!
A small black purse to use when you go out. Pair it with those patent stilettos and a hot dress or jeans and a cute top and you’ll be good to go!
I’m not much of a belt girl, but these are so cute, that I’ve made an exception! You need a belt in both black and brown to match your various clothes!
Summer sundresses! At least one white and at least one maxi! My favorite sundresses are Lilly Pulitzer, but they aren’t for everybody! (I also can’t afford them, so I buy them all used!)
Summer sandals are necessary to go with your summer dresses!
You also need a summer purse to go with your summer dresses. It doesn’t have to be one like this, but this is one example of something you can carry.

So there we go, ladies. I could go on for a few more hours, but these are just the absolute basics that we need in our wardrobe. Obviously, it’s too expensive to buy them all at once, but you can obtain them over several seasons. They also don’t have to be name brand!

If you have any other suggestions of wardrobe basics that I left out, just leave a comment!

On Friday… find out the wardrobe essentials for men!

List

101 Things Every Adult Needs to Know

  1. How to change a tire
  2. How to jumpstart your car
  3. How to open a bottle of champagne (Hint: Twist the bottle, not the cork!)
  4. Do your taxes — even if it is with TurboTax or something similar!
  5. Make a schedule and to-do list — and stick with it! Time management is so important!
  6. Start a savings account
  7. Start a retirement account
  8. Make a monthly budget, including savings and retirement — and follow it!!!
  9. Figure out how to invest
  10. Learn how to respectfully say no
  11. Learn how to negotiate
  12. Learn how to cook at least a few meals well
  13. Remember to back up your computer often
  14. Save all your passwords in an app or locked Excel document
  15. Learn how to online bank
  16. Pay bills automatically online
  17. Start getting credit! Get a credit card — but make sure to pay it off in full each month. Learn how to use credit wisely
  18. Don’t get into debt
  19. Learn how to show up on time, especially if you’re chronically late
  20. Find a place for your keys so you don’t constantly lose them
  21. Stay informed
  22. Register to vote and make sure to vote in every election!!!
  23. Create a will and living will
  24. Get a primary care physician and any other kind of doctor you need
  25. Keep all health-related things in order, including any medications you’re on or have previously been on
  26. Pair a bottle of wine with your meal
  27. Know how to use a grill
  28. Own basic wardrobe staples
  29. Learn how to parallel park
  30. Know how to tie a tie
  31. Learn how to make basic cocktails
  32. Keep your house or apartment clean
  33. Start a conversation and engage in small talk
  34. Give a proper handshake
  35. Learn how to be decisive
  36. Set goals for each month
  37. Learn how to sew a button
  38. Buy a first aid kit for both your house and car
  39. Learn the Heimlich Maneuver
  40. Learn how to hang a picture on the wall
  41. Have a hobby or two
  42. Learn how to put on a condom
  43. Learn to do your own laundry
  44. Learn how to get stains out of clothes
  45. Learn how to iron and steam clothes
  46. Learn and remember to change the filters on both your air conditioner and your refrigerator
  47. Figure out how to change the batteries on your smoke detector and test it
  48. Learn to unclog a toilet
  49. How to turn the water off to your house in case of a freeze
  50. Remember to write thank-you notes
  51. Admit when you’re wrong
  52. How to wrap a present
  53. Learn to use a fire extinguisher
  54. Make the first move when dating — don’t be afraid to ask somebody out!
  55. Learn how to flirt
  56. Set boundaries when it comes to sex
  57. Set boundaries in both your personal and professional life
  58. Take care of yourself first
  59. Listen to people
  60. Listen to people’s actions
  61. Know how to deal with police if you get pulled over
  62. Don’t put anything on social media you wouldn’t want the entire world to see
  63. Don’t stay in a bad situation because you’re afraid of change — the sunk-cost fallacy
  64. If you want a big wedding, start saving money as early as you can
  65. Travel as much as you can
  66. Buy something that is high quality rather than a cheaper version — it will last longer and you won’t have to re-buy it as soon
  67. Don’t invest in multi-level-marketing schemes
  68. Count calories to lose weight — don’t engage in trend diets
  69. Take care of your body
  70. Quit smoking
  71. Drink in moderation
  72. Donate or sell anything you don’t use
  73. Remember to change your oil
  74. Tip 20%
  75. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion
  76. Start looking for a new job before you quit your current job
  77. Don’t be afraid to take chances, even if you could fail
  78. Ask advice from people who know more than you
  79. Ask for what you want
  80. Learn how to make an excellent first impression
  81. Learn how to make a habit
  82. Trust your instincts
  83. Experiences are more important than things
  84. Enjoy the moment
  85. Learn how to organize things in your own way — you don’t have to embrace minimalism if that’s not for you
  86. Set reasonable goals for yourself
  87. Learn to be okay with being alone
  88. Make a five-year plan
  89. Have a toolbox
  90. Make a cleaning to-do list for each day — you’ll spend less time on the weekends!
  91. Make your bed each morning
  92. Think hard about it before you decide to get a pet
  93. Keep things in your online cart overnight before deciding to buy them
  94. When obtaining an apartment or house, check and make sure there are enough electrical outlets
  95. Learn the ultimate rules of etiquette — Emily Post’s Etiquette
  96. Realize it’s okay to stay home — and even to go to bed at 9 PM
  97. Buying things on sale is only cheaper if you were going to purchase that item in the first place
  98. Remember people’s names
  99. Listen more than you speak
  100. Accept that some people just don’t like you… and that’s okay
  101. Be polite to them anyways

A great book on this is Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown. I bought the original version of the book, and I highly recommend it. I haven’t read the newest version yet, but I have no doubt it will be just as illuminating! Also, you can get it for as cheap as $3.99 on Kindle. What a deal!

Dating

Dating App Debacles, Part 1

I’m sitting here with a whiskey and diet in my hand. I don’t need to be laid back to write in this blog, but I want to be calm and collected for what I’m doing next. Did I say calm and collected? I really meant that I just don’t want to be disgruntled and exasperated, which I will be without at least two drinks in my system.

I have to check my online dating apps. I really hate them. I haven’t checked Match and eHarmony for about five months, though, so I figure it’s about time. After all, I’m paying for their services. Not like I meet any eligible suitors on there (or on Bumble, which I also use).

The last two guys I went out with were in the summer of 2021 — I was so traumatized that I’m just getting back out there. I went on two dates with each of them and actually liked both. But they weren’t into me so much. Since then, I’ve swiped left so many times that I can’t even count. And when I do swipe right, I’m not all that interested, and conversations tend to peter out over time. I can’t believe I haven’t gone on a date in about six months.

I’m about to turn 36. I want a family. So it’s time for me to at least start dating guys. And quite honestly, I don’t know where to meet them besides dating apps. And in the age of COVID, is there really another way? I didn’t even know of another way before!

I’m going to be more open-minded from now on and swipe right more often. I’ve never cared about height or income and superficial things like that, but I can be picky about other things. And I’m going to promise to give it a go at least one hour a day… and at least two hours tonight!

I just can’t stop thinking of my worst online date. He met me at a bar, bought expensive drinks, and then informed me he had no money. I don’t mind being the one who pays, but I’m on disability — I don’t have money, either. So if I’m paying, let me know in advance, and please don’t buy the most expensive drinks! Then he wanted to take a Lyft to another bar — where he continued to purchase pricey drinks — then a Lyft to another — and then finally back to the bar where we first met up. Of course, I bankrolled all of this. (Let’s just say that I couldn’t pay off my credit card in full that month.) Plus, the whole time, he was love-bombing me. (In case you don’t know, love-bombing is one of the early signs of an abusive relationship, so watch out for that!)

Then again, I have had some pretty damn good dates with men I’ve met online. And some damn good kisses. Just because they didn’t up being the one for me doesn’t mean I’ve never had fun!

Even if I don’t meet the one any time soon, I could use a significant amount of fun in my life right about now. I’m dealing with so much stress due to my mom being sick with breast cancer, and I just plain need some joyfulness as a distraction. So why not go on dates and try to have a good time? Sure, I could end up spending the evening with an atrocious human being. However, after all these years of online dating, that’s only happened once. My chances seem good. And if I happen to connect with somebody I want to go on a second date with, that would be even better!

But I’ll never know if I don’t sign onto my dating apps and give them a try. I have over 100 notifications in that folder… I should really get to them. I can’t have fun talking and flirting with a guy, then go out on a fun date with him if I never actually sign on to the dating apps I’ve paid for. I never thought I would become so disgruntled with dating apps that I would just ignore them. But I’m honestly quite bitter right now. It’s time to turn my frown upside down. If I expect to be disappointed, I will be. So, instead, I will choose to anticipate being content and satisfied with my choices. The more I believe it, the more likely it is to happen!

Part of adulting involves dating and being in a relationship. And I’m genuinely inadequately adulting when it comes to those things. So I think it’s time to give love (or at least like) a fighting chance!

I’ll keep y’all in the loop and update you on how it goes!

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