Failure leads to success…

It is true what they say; failure does, in fact, lead to success. A quote I’ve lived by for the past two years, but sometimes, after so many failures, you begin to wonder if that’s actually true. Is everyone meant to succeed? Will everyone eventually have their time to shine? At least I wondered that, anyway. Finding a job has been a tedious task, to say the least…especially in the past two years.

Being a college student, it’s only natural to want to work, make your own money, and gain independence to prepare yourself for the real, adult world. But for me, just finding a part-time job seemed next to impossible. Every application I turned in, and every interview I went on seemed like playing the lottery. Being a young adult in her early 20’s with her only job experience being a three month long summer job in New York three years ago, where my aunt was the manager, I wasn’t exactly in “high-demand,” if you will. The fact that I’m also barley 80 pounds, four foot, eight inches, have quite severe scoliosis, and look like I’m about thirteen year old, didn’t help much, either. Managers tended to not take me seriously because of how young I looked and my physical disabilities. I just needed someone to look past my physical qualities. They didn’t affect my work ethic, or my skill…they’re just physical. Other than that, I’m a normal person, who lives her life…well, normally. I can do anything anyone else can, and have just as much work ethic as anyone else. I’m a very independent person, and I’ve never been one to let a silly disability that effects nothing but my height get in my way. I just needed that one chance, that one manager, to see past that, and see me for who I really am.

So for the past two years, I struggled. Relying on my parents, and sometimes even very generous friends to help me financially. I hated that; I felt like I burden. I didn’t want to be that girl who just mooched off everyone around me. While all my friends were out working, I was sitting at home, alone, by myself feeling like a loser with no life. And with parents who constantly put me down for not working, like it was something I chose, it really put a damper on my self esteem.

For the past two years, a very, very generous, kind, and helpful friend of mine has helped me SO much in trying to find a job. From recruiting me to potential employers, helping me fill out applications, giving me tips and advice for job interviews, tough-love, and really just encouraging me to keep trying and reminding me that failure does lead to success, and that one day, God is going to give me the perfect job for me. And that honestly meant so much.

After an almost two year feat, last week, my friend, who works at Starbucks, texted me and told me to fill out an application to the new Starbucks location opening up in our area. The manager of that store, is temporarily working at his store, until the new location opens up. He talked to her about me, and I filled out the application. Within 30 minutes of submitting it online, I got a phone call from the manager asking me to come in for an interview later on in the week. The interview went great, and the managers made me feel really comfortable.Two days later, I got a phone call from her saying that I got the job! FINALLY! I was so excited…and didn’t really believe it at first…I had been waiting TWO YEARS for this day, and was finally here!

I instantly called my friend and told him the good news and he shared just as much excitement as I did. We finally did it! I say “we” because I do believe that he’s been such a big part of my journey in finding a job and I don’t think I could have done it without him. I believe that God helped me find a job through him, and I’m so thankful. Not for just landing me a job, but for being there for me along the way and encouraging me to keep trying, not to give up, and reminding me that God will give me the right job at the right time; that my moment will eventually come, and that sometimes failure makes the best success stories.

It’s not the “success” that makes people inspired; it’s the journey, the rocky road, the roller coaster, and the failure that all come first that make the story, and make it inspirational. God doesn’t just hand out success; he won’t give you anything that you can’t handle, so you just have to put your trust and faith into him and know that he WILL give you what is best for you when the timing is right. You just need a little patience. Two years ago, I don’t think I could have handled this, really…I don’t think I was mentally ready. But I am now. God does know what he’s doing. You just have to trust. I’m a little scared, and nervous, but I’m also excited and I can’t wait to see where this takes me. I hope it’s a good, and most importantly, a happy journey for me. If you’re struggling with a similar situation, just remember, eventually failure does lead to success. It may take time, but just have faith and believe that when the timing is right, it WILL happen for you when it’s meant to be. It took me two years, but I finally did it. And you can, too! I believe in you. My friend was right, and I’m SO thankful for everything he’s done for me to help make my career goals a reality.

Baked Spaghetti Recipe!

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The other night I was starving with nothing to eat, so I raided my kitchen for ingredients, and I came across a box of angel hair pasta. Originally, I just planned on making pasta with garlic sauce, but I got kind of carried away and ended up making a baked pasta dish instead! It’s supper easy, and SUPER delicious, so I thought I would share it with you all! I kind of just winged the whole thing, so there’s really no method to my madness. haha.

What you’ll need:

  • Angel hair pasta
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Garlic butter
  • Marinara sauce
  • Basil
  • Garlic powder

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

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Next, fill a sauce pan with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiled, turn your stove down to medium heat, and pour in your pasta. Let it cook until your pasta noodles are nice and soft!

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After your pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it into a mixing bowl.

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While your pasta is still warm,mix in your desired amount of garlic butter and mozzarella cheese and mix until the butter and cheese is melted and evenly coated over your pasta. (Note: you can also mix in ricotta cheese, sour cream, and half and half in addition to the mozzarella cheese for an extra creamy and cheesy taste! I only had mozzarella cheese, though, so I just stuck with that!)

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Once your pasta is mixed, pour it into a baking dish, making sure to cover the whole dish. Pour in your desired amount of marinara sauce and mix in with pasta until it is evenly coated with sauce.

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Mix in a generous amount of more cheese with the sauce until pasta is evenly coated and sprinkle cheese on top, until the top of your pasta is coated with cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of garlic powder and basil on top.

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Your pasta is ready to be baked! Put it in the oven and let it bake for 15 minutes.

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It’s done!! Your pasta has finished cooking and is ready to be enjoyed!

I hope you all enjoyed this, and if you try this recipe comment below and tell me what you think! :))

Happiness > Talent….

Sometimes what you’re good at, isn’t necessarily what you enjoy doing. Some people are blessed enough to have incredible talents in which they not only highly excel at, but also LOVE doing. But what if that’s not you? What if you’re different? For some people the thing that they’re good at, and that they excel in is actually something that they don’t enjoy doing…at all. I’m one of those people.

For me, computers is something that I’ve always been good at. I’m not sure why…it just comes easy to me. I’ve used computers almost my whole life, so I just self-taught myself everything that I need to know about them. And while I like that I know so much about them, and the way they work…I don’t actually like the action of working with them. It’s boring, dull, frustrating…and I honestly hate it. I enjoy things that aren’t so structural…things that allow me creative freedom. I have an extremely creative mind, and I want to embrace that. I enjoy things like writing, art, photography design, and anything that allows me to make something my own…to make something out of nothing. To be myself. And unfortunately, when it comes to the arts…sure, I’m decent…and I’m kind of talented in some aspects of it, but I guess I’m not as knowledgeable in a lot of areas. And I hate that. Because those things make me happy. Not some stupid, structural, technological b.s.

It sucks when you have people telling you “oh, that’s your window,” or “you should be doing something in THAT field.” What if I don’t want to? Sure it’s an amazing job…and a good opportunity. But it’s not me. And it doesn’t make me happy. And I don’t want to do it. I’m not willing to sacrifice myself for a job. I had a friend convince me to apply for this amazing computer programming job, so I did. I really need the money, and I’m having issues finding a job. He said to me “has it ever occurred to you that this is the kind of stuff you should be applying for because it seems to me that you’ve just been applying in offices and restaurants?” Part of me wanted to say “no, because I hate computer programming and working with technology and the thought of working in that field makes me sick to my stomach.” But I’ve been looking for a job for over a year now with no luck, and I really have no room to be picky. So I filled out the job application and pretended to be excited and hopeful for a job I’m going to absolutely despise if I get it. He then started talking about changing my major to computer programming and everything along those lines, and that made me really uncomfortable. I know he was only trying to help, and I truly appreciate that SOO incredibly much, but I hate when people I know have false ideas about me. That’s not who I am. Nor is it who I want to be.

I’d rather work harder and expand my skill on what I TRULY enjoy doing and really grow to excel in it. I want to put my heart and soul into what I do and I want my passion to shine through. Most importantly, I want to use my skills, and who I am, as a person to help, give back, and inspire others. My main goal is to be happy and make a difference in the world somehow. That’s gonna be pretty hard to do if I hate my job. I said this to the same friend earlier tonight; “I’d rather be happy and poor, than rich and miserable.” So I think I’m going to pull my application from the company, and continue trying to get a job at someplace I’ll actually enjoy working at…like as a receptionist, or in a restaurant/hospitality environment…where I can be social, and interact with tons of other people, and have fun with it while also going to school to pursue my Mass Communications degree to prepare for my dream career…whatever that may be. I’m not exactly sure what I want to to do with my degree yet, but that’s okay. I’ll figure it out. Sometimes I’m not even sure is Mass Comm is for me. I do like it, but is there something better out there for me? Maybe. But I know it’s NOT computers.

It’s my life, and I deserve to be happy. And I encourage you all to do the same. Don’t listen to what anyone says; your peers, your parents, your friends, your teachers, etc…go for what YOU want to go for. Even if you may not be the best at it, if you truly love it and emerge yourself into it, then you’ll excel and your skill will improve. It’s your life, and you deserve to be happy. It doesn’t matter how “talented” you are at something…what matters is how much passion and love for it. So take that passion and love and implement it to create something truly beautiful…that’s gonna make you the best “you” that you can be. Money can’t buy happiness, folks. You deserve to be happy. So do it.

Insomniac ramblings…

So this is another late-night, I can’t sleep because there’s too much on my mind, Insomniac post that probably will be extremely rambly and make no sense. So I apologize. I’ve actually been really scared lately. As much as I’ve learned to accept, embrace, and enjoy change…it still scares me sometimes. I have a feeling a LOT will be changing in my life in the next few months…and I’m not so sure it’s going to be good change. The people in my life, my daily routines, my life paths…it’s all going to be majorly different than it has been the past couple years. And I’m not excited. And it’s not the fact that it’s actually “change” that scares me. It’s that deep down, I just have a bad gut feeling that this particular change isn’t going to be a happy one for me. I’ve already started to see the beginning effects of this change, and so far, I’m not really feeling it. The close relationships I had with people in my life for the past few years I feel are slowly starting to fade. Normally this doesn’t bother me. But I thought I finally found people who could be in my life long term, who I trust, and who trust me back. Who I could confide in, and have real, meaningful friendships with. So yeah, it hurts me a little. And I’m scared. I’ve also been relapsing on and off all this year with struggles I faced a few three to four years ago. And I’m scared. Especially since the people I thought I could trust/confide in, no longer really seem to care and I don’t really have anyone talk to or reassure me. It just sucks so badly going from on top of the world happy, to feeling crappy, sad, and depressed all of the time. Back in March, it got to the point that all I would do is sleep, and cry in bed all day long. I wouldn’t leave my room at all except to go to class…some days. I wouldn’t even eat and I lost over ten pounds. It’s since gotten better. But I’m scared it’s going down that route again. I know in my mind what the worst case scenario would be…I know what I’m most scared of. And I so desperately pray that it doesn’t end up that way. I want to be truly happy again.

June 2013 favorites…

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So I thought about doing one of these for a while, but it doesn’t really fit into my blog’s “theme.” I write mainly about self-help, inspirational, and life topics, not only to help my readers, but to help myself, too. But then I remembered that when I made this blog, I didn’t want it to fall under a theme. I called this my “lifestyle” blog in my first post. That can mean anything from maintaining a healthy mindset, to fun stuff and products that I’ve been loving. So that’s what I’m gonna do today. I put together a little collage of products I’ve been loving this past month, and let me tell you, it took WAY longer than I thought! haha. Anyway, let’s get started! :))

1) Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation: Now, I have been wearing  this foundation for a while now, but I’ve been especially loving it for summer this month! It’s a medium, but buildable coverage foundation, but very light weight! It’s not cakey at ALL and looks completely natural. Perfect for effortless summer makeup!

2) Maybelline Color Whisper in Cherry on Top: These are AMAZING! Super easy, pigmented, and hydrating. They go on sheer but are super buildable! Very glossy, also! My favorite shade is Cherry on Top; it’s a super bright reddish/pink color. Who doesn’t love bright, bold lips for summer?! Personally, it’s my favorite trend. I like to build this color up to it’s full potential to get it’s full opacity, but it’s also nice as just a sheer wash of color when you’re going for a more natural look!

3) Revlon Lipstick in Wine With Everything: As weird as it sounds, I’ve been loving darker, wine colored lips this month! I know it’s more of a fall trend, but there’s something so classic, and gorgeous about a dark, wine lip that I just love! This is one of my favorite shades. Revlon lipsticks are some of my favorite formulas…creamy, super pigmented, and long lasting with a HUGE color selection. Not to mention, affordable! They don’t dry out your lips, either. Love them! I’ve also been loving the shade Black Cherry, which I forgot to picture here. It’s a dark, burgundy vampy color. It’s amazing on!

4) Benefit Watts Up: I LOVE this highlighter! Up until I discovered this I had been using High Beam, and I still love that, but since this is a stick formula, it’s much easier and is perfect for a nice glowy, summer look! I like to run it across my cheekbones, and down the bridge of my nose.

5) Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette: I’ve had this palette for a few months, but I didn’t actually start using it a lot until this past month. My favorite look to do with it is Chopper on the lid, YDK on the outer half of the lid, Tease in the crease, and busted on the outer corner/outer “V.” I also use Bootycall as my brow bone, and inner corner highlight! Super pretty!

6) CoverGirl Shimmering Sands: I LOVE this eyeshadow trio! It’s SUPER quick, effortless, and easy for lazy summer days when you don’t feel like putting in a lot of time into your makeup. Not to mention it’s GORGEOUS and the perfect glowy, bronze look for summer! I like to use all three colors for a full look, starting with the lightest one for the lid and highlight, the middle shade on the outer lid and crease, and the darkest in the outer corner. But it’s also perfect for just a single wash of shadow!

7) Nars Blush in Orgasam: Can I just start this off by saying that what’s with all of these makeup brands naming their products with such sexual names?? Gosh, I hate the concept of “sex sells.” Anyway, moving on. haha. I LOVE this blush! It’s one of my all time favorites! I usually mix it with another, matte blush, because it’s a little more shimmery than I typically like. But for summer, it’s the PERFECT color for a gorgeous summer glow! It’s a beautiful coraly/pink color with gold shimmers. I LOVE it!

8) Benefit Benetint: I’ve been using this SO much lately! It’s a gorgeous berry colored  cheek/lip stain. It’s super easy for the days that you don’t wear much makeup. I’ve been going to the pool and beach a lot this past month so I just like to dab this on my cheeks and lips to give me a little color, or just incase I go out after being at the pool or beach to make me look a little more lively. It’s perfect. This, plus the shimmering sands pallette, equals the perfect effortless look!

9) Prada Candy: I didn’t really like this scent at first, but I love it now! It’s super warm and sweet, but it’s also very mature and age appropriate! It’s the perfect sweet but sophisticated scent! I love it for going out at night. It’s also perfect for the office, if you work!

10) Marc Jacobs Daisy: This scent is a classic! A little sweet and fruity with a fresh floral kick! It’s super fresh with a splash of fruitiness It’s the perfect daytime scent for spring/summer and it has been my everyday scent for this month. I LOVE it!

11) Whoops! Accidently skipped number 11! haha.

12) Benefit Hoola Bronzer: This is my FAVORITE matte bronzer! The color is PERFECT! It’s not muddy, or orange and it looks equally as amazing on lighter skin tones as it does on darker skin tones! I love using this to contour, but lately, this month, this has replaced my Nars Laguna Bronzer as my all over bronzer. I’ve been dusting this all over my face after my foundation to give me a little more color. Because I’ve been in the sun so much, my foundation is now a few shades too light for me, so I use this bronzer to make my face match the rest of my skin and I just LOVE the effect/color it gives off! Totally natural!

13) Benefit Girl Meets Pearl: This is an all over, liquid face illuminator. It can be used under foundation for a subtle glow, or on top of make up for a more dramatic glow. I like to use it both ways depending on the look/occasion. I also love using it alone on the days I don’t wear any foundation and keep my makeup light just to brighten up my face! Either way, it’s a beautiful product!

14) John Frieda Full Repair Serum: I’ve been on a healthy hair kick recently! I’ve gone through a yearlong process of transforming my hair and I’m THRILLED with the outcome! This stuff totally helped make the process easier. I dye my hair and I also heat style it frequently. This stuff does exactly what it says it does…it repairs and revives your hair! Pump a small amount in my hands after I get out of the shower and run it through my ends and comb it through. It revives your hair and prevents breakage from past damage and prevents new damage. It’s amazing stuff!

15) It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In: THIS. STUFF. IS. AMAZING!!!!! It truly is a miracle product. This is another product that transformed my hair completely! Since it’s summer, I’ve been trying to lay back on the heat styling. I have very thick, frizzy, wavy/curly, unruly hair. I also live in Florida…where the humidity is INSANELY outrageous, especially in the summer! So needless to say, I leave it natural, it frizzes up. I straighten it, it frizzes up. I spray this in my hair after the John Frieda serum and comb through. It claims to do ten things;1. Repairs dry damaged hair. 2. Adds shine. 3. Smoothes and controls frizz. 4. Seas and protects hair color. 5. Detangles. 6. Prevents split ends. 7. Stops hair breakage. 8. Creates silkiness. 9. Enhances natural body. 10. Flat iron spray and thermal protector. And this stuff WORKS. My hair doesn’t frizz, it’s shiny, soft, smooth, and it looks amazing natural or heat styled. TOTALLY worth the $27.00 price tag!

16) VO5 Moisture Milk Strawberries and Cream Conditioner: Following up on the healthy hair kick, I have this! Now this is a bit of an unexpected favorite…I know what you’re thinking; “Jenn, a TWO dollar conditioner?! What is so great about it?!” Well, I’ll tell you; it’s SOOOO hydrating and smoothing. This was reccomended to me by my friend. He and his sister both love it and he told me to try it, and I’m SO glad I did! My hair feels SO silky smooth after I use this. It’s absolutely INSANE. I wash and condition my hair with my regular shampoo and conditioner, and then right before I get out of the shower, I use the VO5 conditioner and rinse it out with cold water and my hair feels AMAZING. Not only is it super smoothing and hydrating, but it SMELLS amazing! The scent is super strong and it lingers, but I love that! Seriously the best 99 cents (it was on sale at CVS when I bought it!) that I’ve ever spent!

17) Now, I forgot to add the photo to this one but it’s the Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Mousse: This is a curl wave enhancing mouse, and as a girl with naturally super wavy/curly hair, I LOVE this stuff. Not only does it smell great but it keeps my natural waves nice and tousled and looking great all day. It really enhances my natural texture. Like I said, in the summer, I like to lay off the heat tools and and rock my natural waves. This stuff just keeps them in place and more textured. It’s not crunchy at ALL and just gives me a soft beach, natural look!

18) Benefit Bad Gal Lash: Normally I’m a big advocate of drugstore mascara and I don’t really believe there’s a difference between them and high end mascaras, so I don’t typically buy high end mascaras. But I got a deluxe sample of this stuff at Sephora with some of my Beauty Insider points, and I LOVE it! It makes my lashes look super big, bold, and long! It’s my new favorite, although, I’m not sure it’s worth the $25.00 price tag…

19) China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy: This color is AMAZING. It SCREAMS summer! It’s a SUPER bright neon, coral/pink color. It’s also a matte finish, but with a clear coat, it’s nice and shiny! I love this color on my toes and it makes you look super tan! The formula is a bit hard to work with, but if you use one coat of a white base coat underneath, it’s much brighter and easier to work with!

20) Essie Tart Deco: I’ve been wearing this color pretty much all month! I love it! It’s a super bright, orange, creamsicle color. It also makes you look super tan, no matter what skin tone you are! It’s a creme finish and super opaque!

21) Accidently skipped this one, too. Whoops!

22) China Glaze Pool Party: This is a super BRIGHT, hot pink matte color! Also, another perfect toe color! It’s amazing.

23) Revlon Color Show in Green With Envy: A super pretty, opaque mint green color! It’s super pastel, so it also makes you look very tan. I’ve been wearing this A LOT this month and I love it paired with Tart Deco! This is also a creme finish!

24) I’ve been LOVING sparking water recently! My favorite is the Perrier brand! It’s super refreshing and amazing on it’s own or even mixed with juices or fruit. I love mixing it with cranberry juice, or spritzing it with various fruits! Also homemade mojitos are always amazing! <33

25) Eggo Waffles: This one is kind of silly, but I’ve been really loving eggo waffles, specifically the Thick and Fluffy Cinnamon Brown Sugar ones! I go through very weird/random food phases and this month, I’ve been craving waffles! I eat some almost every day with butter and maple syrup. YUMMY!

26) Palmer’s Cocoa Butter: Since I’ve been going to the beach so much, and being in the sun, my skin has been super dry, and I have dry skin to begin with. This stuff has SAVED my skin! I put it on before I go out in the sun, because although I don’t tend to burn, I like to prevent it as much as possible; I also put it on after being in the sun, as well as for my everyday moisturizer! It’s made my skin so soft and smooth, and hydrated and I don’t even flake anymore. It’s amazing! Also, secret, I use this on my face as my facial moisturizer! I have SUPER dry skin and this has worked wonders on my skin! It doesn’t break me out either, and my face has been super clear, so this stuff is a total win!

27) Last but not least, I don’t have a photo of this, either, but I have been LOVING this! The green tea lemonade with peach from Starbucks! I know the peach syrup has only been out a week, but my friend works at Starbucks, so I’ve actually been getting to enjoy it for a few weeks now, and it’s SOOO yummy and refreshing! I love it! Perfect summer drink! I also love the new Valencia Orange Refresher, too! It tastes just like Sunny D but a little more natural! Add some berries in it for an extra sweet, fruity combo! SO yummyy!!

Well guys, this took me five hours, but I’m finally done! Hahaha. Comment and let me know what your June favorites are and if you have any recommendations! :))