Mini Giveaway!! Thanks for Supporting Me!

Hey you guys! I hope you are having a lovely week. I am having a blah one that is making me super moody so I thought I would do something that makes me happy and give you guys some lovely items for supporting me.

I appreciate so much when I see a new follower, a new comment, and just genuinely want you guys to know how much it means for me that you take the time to support my ramblings. I have put together some items that I personally have enjoyed and thought y’all might as well.

There will be two giveaways! One on YouTube and one on Instagram. They will end in 2 weeks (5.2.19).

Here is the YouTube Giveaway! The Erika Hub (rules in the description box)

Here is the Instagram Giveaway! @erika.b.lathrop

Thank you guys so so much for reading and please feel free to enter on either (or both) platforms. I appreciate everyone so so much and I plan on having a bigger giveaway on my actual blog soon but I am trying out some different products to see what is the most amazing. When I hit 100 followers, I will post that giveaway.

Til next time!

Social Saturday 4.13.19

Hey you guys! Welcome back to my blog and this week’s weekly update. Also, I don’t know if i have mentioned, but I’d also love if you followed me on Instagram – I do a lot more random things on there.

It is @erika.b.lathrop

Let’s dive in!

My Life

Ok, we are going to jump into Erika’s Adoption Saga. I feel like it is kind of an interesting little tidbit of information that a lot of people don’t really know about in terms of the process or what information is available.

I don’t know when I first realized I was adopted. Honestly, I think I always grew up knowing but it never bothered me. If anything, it just made me more curious to know what my life was like before my parents adopted me. I have one memory I know were from before I was adopted:

I remember being at a courthouse in the town where I live and my birth mother being there. I was playing toys and she was there trying to talk to me – she had blonde hair but honestly I just remember playing with the toys and nothing else.

Isn’t that a strange thing to remember? The only thing I have ever gone through my life knowing was that my birth mother was blonde. As I grew up, I had this gut feeling that I didn’t really look like her and that my sister was probably the closest match to what she looked like.

I imagined my birth father was some handsome, tall man with brown hair and blue eyes like I have. For some reason, he was always so much better than what I imagined my birth mother was like. I guess it’s probably because I knew too much about why we were given up for adoption. She was very young when she had us and lived in small town white trash Tennessee. I guess when you end up going to jail a few times and can’t provide for your children, the state steps in.

There were so many times in my life that I wondered if I had ever seen her before – did she even live near us? I wondered if I had other siblings. I wondered if I could ever even find information. My parents never discussed us being adopted. I imagine it would be a difficult discussion to have with the children you have raised and given everything to (and they did give me everything) but there is something about being adopted that drives you to find that missing piece. So. I did.

To be continued….

Beauty

This week in beauty, we have some new sampled products and some new makeup looks. I think I am slowly getting better at figuring out what the hell I am doing when it comes to eyeshadow.

Here are some of the things I have been trying out!

For the ones you can’t see clearly: Top left: Belif Aqua Bomb; Bottom Left: Purlisse Watermelon Facial Balm

Honestly, each of these is amazing. The only issue I have had with any of these is the Tarte Foundcealer which is so disappointing! This foundation is a perfect color match for me and applied so amazingly well! Like seriously, it covered up dark spots and everything…..but…..as the day went on, it made me look like I was a million years old. It settled into my fine lines and make them look like full-blown old woman wrinkles. Like. I know I’m getting older but damn. Everything else is lovely in this picture though!!!!! I have reviews coming up on them soon.

This first look is from a tutorial by Serena Cleary (which is so much more amazing than anything I could ever make).

This uses the Anastasia Beverly Hills Riviera Palette. I feel like it turned out pretty well! I love blues so much (it’s my favorite color) but I feel like it almost dulls the color of my eyes. I still love it though. I just can’t figure out why hers is so much better than mine!!!

Next, I came up with a more glam version of what I did in high school. I LOVE gold shimmery shadows. I used the ABH Sultry Palette.

I feel like it could have used more gold but that might be because I am obsessed with gold.

Also, let me show you a preview of something I a really excited to share with you guys!!!!

I am going to unbox this on YouTube so keep an eye out for it!

Lifestyle/Entertainment

Tomorrow is GAME OF THRONES!!!!! If you guys don’t watch it, you definitely won’t understand my excitement but I literally can barely contain myself.

I seriously cannot even begin to explain my excitement. During the previous seasons, I have done countless hours of conspiracy fan theory research and I have so many ideas about how this is going to end……but…..I don’t want it to!!!!!! No joke, I used to House and I still have yet to watch the final season because I didn’t want it to end…..speaking of endings…..

If you don’t know what I am talking about regarding ‘endings’ in this show then you won’t relate to the fact that I literally cried for like 15 minutes straight. This is the only car show (maybe any show) that my husband and I enjoy. I am excited they will be doing bigger special episodes though because I really don’t care about the cars.

Also, I am going to start regularly blogging on Monday (Munchie Monday), Wednesday (no clever name) and Saturday (Social Saturday). This will give me a good variety of things to talk about and also a schedule.

Here is a glimpse of what is coming up on Monday!

Final Thoughts

This week was rather uneventful unfortunately for myself. I am trying to get into a schedule for blogging, YouTube videos, and social events. Moving to a new base (during winter) has made things so much more difficult to meet new people. I really thought after I got out of high school and college, I would never have to start over making friends as an adult. Even saying it here sounds stupid.

As always, thank you for reading!

I appreciate the support I have gotten and really love reading what you guys post as well. Each new follower has given me some great new content to read and learn about.

Til next time!!

New Direction for My Blog 💙

I feel like I have been struggling with my blog’s identity. I started writing mostly because of buyer’s remorse but in reality, I actually have been going through a rough spot with my anxiety, self-worth, and general mental health. I feel like my blog has been really superficial with the unboxings and that my book reviews give me a small platform to actually express a little more of my actual reflections.

SO. I have been reading a lot of blogs and doing some soul searching and I have a new direction with my blog that I hope you guys enjoy. I actually really was inspired by conversations with Adrianna from Adrianna Beauty and by the journal entries from Hunida’s Blog. They are both such amazing writers and really have supported me in a way that makes me feel more confident to express myself a little bit better on here!

My goal for the new things on my blog are going to be weekly updates which will give a little bit of insight into my life, my beauty choices, and my lifestyle/entertainment. I have watched so many YouTube videos and read so many different blogs but the thing I enjoy the most is always the section to get to knowing someone better. I think it might also be the reason I love reading so much in general – I love a glimpse into the intricacies of life in general.

Let’s dive in!

My Life

There is a lot to dive into as far as my life goes but the main things I will probably focus on for the next few updates at least is what it has been like for me as I have learned about my adoption. I think this is a great thing to shed some light on because in my research, there are a lot of people who don’t know exactly what information is available to an adopted person. I also think my story is interesting (at least I hope it is).

I am not going to jump into it yet because I want to see what kind of response I get for this type of post but I will give you a little background! I was adopted when I was about 2 or 3, with my half-sister, and have been on a surprisingly difficult journey to find out more about my past.

Beauty

I get a lot of beauty products in my subscription boxes and I do a general initial evaluation of these products, but the goal of this will be to give you a more in-depth review that my initial impressions. There have been a few times when my impressions have changed and I think it’s important to let people know!

Let me first dive into what I have been using for skincare. These are the main items I am using in my pursuit for beautiful skin.

Top- Left to Right: Sunday Riley A+ Serum, Touch In Sol No Poreblem Primer, Mamonde Cleanser
Bottom – Left to Right: Skin Gym Gua Sha , Tatcha Dewy Skin Lotion, Immunocologie Eye Cream

I have been trying to have a really good skincare routine where I cleanse my face, use a toner, face serum, moisturize. It has helped me SO MUCH! I had the worst acne when I was pregnant which resulted in acne scars. Following this routine has not only lessened the darkness of my scars, it has really brightened my complexion.

Little blurbs about the products: I just started using this serum this week so I haven’t seen much of a change, but I will definitely keep you posted! The Gua Sha is such an amazing product that I was not expecting to love. I really feel like it has helped with contouring my cheeks and I love the way it makes my skin feel. I have been using it after my serum and after my lotion. As for the primer, I really can’t say I notice a difference in my pores BUT I like the way it makes my skin feel.

T – L>R: Covergirl Outlast Foundation, Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, Covergirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner (Espresso), Jordana Fabubrow Pencil
B – Tarte Lights, Camera Lashes Mascara

This foundation is one that I have been using literally since it came out. i don’t know why, but I cannot find a foundation that matches my skin better or that lasts/has the coverage that this one does. It is so affordable and I love it. Same can be said for the eyeliner and brow pencil. Now the concealer and the mascara are ones that I bought on a whim and have become obsessed with.

Next, let me show you some of the things I am trying out!

Since I really prefer to use my Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream at night (because it is so expensive and I want it to last forever), I am trying out the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream I got from BoxyLuxe. I feel like it’s nice enough with a pleasant scent and texture. It is moisturizing and from the looks of it, I will have this forever. The Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer sample is actually pretty amazing and makes my skin feel amazing. I really want to see if there’s any improvement in my pores because if so, this will move into my Sephora cart for sure! The Marula Hair Oil has a really amazing herbal smell which I love – I am not sure it helps my hair other than smelling nice. Speaking of smelling nice, the pillow spray is AH-MAZING and I highly recommend it if you suffer from issues falling asleep.

Lifestyle/Entertainment

As I have mentioned numerous times, I have recently had a baby and struggle SO FREAKING MUCH with self image. I have decided to get into a really bomb-ass lifestyle change where I eat better and exercise…..like why my dumbass didn’t decide that earlier is a question I ask myself every day. I am currently looking for an amazing workout plan in addition to a 30- Days of Yoga challenge I found here. I have also joined WeightWatchers Freestyle…which I suck at. Cheers to never changing!

With TV I am really digging a series on Netflix called The OA.

It is so Sci-Fi and weird that it really appeals to my nerd side. I can’t really put a finger on why I like it so much but I think it has to do with a mix between strange scientific concepts and interesting characters.

And of course, as if everyone in the world shouldn’t be as hyped as I am, but I am anxiously awaiting the premiere of Game of Thrones. I have watched every episode at least 5 times (if not more).

I COULD CRY I’M SO EXCITED!

As far as my more sophisticated tendency to read, I am currently reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

Let me go ahead and tell you (before I do a full review) that this book is amazing! I really didn’t pick this book for a reason other than it is supposed to be Alaskan based. So. Naturally, my newly found Alaskan side needed to read this.

Final Thoughts

I hope you guys liked a different type of post – I would absolutely love comments from y’all! I feel like this might help me dive into something a little less superficial and occasionally dive into something more gritty. I really want my blog to have some aspects of fluidity since I really like a variety of things and don’t want to limit myself to one particular thing.

As always, thank you guys so much for reading! Til next time!

I Didn’t Get A Christmas Gift

Alright, let me start off by clarifying – I didn’t get any gifts this year…..I guess that could be argued. I did have a child, move 3 times in one year, and bought a couple different cars BUT I DIDN’T GET A CHRISTMAS GIFT.

Maybe you’re like me and look forward to getting presents for all the typical holidays like your birthday, Christmas, your anniversary. I know I look forward to seeing what random things people will buy me. I’ll admit it, I’m a tad materialistic. This year, however, no gifts came my way. No junk to place in random places throughout my house. In fact, with all the moving I actually had to get rid of things. Can you imagine my horror? Like, I want to ADD to my collection. SO. I did a thing. I clicked on some ad I saw on Facebook. I bought a subscription to Ipsy…then FabFitFun…then Boxycharm…then Causebox…then Book of the Month…then PopSugar Must Have Box…then a second Ipsy. I’ve done lost my damn mind.

The way I justify spending all this money is simply I did not get a Christmas gift. I have to look out for myself. 2019 #newyearnewme. WHAT HAVE I DONE?

SO, naturally I’ve started 2019 with new resolutions: I am going to be a beauty legend AND I am going to read and write more than I ever have before. This is it y’all. This is my resolution in action. This is where I come to deal with the large amounts of buyer’s remorse and the fact I MAY have not told my husband about the fact I bought annual subscriptions to these services. That being said….I LITERALLY CANNOT WAIT UNTIL MY BOXES COME IN!!!