My Christmas Wishlist 2017!

So I know I mentioned on social media earlier that I was going to participate in Blogmas, but truthfully, I didn’t have time to plan it all. I’ve been working on some other projects that will be coming soon. I’m really excited about my first big (my little blogger opinion) collaboration. I did put together the main things I have on my Christmas Wishlist this year and that’s what I’m sharing below. I know it’s a little late in the season (I’m sorry Grandma!!!), but this is the first chance I’ve had to put this together. Sooo let’s get to the good stuff!

a.18-inch ring light by Neweer. Since I just bought my DSLR camera this year, and have really broken more into my Youtube channel, I’ve been dying to get one of these. They’re the ultimate accessory for beauty videos. It will allow me to film any day or night no matter the weather. I’m pretty thrilled that I found this one for such a great price! It is on Amazon here for $100.00 and it’s prime eligible.

b. Camera bag insert. Being the type of girl I am, I want to take my DSLR everywhere I can without having to tote a bulky standard camera bag around with me. Whatever bag I carry will have to be both stylish and match my mood/outfit whether that be a backpacking adventure through Europe or walking a historic city. This camera bag is the best of both. It’s an insert (with a pretty floral print) that can be slipped into any tote bag, purse, or backpack. It is padded with customizable dividers to hold plenty of camera equipment for any adventure. This is also an Amazon Prime product that is found here for $20.00.

c. Wasabi external battery charger with 2 camera batteries. This is for obvious reasons because my Sony’s battery dies rather quickly when recording video, but it would be great to have a spare or two for an all-day adventure without the worry of missing a great photo moment. I know, I know, it’s not that exciting, but I want to build my camera equipment up and what a great time to do it. It’s also on Amazon Prime here for $24.00.

d. This is my big ticket item. I doubt I’ll get this under a tree this year, but I love this. It’s an Away Carry On Suitcase in the shade Frost. I’ve had my eye on a good suitcase for quite some time, but this one stole my heart. It’s got a lifetime warranty, comes with a battery to charge your phone or tablet while you’re hanging out in the airport waiting for a layover, 4 wheels for smoother pulling/pushing power, a laundry bag, divided sides, and a hard outer shell. I’m obsessed with this little bag – even as the world’s worst over-packer. It comes from Away here and is $225.00. I see myself eventually getting one of the larger bags to check/travel within the future, but their carry on seems like the perfect bag to try.

e. Tory Burch Perfume in bel azur. Y’all I got this as a sample in my Sephora Play Box one month and fell in love. It smells so good. I’d totally be happy with this in any size, including a rollerball. It smells heavenly. I know Sephora carries this perfume, but I’m not sure where else it can be found.

f.  Laura Lee Los Angeles Cats Pajamas Palette. I know that as a beauty lover I should have jumped to purchases this when it first released, but I was hesitant and I’m not sure white. Maybe I have FOMO, but I’ve added this to my list for sure. It has a pretty range of warm tones and purples and can be used to create a variety of pretty looks. It can be found on Laura Lee Los Angeles here for $40.00.

g. cozy pjs – the set pictured is from Victoria’s Secret, but honestly, any cozy PJs are always accepted. The ones in the picture are the jogger pants and the scoop neck t, just because I think they’d make a great fit.Now, this is not an exhaustive list, but just a few ideas to get my family started. Haha. I love shopping for others more than myself, so putting this together was actually pretty hard. I always try to make sure I ask for items I will actually put to use and enjoy, rather than just something to take up space. I’d love to know what y’all have on your lists so be sure to leave me comments or send me messages to let me know! 🙂


Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Recently, Maple Holistics reached out to me and offered me a full-size bottle of their tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner to review. I looked up their brand and products on Amazon and agreed to try it out.

What immediately caught my eye was the price point. Specialty shampoos and conditioners are usually on the pricey side but these were under $10.00!! And you can grab them on Amazon Prime and get them in 2 days. Here’s the direct link to the shampoo and conditioner duo which will save you a little money!

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo is formulated with tea tree oil’s antiseptic and antifungal properties to help cleanse dry itchy scalps and the soothing properties of lavender oil that help fight dandruff with every use. The conditioner has vitamins that help hydrate your strands, encourage healthy new growth, and tame frizz.

My favorite part of both of these products is the cooling, tingling sensation you get when you use it. I lather up the shampoo and massage it into my roots, working it to the ends. The conditioner does the exact same thing except without the suds. It’s really refreshing and smells amazing. I feel like I’m at a spa every time I use this. The tingling isn’t alarming or painful like some tea tree oil based products can be.

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo x

The only drawback that I can see to this is the bottle is a little small. Most shampoo and conditioners, even high-end brands come in a larger bottle, so you may have to re-purchase it more frequently than your usual shampoo, but with Amazon Prime and the ability to buy both at a discounted price, I definitely approve of this shampoo.  And if tea tree oil isn’t your thing, Maple Holistics has pretty sizeable product line so you can definitely find something that you like.

Being a blonde, I use purple shampoo a couple of times each week to de-brass my hair. When I’m not using my purple shampoo, I’m using this. I can tell a noticeable difference in my hair’s texture after washing and conditioning with Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. There’s no oil slick residue from conditioner and there is no leftover hairspray or styling products.

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Conditioner x

Have you ever used Maple Holistics? If you haven’t you should go to this page on their website and grab some free samples!  Let me know your thoughts and if you buy it/try it out! Thank you, Maple Holistics for sending me your products to review!

FTC Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for free for testing purposes, but the opinions in my review are completely honest and my own.

Favorite Fall Things

Today I’m sharing my favorite fall things. The season is officially in full swing and I can’t get enough of it. Fall is my favorite time of the year. There’s warm drinks, crunchy leaves, pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, cold air… ahhh. I’m already planning home decor once I finally move out of my parents’ house.





a. cute coffee mugs | monogram mug here | caffeine mug here |

Adorable mugs. ‘Tis the season for cocoa, coffee, and cider. What better way to enjoy them than in a new cute mug?!


b. faking the sun – Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer here | Milk Chocolate (lighter) here |   it’s the time of year to begin faking your tan, and what better way than with a buttery, natural bronzer.


c. cool toned nails – OPI Nail Lacquer Iceland Collection – Less is Norse here |

OPI’s Iceland Collection speaks to my soul. I seriously can’t get enough of it. Especially this dark navy-grey color. It screams fall and winter to me. I’m all about the dark, sultry colors this time of the year.


d. plaid blanket scarves here | similar here |

Blanket scarves are a versatile piece for fall. You can dress them up or down, use them as a poncho, wrap, or scarf. I love the cozy feel of plaids. They also mix well with various outfit styles and colors.


e. bronze and jewel-toned eyes – Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette here | fall is the beginning of the darker, sultry, smoky eyes and this palette has long been a favorite of mine. It can be used to create versatile looks for both day and night looks.


f. metallic lips – Milani Amore Metallic Matte Liquid Lipstick (Prismatic Touch) here |

Metallic Lips. My current personal favorite is Milani’s Amore Matte Metallic Lip Crème. I have the shade prismatic touch which is a medium, reddish metallic shade. It is even a work appropriate shade. There are a variety of shades to choose from that won’t flake and are under $10.


g. oversized totes here |

Giant tote bag – I love a big tote year round, but especially in the fall. You can toss your scarf or cardigan in it during the heat of the day, and grab it back out for a late afternoon stroll in the park. I have my laptop, charger, and sometimes even my gym clothes in my tote. Not only that, but it’s sleek enough to carry to run errands AND go to work.


h. ankle booties here |

Cute transitional ankle booties — need I say more? Okay, I will. They’re casual but just dressy enough to pull off at work. You can pair them with almost any outfit – dress or jeans. I have a taupe, suede pair of wedge ankle booties that are to die for.


What are your favorite fall items? I’d love to hear how you decorate your house, prepare for the season, and your best autumn essentials! Until next time!



** This post contains affiliate links where I may earn a small percentage of any purchase you may make!

(Not) Feelin’ Myself – Making Changes

I’m going to be really honest here for a second and let you in on a little secret.  I haven’t felt like myself lately. I didn’t want to write, take pictures, do my hair, or even get out of bed. So today, I’m going to tell you what’s been going on and how I turned it around.


So here’s the deal…


I’ve been comparing myself to others and letting it bring me down. Everyone has looked skinnier, prettier, has better makeup, a better blog header, better lighting for YT, etc. Literally, I haven’t been happy with anything from my outfit to my hair to my job. So rather the continuing to feel negatively towards everything, I decided to make some changes.


I started with myself…

I knew the reason that I was feeling down on my physical appearance was due to the fact that I hadn’t been working out or eating well. I usually eat pretty clean – make all my meals except the occasional pizza joint or visit to Panera Bread. But up until I’m writing this, for the last month or so, I had been doing some serious snacking and over-eating. So I reigned that in by planning my snacks better for work, as well as my other meals.

I also got back into my gym routine – I go at least 3 days a week – nothing crazy! I try to do some cardio since I have a desk job, as well as some lifting. *Let me just hop on my soapbox real quick – One of the most important things I’ve ever been taught when it comes to fitness is – DON’T BE AFRAID TO LIFT HEAVY! A lot of women are afraid to lift heavy weights because they don’t want to look bulky and ripped like a typical meathead guy… yeah, that won’t happen because you’re not eating like 5,000 calories a day and spending every waking minute in the gym… mk?! Okay, rant over!*


Next was my job…


I was having a crisis of whether I really was enjoying my job and if I wanted to continue this as my career. And the thing is, I really do love my job, but lately there has been some cattiness with some women at work (literally twice my age) which is very frustrating. Also, my commute has doubled since school got back in session – sometimes I spend like 3 hours in my car each day – to drive maybe 35 miles roundtrip. Yeah. Super frustrating. I wish they would let me work from home… which is probably not ever going to happen.  I envy those who work from home or have their own company and can set their own hours. But I took a few minutes to count my blessings and be at peace with where I am. I work hard and have great benefits at my job. There’s definitely more ups than downs, and I’m making an active choice going further to not let my co-workers make me dislike my job. I worked really hard to get to where I am, and I’m going to keep kicking ass at it.


Then My Blog and My Youtube


This is where I let my inner badass out. Because what I seemed to let myself forget over the past few months is this: It doesn’t matter if my lighting isn’t perfect if my film quality isn’t perfect if I can’t publish something on the date I wanted. I’m not a professional. This is a hobby and something I enjoy doing. I love learning new techniques and am always striving to leave a better-published post or video, but at the end of the day, I’m doing this for me. It’s what I enjoy. I’m not doing this for anyone other than myself. I do like sharing my opinions with other people, but I’m doing this because it’s something I enjoy. I love to write; I love photography; and, I love editing.



Time to Re-focus


I have to remind myself daily of these positive thoughts, which sounds a little corny, but the more I think about something, the more I believe in it. On top of that, managing a job, small social life, blog, YT channel, workout schedule, and staying caught up with reading and my Netflix shows is hard. That’s a lot, especially when you want like 8 hours of sleep every night. I have to remember to treat myself – buy new makeup or take a bath and light some candles. It’s important to take care of your body and mind, and remember to step back and relax. I’m going to focus on the things I enjoy, cut out the negativity, and go in a more positive direction.

So this re-found pride in my work and in myself led me to re-name my blog and step up my game. I’m no longer going to worry about pushing out posts/videos, but instead, I’m really going to put the time and energy into making sure I love what I publish. I re-named my site – changed up the colors/theme style and have a different vision and direction.

Thank you to my subscribers who have hung around and have been with me through all of my name changes/site changes and still read and reach out to me about my posts/vids. I really appreciate you all and all of your feedback.

There are some big things coming.


Simplicity Skincare Duo – Clear Out Your Skincare Collection With This!

Do you have a cabinet or drawer full of skincare products? Is your skincare routine lacking? Do you feel overwhelmed with what products to buy for your skin type? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then look no further.  Simplicity Skincare is here to rescue you!

Simplicity Skincare was gracious enough to send me their Peptide Moisturizer Anti-Aging Cream with Retinol + Hyaluronic Acid Serum Duo to test out and review.  I received this for free, but my opinion is completely honest and truthful.

I’m going to be very upfront in saying that I was nervous to try this product — I had never heard of the brand before and couldn’t even find the website initially. I like to research the company I’m going to work with and make sure they’re someone I’d like to work with before agreeing to test out products. I didn’t have that luxury this time. But when I received the package in the mail my nerves were calmed.



I opened the cardboard shipping box and found a small handwritten note from the owner of the company, Dineen, along with the box containing the product. The box has a glossy finish and looks like a high-end skin care brand and was in a little silk bag.

The Duo comes in a decent size pump bottle which contains two .5 ounce chambers for a total of 1 ounce of product.  It is in a plastic casing which feels a little cheap to some people but is lighter than glass bottles. I prefer plastic because I carry my products to my boyfriend’s house and have a kitten who is into everything — aka I don’t want my products to break/spill. The bottle itself is silver and white frosted with teal print and a teal cap. The left chamber holds the Superior Serum.  This is a peptide serum including hyaluronic acid that helps to heal your skin and refine its texture and appearance.  The right chamber contains the moisturizer and a retinol base to help moisturize skin and boost collagen production.

Simplicity Skincare x Kristin Marie x Product Review Product Flatlay with journal and necklace beauty makeup skincare flat lay blogger


First Impressions

You take one pump from each chamber, rub them together into one and gently press brush across your skin morning and night. On the first use, the retinol serum (possibly?) stung a little on my face but quickly went away.  I don’t use many treatment type products on my skin so it was a little shock to my system if you will. The formula didn’t break me out.  Since my skin very quickly got used to the serum and moisturizer formula and didn’t have continued irritation, I kept using it. The Duo doesn’t have an overpowering smell or leave a sticky/greasy residue of any kind.  It absorbed and left my skin feeling very natural.  I didn’t have any breakouts pop up either.  It actually seemed to help keep my normal “period” aka monthly hormonal breakouts to a minimum.


I have combination skin with larger pores in my T-zone. While testing out Simplicity Skincare’s Duo, I had no issues (no matter what my skin was doing!).

Simplicity Skincare Kristin Marie Product Review Serum and Moisturizers One Pump Each

Simplicity Skincare Kristin Marie Product Review Serum and Moisturizers One Pump Each


7 days later…

I don’t let the bottle out of my sight. It’s been the only thing on my vanity all week other than my makeup brushes and mirror.  I have used it daily without fail and actually look forward to reaching for the Duo. On top of that… I’m actually seeing results.

I have some small scars that have diminished, and some smile and expression lines that are smoother and less noticeable. Y’all… my skin looks so healthy. Not only does my skin feel smoother, but it looks smoother too.  My normal redness and uneven discoloration in the mornings has minimized to a more even color across my cheeks.  My boyfriend has even made the comment to me first thing on a Saturday morning, “Did you get up and put makeup on?” To which I replied “No?” He said, “Oh under your eyes and your face looks like you have concealer on, and it’s not dark or patchy looking.” I think that speaks volumes. My dark circles look smaller, and my skin looks as smooth and even as when I have makeup on…


Dolla Dolla Bills

So the price… You can purchase this from Amazon and YES, IT’S PRIME!!! The original price tag says $72.00, which I initially thought was way steep.  But before you panic, it’s marked down to $48.00, a savings of 24%. I think $48 is much more reasonably priced. But, to calm my fears of the price tag, Dineen (the owner of the company), reached out to me to educate me about her price point and a little bit more about her product. Dineen’s idea for the brand was derived from her esthetician.  She saw her esthetician using an eye cream that retails for $140/ounce (YIKES) all over her face and neck, and she was having INCREDIBLE RESULTS. So Dineen hit the drawing board or the lab and created her Duo to mimic these results, but with a more affordable price. Yes, you are getting 2 individual products in 1: the Superior Serum which actively fights aging and improves the look of your skin, as well as the Moisture complex to soothe and hydrate your skin. Understanding this product’s backstory and purpose helps understand the price, and honestly, impresses me even more with this brand.


I’ve continued to use this serum and moisturizer well beyond the requested testing phase and can see myself purchasing another bottle at some point in the near future.  Simplicity Skincare has allowed me to have a simple skincare routine and feel like you’re still covering all of the bases.

One of my favorite aspects of this is that one pump from each chamber is the PERFECT amount. I hate metered pumps that give too much – they feel like a waste. Or what’s possibly worse are the pumps that give too little and you have to pump two or three times to get enough product… which feels like an even BIGGER waste.

I also really like that this product is created for everyone.  It’s not heavy or over drying, if you already have dry skin and the moisturizer isn’t sticky or too much if you have oily skin. It absorbs quickly if you’re a lady who’s hustling to get out the door or into your bed to maximize sleeping hours (I raise my own hand!). It’s one of those products you want in your arsenal to shorten your daily skin care routine.

Honestly, I think this is a wonderful way to declutter some of the excess skincare items in your cabinet or drawers – trade in two products for on, and ACTUALLY SEE RESULTS. I’probably not going to repurchase this immediately since my skin care collection is a little excessive right now, but as I said, I will most likely repurchase it in the future.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Dineen, for sending me this amazing product.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and your brand. You can find out more about Dineen, her product, and the Simplicity Skincare Brand at


Simplicity Skincare Kristin Marie Product Review Serum and Moisturizers One Pump Each Before Photo

Simplicity Skincare Kristin Marie Product Review Serum and Moisturizers One Pump Each Before Photo After



As an added Bonus: Dineen has provided me with a gracious discount code to save an additional $10.00 off each unit until Midnight on October 1, 2017. Use code BK2SCHOL at checkout and shoot me an email if you have any issues!


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

FTC DISCLAIMER - This product was sent to me for free to review, but my opinions are honest and my own.  I was not paid for this post.