The Only Christmas Candle You’ll Ever Need! (Blogmas Day 10)

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!! The start to a new week, so let’s make it a good one! Starting a new week is always a bit difficult for me, so I hope this post makes your day just a bit better! Firstly, I’d like to thank you guys for all the positive feedback on Blogmas this year. You guys seem to be enjoying the posts so far and that makes me SO happy!! So let’s get started with today’s post. Yesterday I did a whole Christmas grocery haul specifically from Trader Joe’s. I’m going to bounce off that today and introduce you guys to the best candle I’ve ever owned.

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I’d like to mention that I’m someone who has a really hard time with candles. I absolutely adore the vibe they give. They’re so calming and the flickering of the fire is always beautiful. However, I tend to get headaches pretty easily when they’re lit, which has been a huge bummer. I get headaches pretty easily in general, but it’s always guaranteed if a candle is lit. I’ve found that soy candles tend to not have this effect, but it’s still risky. Recently though, I was introduced to this Cedar Balsam candle from Trader Joe’s from my wonderful coworkers. We’ve been burning it since before Thanksgiving because we all love it so much. It hasn’t given me a headache and I can finally enjoy the scent of Christmas!

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The best way I can describe this candle is: Christmas in a little tin. At first, I thought it smelled exactly like a pine tree. Which has been so nice because I grew up with a fake tree my whole life. Our tree always looks beautiful and full but our house never really smells like a fresh tree. With this candle though, you 100% get that holiday vibe. Even though the scent is technically Cedar Balsam, it still reminds me of a lovely pine tree.

They had a couple large barrels of this same candle at the store, so I stocked up! Just in case they ever decide to discontinue it. Apparently, they also have a gingerbread scented candle that is even more popular! Let me know if you guys have ever heard of that candle or can vouch for how amazing it is. These candles are about $4 each, which I think is a really amazing price for a candle considering the amount of wax inside the tin. Of course, being the designer I am, I have to bring up the packaging. What else would you expect from me?? Firstly, I LOVE that it comes in an adorable silver tin. It just feels so Christmasy and appropriate for the holidays. I also love the simplicity, color, and fonts used on the label. Sometimes, it’s nice not to have the expected red or green patterns.

I hope you guys enjoyed this short little post about this awesome candle! It really is one of the best and you don’t have to deal with the crowds that are usually in places like Bath and Body Works. Let me know in the comments if you know about this candle or if you’ve tried it. See you all soon!! xx

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Trader Joe’s Christmas Haul! (Blogmas Day 9)

So it’s not an unknown fact that I’m literally obsessed with anything sweet, namely chocolate. If I could eat dessert after every meal and keep thin with clear skin, I would gladly partake. However, that is definitely not practical. For the holidays though, I do tend to splurge and let myself enjoy all the Christmas goodies. Trader Joe’s, which is a healthy grocery store here in the states, always comes out with amazing holiday themed snacks. Around Halloween they always have pumpkin or apple spice options and during Christmas of course they have tons of peppermint, hot chocolate, and toffee items. You basically can’t control yourself and I’m kind of okay with that. For today’s post, I have a huge Trader Joe’s haul for your guys with some of the best Christmas treats they have to offer, or some of my favorites at least!

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Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

We’re going to start of strong with some of my absolute favorites. Most people around here know what Joe-Joe cookies are (a “healthy” alternative to Oreo cookies). During Christmas though, the store releases a peppermint version, which taste exactly like thin mints from the Girl Scouts. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up eating the whole box. Especially dipped in some almond or rice milk, you might end up in trouble.

Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe’s

Another twist on these classic cookies are the dark chocolate versions. Basically completely covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint chunks. These are much more filling but probably one of the most delicious treats you’ll ever have. One or two will definitely satisfy you, which is good because they are quite high in calories. I’d recommend sharing these with friends or family because they’re simply way too tempting!

Peppermint Pretzel Slims

These are a great little snack if you want something sweet but also a little light. Their normal slim pretzels are covered in creamy white chocolate and again covered in peppermint pieces. These would be great snacks during a Christmas party, come to think of it! I really enjoyed all of these products during my college days. It was always so fun to shop around Trader Joe’s and have some desserts waiting for me after a long day in class.

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Mini Gingerbread Men

I had actually forgot these existed when I saw them in the store! These little gingerbread men are too cute and again would be great at a Christmas party or at a family get together. The kids are bound to love them, as well as the adults because they taste so freaking good! The backs are dipped in white fudge icing and umm…who doesn’t love that?? They come in quite a big box so you’d probably only need one or two depending on the size of your party. For the little ones, these are great to leave by the fireplace for Santa 😉

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Hot Chocolate, Marshmallows, and Whipped Cream

Okay, this is a little sneak peak of a post I’m planning but I couldn’t leave Trader Joe’s without the necessary components to make the perfect cup of hot cocoa. I’m the queen of hot chocolate around the holidays, and there’s nothing better than a big cup on a cold night while watching Christmas movies. Trader Joe’s offered an organic hot chocolate option. There are individual packets in the box that you simply add water to. There’s so many other ways to make hot chocolate, but this is the much easier option if you’re making multiple cups for your family. Of course, topped with some whipped cream (either in a can like this or homemade), with some mini marshmallows, you can’t go wrong!

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Peppermint Bark Popcorn

This is another great option for the kiddos. Not only because of the cute packaging, but because of the actual product. Popcorn covered in chocolate with peppermint pieces! Luckily it comes in a small bag because honestly I would be all over these! In college and even at work, popcorn is the perfect snack to hold you over before lunch or dinner. Why not make it a little more festive with white chocolate and peppermint?? Sounds like a good deal to me!

Ginger Bread Spice Granola

Alright so here’s a (somewhat) healthy option for you guys! We have to at least attempt to keep a good diet around the holidays…right? Granola mixed in with candied ginger and pecans is the perfect topping for açaí bowls or coconut yogurt. I’ve been eating less açaí bowls since summer passed, but it’s still one of my favorite breakfast options. This granola is the perfect blend of summer and winter and I’m here for it! Not to mention, the packaging is gorgeous and so perfect for the holidays.

I hope you guys enjoyed this grocery haul! It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted one, but I hope it helps with your shopping list this Christmas! I’d definitely recommend any of these items, they would work great for a gift basket or as a snack before Christmas dinner. Let me know which one of these products you’d be dying to try! Talk to you all soon! xx

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The Christmas Tag! (Blogmas Day 5)

What’s up everyone?? It’s Blogmas Day 5! I thought today would be a good opportunity to put up a more simple post. As well as something that’s more interactive and that you all can participate in if you like! I searched Christmas tags online and stumbled upon a ton of results! I didn’t know The Christmas Tag was at thing in this little blogger world but I’m so happy it is! The tag consists of tons of fun questions around the theme of Christmas and I encourage anyone and everyone to participate if you have a blog or Instagram (it could make a great caption to a holiday photo). However, I will also be tagging some of my favorite bloggers to participate in this tag specifically. These questions are from a blog called Makeup Savvy. So let’s kick it off!


1. What is your favorite Christmas Movie?

This is a bit of a difficult one because I love a good Christmas movie marathon at night. However, I’ll have to say “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my absolutely favorite movie. My family and I have a tradition of watching it every year on Christmas Eve night and it’s something I still want to do when I have a family of my own. It’s a black and white film from 1947 that follows a boy from childhood to adulthood. He of course falls in love but also finds himself in some messy business situations. Eventually he wishes he never existed in the first place around Christmastime, so an angel grants his wish. I won’t spoil the end for you, you’ll have to watch it yourselves but I highly recommend this American classic!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

When I was a kid, my parents allowed my sister and I to open one present on Christmas Eve in anticipation for Christmas morning. It was always something fun like a video game that would keep us busy since we were so excited for the coming morning. Although we are both adults now and receive very different gifts, the tradition has stayed alive.

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3. Do you have a favorite Christmas memory?

I think I create new favorite memories every year. We host Christmas at our home so we always have lots of family around on Christmas Day. I think I simply love spending time with my family every year that I don’t get to see too often. Yeah yeah, call me corny!

4. Favorite festive food?

I want to do a post on this soon, but Trader Joe’s offers their peppermint Joe Joe cookies in a holiday version. By that I mean dipped in chocolate with peppermint chunks on top. If you’re unfamiliar with Joe Joe cookies, they’re basically Trader Joes’ “healthy” version of an Oreo. But let’s be real, it’s probably just as bad for you, LOL! I’d say these are more of a snack or dessert but you guys know I literally cannot go a day without chocolate…I acknowledge it’s a problem. My mom and I will also do some baking for the holidays. One of my faves is a peanut butter cookie with a Hershey’s kiss in the middle. They’re to die for and make the house smell like a bakery!

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

The best Christmas gift I was every given was from my parents last year, actually! They had planned for all of us to go to London and Paris in the summer of 2018. I’ve written all about that trip and what an amazing time I had (minus my bedridden days in Paris). Traveling will always be the best gift. Especially as I’ve gotten older, experiences have becomes so valuable to me. I’ve mentioned this so many times before but London feels like a second home to me and I’ll always want to go back.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

Again, I’ve got to hand it to Trader Joe’s! Recently my coworker has been burning the most amazing candle from there. It’s a pine tree scent that would make you believe there was a large pine tree right in the middle of our office. It’s the most Christmasy scent I’ve ever smelled and I’ve been wanting to stock up for my room at home. Most times candles give me a headache but this one hasn’t done that at all! I’d definitely recommend this if you’re sensitive to scents but still want to get into the holiday mood!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

I kind of answered this in the first question but I love my family’s tradition of getting all snuggled up on the couch and popping in a Blu-Ray of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” (Did anyone get my YouTube reference? Anyone?) Anyways, it will always be one of my favorite films of all time and with the lights from our tree, it makes the perfect Christmas evening.

8. What tops your tree?

Honestly, some years nothing at all! Sometimes we will tie a big bow around the top but our tree is 7 or 8 feet tall so there’s not much room for a topper.

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9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

As a kid, there is no way I could ever complain about what I received for Christmas. My parents, I mean Santa, always pulled through and got me the most thoughtful gifts. I was never disappointed and this is a feeling I hope to give to my own kids some day. I’ll always hope they feel loved and surprised every Christmas morning like I was.

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

Hmm, I think for me just the overall happy vibe that comes with Christmas. People get time off from work, students come home and are finished with finals, and it’s a great time to give back. Everyone always seems just a little bit happier. I know I’m definitely in a better mood when it starts to get a little bit chilly and rain starts falling (even though I don’t have the best wardrobe for cold weather). It’s also the end of one year and the start of something completely fresh and new. It’s so rejuvenating knowing a new year is coming with so many new possibilities. What better way to kick this off than with the Christmas season??

My nominations. I’d like to nominate the following bloggers in no particular order to participate in this tag!
Don’t Give a Jam
Absolutely Olivia
Blog About A Latte
Lattes Darling
Mack Marie
Just Hannah Here
Chanelle Hayley
With Love, Caroline
Kristen Shane
Kittyp0p

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Fall Grocery Haul!

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all doing well. I’ve recently gotten so into autumn inspired food, whether that’s pumpkin flavors, spiced food items, or apple, I’ve been loving it all! I took a little trip to Trader Joe’s last week and picked up some amazing things. They’ve been going all out with their autumnal goodies, so here’s everything I chose!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

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So I thought I’d start off with one of my favorites: Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes! I tried this for the first time last fall and I was just dying to get my hands on them again. They are so packed with flavor and extremely simple to make! To make it even better, they are perfect for all my gluten free friends! They seriously taste like traditional pancakes and bake like them too, so it kind of blows my mind. I actually made an apple rings recipe that involved this mix last year, so if you’d like a fun new recipe to try out, click here. I’d love to make an updated recipe post with this mix since it’s just so life changing. Let me know if you’d like to see that. You can get this at Trader Joe’s.

Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal

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This Organic Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal is actually something I have year round, but it’s absolutely perfect for this time of year. I always put cinnamon in my oatmeal in the mornings, but this has it right in the mix! Usually I have limited time for breakfast, but I love instant oatmeal because I can pour it right into a to go mug, add some water, microwave it for 50 seconds and I’m done! Lately my routine has been to add some agave nectar to the top and mix it in. It gives a nice sweet taste while still having that lovely spice to it from the cinnamon. This box comes with so many packs of instant oatmeal, so it’s great for a busy student. You can find this at Trader Joe’s as well.

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Here is another one of my favorites! I just found this at Trader Joe’s, as it was one of the samples they were offering that day. The second I tasted it, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. This spiced cider is simply amazing and can be made so many different ways! I love having it cold and I actually warmed it up the other night for a couple of my friends. They went crazy over it, so this big bottle has gone fast! I’d love to see how this could work in some sort of recipe as well, since the flavor is so unique and the consistency is smooth. If autumn could have a flavor, this would be exactly it. That sounded weird, but its totally true! Let me know if you guys have any good recipes to include this in!

Vanilla Cake Mix

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This specific product I chose because I’ve been dying to make Halloween cupcakes! I’m not the best baker in the world, but I love making cute little things for the season. I wanted a very simple cake since I found adorable baking cups and bright orange frosting. I think the vanilla flavor is also an essential for the fall season, even though I drink it year round. A decaf vanilla latte is my go to in every season!

Baking Cups

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When I took my trip to Michael’s I found these adorable little baking cups that I just couldn’t turn down. They had so many different options, but I really loved the cob webs (they looked very Tim Burton to me) and the adorable pumpkin with the stripes. I’m very excited to use these and create the perfect batch of spooky treats! Here’s to hoping they turn out alright!

Pumpkin Shaped Pasta and Harvest Sauce

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Guys. Look at this flippin’ pasta. It’s shaped like little pumpkins!!! You can’t get much cuter than that! When I first saw them, I knew I had to try them out. I’ve never seen these before in stores, and it’s the greatest idea! Next to the pasta was the Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce. On the bottom it says,”Made with pumpkin and butternut squash.” Seriously the perfect combo and great merchandising for putting these two side by side in the store. It really reeled me in and now I’m so excited to have this for dinner with my roommates one night!

Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Baking Mix

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Okay so honestly, I’m a little torn over this product. I bought this Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread mix at Trader Joe’s and I ended up making 12 muffins. The mix was extremely easy to put together and when they were baking, my apartment smelled absolutely amazing! However, I had a little trouble with them because they were gluten free. I baked them over the amount of time that was needed and for some reason, they ended up not being cooked enough! To be completely real with you guys, I baked them and then they turned back into mush! Help me understand how that happens, lol. The bottoms actually were cooked perfectly but for whatever reason, the tops just sank back into uncooked goo. I was pretty bummed about this because the parts that were edible were so delicious! I’m including the mix in this haul because the taste was amazing and I think it’d be a perfect product if you can figure out how to bake with gluten free products correctly. It may just be something I have to practice, which I don’t mind doing because the baked part of the muffins were to die for! If you try this out, let me know how it goes because I’m super curious!

Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice Kind Bars

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Last but not least, a little snack to grab and go! Kind bars are an essential part of my pantry when I’m at school. As I’ve mentioned before, I have very limited time for breakfast before my design class in the morning. Bars like these are perfect for me, especially if I have limited time between classes as well. These are special edition Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice flavor and I’m living for it. I love the packaging as well with the little leaves falling. One down side to this box though, is that it only comes with four bars. I do wish they came with a little more, but hey, I won’t complain about a special edition flavor! I believe you can get these at Target.

Alright, that’s all I have for you guys for this post. I hope you enjoyed this grocery haul. Which items would you like to try most? Or if you’ve tried any of these, how did you like them?? There’s a few things here I have yet to cook or try, so I’m very excited for the upcoming weeks of October. Hope you’re all getting excited or even a little spooked for Halloween! Talk to you soon! xx

Healthy Alternatives for the Junk Foods You LOVE!

Hey everyone! So if you’ve kept up with me the last few months, you’d know I got my very first apartment! With this new beginning and the dramatic change from dorm living to apartment living, I’ve tried to make personal changes as well. Eating better has been one of my main goals and I’ve tried to stick to it as much as possible. When I did my first big grocery shop for the apartment, I stayed away from junky foods and forced myself to only buy what is healthy. Because if it’s not in the apartment, I don’t have the opportunity to indulge in unhealthy things. With McDonald’s and a 24/7 Mexican restaurant right on the corner, I’ve had to make an effort to not drive through when I’m feeling lazy and drained from the day. So even though I’m exhausted very often, I’ve made myself choose the healthy options and cook if need be. So I thought I’d make a mini grocery haul for you guys, to show you how easy it can be to make the healthy (and delicious) choices. Here are some great alternatives to foods I need in my life.

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Okay I need to begin with this product because of how amazing it is! As a college student knows (and any working person, really) having time for breakfast can be rare. Getting to those early morning classes barely gives you enough time to apply makeup and get dressed. However breakfast is a very important start to your day and I’m always bummed when I can’t fit it in. Yogurt is a great thing to grab on the go, but the dairy isn’t so great for your skin or your health in general. I have the fix for you! Coconut milk yogurt people! There is no dairy in these yogurts, making it aye okay for your skin and vegan as well! I picked this blueberry flavored one from Trader Joe’s and I kid you not, it is BETTER than regular yogurt. It’s sweet, the perfect consistency, and totally healthy! I’ve tried another brand of coconut milk based yogurt and it was good, but this brand is 100 times better. I cannot rave enough about it. The next time you’re at Trader Joe’s or any grocery store, look for yogurt like these! I wouldn’t recommend anything to you guys that I didn’t think you would like, so please try this out and let me know what you think!!

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If you’re anything like me, you absolutely, 100%, without a doubt NEED chocolate in your life. I’m not sure how I would function without it. Unfortunately, I’m sure without chocolate and sugar in general, my skin would be clearer and I’d lose weight a lot faster. So instead of going to Target and picking up the family size bag of Buncha Crunch that I so desperately want everyday, I’ve been leaning more towards a bit of dark chocolate or Powerberries. I’ve known about Powerberries for as long as I can remember, and they are to die for! Essentially what they are is an acai, blueberry, pomegranate, and cranberry ball dipped in dark chocolate. They are the perfect soft consistency that you want candy to be, while being much healthier than actual candy or chocolate bars. Dark chocolate (when eaten in moderation) is actually beneficial to your health. I am not a health expert by any means, but this is just a fact I’ve heard. I picked this up at Trader Joe’s and of course I have to mention the packaging. I love the colors and the way it’s designed and I always know the product when I see it.

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Another one of my favorite food products! And this one is vegan as well! Earth Balance is a fantastic brand that offers organic products, including this alternative for butter. I don’t know about you guys, but I love butter! Spread on a baguette before dinner, on toast, or used on a pan to make eggs, I seem to need it for so many things. However, butter is a diary product and again not good for your skin. This Earth Balance “fake butter” is the perfect replacement and tastes exactly like regular butter. This always seems to be in my fridge at home, and for some reason I just recently found out it’s fake butter! That’s how similar it is to the real thing. The product in the red container is even soy free, since soy isn’t very good for you either. (What IS good for us nowadays??) As I mentioned before, these products are completely vegan and also Non-GMO.

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One item specifically I’ve been trying to cut out is white bread. I absolutely love my white bread, but there are other choices I could make that would be more beneficial to my overall health. Rice cakes are a great alternative, and you can do a lot more with them! I love to put peanut butter, jelly, and banana slices on top of these which makes for an awesome breakfast or a quick afternoon snack between classes. Other great toppings could be peanut butter, almonds, and agave or even some avocados with chia seeds on top. Rice cakes are cool too because they are 100% vegan and even gluten free! Such a great combination and so delicious as well!

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Now if I really can’t escape the need for bread, there is a very healthy option that doesn’t make me feel as bad. Ezekiel bread is the perfect alternative for you! Not to mention, the Bible verse on the front and the little dove in the corner is too stinkin’ cute! Again, this is an organic product that I picked up from Trader Joe’s. There are different variations of this bread, but I tend to lean towards the low sodium version. I’ll be honest, it’s not as flavorful as white bread, but your body will thank you for making the healthier decision, right? Right!

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So this next product isn’t one you can necessarily buy in stores. It’s one you can make right at home! I’ve seen so many people do this so I thought I’d whip it up myself: frozen banana ice cream! It was so simple to make: take a couple of bananas, milk (I chose rice milk instead of cow’s milk), and whatever other flavor you want, blend it up, and freeze the mixture. It’s that easy! For the combination above, I chose to add in frozen strawberries to make banana strawberry ice cream. I also made two other flavors: banana coconut and peanut butter banana. So easy and very refreshing! Comment down below if you’ve ever tried this out!

So that’s all for today, let me know if you guys enjoy these food inspired posts or if you’d want more recipe suggestions. Hope you all are having a great end to your week!

Saving My Skin

Saving My Skin
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Hey guys! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a week. It’s been hectic adjusting to school and my new schedule. Nevertheless, I’m not going to stop blogging! Anyways, I wanted to share with you guys a product that is absolutely essential for this crazy hot weather. Where I’m going to school, we hit the beach nearly every weekend and even some weekdays. It’s awesome, but I have a tendency to not wear sunscreen for hours and I end up getting pretty burned. This does turn into a tan, but I’m trying to be a little more careful with my skin.

In case I do get sunburned, I like using aloe to soothe the burn. This is a well known remedy for sunburns. I bought this big bottle at Trader Joe’s and it’s just your typical aloe solution. (It also doesn’t test on animals, which is always a plus!) I don’t only use this for burns though, I use it as a day to day moisturizer as well. Aloe is great for anyone’s skin, so I definitely recommend it for any skin type! Especially if you’re dry or your skin needs some livening up, this is the product for you! Love you all and hope you’re having a fantastic start to the school year! ❤