1000 Roses Moroccan Beauty Oil: Eco-Luxe for Less.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Andalou Naturals brand, but many people seem to be in agreement that the 1000 Roses line is luurrrvely. I noticed the 1000 Roses face mask in Whole Foods and was very tempted, but I already have three face masks I’m using up. I’m trying to buy less, people! However, my dry skin has been crying out for oil lately, and whilst I use argan, jojoba and pricky pear seed oil in rotation, none of these smell particularly nice or feel particularly luxurious. I’ve heard awesome things about face oils from brands like Kypris, Gressa, La Bella Figura and In Fiore, but they are all pretty pricey. I wanted something that felt eco-luxe without the hefty price tag.

I think this oil truly delivers. Here’s a pic of it, in all its 16 dollars glory (actually on sale at Vitacost right now for 13.57!!)

roses

 

First of all, the packaging (to me) feels very luxe. As you can see, the product comes in a pink glass bottle. Glass is always preferable to plastic, both in terms of being environmentally friendly, and in feeling more luxurious and looking prettier on the bathroom shelf. Second of all, I love pink, so brownie points for that!

Now for the ingredients. The ingredients list is truly stellar, for the price. Take a look:

Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (sunflower), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba), rosa canina (rosehip), punica granatum (pomegranate), vaccinum macrocarpon (cranberry), camelina sativa, argania spinosa (argan) and hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oils*, PhytoCellTec (Alpine rose, malus domestica, solar vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex:[hyaluronic acid, magnolia officinalis bark, Phoenix dactylifera (date) leaf cell and boswellia serrata (boswellin) extracts], sorbitol, caprylic/capric triglycerides, tocopherol (vitamin E), aloe barbadensis extract, camellia sinensis (white tea) and aspalathus linearis (rooibos)*†, citrus tangerina (tangerine) and pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium) oils*, rosa centifolia (rose) oil.
*Certified Organic. †Fair Trade.

OK guys, this is a product under 20 bucks, and we’re talking rosehip oil as the third main ingredient! Not only that but we’ve got fruit stem cell extracts, geranium AND rose oil, argan oil, sea buckthorn oil…this is crazy!! It’s like a who’s who of green beauty blogger best ingredients list.

Here are the claims, and they’re hefty:

Rose and Fruit Stem Cells

  • Alpine Rose/Malus Domestica/Solar Vitis
  • Boost Cell Vitality
  • Improve Resilience
  • Counteract Aging

Bioactive 8 Berry Complex

Certified Organic Portfolio of Superfruit Antioxidants; Acai, Aronia, Bearberry, Bilberry, Black Elderberry, Goji, Rosehips, and Sea Buckthorn.

Certified Organic Aloe Vera

Soothes inflammation, oxygenates and hydrates, advances dermal absorption of active ingredients.

So, the question is, does this product deliver on the claims?

WAIT!! Did I mention the smell?! This product smells DI-VINE. I am not kidding. If you don’t enjoy a rose scent, then…well, we can’t be friends. (Joking. Sort of). But if you love the scent of rose and/or geranium, you won’t be disappointed…

Anyway, onto the claims…I’ve been using this product now for about two weeks, and I definitely notice a difference. On application, it’s very soft and silky, rather than heavy or greasy like my bog-standard oils are. So I can put it on before make-up, for instance. I feel like it makes my skin look dewier after make-up application. My skin does look smoother and more hydrated. It doesn’t deliver intense hydration the way that a balm does (my One Love Organics balm delivers more of an instant hydration wallop) but it’s definitely a skin softener and smoother.

Overall, I’m incredibly happy with this purchase. For the price, it can’t be beat. If you’re considering buying an eco-luxe face oil, you might want to check this out first!

 

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Tarte ‘Tarteist’ Blush palette

I hope you like my new-look site! I was going for something a bit more minimal and clean. (Side note – my intention from now on is to get better at photography and take my own photos for this blog!) So, being now almost exactly one year into my green beauty journey, something has definitely shifted within me – I’m starting to get a feel for not just the brands that I enjoy, but also what works on my skin, what make-up looks best on me, and how much money I’m willing to spend on product. When I first started getting into green beauty I was trying all sorts of random products, but now I’m able to curate (I hate that word, but can’t think of a better one) my collection more thoughtfully. One thing I’d been on the lookout for a while was a (relatively) clean blush palette. Blush isn’t something I know much about or am particularly drawn to when I’m shopping, so a palette with a few different options makes sense for me. One palette is all I really need in my blush universe. When I was in Ulta and saw the ‘Tarteist’ blush palette, I think I made a soft sighing sound. It just looked so perfect for Spring. I’ll admit, despite my newfound inclination to research before I buy, this was a total impulse buy (an impulse that set me back 38 smackaroons!). I think I was also drawn to the weight and heft of the palette, as much as the colors. It’s very luxurious. And the colors are gorgeous, especially for pale skin. Because my skin is dry, I usually prefer creme blushes, but I do find that powder blushes tend to last longer. From left to right the colors are:

“Live” – light poppy-coral (matte)

“Laugh” – pink-brown nude (with a very slight shimmer)

“Love” – pink-mauve (matte)

“Dream” – spring pink (matte)

2016-04-30 14.24.56

Those are my color descriptors, by the way, but I think they’re pretty accurate. I’ve been experimenting with this palette for about two weeks, and I think my favorite colors right now are “Live” and “Laugh,” but I really enjoy all of them. The powder is finely milled so it doesn’t look too dusty on my dry skin, and it’s very highly pigmented. The lasting power is pretty good too. I can still see it at the end of the day, though not as bright as upon first application of course. I just recently sent off for three Gressa skin products, including the bronzing sculpting serum, and I think all of these colors are going to look darn pretty buffed into that. I’ll take a picture for you, I promise 🙂

This certainly isn’t the cleanest product in the world, but it is at least formulated without parabens and suflates, and Tarte doesn’t test on animals. To put this product in context, I recently received a 100% Pure brand creme blush (“Baby Pink”) in my Petit Vour box, and whilst it’s super clean and a very pretty and buildable color, the lasting power is just no match for Tarte’s. I love the colors for Spring, and I think it’ll last me a looong time. I’m slightly tempted by some of the blushes from “Silk Naturals,” but true to my new minimalist spirit I know I don’t need them, so I’m just going to revel in this – it’s a thing of beauty.

 

 

My Fail-Safe Dry Skin Beauty Routine!

Hello!

Even though I live in L.A and even though it’s a very pleasant indeed 80 degrees most days, for some reason the air conditioning at work dries my skin out like no one’s business. I have naturally dry skin, and since switching to a green beauty routine and using oils, it’s drastically improved, but I still have bouts of extreme parched-ness. When my skin is feeling uber dry I turn to two main products, both by the wonderful Brooklyn-based brand SW Basics, and I have a little routine down for using them that works a treat. There’s something Ayurvedic about these products too…I’m a ‘vata’ type (dry skin, flighty/nervous energy, on the thin-side: these are the vata clichés which I am happy to fulfill). When I was doing my PhD, many moons ago, I read somewhere that vatas should eat more oily and sweet/heavy foods when stressed to combat fatigue and anxiety. It worked! And I think this translates to skincare as well.

Let’s start with exfoliation. Peeps with dry skin should really avoid extreme exfoliants, especially that microdermabrasion malarkey. Just say no, my friends. Dry skin = sensitive skin, and you don’t want to mess with your epidermis too much. However, a little exfoliation helps skin stay smooth and preps it for absorbing oils and such like. My favorite exfoliator right now is the calming and soothing SW Basics product “Exfoliant,” which is made with organic oat flour, almond flour and sea salt. You can buy this online for about $24.00 at places like Pharmaca, and also at some Targets. It’s a pretty accessible brand, and one of my favorites because of its emphasis on pure and organic ingredients – of which there are always five or less…

 

 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. $24.00?! For that price I could just make this shit myself! Aha! That’s what I thought, but it turns out that SW Basics know what they’re doing when it comes to the perfect balance of ingredients. I’ve tried ‘mixing’ SW Basics products up  before, but somehow it’s never the same. Unfortunately.

I apply this in the shower. It’s just really soothing. I can’t say it smells good – sorry. If you like scented products, this isn’t for you. SW Basics stuff just isn’t about smell, it’s about purity.

After a scrub-a-dub-dub with this I slather on SW Basics “Cream” (about $32.00, but worth it and often cheaper online). The key is to do this whilst still in the shower so your skin is damp.

 

I really can’t say enough good things about this cream – which really feels more like a thick scoop of solid coconut oil than a cream, texture-wise. It’s made with just shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil, and it’s perfect. Immediately after it’s sunk in my skin just feels super supple, looks smooth, and feels soft. Applying it to damp skin allows it to really penetrate, so that’s how I always apply it. Again, it’s not great in the smell department. But it really doesn’t matter because it’s THAT GOOD. Also, olive oil is a much underrated skin product in my opinion, so it’s nice to see it championed in this product.

After about half an hour or so, after it’s absorbed, I slather on an oil – usually prickly pear seed oil. I actually buy this cheaply from my local TJ Maxx store. I love it – it’s thicker than, say, argan oil, although that would work just fine too. I have a bunch of other oils I will talk about in a future post.

That’s it! My dry skin routine – super simple, right? Like I said, the key thing is to apply everything in the shower. The steam helps soften the skin and allows the ingredients to really absorb and do their job.

Try it, and let me know if you have any great dry skin remedies!

 

 

Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Mascara and Dreamlit Under Eye Brightener Review!

Pacifica has been one of my favorite brands since starting on my green beauty journey. It’s accessible (Target, au naturellement) relatively cheap (compared to many green/organic brands) and the packaging has this amazing art deco vintage thing going on that makes me want to crack open an Agatha Christie, dig out my flapper costume, and smoke cheroots.

So I was very happy to try out Pacifica’s Dreamlit Under Eye Brightener in “Bare.” ($15.00)

I’m really glad I’ve finally found a decent mineral concealer! This stuff does the trick, and best of all it doesn’t sink into fine lines or look dry. I put this down to my favorite of ingredients which is – as you know by now – coconut oil. This concealer also contains caffeine and reflective minerals, and I think it does a really good job of banishing dark circles. As an added bonus this looks nice on eyelids for a natural eyeshadow, or in the corners of your eye for a wide-awake look. However, it wouldn’t work for covering up zits or scars because it’s too shimmery. Pacifica also sells this in a pinker more translucent shade called “Dreamlight,” which looks more like a bog-standard highlighter than a concealer. Plus you’re then buying a product strangely named “Dreamlit Dreamlight.” 🙂 It’s a shame there aren’t more shades for different skin tones, but for fair skin the “Bare” shade is lovely. However, if you’re after a deeper tone, matte or full coverage, be aware that this ain’t that.

I also bought the Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Long-Lash Mineral Mascara in “Abyss.” ($14.00) I was excited about this one because my Suncoat Sugar Based mascara is, well, let’s not put too fine a point on it. It’s crap.  Would I have finally found the mineral mascara of my dreams? Weeelll, not really. I guess the crazy long name sounds like it’s overcompensating for something, so maybe I should have been wary…

Though it’s had good reviews, the best thing about this mascara is the color – it’s a deep, deep black and really makes your lashes pop. But it doesn’t really separate lashes that well, nor does it really lengthen. At least, not in comparison to non-mineral mascaras that I’ve used up to this point by Benefit, Too-Faced and Smashbox. It’s a step up from Tarte’s – I can’t stand Tarte mascara because it has a wand with REALLY scratchy bristles, and it’s definitely a step up from the sticky sugar-based Suncoat. But it does tend to flake a bit during the day, and weirdly makes my lashes feel stiff. Also, I just discovered, that it contains one of my ingredient no-no’s: Disodium EDTA (considered low risk by EWG, but I’d rather have no risk thanks!) To be honest, you may as well just use a regular brand mascara as use this. I’ve heard that the best mineral mascara is W3LL People’s, so maybe I’ll just have to bite the bullet and splash out on that once this tube is used up.

How about you? Any mineral mascara joy?

Top Tip: Use Coconut Oil When Applying Mineral Eyeshadow…!

Hi Friends,

Today I want to share a little beauty secret with you. I don’t think it’s life-changing or mind-altering, but it has certainly made me a little bit happier when putting on makeup (I don’t ask for much).

So, when I first got into green beauty I bought a few loose mineral eyeshadows…you know the ones that come in a little pot? I love them, but here’s the thing – they’re messy, they’re hard to apply, and the powder often drops onto my cheeks and under my eyes despite my best efforts. It’s especially difficult to apply shimmery, glittery powders.

I experimented with applying with my fingers (smeary and uneven application) a brush (disaster! Powder everywhere!) and wetting my finger to pick up more shadow so it wouldn’t drop everywhere (back to smeary and uneven application).

But there is a happy ending to my story.

Because, if you dip a finger into solidified (room temperature) coconut oil and THEN into the powder, it glides on like a dream – no creases, no weird uneven application, and no glitter on my cheeks making me look like a ten year old at a birthday party.

Hooray!

Try it. And let me know if it made you smile.

Liv 🙂

#Giving Tuesday: Support Safe Cosmetics!

Hi Friends,

This Giving Tuesday I received the following email from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – I wanted to share it with you guys! I donated – will you? 🙂

December 2, 2014Dear Olivia,
December 2nd is #GivingTuesday, a day to celebrate our nation’s great tradition of generosity and have fun boosting our favorite causes. #GivingTuesday demonstrates that we can do more with our wallets than just shop Black Friday sales, and that we don’t have to be multimillionaires to give back to causes and communities we believe in.

Be a part of the #GivingTuesday movement by supporting our work to make cosmetics safe for all your loved ones.

Did you know it’s legal to use cancer-causing chemicals in cosmetics like shampoo, lotion, mascara, and eye shadows? Outrageous, right? It’s completely unacceptable to us that cosmetics and personal care product makers think it’s ok to expose women, men, and children to cancer chemicals as part of our daily cleaning and beauty routines.W We believe we can change the cosmetics industry for the better and make the use of cancer chemicals a thing of the past.

This year, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics launched the Cosmetics Without Cancer campaign to pressure cosmetics companies to stop using chemicals linked to cancer in their products. We can win this effort, but we need your financial and political support.

On #GivingTuesday, make a gift that makes a difference. Together we can make Cosmetics Without Cancer the new industry standard! 

Thank you. Your support means the world to us.
.

Warm regards,
.

Janet Nudelman
Director, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Festive Nails: Mineral Fusion Nail Polish in “Brilliant” Review!

Hey all!

First off, a big hello to my new followers! I’ve been blessed with a little flurry of newcomers to my site, and I’m just thrilled you could join me 🙂 I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

And how was everyone’s Thanksgiving? I have to say, after three days of eating, drinking, and eating some more (no leftovers – except for cranberry sauce…does anyone EVER use up all the cranberry sauce??) I’m now ready for…CHRISTMAS! Honestly, I love Christmas – not so much the shopping and so on, but the good fellow feeling of Christmas; the idea that on Christmas day so many people, whether religious or not, are focusing on family and having a good time, rather than work and the usual every day worries that consume us. I personally am not religious, but being from England I’ve been raised to cherish the rituals that surround Christmas, from the tree-buying to the hot-chocolate drinking to the carol singing. I can’t wait!

And to get in the festive spirit I’ve been wearing lots of glittery nail polishes recently. Yes, they’re a drag to remove, but so worth it! I’ve recently been dabbling with the Mineral Fusion brand, and I must say I am in love with the formula. I used to be a big Essie fan, but compared to that brand MF polishes are so thick that you only need one coat –  a great time saver. I bought two recently, a raspberry pink with tiny silver sparkles (“Brilliant”) and a dark blue-black with green chunks of glitter called “Galaxy.” I’ll leave the latter for another day, as I don’t have a picture of it yet.

Here’s a picture of one coat of “Brilliant.” One coat is all you need because the formula is so thick and opaque. The brush is also very wide and thick, which I personally like.

nails

Some people don’t like wearing pink, but I’m pale and cool-toned and I always think pink is a great color on those with pale skin. Plus, it’s such a happy festive color – perfect for the holiday season. I also love that it’s not too Barbie-pink – it’s got a nice undertone of violet so in most lights it’s quite raspberry colored. And the shimmery sparkles are lovely; not too overdone.

Mineral Fusion nail polishes are 5-free and available at Whole Foods and Sprouts…I’m not sure where else, but I’ve heard they’re exclusive to these stores, or you can buy them for $7.99 online at the Mineral Fusion website.  I bought this one for $5.00 as part of a deal at Sprouts last week, which I think is still going on…

Have you tried any Mineral Fusion nail polishes? What did you think?

Liv 🙂

#BlackFridayFail – What I bought (and only slightly regret buying).

Every year I smugly tell friends and family that I will NOT be participating in the Black Friday madness, and every year I totally, totally do. I call this the Black Friday Fail (hashtag optional). It all started when I checked my email this morning and found about 100 emails from various companies advertising their Black Friday deals. I think you’d have to be Ghandi to resist.

I was very discriminating, however…

The best online deal, at least for me, was the Pacifica ‘$10.00 off’ deal and free shipping (if you spend $50.00) plus the free gift box. I’m buying my sister a little natural beauty gift package for Christmas filled with items I love, so I was happy to get the box as a freebie, and of the goodies below I bought two  – one for me, one for her…

I bought:

– 7 free topcoat and basecoat – “Gloss” (I’ve heard good things about this product, and I like that it does double-duty). $9.00

– Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mascara (this has had amazing reviews, so I’m really eager to try it. I still haven’t found a natural mascara I like). $14.00

– Island Vanilla Solid Perfume (you know my love for this; I got another for my sis) $9.00 (only a bit miffed that it was $8.00 at Sprouts today!

Aside from the online bonanza, there was plenty on offer in bricks-and-mortar-land. I didn’t buy much natural beauty stuff in stores. Instead I went a bit clothes-crazy. The best deal I found was at NYC Company – a black cotton jumpsuit with 70% off, and then I got a $10.00 off ‘lottery ticket’ in store – so instead of paying $70.00 for it, I got it for a song at $11.00!! I also got some sweaters at Target (40% off) and a pair of boots at Broadway Shoes for 40% off. However, I did pop into T.J Maxx. Here I must pull out the trumpets and play a fanfare…have you ever perused the natural beauty product selection at T.J Maxx? It’s stellar! I mean, amazing. Some day soon I will dedicate a whole post to it. In the meantime, I’ll just tell you what I bought…prickly pear seed oil at $9.99 for my sister (40% off), Juice Organics hair conditioner for $5.99 (yes, really!) and the best of the bunch…THIS!

This little beaut. is Deep Steep’s Honeydew and Spearmint Moisture Stick. It retails for $5.95 on their website, but I got it for $1.99. It’s awesome – anything with coconut oil is awesome IMO, because of the dewy finish and moisture it provides – and it’s super portable…perfect for traveling. You can use it as a lipbalm or just for general moisturizing.

Well, that’s it! I have a twinge of regret when I think about the money spent and the sad truth that Thanksgiving has become a consumer’s dream slash nightmare…but then I shrug, because a) I scored some deals and b) I had a wonderful Turkey day with my family, and truly feel deeply grateful for all that I have. I don’t want to break the cheese-o-meter but last night my hubby and I shared all that we were most thankful for about each other and our relationship. Preeeettty cheesy!! But, I loved it!

How about you? Did you score any deals? Did you have  a good Thanksgiving?

Repurchased! Products To Rave About…

Hi Friends,

I’ve been experimenting with green beauty for about four months now, and have come up with some winners…the following items are all things I’ve repurchased in the last month. Because they ROCK 🙂

1. Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Daily Calming Moisturizer.

yes to cucumbersIt was a happy accident that led me to buy this: I was looking for a new moisturizer in Target, but my hubby was waiting on me to go to dinner and I had about five minutes to pick something. After a quick browse through the ‘Yes To’ brand I decided to just buy the one that was the ‘most’ natural (98% in this case). Ordinarily, I’d pick a moisturizer for dry or aging skin rather than a ‘calming’ one, but now I’ve fallen in love with the scent. It’s that gorgeous, fresh, cucumber scent you never get tired of, and it works wonderfully well – not too thick, not too thin. Perfect for pre-makeup application…I also love the ‘Yes to Cucumber’ facial wipes because they’re one of the few wipes in the ‘Yes To’ range that don’t contain alcohol, which burns my skin something wicked. Price: $14.99. Buy here.

2. Mi-Me Tangerine Hydrating Lip Balm

mi me lip stuffI don’t think I really knew what a good lipbalm was until I tried the Mi-Me brand. Chock full of essential oils, coconut oil and soothing butters like mango, tucuma and mururmuru, this lip balm is the perfect not-too-thick or thin consistency, smells great, AND leaves lips with a gorgeous lipgloss-like shine. One of my friends thought I was wearing that famous MAC Lipglass (the clear one) and I was like, nope! Just my Mi-Me! Petit Vour sells them in packs of two for $10.00. Buy here.

3. S.W Skincare Makeup Remover.

SW makeup removerGuys, I’m almost tired of going on about how much I love this product! It’s the ultimate multi-tasker: makeup remover, cleanser, and moisturizer in one. I use it every night, and although it doesn’t smell amazing (no thanks to you olive oil) it works so well and is such a perfect consistency I forgive it. It’s a blend of jojoba, olive, and sweet almond oil, and somehow the ratio works perfectly. I use this before applying argan oil before bed, and my skin has never felt so soft upon waking up. And it removes even the most stubborn eye makeup easily.

4. Adama Minerals Orange Vanilla Body Lotion

Zion healthI reviewed this about a week ago and, believe it or not, I already repurchased the large version of my smaller sized orange vanilla body lotion (right) because that’s how darn confident I am that I will never tire of this product. The scent is divine, the consistency is perfect, and I want more orange vanilla everything in my life. And the price is a very reasonable $10.49 for 8oz. Buy it here.

Have you tried any of these products? Have you made any great purchases recently?

Tune in soon for a review of some lurvely Mineral Fusion nailpolishes and an Ayurvedic massage tutorial…

Liv:)

…In Which Liv Has a Muse About Blogging!

my brain

First off, I know, second post of the day! I am not a blogging addict, I promise! And I apologize for clogging up your email/reader. But as you can see from the picture above, I am one of those people who, when they’re into something, they are REALLY into something, and when they’re not, they’re not. Right now I am quite into blogging 🙂

So I’m going to have a muse about blogging for a bit. How meta am I?

I was reading some comments on another lovely lady’s blog, and suddenly got to thinking about the whole blogging deal and what I’ve learned about it. And what I’m still not clear about. Perhaps you can even help me with that! Here are the results of my musings, in no particular order.

1. Blogging is super-duper hard. I used to have a friend who was a professional blogger and in my mind that meant she sat around all day in her P.J’s eating ice-cream and scrolling through her Twitter-feed. Actually, it’s really hard work. I didn’t realize this when I first started my blog, but to some extent you are creating a brand, and then working to refine that brand…to craft your presence, if you will. On top of which you have to write, tweet, comment, stay current, spend money actually buying stuff to review (until I get mega famous of course) and worry about how many views you got that day. It’s a recipe for crazy-eyes. Yet so fun!

2. Am I doing a good job? It’s like an existential howl into the night (sort of). I write my little post, press ‘publish,’ but then it’s so out of my control! And even when I get comments and follows I totally worry that I’m not ‘connecting with the audience’ or something like that. And then other bloggers say you should just worry about putting out quality content…and I’m like, erm, what’s that ‘look like’ exactly? I guess you just can’t quantify these things.

3. I’m still fuzzy on how to use tags and categories. I’ve looked at other blogs and tried to see what categories they use, and they usually seem much more specific than mine (i.e. a brand name) but then when I search that brand name in the reader nothing pops up. So why categorize it that way? Am I missing something?

4. It took me frickin’ forever to learn how to a) create a menu, b) add an instagram feed and c) add a featured image so that the whole of my post wouldn’t appear on the homepage. Grrrrrrrrr. I’m like a caveman learning how to bang one stone against another here.

5. I like getting free stuff. Is this really a perk? I’ve only had one freebie thus far, but it was AMAZING and really motivating. And I truly love the idea that I might get to promote smaller brands that I love.

6. The blogging community is fantastic. People are so supportive and friendly. I know that out there in the ‘real world’ horrible trolls lurk under bridges, but in the green beauty world at least, no one has been anything but lovely and kind. THANK YOU!!!!

I hope you guys have been enjoying my posts. Plenty more to come! In the meantime, fellow bloggers reading this, what are your thoughts on blogging?