Top Tips for Buying Your First Home

Top Tips for Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be very scary, overwhelming, intimidating, even daunting, right?  Believe me, when my husband and I first began discussing buying a home, it all seems like a blur because of how big of a decision it was.

In September/October 2013 we began the process of buying our first home, in October we put in our first (and only) offer on a home, and in December 2013, we moved into our first home (mini celebration!), and we learned a lot, so I’d like to share some of the things we learned going through the process of buying our first home; this will be part of a series as I do have many more tips, but don’t want this post to be 4 miles long – stay tuned!

IF you prefer this in “video” format, here you go:

 

Here’s what we learned:

  1. Take a “First Time Homebuyer’s Class”
    I  cannot stress this enough!  Taking a First Time Homebuyer’s Class made us feel so much less intimidated because we were informed, we had so much knowledge that helped to ease the process, we knew what to expect, and we could then navigate our way thru this process in the correct [sequential] order.  Sometimes I’m a little skeptical of listening to peers/others’ “tips” on buying a first home because everyone does things differently, everyone is in a different type of situation, and to be honest, it’s not a “professional” opinion, so we opted to take the [optional] First Time Home Buyer’s Class.  The class we took was affordable, I think it was $25 each (so $50 total for us), it was a few nights during the week (maybe 2-3 nights), and at the end, we received a certificate of completion 🙂  These classes are great, and our instructors are great – they were retired real estate agents and I loved their anecdotes of all types of situations they ran into during their real estate days, to better prepare us for what could happen.  I felt so much better after taking that class because I knew what our first step should be, our second step, etc.
  2. Research Your Areas
    Research and information is your friend.  Don’t go into this blind.  Research:

    1. Tax rates in the areas that you’re looking at homes – obviously this will only apply to states that have property taxes.
    2. Crime rate in that area
    3. School systems – if you’re wanting kids in the future
    4. Average prices of surrounding homes in that neighborhood, so you know you’re getting a fair price if the properties are similar
    5. Associated Fees – possibly monthly Home Association Fees (typically in Condos), included/excluded utilities like water, trash pickup, etc.
  3. Research your Realtor
    A [co-worker] friend and I were chit-chatting during our September/October timeframe of thinking of buying a home, and he said to me “your realtor will make all the difference,” and he was totally right!  He had such a good experience with his realtor; thus, his first time purchasing a condo was super easy, and just a good experience all around.  We had first been in contact with a different realtor than the realtor that found us our house, and that first guy was awful – he was so hard to get a hold of, didn’t make us feel like he was in it for us (he didn’t want to show us houses that we were interested in), and it just made the experience really off-putting.  After that horror story of a realtor, we looked elsewhere and did our research on other realtors and found that realtor that got us our home, and boy did it make a difference!  She was so great, she had great reviews for a reason – she was in it for us, she was excited for/with us, she had so much knowledge, she put in SO much time sitting with us to really understand our wants vs. needs, and she showed us some great houses that fell right in line with what we were looking for – she knew her shit, basically.  DO YOUR RESEARCH.
  4. Shop Around for your Mortgage
    Obviously, you want the best interest rate for your financial situation so it’s best to shop around and compare mortgages from different financial institutions to find what works best for you.  You don’t want to just go with the first mortgage you find!!  Shop around for the best interest rates, points (you’ll learn about those in your First Time Homebuyer’s Class), which are really just a percentage of the mortgage that is due at the time of signing, in addition to the down payment (for example: if there’s 2 points associated with a mortgage, you’ll owe 2% of the mortgage in addition to the down payment at the mortgage signing), but there are 0 point mortgages, so don’t fret!  There are also [discounts or credits] mortgages for First Time Homebuyers, so check around for those!
  5. SAVE SAVE SAVE for your Down Payment
    It is important that you have a good [foundation] Down Payment for your mortgage; 20% of the mortgage is suggested, but let’s be honest, we all don’t have that kind of disposable cash to drop in one day, which ties back into shopping around for your mortgage.  If you do not make that 20% as a down payment, they’ll just add something called “Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)” which is an extra monthly fee added to your mortgage that protects the bank if you default on that loan; you basically pay that fee until that total payments of that PMI fee totals 20% of the mortgage, then it drops off your monthly bill – it’s not a huge deal, you won’t even notice it because it’s built into your monthly payment that you agree upon while going thru the mortgage process with your bank.  Saving as much as you can for your down payment helps – EVERY PENNY HELPS.  Also, know (and accept) that it takes time to save up for that down payment; it’s not always easy to save a shit ton of money to just drop in one day – be patient and know that it’s going toward a good cause and it will be worth all that hard work saving up!  To speed up the process, you’ll have to sacrifice many luxuries that you’re currently used to, and it takes effort to buckle down and save up.
  6. Use an Online Mortgage Calculator
    These are SO helpful because there are so many out there – most banks will have these calculators as well so while you’re shopping for your mortgage, you can utilize the bank’s mortgage calculator, making it super easy and convenient.  You can input your financial data (income, debt, etc.) and the calculators will tell you exactly how much you can afford, how the payments are broken down, and how much you can expect to pay each month.  This ties back into being prepared/informed – having as much [realistic] knowledge as possible is key.  Do not go by what these types of [bank] calculators say you are “pre-approved” for – I find the pre-approval prices are MUCH higher than you can realistically afford and that’s just not preparing you, realistically, for how much house you should look for.
  7. Be Realistic
    Don’t buy a big house because society tells you you need a big house to keep up with the Joneses.  Everyone is different and we’re all in different situations – don’t go way out of your means because you’re just burying yourself and you’re only living/working for that house.  If you get too much and you really truly can’t afford it, you’re not able to really live, and enjoy that life in that home – don’t do that to yourself.  Be realistic when shopping for a house/mortgage; there is no need to bury yourself in debt for a house if you can’t enjoy that home.  Buy what you need, not what you want.
  8. Make a List of Your Wants vs. Needs
    This is very helpful for your realtor because it can really focus their efforts to find you the perfect home.  Again, be realistic – don’t put your dream Pinterest home on your Needs list.  Think of things like off-street parking, fenced in yard, number of bedrooms, storage space, etc.
  9. Mind Your Credit
    Your Credit Score AND Credit History play a large role in your mortgage rates; obviously, banks want to lend to those that have good credit scores and credit history; more important to lenders is your credit history.  You can improve your score by paying off debt, but what’s important to lenders is the history of your bill paying – are you late on payments, do you skip payments, did you file for bankruptcy, etc.  The worse your credit score and history, the higher your interest rate will be because you’re more of a risk for the lender.  Do what you can at least a year in advance to work on your credit history and score – make sure you’re paying bills on time, you’re not skipping payments, etc.

If you’re in the market to purchase your first home, congratulations!  You’re not going to regret it; we LOVE our home and being homeowners!

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Daily Skincare Routine (for Oily Skin)

Daily Skincare Routine (for Oily Skin)

If you also have oily skin, you definitely know the daily struggle of taming that oil without drying out your skin too much.

IF you didn’t already know, it’s not good to strip your skin/face of it’s natural oils too much, it just causes your skin to try to produce even more oils, which leads to overcompensating and making your skin even more oily – so don’t try to strip your natural oils too much, trust me 😉

I gathered my favorite skincare products to show you exactly how I take care of my skin to tame that oil without stripping it of its natural oils to keep it healthy!  Take a look:

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  • Up & Up Basic Cotton Rounds $1.99
    These are my favorite cotton rounds to use; they’re just the Target brand, but they work so well, they don’t break apart, and they’re gentle on my skin.

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  • Garnier® SKINACTIVE™ Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Waterproof Makeup Remover & Cleanser $6.59
    I LOVE this micellar water!  It makes my skin feel so incredibly clean; it’s like magic in a bottle!  I love that it removes waterproof makeup as well; some of my waterproof mascaras can be a pain in the butt, but this micellar water gets it all off!

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  • Clean & Clear Deep Action 60-Second Shower Mask $4.97
    I love multi-tasking, and this product helps me do so; I just slather some on in the shower and the hot steam from the shower gets it working its magic in just the right way – so convenient!

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  • St. Ives Even and Bright Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Scrub $3.32
    This is the SOFTEST scrub I’ve ever used and it smells AMAZING.  I don’t find this does a whole lot for my oiliness, but if you have uneven skin tone, this will definitely help!

    I do face masks twice a week, and these are some of my favorites that I just rotate:

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  • Freeman Feeling Beautiful Pore Cleansing Mask, Sparkling Pear $5.20
    This mask is so good for getting all that extra dirt out of your pores, it smells really nice, doesn’t burn my skin at all, and is super affordable.  How can you go wrong?!

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  • Freeman Feeling Beautiful Mint & Lemon Facial Clay Mask $4.29
    This is hands down, my favorite drugstore face mask and it’s a perfect match for oily skin!  This cleanses my skin, like a good deep down cleansing, keeps my skin nice and matte, but balances those natural oils that my skin needs, and again, super affordable!

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  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask $17
    Tea Tree is SOO good for your skin, especially if you have oily skin.  I happen to love the scent of tea tree oil, which I know not a whole lot of people enjoy, but it doesn’t linger on your skin once your rinse off this mask, so no worries.  My skin loves this mask; it’s so soft, but gives you that deep down clean, while providing that nice mattifying effect.  I know, it’s a smidge pricey, but it’s so worth it!  If you want the drugstore dupe, check back to that Freeman Feeling Beautiful Mint & Lemon Facial Clay Mask

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  • Pure Witch Hazel Toner – Alcohol Free with Aloe Vera & Lavender Essential Oil $8.45
    Also good for your skin, is both witch hazel and aloe vera.  Witch hazel is often recommended for oily skin, as is aloe vera, which can also be used as a moisturizer for oily skin.  I love this toner so much because of its ingredients, of course, but it’s so gentle on my skin, but I can definitely tell it’s working, and the lavender calms me right before bed – it’s perfect!

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  • BELIF Hungarian Water Essence $42
    Water gel moisturizers are perfect for oily skin because they’re not as dense and clogging as a cream moisturizer, and this one is by far the best water gel moisturizer I’ve ever found.  It’s so light, but moisturizes perfectly without adding extra oils.

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  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Gel $17.99
    Looking for a drugstore/affordable due to the BELIF Hungarian Water Essence – you’ve found it in this Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Gel.  I don’t find much of a difference between the BELIF and the Neutrogena moisturizing gels, it’s basically up to you how much you really want to invest in a moisturizer.  The Neutrogena one is still a tad pricey, but it’s definitely worth it!

What are your favorite skincare products that help with your oily skin??
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Favorite Makeup for Oily Skin

Favorite Makeup for Oily Skin

Ugh, if you have oily skin, like wicked oily skin like I do, you know the daily (frustrating) struggle!  Luckily, I’ve tried SO many [beauty] products in my life that I’ve found some tried and true products that do help with the oiliness, so I’m here to share with you, my favorite makeup products to combat that damn oily skin!

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  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Mattifying Lotion $15
    Tea Tree is SOOOO good for oily skin and this mattifying lotion is the perfect option to keep your oily skin moisturized without overdoing it with added oils!  I happen to love the scent of tea tree, which not a whole lot of people do, but luckily, I enjoy that scent.  If you are one of those who does not like the scent of tea tree, don’t worry – it doesn’t linger on the skin, I only smell it while I’m applying it.

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  • Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible-Finish Mattifying Gel $28
    OMG I LOVE THIS STUFF!  I mix a bit in with my foundation and it really helps to keep me matte longer than any other primer I’ve ever tried, and it makes my makeup apply so beautifully smooth, it’s amazing and SO worth the money!
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  • e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer $4.99
    This primer is great from the drugstore, it really makes my makeup apply nice and smoothly because it fills in my pores and smooths my skin really well, and you can’t beat the price!
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  • Ulta Beauty Demi Matte Foundation $14
    I LOVE this foundation; a little more pricey than some other foundations, but OMG is it beautiful!!!  The finish of it is so pretty and doesn’t look TOO drying like some other mattifying foundations.  PLUS it has a pump! Come on!
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  • L’Oreal® Paris Infallible Matte Foundation $8.99
    This foundation can look very drying in the Winter months so I only use it during the Summer months, but it’s so helpful in taming that oiliness.  I like to use this on the most oily spots on my face and use a regular foundation (not so mattifying) on the rest of my face where I’m not as oily.
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  • CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation $9.39
    HOLY GRAIL – hands down.  This foundation keeps me matte for a lot longer than other drugstore foundations; I definitely still have to blot with this foundation, but not as much as most other foundations.  This is my go-to for my work days because it’s nice and light, keeps me matte for a while, and has a pretty finish.
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  • Ulta Beauty Full Coverage Liquid Concealer $9
    What a beautiful concealer and TOTALLY beats out any other concealers I’ve tried – even high end concealers.  How can you beat $9 for full-coverage?!
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  • Maybelline® SuperStay Better Skin Concealer $7.79
    This concealer has such a pretty finish!  It’s not as full coverage as some others, but I find this one just looks so brightening and beautiful on the skin and doesn’t add to the oiliness.
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  • Coty Airspun Airspun Loose Face Powder, Translucent $7.99
    OMG OMG OMG – stop what you’re doing and go purchase this loose powder.  This is a STAPLE in my makeup routine, I cannot live without this!  It sets so beautifully on the skin, smells great, isn’t heavy at all, and keeps me matte.  I’ve since moved to the “extra coverage translucent” shade, which is EVEN BETTER than its average “translucent” powder, but they’re both great.
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  • Milani Eyeshadow Primer $5.99
    There is absolutely no need to purchase expensive high-end eyelid primers.  This Milani eyeshadow primer works just as well as high-end eyelid primers and it’s only $6!!
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  • Ulta Beauty Matte Makeup Setting Spray $10
    RIDE OR DIE!  I’ve tried other mattifying makeup setting sprays, both drugstore and high-end, but this one beats out all of them!  My skin stays so matte so much longer when I use this setting spray; it is AMAZING!

 

What are your favorite products that help with your oily skin??
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50 [MORE] Fun Facts About Me!

50 [MORE] Fun Facts About Me!

I’m back with even MORE *fun* facts about me!  I always enjoy getting to know others, so I really like doing these blog posts/videos.  Leave some fun facts about yourself in the comments!

  1. I bruise like a peach
  2. I collect shot glasses
  3. I’ve only worked at two places since I was 13 years old
  4. I had braces for three years, including a palette expander, spacers, elastics, retainers, and many oral surgeries
  5. I won “Best Smile” in high school
  6. My fear in life is smashing my face (because of all the extensive work done to my teeth – I really don’t want to go thru that again)
  7. I love the smell of sawdust, wood, and bullet heaters – I even have a candle from Yankee Candle called “2×4” that smells like wood
  8. I’m naturally a fast walker – sometimes my husband can’t keep up with me
  9. HATE the number 9
  10. I LOVE rollercoasters and amusement parks – I’m somewhat of a thrill seeker
  11. I rock back and forth when I’m lounging around
  12. I love to sneeze, it’s so relieving
  13. I would love to have grey/silver hair
  14. I crack my knuckles a LOT
  15. I think it’s creepy when people whistle
  16. I hate people who lack any manners
  17. I’m only 5’2″
  18. I cry when I see others cry – good or bad tears
  19. I hate the smell of the ocean
  20. I chew the inside of my cheeks all day
  21. I cannot sleep on my back
  22. I’m a very active person, I’m not so much the type to just relax on a beach or do yoga
  23. I listen to all types of music – pop, alternative rock, classical, heavy metal, blues, folk
  24. My favorite ice cream flavor is black raspberry
  25. I cannot sleep without the television being on
  26. The smell of eggs being cooked makes me nauseous
  27. I really don’t like loud people
  28. I like to eat baby [rice] cereal for breakfast
  29. LOVE thunderstorms
  30. I love city noises – cars driving by, car horns, ambulances, etc.
  31. My mood is super affected by weather and lighting
  32. My husband and I got married at City Hall; no big wedding
  33. I am afraid of the dark…or what could be hidden in the dark, rather
  34. I’m always warm – my body radiates heat
  35. I love blankets (being cozy)
  36. HATE being late, it’s makes me anxious
  37. I’ve never broken a bone
  38. I have a photographic memory
  39. I have the same birthday as my pepere
  40. I am really good at keeping secrets
  41. My favorite weather is when it’s sunny and raining at the same time
  42. I’m really good at Flip Cup
  43. I cannot sleep without a blanket
  44. I really enjoy flying
  45. My favorite flowers are Peonies; coral, preferably
  46. I cross my T’s before I write the stem
  47. Halloween is my favorite holiday
  48. hate the sound that a crow makes
  49. I am not ticklish
  50. I don’t follow any religion

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How to Deal with Death – Top Tips

How to Deal with Death – Top Tips

Unfortunately, we all have to deal with death at some point in our lives, but fortunately, we are all in it together and I have some tips to share with you to help you get through it.

It’s very important to know that there are steps in the grieving process that everyone goes through, and sometimes, it can take longer to get through some of the steps in the grieving process than you might expect.

Here are the steps in the grieving process:

  1. Denial/Shock
    I’m sure everyone’s first response to news of the passing of a loved one is, “what?”  Of course, the death of a loved one is never truly expected; it’s shocking to hear the news and for some reason, your body/mind initially reject the news or idea of that person not being around any longer.
  2. Pain/Guilt
    Of course, the death of a loved one is painful – nobody wants to be without their loved one, and guilt, that’s a really difficult stage, especially for me.  I have dealt with many suicides of loved ones in my life, and guilt has always been the step that takes me the longest to get through.  I often feel guilt for the suicides because it always feels like I could (should) have done more to ensure that person knew just how much they were loved.
  3. Anger/Bargaining
    It’s very common to feel angry after the death of a loved one; how can you not be angry – your loved one is no longer physically around.  Fortunately, this is one of the stages that I find is easiest to get through…mostly because the sadness takes over, but still, it’s very hard to feel angry at or about the death of a loved one, at least that’s what I find.
  4. Depression/Reflection/Loneliness
    Ah, depression – the most common, and worst stage.  Sadness and depression are the emotions that immediately come to mind when you think of the death of a loved one.  Many times, it can feel like getting back to normal everyday living will never come during this stage, and that’s normal, it’s okay.  This is also the stage that most people will reflect on the death of your loved one, which can bring more emotions of depression and loneliness, but it’s important to know that you’re not actually alone – there are many people who love and care about you that are available and willing to help get you through this difficult situation.
  5. Upward Turn
    This is the stage where you will typically start to feel a little better, and make a turn toward the end of the grieving process.  During this stage, you start to feel a little better, and start to let go of some of the sadness.
  6. Reconstruction/Working Through
    This is the stage where you start to get back into your normal every day living and adjusting your life without your loved one being around.  During this step, you will also start to work through all of the emotions that you just experienced, and also start to work through the facts of the actual death.
  7. Acceptance
    Finally, you will reach the acceptance stage, but it isn’t easy to get here – this can take YEARS to reach.  When my pepere died, I didn’t actually accept it until maybe five years later.  Be patient, and do what you need to do to get through this.  Acceptance is the goal, obviously, because you will prove that you can get through it, and you can move on and live your life, knowing that you’re not forgetting that person, just adjusting your life without them.

Besides the 7-Step Grieving Process, here are my other top tips to help you get through the death of a loved one:

  • Realize that everyone grieves differently, and however you grieve is up to you, it’s your prerogative, and it’s okay
  • Open up and talk about it, but ONLY when you’re ready – don’t rush it
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable; this isn’t an easy process and you can’t be the strongest person in the world all the time – it’s okay
  • Let others be there for you, and lean on them when you need them
  • Know that you’re allowed to be messed up for a while.  Again, this is NOT an easy process, you’ll get there, but you might be a little fucked up for a bit
  • DO NOT turn to drugs or alcohol – that never ends well
  • Take a vacation, a mini-vaca, or even a little staycation – take time for YOURSELF to take care of you
  • Do something you love.  Again, you need to take care of yourself and doing something that you [normally] love to do, might help speed up the process and help you feel like a normal human being again.  I know it’s hard to do anything fun during the grieving process, but it’s important to take care of yourself
  • Cherish the good memories you have with that lost loved one.  Believe me, they would want you to celebrate their life rather than make yourself feel worse.
  • Give yourself time, be patient, the grieving process is not an easy, or quick one – be gentle with yourself.

xoxo

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15 Things to Know Before you get Tattooed

15 Things to Know Before you get Tattooed

You may or may not already know that I have a lot of tattoos…so if you didn’t already know – now you know!

Of course, I started getting tattoos as soon as I turned 18, but there’s always a handful of things you should know before getting tattooed, so I decided today I would write about all the things I WISH I knew before I got my first tattoo. Enjoy!

  1. Realistic Photos are the best references to bring
    1. Don’t make the mistake of bringing a picture of a tattoo on someone else – tattoo artists never want to replicate someone else’s work!  Also, your tattoo artist really won’t be able to get the best small detail from a picture of a blown-out , blurry tattoo; your tattoo will come out so much better if your artist has a nice, realistic photo to reference and grab all of those small details you want in your tattoo
  2. It’s perfectly OK to ask questions
    1. Remember, this tattoo will be on your body for the rest of your life, so do it justice by asking questions that you need answers to
    2. Especially about the drawing/stencil – you’ll be somewhat intimidated to ask questions, but it’s okay to convey if something isn’t what you envisioned
    3. There’s a line though – don’t piss off your tattoo artist with a buttload of unnecessary questions…that’s how people end up with penis tattoos on their back
    4. Communication is KEY
  3. You WILL get shaved
    1. It pretty much doesn’t matter where you’re getting tattooed – they will shave the area before they start tattooing
    2. It doesn’t seem like a huge deal (and it isn’t), but it is somewhat alarming when it’s on a spot where you really thought you didn’t even have one hair…like your back.  As a female, it was a bit of a weird concept to have my back shaved before I started my back piece, but it’s normal, and it’s no big deal
    3. It’s for your own health, so you don’t get ingrown hairs from the needle penetrating your skin over and over!
  4. Pain tolerance varies
    1. Per location on your body, and per person – I thought my arm hurt the worst (and I had my eyebrows tattooed on…three times w/ touch-ups), but thought my ribs didn’t hurt very much.  My husband feels the exact opposite – he thought his arm was easy peasy, but his ribs were no bueno!  Weird, right?
    2. You always hear the same sayings, your foot hurts the worst, your ribs hurt the worst, blah blah blah – that all depends on your own pain tolerance
    3. I think tattoos on more fatty areas hurt more because they pinch more, but others think that boney areas hurt more…it all depends on your own pain tolerance
  5. The pain is not what you expect
    1. Before I got my first tattoo at 18 years old, I had already heard so many horror stories of how much they hurt, so I anticipated the worst, like unbearable pain!
    2. You will probably hype yourself up for no reason, it’s actually a manageable pain, just know that it will all be over eventually, you just have to sit through it and be brave, little one!
    3. I find the pain actually feels like more of a burning sensation, sort of like someone is continuously rubbing a rash (like road rash) that I already have; I thought it would feel like getting a shot at the doctor’s over and over…I’ve never been stung by a bee, so I can’t relate to that saying that “it feels like a bunch of bee stings,” sorry.
  6. The rubbing is the worst part, I promise
    1. They have to rub away the excess ink after a few passes over the same line/area, but it just gets to you after a while because it stings
    2. They’re rubbing an open wound, how can that not sting a bit?!
  7. Every tattoo artist is different
    1. You will not have the same experience with different artists
    2. Tattoo artists have their own preferences on the way you sit or lay for each tattoo, drawing technique, tattoo technique, style, etc.
    3. Some artists prefer to ONLY tattoo black and grey, or color.  Others prefer only one style like photo realism, new school, old school, etc.
    4. It’s important to look through your artist’s book (of previous tattoos) to ensure they tattoo the style and color options you want, and they do it well!
    5. Some tattoo artists take longer to tattoo than others, which results in more sessions = more money
    6. I’ve experienced artists that like to tattoo in complete silence, and others that like to talk and chit chat with you the entire time, but I really have no preference; I don’t mind either way
  8. Timing is everything
    1. Your tattoo should not be in direct sunlight or submerged under water for extended periods of time during the healing process (about two full weeks)
    2. It’s best not to get tattooed in the Summer if it’s on an area of your body that could potentially be in direct sunlight or submerged under water (this is for you, pool junkies and beach go-ers!) for extended periods of time
    3. Time it out right, and don’t neglect the healing process, be patient and follow all the rules and I promise your tattoo will heal to a beautiful masterpiece!
  9. You will need touch-ups
    1. Touch-ups are vital if you want your tattoo to look as good as it did on Day 1
    2. If you’re okay with your tattoo(s) fading a bit, then you might not elect to get touch-ups, but that’s simply personal preference
    3. Touch-ups = more money
    4. I think a lot of people don’t think of this when they first decide to get a tattoo (I know I didn’t) because you’re only thinking about the initial payout for the tattoo itself, but you should plan to get touch-ups (if you decide to), which means you need to plan to pay more money
    5. ALWAYS APPLY SUNSCREEN TO YOUR TATTOOS to keep them vibrant, to possibly avoid touch-ups
  10. Tattoos will grow with your body
    1. If you get tattooed on any area that has a possibility of stretching and growing, know that your tattoo will do the same!
    2. If you want to have children, it’s not recommend to get tattooed on any part of your stomach that would stretch with pregnancy because it probably won’t bounce back to the same size and shape as when you first got the tattoo
    3. We all know that when we get older, we tend to gain weight more easily (that’s just life), so try to plan for that and know that your tattoo will grow and shrink as your skin does
    4. Placement is critical
  11. Everyone will ask WHY you got that tattoo
    1. They always want it to have some sort of deeper meaning
    2. Of course, many people have deep meanings for getting certain tattoos, for instance, my first tattoo, on my foot, I got in honor of my pepere because he used to make rosaries and I remember helping him pick up the beads off the floor when he was done, and I have the last rosary he ever made before he passed away, so I got a rosary tattooed on my ankle/foot
    3. Sometimes, there’s just not a deep meaning for a tattoo, I have some that I got just because I love the look of them, and I feel they compliment my body
    4. People are just curious, it’s okay
  12. People assume you ONLY want to discuss your tattoos
    1. If your tattoos are visible, people tend to assume that’s all you care about and only want to talk about them….NOT true.
    2. I got tattoos for me, not for everyone else, it’s totally fine to discuss other things in life, my world does not revolve around tattoos
  13. You will be judged
    1. And unfairly placed into an irrational stereotype
    2. If you have more than one tattoo, or multiple larger tattoos that are visible, you’ll be judged and people will think you’re a punk
    3. Again, some people have no shame, my husband and I have had people say some really cruel things about our tattoos and how horrible it is to get tattooed, but tattoos don’t define us, they just add character and enrich our lives
    4. Again, we get tattooed for us, not for others.
    5. It’s getting better, but people do still judge people that have tattoos
    6. It won’t ruin your life or ruin job opportunities, good companies know that tattoos don’t affect your job performance, so they easily overlook them
    7. I choose to cover my tattoos at work by wearing long-sleeves, but that’s my choice…it’s basically so that everyone can focus on the task at hand, especially during meetings, rather than waste time discussing my tattoos
    8. I don’t judge people that don’t have tattoos, so it’s somewhat unfair that people judge me for having tattoos, but whatever, that’s their prerogative – do you, booboo!
  14. People will ask SO many questions
    1. What happens when you get older?!
    2. Did it hurt?!
    3. How many tattoos do you have?!
    4. Which one hurt the worst?!
    5. SARCASM is great for these type of questions…it feels like you’re being kissed by unicorns and kittens
  15. They’re addicting
    1. Once you get one, you will immediately want another
    2. SOME people just want one, and know that they only want one, so when they get their one tattoo, they’re satisfied and don’t get addicted like others – obviously, totally fine!
    3. I’ve always known I wanted a lot of tattoos, but I really didn’t know how addicting they really are

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Get to Know Me a Little Better!

Get to Know Me a Little Better!

I realized the other day that I’ve never really done too many posts about ME and my personality, so I thought it would be fun to do a little survey-type post so you can get to know me a little better.  I hope you enjoy!

  1. Do you go by a nickname?  When I was a little girl, my family would call me “Manda Panda,” but not so much anymore, in high school, my friends called me “Red” or “Ruby” because of my red hair, but as an adult, I really just go by “Manda,” which is pretty common; most people I meet end up dropping that first “A” from my name anyway, and I much prefer to be called “Manda” rather than “Amanda” anyway.
  2. When driving, do you listen to CDs, tapes, the radio, or nothing?  On my commute TO work in the mornings, I listen to a local radio station because I love their morning show, but on the commute HOME from work, I listen to Satellite Radio or my iPod.
  3. Are you a window person, or an aisle person?  I am a window person :o)
  4. How do you relieve stress?  Typically, I light some candles, make myself a pot of tea, and read a book in complete silence.  Every now and again I’ll work out to relieve stress, but I would much prefer to read a book instead; it calms me.
  5. What’s your favorite childhood TV Show?  Aaahh Real Monsters!
  6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  I can’t remember if I wanted to be anything specific, but if anything, I probably wanted to be a Veterinarian.
  7. What was the best prank you ever pulled off?  I used to have a boss who would slam his desk drawers (not out of anger or anything, it was just his habit of closing his drawers), which would scare the crap out of me because I sat right outside his office and I never knew it was coming, so one day, I taped a dog’s squeaky toy to the back of his desk behind the drawer and when he slammed his drawer, the toy squeaked so loud and he was so confused!  He was a really cool boss, we had a good laugh about it, and he learned his lesson…he never slammed his desk drawers again :o) YAY
  8. If you could have dinner with any 3 people, who would you choose?  Jimmy Fallon, Lucille Ball, and Michelle Obama.
  9. If you could get back any article of clothing that you once wore, what would it be?  Weathervane jeans, for SURE!
  10. If you could hire any actress to play you in a movie, who would you hire?  Jennifer Lawrence or Leslie Mann; two of my favorite actresses – they’re so cool.
  11. If you could play an instrument, which would you play?  The Cello.  I love the sound of a cello, it’s such a beautifully sounding instrument.
  12. If you could hear one person give a speech, who would it be?  John F. Kennedy.
  13. If you could live in one city for the rest of your life, where would you live?  Portland, Maine.  My husband and I want to retire in Maine, and Portland seems like the best place!
  14. If you could make any fictional character come to life, who would it be?  Stewie, from Family Guy.
  15. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?  I don’t really remember, and I haven’t seen those pictures in quite some time, but I would expect it was a variety of animals, cat, mouse, etc.
  16. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?  Closed.
  17. If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be?  Gidget from The Secret Life of Pets
  18. Do you take the shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels?  No.  I don’t usually like the shampoos and conditioners at hotels since I’m pretty specific about my haircare products, so it’s really not worth it to me to take them.
  19. Have you stolen a street sign before?  No.  That requires all too much effort…and tools.
  20. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?  Out.  I feel too restricted if they’re tucked in.
  21. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?  A swarm of bees.
  22. Do you always smile for pictures?  OF COURSE.
  23. Have you ever peed in the woods?  Yup.
  24. What was the best concert you ever attended?  Kings Of Leon.  ALL of them.  I’ve never missed a KOL show in this [New England] area, but they’ve ALL been my favorite!
  25. What is your song of the week?  Eternally Yours by Motionless in White.
  26. Do you still watch cartoons?  Does Family Guy count?
  27. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone?  On paper???  Probably not since high school?!  I write my husband love notes here and there, but no real “letters”
  28. How many languages can you speak?  Just one – English.  I know a little bit of American Sign Language, but not as much as I would like to know…hopefully I can fully divulge in ASL soon.
  29. Do you believe in ghosts?  Absolutely!!  I think I’m a little sensitive to them, a little more than others, but either way, I believe in them because I see and hear them all over the place.
  30. What was your first concert?  NSYNC!
  31. Cheetos or Fritos?  Fritos, please.
  32. Can you curl your tongue?  I sure can!
  33. Have you ever won a selling bee?  No, I’ve never participated in a Spelling Bee.
  34. Do you own a record player?  No, I’m not that cool.
  35. Who would you like to see in concert?  Tove Lo.  PLEASE!!!
  36. Sugar cookies or snickerdoodles?  Sugar Cookies, duh!
  37. Can you swim well?  Yes, I’m a pretty strong swimmer.
  38. Are you patient?  I like to think I am, but I’m pretty sure it just depends on the circumstances.
  39. DJ or Live Band at a wedding?  DJ, ALWAYS!
  40. Have you ever won a contest?  I’ve won radio contests…does that count?
  41. Do you have kids?  No.
  42. Do you want kids?  No.

I hope you enjoyed this little post about me :o)

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