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Bring It Like a Broad: See the World Through Madelyn May’s Lens

It’s that time again, Broads!

Last month we introduced a new interview series here on The Bonafide Broad called Bring it Like a Broad! Each month, this series features a real life Broad who inspires those around her, by doing the extraordinary everyday.

We hope that celebrating these special ladies and their accomplishments will help each of us to believe in the possibility and the reality of our own goals and dreams.

 



 

In case you missed it, our December Broad was Grace Garfield. She is a totally rad 20-year-old who founded A Helping Hand Global, a nonprofit that creates Feminine Care Kits for women in need, and is expanding to do so much more!

The response was awesome, and confirmed to us that we are on the right track with this series.

It’s time to introduce our January Broad!

 

The Broad

Meet Madelyn May.

 

Madelyn taking a self-portrait

 

She is not only one of the most driven, determined, and inspiring Broad’s I’ve ever met, but I also have the privilege of being related to her. She is my cousin.

Madelyn and I spent quite a bit of time together before my parents were divorced, when we were girls. I have always reserved a special space in my heart for her, and I knew from a young age that she was different. She was going to have good life. Even if she didn’t know it yet. Because she was going to make her life exactly the way she wanted it.

I’m happy to say my intuition was correct. Although we haven’t been able to be as close as we were when we were girls, I’ve watched this Broad from a distance, and my heart swells seeing the person she has become.

She is stunning, on the inside and out, and I’m honored that she was willing to do this interview, so all you Broads can see what I see in her!

Let’s get to know her!

 

The Interview

ME: Who are you? Describe yourself to me, the person you are.

MADELYN: Oh man, this is a hard one. Isn’t this what we’re all searching for? “Who we are”… as if we aren’t constantly changing? I’ll try my best to answer.

 

Madelyn working at a wedding

 

My name is Madelyn. My friends and family wonder how I have time to do all the things I do. I guess that describes me, not just busy, but always trying new things and growing the things I love. I have a lot of “drive” as my family says. I get my energy from my grandmother.

I think people limit themselves daily and sometimes I catch myself doing the same. I don’t want the average life. I want the freedom to do what I want when it really matters. I am always hustlin’ and grindin’ but when I do get a break, I make sure that it’s spent with people that matter the most to me.

Oh, and I am a social worker and a photographer….yes both! Talk about stress and being busy. Keep reading to hear more.

 

ME: What projects/ businesses are you currently focusing on?

MADELYN: PHOTOGRAPHY….hands down.

 

Madelyn May Photography’s company logo

 

In photographer years I have only been doing this for a short time.  My fiance bought me my first camera as a gift and I just dove in head first.

I started with free/cheap shoots to build my portfolio and website, and then I started charging based off time spent. I found some photography mentors to help me with MANY questions, I took classes, and I sat on YouTube for hours and hours. Also, I found some Facebook groups with other photographers to learn from them.

But I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my fiance. Not just because he bought me my first camera, but because he is the one that taught me not to limit myself and not to have a basic life just because it’s easier that way.  When I’ve doubted myself he questions my doubts and helps me move past them.

What I love the most about photography is that my creativity is unbounded. I get to help couples capture the images they’ve always wanted, but didn’t think were possible. I get to listen to love stories and see couples connect through my lens. Photography will always be in my life. Even if I fail, I will never stop.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

What’s happening right now? My next project will be in the spring. I have another amazing idea for a shoot, so stay tuned! Madelyn May Photography will have a lot of changes coming soon. I am going to be focusing on adventurous epic shit! It will be life changing. I can’t wait!

Also, I have a super messy craft room full of stuff that I love to do. I love to hand letter, watercolor, knit (I am pretty fucking good and this was my first business), crochet, make candles, sew, scrapbook, and so much more. These are fun outlets for me.

Another outlet is the outdoors: camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, finding new locations for photo shoots.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What is your background?

MADELYN: I am a social worker and a photographer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon in Family and Human Services.

I went to college to be a probation officer for juveniles because I wanted to help those kids who were dealt a bad hand and had to find family in the wrong areas. I know how it is to grow up in an less-than-ideal environment and I want to give back.  Now I work with the same kids, just in a little different way. I am also helping the parents who were probably dealt an even worse hand.

When I said “I know how it is…” I meant it. I wouldn’t say I had a normal upbringing, or anything even close to that. At a young age, my siblings and I had to grow up VERY fast. People say I am an old soul often, but they don’t know why. I may be 28, but I feel like I am 38 (which can be a curse).

My childhood wasn’t peachy, but it’s exactly why I am who I am today. It’s all about perspective. I could use [my past] as a crutch, or I could use it to change the world. This is why I am a social worker, why I want a better life for my future children, and why I choose to do what I love. Because that’s the point of life, right? To not waste it?

Helping people is my passion, but what really keeps me going is being creative. It’s what gets my heart pumping and my wheels turning, to where it’s hard to sleep at night because I am so fucking excited! Photography is one of my creative channels, among others. Photography really has me asking myself often…”Is this real life?”

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What did you want to do with your life when you were young? How old were you when you began making your life plans and setting goals, and why do you think that was the magic age for you?

MADELYN: I didn’t have any idea until senior year of high school… and I thought it was either going to be in the military or college. I started college and thought I wanted to be a web designer. So I attended a class to write code and make a website, and I hated it.

I attended photography, drawing, and Human Services 101 classes and then I knew.  This is what is crazy to me: I was interested in the same things ten years ago. But now I know where I want my focus to be: photography, while still giving back to my community.

 

ME: What steps did you take when you realized you wanted to accomplish the things you did, to get yourself on track toward your dreams?

MADELYN: I got my transfer degree to save money. I went to Portland State University for one term and didn’t like it (location/majors). So I started researching undergrad programs and came across University of Oregon. The Family and Human Services program was amazing! They required a new internship that you chose each term, to get you ready for a job after graduation.

Now my goal is to start traveling and start doing photography all over the world.  ← Doesn’t this sound crazy? Check back in with me in a few. This will be true!

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: How have you learned what is needed to run a business, and to accomplish the things you have?

MADELYN: Research and asking a ton of questions to those who already do it. There is never a dumb question.

 

ME: What obstacles have you faced along your journey, and what have you done to overcome them?

MADELYN: This is a hard one, I don’t look back and think “Oh that was an obstacle but I am here now.” I just keep going. There were some jobs that I absolutely hated, but I kept going until I had another plan to get to my bigger goals.

Right now my lack of time is my biggest obstacle for my photography business. I would love to have way more time to grow my business and complete all my little goals that are still pending.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how do you pull through and move forward?

MADELYN: Yep. More than people may think.

“Oh I am just one out of millions of other photographers, so why try?” Then I snap out of it or my fiance helps me snap out of it.

I am different because my photography will continue to get better and I will be different because there’s no other Madelyn like me, that has dreams, a drive, and support.

 

ME: Do you have a quote, a song,  or a mantra that you tell yourself to keep yourself going?

MADELYN: If you’ve been on my Instagram you know I love me some quotes. I don’t have a favorite, it changes with my moods, but here are some:

“ You can have anything you want if you give up the belief that you can’t have it.”

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.”

“To begin, begin.”

 

ME: What has motivated you the most and helps you to keep moving forward?

MADELYN: Seeing my progress, and being able to be creative with my photography. But mostly, my fiance. He helps me keep motivated.

 

Madelyn with her fiance

 

ME: What is a typical day for you like? How do you balance everything and still have time for yourself, your guy, your family and your animals?

MADELYN: I wake up, listen to photography/business podcasts,  go to work, meet with children and parents, problem solve, go to court, come home, cuddle my pup, start dinner, edit photos, finish dinner, and watch a show with my fiance.  Repeat.

I don’t know how I balance everything. Sometimes I fail and run out of time for my deadlines. I think one thing that helps me is setting little goals to get to the bigger goals. I will feel more relaxed if I have made even a little progress towards my goal. Then I can do self care.

 

ME: Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire the most, or who has given you inspiration to accomplish what you have?

MADELYN: You already know, my fiance.

Also, my grandmother. I will always admire her drive and energy to get shit done.

 

ME: What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

MADELYN: I already talked about my photography goals above. I see myself as a full-time photographer, married with two kids, with some property, and 2-3 pointers to keep Copper [my German short-haired pointer] company…and maybe a pig, too.

 

Madelyn with her fiance and her pup, Copper

 

ME: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

MADELYN: Be patient. Never give up. Let it be. Be aware of your perspective and how it might be running your life.

 

ME: What is your best advice for others who are going after their goals and dreams?

MADELYN: Keep going, no matter how many little doubting thoughts you have going through your head. If you want it, it’s yours.

 

 

Final thoughts:

Isn’t Madelyn awesome? I’m not kidding when I say she is one of the most resolute people I’ve ever met. She has taught me that you never have to be a victim of circumstance. If there is something you want, there is nothing that can stop you from getting it except yourself.

Madelyn has some major goals for the future. I absolutely believe her when she tells me the things she is going to do. So stay tuned! This may be the first time you’ve had the opportunity to meet Madelyn, but it won’t be the last.

She has already made her mark on this world, and she won’t be satisfied until she reaches every goal she has set!

 

More information on Madelyn and her current  projects:

Madelyn loves to travel, so if you have an upcoming event you would like photographed, no matter where you are located, don’t hesitate to contact her.

Also, that wonderful fiance she talks about? They’re getting married this year!  Follow her social media accounts to keep up with her wedding plans, projects and travels!

 

Madelyn May Photography’s website:

www.mmayphoto.com

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Instagram account:

www.Instagram.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Contact Madelyn:

madelynmayphotography@gmail.com

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Until next time!

 

 

We love to hear from our readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 

 



iBbeautiful Subscription Box: January 2018 Unboxing

iBbeautiful Subscription Box: January 2018 Unboxing

iBbeautiful is a super cute subscription box for teen and tween girls. To get an idea of what kind of box this is, check out the company’s mission statement:

“iBbeautiful’s mission is to help young girls realize they are beautiful just as they are without comparisons to how others look or act.  We do this by offering a monthly box of inspiration that includes fun lifestyle items and a message of empowerment to help young girls be confident, smart, brave, unique and kind.  Every girl should be confident that she will become the woman she is meant to be and can achieve anything she sets her mind to.”

What’s not to love about that? I’ve been searching for the perfect sub for my step daughter P, and I finally found it in iBbeautiful!

Each iBbeautiful box is filled with 4-6 fun and girly makeup and accessory items. You can choose either the tween (age 8 to 12) or the teen (age 13 and up) box, and either the basic box ($24 per month) or a graphic tee box ($34 per month).

iBbeautiful also has bonus boxes available with special themes (ex: best friends) or for special occasions (ex: birthdays). Check them out here.

P is pretty mature for her age, so I get her the teen graphic tee box ($34 per month).

This is the second month we have received this box, but our first time reviewing. Let me tell you, after two months, P LOVES this box! I love it too, mainly because iBbeautiful focuses so much on sending girls positive messages about themselves. Check out the box to see of it might be the right fit for a girl you know! Don’t forget to grab your 10% off discount code at the end of this post!

 



THE BOX:

This is iBbeautiful’s January Teen box:

 

 

Let’s dig in!

Every box includes a card like this explaining the company’s mission:

iBbeautiful always includes neat postcards and stickers with positive quotes and mantras. I like these because P can put them up in her locker, or frame them if she wants.

This is postcard size:

This one is more like a business card size:

 

 

Okay, so the first item P grabbed was this adorable purple mesh bag. It includes a sticker with another positive phrase on it, and this bracelet.

I really love this bracelet! Its so simple but super adorable! The key goes with one of the month’s themes, “Confidence is key.” I can’t find this exact bracelet online, but very similar ones are priced at about $10, so we’ll go with that.

 

Next up is LA Girls Colour Pop nail polish in the shade “Extra! Extra!”

This is a cute shade! I’m such a sucker for glitter and confetti! LA Girl carries this polish in a bunch of different colors, too. You can get it here for $4.

 

Okay, now we have this nice little addition to the box, Jean Pierre Cosmetics Moisturizing Lip Mask. It comes with five masks!

I love lip masks. We live in Arizona and it gets very dry here, so lip masks are great! P has never tried one, so she will have fun with it!

You can get a very similar set by Jean Pierre Cosmetics here for only $9.99.

 

 

 

Moving on, we have another super cute piece of jewelry, embracing the “Confidence is key” mantra.

I love how delicate this is! P isn’t a huge fan of gold, but she didn’t seem to mind too much with this. I love that it’s gold plated and made in the USA.

In fact, I’ll probably buy myself one, because it’s such a great everyday piece. Get it here for $9.89.

 

Next up is the Manna Kadar Liplocked Priming Gloss Stain.

I forgot to check which shade this is before P took it home with her, but it looks to me like “Siren” or “Pinot Noir.” Very pretty! Get it here for $22.09.

 

Lastly, we have this month’s graphic t-shirt.

It’s a nice Olive green color, and brings the “Confidence is key” them full circle. P loved it!

While I can’t find this exact shirt online, similar ones are priced at around $15, so that’s what we’ll go with.

 

 

THE VERDICT

iBbeautiful got it right this month. Their selection of items is perfect for P’s taste. She really loves this box!

The total approximate value of this month’s box is $70.97. Not bad for a $34 box. That means the value is double the cost.

So far, there hasn’t been one item that P hasn’t liked. Of course, we are only two months in, but that’s a good sign!

Make a teen or tween in your life happy by signing up for this box here.

Also, iBbeautiful has created an EXCLUSIVE special discount code just for readers of The Bonafide Broad! Make sure to enter BONAFIDE10 in the appropriate box during checkout to receive 10% off your first monthly box!

NOTE: This discount code applies to subscriptions ONLY, not one-time or individual products.

Caio broads!

 

 

 

We love to hear from our readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

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Make It Yourself: Grammy’s Winter Bread

Make It Yourself: Grammy’s Winter Bread

As the cold of winter sets in in the Pacific Northwest, us Washingtonians are hunkering down for the rain-filled season of gloom and grey. With the weather, comes my inevitable craving for good, old fashioned vittles.  For our cozy crew, this means herb crusted pork roasts and mashed potatoes, Dutch ovens full of piping hot soup, mulled wine by the gallon, and one of my (new) favorites… warm, crusty, buttered bread.

Now, I have to come clean on this one… the majority of the cuisine that comes out of my kitchen has been perfected over the course of many moons, but this crusty little baby is the first loaf of bread that I have ever made… EVER.  I used a recipe that I found in the depths of my grandmother’s kitchen.  It was written on a napkin and was hidden deep inside a recipe box that has been in the “baking cupboard” for decades and let me tell you what… there’s a reason why it was in that box.  Creating this little loaf of pillowey sunshine is nearly as easy as boiling water and the end result is delicious!

To start, gather up your ingredients grab your stand mixer and your dough hook, or a good ol’ fashioned bowl and spoon, and get ready for to partake in the easiest recipe you have ever made!

 

 

In your bowl, add three cups of regular All-Purpose flour (or APF as I like to call it), one teaspoon of salt, one half teaspoon of your active dry yeast and one and a half cups of warm water.

 

 

Now that you have all of your ingredients together, it’s time to get-a-mixin’!

 

 

If you’re using a stand-mixer, start her on low (this will keep the flour in the bowl and not all over your kitchen counters) and gradually increase the speed until all of the ingredients have come together in a nice pillowey ball and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Same goes for the old spoon and strength method.  Once the ingredients are combined and the dough pulls away from the sides, you’re ready to go!

 

 

And here’s the hard part… the wait.

After your dough has come together, just leave it in your bowl, cover it with plastic and find a nice cozy spot for it to proof.  The dough needs to rise for eight to twenty hours.  This may seem like an obscene amount of time, (I was shooketh when I read those numbers) but I promise you, the wait is COMPLETELY worth it.

 

 

I decided to make my dough at around 11 PM and let that baby rise until I came home from work the following afternoon around 6PM… so it sat for just under 20 hours.  I did make a few more loaves and proofed (the fancy term for letting your dough rise) them for different amounts of time within the criteria and they all turned out great!

Here’s what it looked like after proofing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my dough had proofed, I floured my countertops with a whole crap-ton of APF.  (This dough is extremely sticky and the liberal flouring really helps with cleanup.)  I used a sifter for even distribution, but regular old sprinkling works perfectly!

 

 

Once floured, I rolled and pulled and scraped my dough out of my mixing bowl and onto the floury countertop.

 

 

I de-ringed and dunked my hands in some flour and gave that baby a flip, tuck and roll.

 

 

You don’t want to overwork your dough so once it’s formed into a nice little button, give your hands a rinse and let that baby rise.

 

 

Thirty minutes is all it takes and while your dough is proofing again, you can start to prep your oven.

Crank it up to 450 degrees and get your Dutch oven (D.O), lid and all, in there to get nice and toasty while the oven preheats. If you don’t have a D.O., you can use any baking dish as long as it has high sides and a lid, but the cast iron really helps create that beautiful crust on the bottom of the loaf.

 

 

After the thirty minutes has elapsed and your oven and D.O. baking dish are both nice and hot, carefully slice an “X” into the top of your pillowey ball of dough and transfer it into the D.O. dish.

 

 

Pop that lid back on and get in the oven. Set your timer for 30 minutes and start to plan all of the delicious things you are going to do with your loaf once it’s done!

 

 

After thirty minutes has elapsed, remove the lid and admire your almost-finished product.

 

 

It was at this point in the breading process that I had to freak out a little… I couldn’t believe that I created something that looked so pretty and that smelled so good!  (Seriously, your house is going to smell like a bakery)

After having a quick peek at your loaf, toss that lid into the sink (remember, it’s HOT!) and get that bread back into the oven.  Your loaf needs another ten to fifteen minutes uncovered to brown that crust up and you’re in the home stretch!

 

 

It is now time to remove your D.O. from the oven and transfer your gorgeous loaf of bread onto a wire rack to cool.

 

 

You are going to be tempted to immediately slice and devour the fruits of your patience but the bread slices MUCH easier after it has had the chance to cool for a few minutes.

 

 

This loaf sat on the counter for about half an hour before I grabbed the serrated knife and got to slicing.

 

 

Mr. Pizza Arm approves!

 

 

 

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

We love to hear from our readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

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Is Sharing Your Relationship On Social Media Destroying It?

Is Sharing Your Relationship On Social Media Destroying It?

We see it all the time: relationship oversharing on social media. Those perfect couples who constantly post mushy gushy love notes to one another, brag about how awesome they are, and leave the rest of us wondering what in the world is wrong with our own mediocre relationships.

Some days I sit there looking at these posts and just shaking my head. Hells yes I’m jealous! Who doesn’t want gorgeous selfies with their guy, and he actually looks HAPPY to be in the picture?

I have to beg Mr. OG to be in a selfie. Then if I don’t push that shutter button quick enough, I end up with a photo of me looking deliriously happy, next to a blur of the side of Mr. OG’s face, because he’s already bailed. Or I end up looking annoyingly perky next to him looking pissed at the world. Like so:

 

 

The point is, these kinds of overly-exuberant relationship posts can leave some of us feeling inadequate and dejected, because our regular old relationships don’t seem to hold a candle to the perfection we see everyday on our Facebook or Instagram timelines. Are those couples really that much more in-tune than the rest of us? Let’s find out.

 

 

What Oversharing Can Mean for Your Relationship

 

Guess what? Those indefectible couples probably aren’t as blissfully in love as they appear. Research says relationship oversharing on social media may not be the best thing for your partnership. There are many concerns that this type of behavior could be pointing to, and I am going to briefly discuss three of them.

 

Validation:

In an interview with Daily Mail, sexologist Nikki Goldstein points out, “Often it’s the people who post the most who are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media.” She goes on to mention that by seeking validation outside of the relationship, you are taking away from the quality of the moments you spend with your partner.

“The likes and comments can be so validating that when someone is really struggling, that’s where they get their up from – not the person making the gesture, but what other people will say about it,” she states. “You see people who will focus so much on taking a ‘relfie’ – a relationship selfie – and getting the right filter and hashtags that they’re missing the moment. Couples are taking these photos, straight away putting them online and then watching the likes and comments instead of being with their partners.”

 

Insecurity:

It isn’t necessarily posting pictures of you and your partner that’s the problem. It’s what you are masking that becomes the issue.

Northwestern University researchers surveyed over 100 couples, and afterward, released a report on the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. They found this: “On a daily basis, when people felt more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tended to make their relationships more visible.”

 

Possessiveness:

Goldstein goes on to mention that how a couple poses in photos, or how they label those photos can bring in an element of ownership. She uses the example of The Bachelorette’s Sam Frost and Sasha Mielczarek, who were constantly posting photos on Instagram of their “perfect” relationship. Sadly, they only lasted 18 months before they split for good.

 

 Source: Sasha Mielczarek’s Facebook.

 

Many of their Instagram photos were labeled “My man,” or “My bae.” Notice also that in the above photos they are displaying quite a lot of forced affection, and you can see that Sasha is almost always holding onto Sam in some way.  These all can be signs of possessiveness, which is never healthy in a relationship.

Goldstein says, “There are a lot of people out there who want to flaunt to their friends and the world that this person is mine.” Do you feel the need to show people that your partner “belongs” to you? That could be a problem.

 

What’s the Meaning?

So, according to the above information, if a couple feels the need to document every moment they spend together on social media, it might not be a good thing. Or if a couple has to make themselves look way happier on the internet than they are in real life, it might not be a good thing. Or if a couple needs constant reaffirmation from outside sources that their relationship is going well, it might not be a good thing.

Of course, this made me think about celebrities, those people we all follow on social media that look so fulfilled. How about we conduct our own little experiment here? Let’s look at a few examples of celebrities who stay private verses those who overshare  (because I don’t think my friends would like if I started comparing them on this blog).

I warn you, this experiment is EXTREMELY scientific.

 

 

Staying Private

Here is a short list of celebrity couples who have been together for 10 years or more, and who try to keep the nuances of their relationships private, especially on social media:

 

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, together since 1988

 

Source: Rita Wilson’s Instagram

 

These two are known for being very private, yet they aren’t afraid to address their bond occasionally. They’ve been through a lot together: she is his second wife, he helped her through a breast cancer diagnosis. They credit honesty and humor as two of the reasons they are still together. They don’t hide their relationship from their social media accounts, but they do post sparingly, and generally the posts are not possessive or showy.

 

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, together since 2004

 

Source: Portia de Rossi’s Instagram

 

One of my favorite things about this couple is how supportive they are of one another. If you check out their social media accounts, you won’t see a lot of mushy posts about their undying love. Instead, you see a few pictures of them on vacation together, or supporting one another’s achievements. They definitely respect each other. You also don’t see them looking possessive or having to declare their undying love constantly for the world to see.

 

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, together since 1994

 

Source: Will Smith’s Instagram

 

It’s known the the Smiths have had their ups and downs, but one thing that they have always valued is privacy. While they are willing to answer surface questions about their relationship, they don’t talk about the ins and outs very often. Instead, they opt  to keep that between the two of them. Search through their social media accounts and you aren’t going to see a ton of pictures of them together. That’s not to say they don’t exist, but usually it’s pictures of them with their kids, or small discreet tributes on special days (like their 20 year anniversary).

 

Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn, together since 1983

 

Source: Goldie Hawn’s Instagram

 

I have always loved this couple! For one, like Mr. OG and I, they have never felt the need for a wedding (Goldie was married twice before they got together, and Kurt once). But that doesn’t mean they are any less in love and committed to one another. Their social media accounts are full of fun pictures of them enjoying life, together and apart (I want to be best friends with them, btw). What has been the key to their successful relationship? “Love, gratitude, compassion, because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex,” Hawn says. “If you don’t nurture that, and remember, you’re done.” These two try to keep their relationship out of the spotlight, and instead focus on nurturing their beautiful blended family.

 

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, together since 2007

 

Source: Justin Timberlake’s Instagram

 

These two have been extremely private since their relationship began. They rarely post photos together on their social media accounts. In fact, it’s almost always on a special occasion if they do. When it was leaked that Biel was pregnant in 2014, the two wouldn’t confirm or deny the rumors for some time. Timberlake is known for being very protective of his family. When they do mention one another, it seems to be with great respect and support, something we can all learn from.

 

 

Oversharing

I thought about making a list of couples who overshared on social media and ended up breaking up, but that’s not really fair. We never really know the all of the reasons for a breakup. The point of this article is not to shun posting your relationship on social media. Rather, it’s to caution that too much sharing can be a symptom of problems. So instead, I will mention a few celebrities who are known for oversharing. These celebrities also either can’t seem to make their relationships last, or are often in partnerships that are extremely volatile:

 

Taylor Swift:

 

Source: Taylor Swift’s Instagram

 

Taylor Swift is notoriously guilty of relationship oversharing on social media. Now, that may not have anything to do with her lack of success in long-term relationships, but it certainly doesn’t help. When she dated Calvin Harris, she constantly posted photos of them doing amazing things like vacationing in tropical locations, barbecuing, and riding inflated swans together. It seemed like it was meant to be. Sadly, it wasn’t.

This isn’t the first time Taylor can be accused of oversharing. She seems to be guilty of relationship oversharing with almost every partner she’s been with, including Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Even more, Taylor has a habit of writing songs about her ex boyfriends. Also, she is constantly in disputes with other celebrities (Katy Perry, Kanye West). She has no problem airing her thoughts about said “beefs” on her social media accounts. You’d think she’d learn.

 

Lindsey Lohan:

 

Source: Lindsey Lohan’s Instagram

 

Lindsey Lohan has long been known for her bizarre antics and strange relationships. She has had many a breakup unfold via social media, including recently with Egor Tarabasov. She posted quite a bit of personal information on Instagram. Basically the world was given a play by play of their entire relationship, including alleged physical abuse and infidelity. If that isn’t relationship oversharing, I don’t know what is. Then, to top it off, she got angry at people for commenting negatively about and “butting in” to her relationship. She went out of her way to make a statement (on social media, of course) to ask that people give her privacy. Go figure.

Of course, she has done all the same things in her other past relationships, with Samantha Ronson and Aaron Carter.

 

Kylie Jenner:

 

Source: Kylie Jenner’s Instagram

 

Again, we have a celebrity that can’t stop oversharing! This example is a little different than the previous two, because Kylie doesn’t necessary overshare when it comes to her relationships. She just overshares. This can still put a lot of unnecessary stress on a relationship, though. Of course, it’s to be expected, as she comes from a family that lives constantly in the spotlight. I’m going to inject my personal opinion here (shocker!) and say, Kylie drives me nuts! Almost every single picture she posts is so incredibly posed, it makes me want to puke. She is just trying way too hard to follow in her older sister Kim’s footsteps…..and Khloe’s…..and Kourtney’s…..

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t she look unhappy? That might be because she doesn’t believe in smiling, taking a note from Kim, who says it causes wrinkles. Hmmm….would I rather look like a zombie with no emotions, or have some small wrinkles around my lips and eyes because of happiness? That’s a tough one, and by tough I mean not tough at all. I’ll take happiness with a side of wrinkles please!

The main point is, Kylie seems to struggle in her relationships as well. In fact, don’t all of the Kardashian ladies? If they’d put their phones down for a moment and participate in the reality around them, they might be more successful in their love lives. Of course, they are laughing all the way to the bank, aren’t they?

 

 

The Bottom Line:

This theory behind relationship oversharing on social media clearly isn’t completely scientific. But any person with common sense can see there is a definite correlation between maintaining privacy and having success in your relationship. Of course, there is always the other side of the argument. Some researchers say that posting frequently on social media about your relationship makes you stronger. I personally haven’t seen this in action much, but it’s a valid argument that should be considered. The bottom line is, while oversharing doesn’t necessarily spell doom for a relationship, at times it can mean there is trouble brewing behind the scenes.

“But Amber,” you may be thinking, “I like posting about my partner for my family and friends to see!” Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. The key here is to avoid oversharing, maintain privacy, and stop trying to mask problems.

Many of those couples I mentioned earlier that value privacy still post about their partner on social media. There are a couple of key things to remember about the way  they post. For one, they usually save mushy posts for special occasions. Also, instead of needing to show possession, with a lot of PDA and labeling, healthy couples generally post photos of them and their partner having fun and enjoying life together. Nikki Goldstein (mentioned earlier) gives an example of a couple who posts about their relationship in the right way: social media star Pia Muehlenbeck and her boyfriend Kane Vato.

 

Source: Kane Vato’s Facebook

 

Notice they always seem to be having fun and laughing together. Their photos give us a peek into their relationship, and it doesn’t seem like they are trying reaffirm to everyone that they are SO into each other.

The takeaway here is this: Instead of trying to document every moment of your relationship for your Insta-feed, put that phone down and make some memories. When you do post pictures of you and your partner, stop trying to make all of us believe you are so excessively happy that blue birds follow you around singing all the time. Be honest. Be respectful and supportive. Have fun together, and while doing so,  if you happen to capture a moment of that on camera authentically, by all means, I’d love to see it on my wall.

Just don’t share too much, mmmkay?

 

Talk at ya later!

 

 

 

I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

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Research for this article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4115946/Sexologist-Nikki-Goldstein-says-loved-social-media-sign-relationship-failing.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/couples-social-media-oversharing-facebook-instagram-twitter-relationship-insecurities-experts-nikki-a7530911.html

https://www.elitedaily.com/dating/posting-relationship-means-failing/1752552

http://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/news/a7116/over-sharing-social-media-couple-insecure-study/

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/8-reasons-why-happy-couples-rarely-share-their-relationship-statuses-on-social-m.html

 

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

Holy macaroni, it’s time to set our New Year’s resolutions again. What. The. Hell. Every year time seems to flow a little faster. It’s craziness!

 



Alas, it is what it is, and here we are. We have physically transitioned to a new year. The mental transition, of course, is a little slower (I promise you I’ll be writing the wrong year on everything until at LEAST June!).

Many of us have set ourselves some New Year’s resolutions. I know I have! I’m very excited about these changes! But I’m also a bit nervous. Let’s be real here (isn’t that what we do on this blog?). Less than 10% of the people who set New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.

 

 

What can we do to increase our chances of ACCOMPLISHING our resolutions? Here are some simple ideas you can incorporate pretty easily into your daily life. These will help you to keep your resolutions important and up front in your mind throughout the whole year, and not just on day one. These suggestions are great for any kind of goal you set, not just your New Year’s Resolution!

 

Make a resolution/goal in the first place:

 

 

This may seem like a “duh!” suggestion, but there’s a reason I not only included it, but made it number one.

Less than half of people even set resolutions. You know what you can’t accomplish if you don’t set them? Goals. Yep, the first step to accomplishing something is actually deciding you want to accomplish something. It’s SO simple…

 

 

Write it down and put it somewhere you will see it often:

 

 

The value of writing goals down has long been known by researchers. Here is a great article on The Huffington Post that discusses the benefits of putting your goals in writing.

Basically, if you write your goals down, you are almost 50% more likely to accomplish them. This has to do with you introducing these goals to your brain through thought AND vision. If your brain SEES the goal you’ve been thinking about, it gets the message that you are more serious about what you want.

The more your brain sees this goal, the more the importance of the goal is reaffirmed. So write it down often, and keep visuals in high traffic places in your home, such as by your front door, on your refrigerator, or on your bathroom mirror.

 

 

Set several small goals:

 

 

Remember when Bill Murray taught us about taking baby steps in What About Bob? While Bob took this a little more literally than his psychiatrist intended, there is value in the analogy.

It is much easier to accomplish several smaller, more defined goals than a single big one. So once you decide on your resolution, try to break it down into two or three micro goals that all work toward the bigger purpose. Make sure these are S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (Learn more about S.M.A.R.T. goals here).

For example, if your resolution for 2018 is to be healthier, try a couple of small goals, like drinking more water, only eating sweets on the weekend, or taking a 20 minute walk every day. Those are much more defined and actionable than a general goal of being more healthy. This also makes it possible for you to measure your success.

Let me give you another example. Here is my resolution for this year:

 

 

I’ve broken my resolution down into three S.M.A.R.T. goals. I’m going to go a step further and break each goal down into a couple of smaller steps to make them even more achievable. Notice I also posted them right there on my refrigerator so I see them several times a day.

 

 

Establish a reward for accomplishing your goals:

 

 

Set up a reward for when you accomplish each of your small goals. Let’s go back to our example earlier of being healthier.

Say you set a sub-goal of drinking more water. How about if you drink 8 glasses of water a day, every day for a month, you buy yourself a new water bottle (Enter our January giveaway to win an Infusion Pro water bottle here)? Or if your sub-goal is to walk more, after a month of walking 20 minutes a day, get yourself a nice pedometer.

Reinforcing your goals with a reward system significantly increases your chances of success. One big reason for this is that when you are rewarded, you release more dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the reward and pleasure centers of your brain. Dopamine helps you to see rewards and work toward them.

Interestingly, anticipating a reward can be just as effective in releasing dopamine as actually getting the reward. This is significant because studies have shown that go-getters release much more dopamine than slackers do.

So reward your accomplishments, because science and shit!

 

 

Don’t go telling everyone:

 

 

Sounds weird, right? I mean, doesn’t telling other people about your goals create accountability? Not so much, according to research.

When we tell a person our goal, they often commend and encourage us for setting the goal. This stimulates something called Social Reality, according to Derek Sivers (Ted X speaker).

Sivers says: “When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a “social reality.” The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it’s already done. And then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.” Learn more about this here.

This doesn’t mean you can’t share your goals with anyone. Just make sure if you do, that it’s a person who you have established mutual respect with, and who will help keep you in check.

 

 

The Takeaway

 

As you can see, setting and KEEPING your New Year’s resolution isn’t as easy as just saying you want to improve. If it were that easy, none of us would struggle with keeping our resolutions! No, this is something that will take time and effort. But it will be worth it!

Don’t let yourself feel intimidated! Remember, you wouldn’t be setting the goal in the first place if it wasn’t important. Aren’t all important things in life worth working for? Follow the tips above, and I guarantee you will increase your chances of your New Year’s resolution becoming a box on your life checklist you can finally check off.

 

Now go get ’em guys and gals!

 

 

I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

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Boxycharm Subscription Box: December 2017 Unboxing

Boxycharm Subscription Box: December 2017 Unboxing

Boxycharm is a beauty subscription box that costs $21 per month. They feature makeup, skin care, and hair care products, and their website states that they send 4 to 5 full-sized or luxury-sized beauty products in each box. The company guarantees the box value to be over $100.

Boxycharm is my all time favorite subscription box. If I had to get rid of all of my boxes but one (what a sad world THAT would be), I would keep Boxycharm without thinking twice.

 



 

For me, no other box delivers the fantastic value of Boxycharm. Every month I find myself wondering how they can send so many amazing and EXPENSIVE products, but only charge $21! It rocks my socks!

You can sign up here.

 

 

THE BOX:

 

What have you got for me this month Boxy? Let’s see:

 

 

There is always a nice little information card that describes what products you are getting and their retail value. Like so:

 

 

Glitz and Glam. Great theme! Don’t we all need a bit of that in our life, to remind us what crazy awesome ladies we are?

 

 

The first item I see is one I’ve been expecting. Boxycharm’s Facebook said a few months ago that the Tarte mascara would be in one of 2017’s boxes. Since I haven’t seen it yet, I assumed it was coming in this month’s box. I’ve gotten the smaller sample size of this mascara in other boxes, but I’ve never had the full-sized version.

 

 

This stuff is great! What I like about it is that it lengthens, separates, AND volumizes. It’s an all around great everyday mascara.

You can get it here for $23.00, which is the exact value Boxycharm states on the information card.

 

 

Next up is the Pretty Vulgar My Lips Are Sealed Lightweight Liquid Lipstick. I haven’t tried anything from this brand, which is what I love about beauty subscription boxes. Always making me try new things!

 

 

So when I swatched this (below), I was pleasantly surprised at how unique the color is. It also stayed put for a very long time, especially for not being a long wear lipstick. I’m pretty excited to try this color. It so coppery and beautiful.

The information card says it retails for $24.00. You can get it here for, you guessed it, $24.00!

 

 

I’m pretty stoked about this next item! It’s the Bellapierre Pro Concealer Palette.

 

 

I love colored correcting concealers. They help to even out skin imperfections. The orange is great for bluish dark circles, the green helps to even out redness, and the purple is perfect for minimizing yellowish spots. I’ve noticed some color problems with my skin as I’m getting older, so this is a great product for me.

This can be purchased on the Bellapierre website for $29.99, like the information card says.

 

 

Next we have the Real Her Blush Kit.

 

 

Ain’t it a beauty? These colors are just lovely! Plus they have very empowering names, which always makes me walk a little taller.

I love blush. I really can’t live without it, and this palette will be immediately added to my daily makeup routine.

According to Boxycharm, this is $32.00 retail. Sure enough, you can get it on the Real Her website for $32.00.

 

 

The last item is great paired with the blush palette. It’s the Crown Brush Deluxe Blush Brush.

 

 

You know what’s as awesome as getting a new blush palette? Getting a brand new brush to use with it! Crown Brush makes great brushes, and I’m always happy to get makeup brushes.

The information card values this brush at $12, which I confirmed on Crown Brush’s website. Get it here.

 

 

Here is a swatch of the blush and the lipstick:

 

 

It’s so pretty!

 

The Verdict:

 

Adding up the retail cost of each product, this month’s box is worth $120.99.

Again, the cost of the box is $21/ month. Like I said, in my book, no other beauty subscription box even compares in value for the price!

I am not paid or affiliated with Boxycharm in any way. My monthly subscription comes from my own pocket, like everyone else. I just love them THAT much!

Again, I highly recommend signing up! If you sign up using my referral link (here it is again), we BOTH get extra points, which can go toward free products!

 

 

Thanks Broads!

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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Geek Fuel December 2017 Unboxing

Geek Fuel December 2017 Unboxing

Geek Fuel is a monthly subscription box that appeals to gamers, pop culture geeks, movie lovers, collectors, and more.  I get it for my 12 (almost 13) year old stepson, D.  However, this box isn’t just for boys. Geek Fuel has a huge variety of different subscribers, male and female, young and old.

Their website explains that each box is guaranteed to have at least $50 worth of merchandise. Since the box only cost you $24.90 (that’s $18.90, plus $6 shipping & handling) a month, that’s a pretty darn good value!

The types of items you get in your box include toys and action figures, household goods, limited edition comics, collectibles, everyday essentials, hard cover books, exclusive t-shirts, and downloadable games.

Every box is guaranteed to have a cool t-shirt, AND a full-size downloadable STEAM game. Those were the two main reasons I picked this subscription box for D over all of the others out there. He loves STEAM games, and always wears fun comics/pop culture t-shirts, so it’s perfect for him!

Let’s check out what December’s Geek Fuel box has to offer!

 

The Bonafide Broad is not affiliated with or sponsored by Geek Fuel in any way. We purchase a monthly subscription like everyone else. However, if you sign up for a subscription for Geek Fuel through our referral link, we receive a $5 credit for the referral.  Subscribe here!  

 

 

The Box

Here’s December’s box:

 

 

Just looking it over I’m getting excited! Lots of goodies!

 

So first of all, every month you get a copy of GeekFuel magazine. Its filled with fun stories, gift ideas, recommendations, interviews and more.

 

 

Who doesn’t love Gremlins? I know I do!

 

Another thing you always get is an information card describing the items in the box. Here is the front, and I’ll show the back when we look at the T-shirt, because it explains that.

 

 

 

 

So as usual, I always go for the shirt first. This shirt is so fantastic!

 

 

Here’s the back of the information card describing the shirt. Every month they have a promotion where you can take a selfie in the shirt and possibly be featured in the next issue of Geek Fuel magazine. How rad is that?

 

 

To determine the value of the items from Geek Fuel can be difficult, because most of them are made exclusively for the company, so you can’t get them anywhere else. This is almost always the case with their t-shirts. After looking up similar types of shirts, I put the approximate value of this shirt at $20.

 

 

The next two items are collectors pins. You get a lot of collectors pins from Geek Fuel and my step son loves them. The first in this box is a classic,  from Super Mario Kart, and of course, it’s upside down. Good job to me!

 

 

The second pin is from Stranger Things. I haven’t watched the show yet, so I’m unfamiliar with the nuances, but D was excited!

 

 

Again, these are collectors items exclusive to Geek Fuel. I usually guess the value of these pins to be around $5 each, so $10 for both.

 

 

Next up is a Star Wars item. This is a very cool and high quality leather key fob. Nice! You will get either the Rebel or the Imperial key chain. Love that D got the Rebel one.

 

 

You can find this same item here, from Amazon for $11.95.

 

 

I received an email telling me there would be a South Park item in December’s box, so I’m super stoked! It’s Kidrobot! Whoop whoop! It’s the exclusive glitter edition, and comes with a custom play set.

 

 

Again, this is a Geek Fuel exclusive item. It’s similar to this version, which sells at Best Buy for $9.99. However, this one looks nicer than the Best Buy one, so I’m gonna say its value is about $14.99.

 

 

Last but certainly not least, is this month’s STEAM card. It’s called Poncho, and is about a little robot in a poncho. Cool beans!

 

 

As it says on the card, this game is valued at $5.

 

 

The Verdict

That, my Broads, is December’s Geek Fuel box. Let’s see the value!

Remember, the cost for this box is $24.90. Adding up everything, it looks like the approximate worth for December’s box is $61.94. That’s almost three times what I paid. Not bad at all!

 

What do you Broads and Bruts think?

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

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How to Plan the Perfect Night Before Christmas

How to Plan the Perfect Night Before Christmas

 

Well, the night before Christmas is finally here! Tomorrow is the big day! Sure, we are all busy with our families right now, but I wanted to pop in to say hello and offer a little Christmas spirit. Do you want to plan the perfect night before Christmas?

While you likely have all of your Christmas Day festivities planned out, what about this wonderful day before? It’s screaming to be filled with fun and meaningful activities and traditions, to build anticipation for tomorrow.

Some families have little things they do every Christmas Eve. Why not add a new activity or three to your Christmas Eve this year?

Here are some fun ideas to try out, that just may become your new family tradition for years to come!

 

 

NOTE: This post may contain referral and/or affiliate links, so I make a commission from some of them. However, I promise I will NEVER recommend anything unless I have personally tried it or have done research and would purchase it myself. I will also remove anything from my blog that is unsatisfactory for any reason, so please contact me if you encounter a problem or issue with anything I recommend.

 

 

Read The Night Before Christmas

 

 

 

Are there any better words to begin a story? So classic, so exciting! It’s a short read, and you can have the kids take turns. Even as an adult, you can’t help but get caught up in the magic that is Santa Clause. Especially as you all shout out in unison the last words of the story: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”

 

 

 

Get the ebook here for only $5.04, and read it on the free app Amazon offers.

 

 

Open a Gift

 

 

In our family, we like to get a nice cozy pair of pajamas for each member, and open the gift the night before Christmas. That way we all go to bed in fresh pajamas, and wake up in the morning feeling crisp, new, and ready to open gifts!

However, if you haven’t planned ahead for that, why not each open one gift from under the tree? It’s a nice preview of what’s to come, and really builds up the anticipation.

 

 

Take a Walk in the Snow

 

 

Do you live in a place where you have the privilege of enjoying a white Christmas? Why not bundle up on Christmas Eve and take a family walk together?

It’s the little things that make life worth it, right? Let those snowflakes land on your tongue, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or build a snowman. Just enjoy each other! Isn’t that what the spirit of Christmas is all about?

 

 

Make Treats

 

 

This one is kind of obvious, as you need to leave cookies out for Santa anyway. But this year, make it a big affair. Have everyone participate in mixing, baking, and decorating. Try making something besides cookies, like cupcakes or cake pops. Santa (or mom and dad) will appreciate it, too!

 

 

Have a Drink

 

 

Kid free? How about a drink? Have  mom, Aunt Sally, and Grandma Peaches all get cozy in their pajamas, and then crack open a bottle of wine, or make a nice hot buttered rum.

Here’s a yummy recipe!

 

 

Take a Drive to See the Christmas Lights

 

 

Again, bundle everyone up, squeeze in the car (or two), and take a drive to a local neighborhood or area known for having awesome Christmas lights. Every town has that neighborhood that just goes ALL OUT when it comes to putting up lights.

Just don’t forget your camera!

 

 

Keep Tabs on Santa

 

 

Did you know that Google has an amazing Santa Tracker? Get the kids excited by checking in on where Santa is throughout the evening. If you are awake when he flies over your area, run outside to try to catch a glimpse of Rudolph’s nose! Point out a plane flying over head and show them that Santa is coming!

Follow the Santa Tracker here.

 

 

Make Homemade Hot Cocoa

 

 

I truly believe there is nothing in this word better than a homemade cup of warm chocolaty, creamy cocoa on Christmas Eve. Of course, you need marshmallows too. And you may as well leave the bag within reach, because I’m going to need to reload on marshies at least twice!

Try this delish recipe by Martha Stewart!

 

 

Play a Game

 

 

You’ve made the hot cocoa, and the family is all gathered anyway. Why not play a game? Charades is a great one for the whole family. Or if the kids are already in bed, how about Cards Against Humanity?

Just watch out for Monopoly! It sucks you in and never ends!

 

 

Draw Santa a Picture

 

 

This is a great idea to keep the kids busy, and is actually quite fun for adults too. Just set out some washable markers or crayons and paper, and have everyone draw their favorite Christmas memory, or their best portrait of good ol’ Saint Nick.

Plus, you can tuck those pictures away and save them for when the kids get older. They’ll love taking a walk down memory lane, and so will you.

 

 

Give Back

 

 

You know the kiddos will be getting lots of new toys. How about giving them each a bag or box and having them fill it with some of their old toys to donate? Make sure they aren’t broken or ruined. Not only will you be making room for the new toys, but you are teaching the kids to give back.

Have them leave their box or bag of toys near the tree with a letter to Santa asking him to donate them to kids in need. Just don’t forget to drop the donations off at your local community house or domestic violence shelter later this week.

 

 

Sing!

 

 

Buddy Elf had it right. Singing is contagious, and while at first you may feel a bit awkward, pretty soon you’ll be shouting “Deck the Halls” at the top of your lungs.

This is a great way to wrap up your evening. You can all sit together around the fire (or the tree) and sing your favorite carols.

 

My family will be doing some of these today. It will be the perfect night before Christmas! What about you? What are your favorite Christmas Eve traditions? I’d love to hear! Have fun!

 

 

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

 

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 



Last Minute Do-It-Yourself Dollar Store Gift Ideas

Last Minute Do-It-Yourself Dollar Store Gift Ideas

Bonjour Broads! Today, I have seven amazing DIY dollar store gift ideas you can make in just a couple of hours!

Why do you need these ideas, you ask? Well, if you’re like most of us, when it comes to getting gifts, sometimes you put it off until the very last minute.

 



The worst feeling is when you finally decide on that one perfect item, and low and behold! It’s out of stock. You’re shitting me, right?

So I’m gonna help you out, because I’m nice like that. Now, most gift idea posts like this are round ups of D.I.Y. tutorials from different blogs. However, I really wanted to SHOW you how easy and quick these gifts are to make and how well they turn out. I want you to have the confidence to do these yourself.

What better way than to show you by doing them myself? If I can do it, you surely can! So, on my way home from work last night I stopped by the dollar store and grabbed a few items. Then I spent about 2 hours and 15 minutes working with these items, and I ended up with seven brilliant gifts.

Not only were they cheap, but they were quick and easy, and they are beautiful! I would love to receive any of these as a gift. The best part is, they don’t look like they came from the dollar store.

Here are seven do-it-yourself dollar store gifts you can make this evening!

 

 

**As you know, I’m a pretty savvy craft supply shopper, so I’ve included links next to most of the items I am using here to show you which particular supplies I myself would purchase to get the best deals. Please don’t feel pressured to purchase anything! The point is to show you what I get.**

 

 

Okay, so here are the items I purchased:

 

 

1 plain wine glass (here)

1 striped wine glass (similar item here)

36 pack clothespins (here)

2 bags glass beads/marbles (here)

Glass vase (here)

White mug (here)

White bowl (here)

Picture frame (similar item here)

 

I spent less than $10. Whoop whoop!

 

Here are the items I had at home that I used for these projects:

E6000 glue (here)

Mini glue gun (here)

Mini glue gun sticks (here)

150 pennies

Paint markers (shown below) or Sharpees (here)

Soy wax flakes, or any kind of candle wax, even the ends and pieces of old burnt candles (here)

Dye chips or crayons (here)

Fragrance oil, essential oils or perfume/cologne (here)

Candle wick (here)

Rubbing alcohol and cotton pads/balls

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the list above, you can substitute lots of different items and still achieve similar results.

I’m going to walk you through each project. Like I mentioned, it took me only 2 hours and 15 minutes total to make all seven gifts. So each gift is pretty quick, and also simple.

Before starting, you’ll want to grab a drink and a snack. I like a glass of wine usually, but tonight I’m going for this:

 

 

You pick whatever floats your boat, and let’s get started!

 

Wine glass candle:

My purpose for the striped wine glass is to make a pretty candle. There a couple of different ways to do this. I always have candle making supplies at my house. I get kits off ebay because those are the best deals, and they include your wax, wicks, dye chips, and fragrance oils (this is the exact kit I got, and I will be getting it always). However, if you don’t have those supplies, there are other ways to do this.

I always save my old store bought candle jars with the little bits of wax left in the bottom. I dig the wax out and dump it into and old ice cream container, to save for when I have enough to make a full candle. Then I scrub out the jars and save them for future candles.

Put a glass bowl over a saucepan of water, to use as a double boiler. Turn the heat to medium-low.

 

 

Throw your wax ends and pieces, or a few scoops of the wax you have on hand into the glass bowl. I like a bowl with a spout because it makes for easy pouring. I’m using extra wax because I’m making a few candles.

 

 

Let the wax slowly melt. Don’t hurry the process. While you are waiting, put your wick into your wine glass.

 

 

If you don’t have wicks, and don’t want to buy any, here is a great tutorial on making wicks from regular household supplies.

 

 

Once the wax is almost completely melted, you can add your dye chip. I used one green dye chip, but you can use a green crayon and it’ll work just as well.

Keep in mind, if you used the ends and pieces of old candles, that you’ll want to sift out the black bits and metal pieces that may floating around in the wax. Use a spoon or something mesh for this.

The last ingredient is the fragrance oil. If you don’t have fragrance oil, you can use essential oils, or perfume. I don’t really measure, I just smell. More is better! I’m mixing two flavors, cinnamon sticks and apple cinnamon.

 

 

Once you’ve added the fragrance oil, immediately turn off the heat and pour wax into prepared jars. I made four candles.

 

 

Doesn’t it look purdy??? Lay a dowel or a pencil across the top of the glass to keep the wick centered. Let it cool and solidify and that’s all there is to it!

 

Clothespin Trivet:

This trivet is so pretty and useful. You can spray paint it when finished or cover it with a clear varnish. Or you can leave it natural, like I did.

You’ll need to take apart the clothespins. Once done, get your glue ready. This trivet is all about the glue. I use E6000 because I think it works better than anything else.

 

 

First, you basically want to glue the pieces in twos, flat sides together (below).

 

 

Glue them all back to back. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue that squeezes out the sides. Once they are all glued, let them dry for a few minutes.

 

 

While waiting, work on one of the other projects.

After they’ve been drying for a few, glue two pieces together, as shown below.

 

 

Do the same with the rest of the clothespins, and then let them sit again to dry for a few.

 

 

Next, you are going to glue each of these pieces together. You are basically repeating the process over and over, glue pieces together and letting them dry, and each time the pieces are getting bigger, like so:

 

 

Finally, you will have glued them all into a nice trivet.

 

 

Set it on a completely flat surface and leave it to dry overnight. Don’t mess with it, because it can easily come apart and weaken if it’s not completely dry. That’s it!

 

Glass Bead Picture Frame:

This is so simple, but the results are fantastic. Dollar store frames always look so cheap to me, but with this little tweak, you turn it into an expensive looking frame. Add a sentimental photo, and it’s the perfect gift!

You’ll need your glue gun warmed up for this project and the next one, and make sure you have plenty of extra glue sticks nearby.

 

 

I’m using the flatter marbles for this project. All you need to do is put a healthy dot of glue onto each glass bead, and line them around the frame.

 

 

They don’t have to be perfectly straight, because your glass beads aren’t all exact. It’ll still look great when finished.

 

 

Once you have the beads around the entire frame, you’re done! Easy peasy!

 

Penny Vase:

I love pennies as decorations! The shiny copper adds a great texture to any project, and they give off sort of a high-end eclectic look. I used a medium sized vase, 150 pennies, and the glue gun for this project.

 

 

First, I let the pennies soak in hot water and dish soap. Then I rinsed them well and dumped them onto a towel to dry.

 

 

After the pennies are dry, it’s pretty simple, just like the picture frame. Just put a healthy blob of glue on each penny, and stick them to the vase. I put all my pennies heads up because I like how that looks. It’s also okay if your pennies are different colors. It adds to the look to have shiny, medium and dull pennies in the mix, like so:

 

 

Once the whole vase is covered, you are dunzo!

 

Hand-Decorated Dishes

The last three gifts are done essentially the same way, so I’m combining them into one section. You’ll need your paint markers or Sharpees,  rubbing alcohol, and cotton pads or balls.

 

 

First,  preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Then you’ll want to wash your bowl, mug, and wine glass in warm soapy water. Make sure you dry them very well.

Next, put a generous amount of rubbing alcohol onto your cotton, and clean off each dish to get any residual oils from your fingers off, so the paint/Sharpee will stick properly.

 

 

At this point, you need to decide what kind of pattern or drawing you want to do. You can do ANYTHING. I’m not the best at drawing with markers, so I’m going to stick to patterns. Once you have your idea, start drawing!

 

 

Don’t let yourself get too nervous. These don’t need to be perfect. In fact, they have more character if they aren’t perfect!

 

 

Once you have your artwork done, make sure it dries for a few, and then put the dishes on a baking sheet and pop them into the preheated oven. Bake for 2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Right about now, you can put a fork in it, because you are DONE!

So, for less than $10 of money, and only a couple hours of my life, I went from this…

 

 

 

to THIS!!!

 

 

Aren’t they gorgeous??? (Ignore my crooked dots inside the bowl, I think the Guinness was starting to kick in). Anyone in your life would be lucky to receive one of these gifts. Not only are they super snazzy, but they were made from the heart. Is there anything better?

So instead of feeling overwhelmed and settling for a gift card, AGAIN, try making one (or all) of these do-it-yourself gifts!

Now grab ten bucks and get on over to your dollar store!

 

You got this!

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

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Gift Guide for Teenage Boys: 30 Awesome Ideas

Gift Guide for Teenage Boys: 30 Awesome Ideas

Do you need gift ideas for teenage boys? I know I do. I’ve never been a teenage guy, so when it comes to getting gifts for my stepson D, I need a guide to tell me exactly what teenage boys like!

Why are teen boys so difficult to shop for? And forget about asking them what they want. All I’ve ever gotten in response to that question is “Uhhh…” and “Well…” and “I’m not sure.” Helpful, right?

So I spent some time researching and digging around, spying on random teen boys, digging through their trash cans to collect data….and have come up with what I think is a pretty fantastic compilation of gift ideas for teen boys. Enjoy!

 

Parrot Mambo Fly Minidrone

 

Drones are all the rage. This one is great, because not only is it affordable, but your teen can control it with their phone. It will also teach them some basic coding skills! It’s safe to fly inside and outside, too.

Only $99.99! Get it here.

 

 

GeekFuel Subscription Box

 

 

Geek Fuel is a fantastic subscription box for anyone. I get it for D, and he LOVES it! Check out my review of one of their boxes  for an idea of what’s inside. Plus, being a monthly subscription, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Only $24.90/month! Get it here.

 

 

Kidzlabs Combination Lock Set

 

 

Remember watching the Davinci code and seeing the Cryptex they had to break into? I wanted one SO bad! This is a great sort of replica. Your teen can store secret messages or whatever he wants inside and set a combo. Fun!

Only $12.38! Get it here.

 

 

Leonardo Davinci Inspired Clock

 

 

Speaking of Davinci, this is such a cool looking piece! It’s a reproduction of one of Leonardo Davinci’s sketches. It’s great because it doesn’t require nails or glue, it just snaps together. Keep in mind that this is an educational toy, and it doesn’t run like a regular clock. It winds, but the power won’t last a long time. It’s designed to teach your kid how Davinci’s mind worked. Plus it’s hella cool looking!

Only $13.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Walkie Talkie Set

 

 

Walkie Talkies are an awesome gift for teen boys. They will have a blast playing with their friends and being able to communicate at a distance.

Only $19.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Rechargeable AA Batteries w/ Charger

 

 

 

It’s a good idea to grab one of these to go with the walkie talkies. Honestly, I think everyone needs one of their own rechargeable stations like this. Kids always have toys that need batteries, and they’re expensive. Especially for a toy like a walkie talkie, which will be used all the time. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run!

Only $9.59 ! Get it here.

 

 

Dart Board

 

 

 

 

All guys like dart boards. This one is especially cool because it’s a regular dart board on the front, and a baseball dart board on the back. Two games for the price of one!

Only $13.50! Get it here.

 

 

Gaming Rocker

 

 

 

 

Gaming chairs are awesome! This one is ergonomically designed for better posture, and includes built-in speakers, incorporated audio controls and a headphone jack.

Only $64.94! Get it here.

 

 

Game Stop Gift Card

 

 

Gaming is an everyday part of a teen guy’s life. It can be hard to pick the right game, because every guy has his own picky little preferences. So let him pick it himself! Problem solved.

Only $25! Get it here.

 

 

Over-the-Door Basketball Hoop

 

What teenage guy (or any guy for that matter) doesn’t want a basketball hoop in their bedroom? They’re using the garbage can already, so why not give them this awesome over-the-door hoop? Spalding makes an excellent product, and since the backboard specs are the same as the NBA,  your little man will feel like the NBA is right there in his bedroom.

Only $33.99! Get it here.

 

 

Razor Hovertrax 1.0 Electric Hoverboard

 

My step kids each got one of these for Christmas last year and they LOVE it! It has superior stabilization and meets the highest electrical safety standards. Plus, it goes up to 6 miles per hour and can be used continuously for up to 115 minutes.

Only $229.00 ! Get it here.

 

 

Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

 

 

This droid is fantastic! It has won 6 awards, and is completely kid-friendly. Your teen can work on 16 different missions, and they can teach the droid new skills. They’ll be playing AND learning. What’s not to love?

Only $99.00! Get it here.

 

 

Bluetooth Speaker Backpack

 

 

I’m seeing these bluetooth speaker backpacks everywhere, and D has been wanting one for a while. Pretty self-explanatory, and pretty rad, too!

Only $79.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Nerf Doomlands 2169 Negotiator Blaster

 

 

What teen guy doesn’t like Nerf? I love Nerf toys, and I’m a gal. They’re just fun! This one can fire 8 darts in row. Whoop whoop!

Only $19.99! Get it here.

 

 

The Manual to Manhood by Jonathan Catherman

 

 

I’m pretty picky about getting books for teen boys, because a lot of times they’ll just sit on a shelf and collect dust. However, this is an easy reader, and a subject your teen is really becoming interested in. It’ll help him with all of those essential skills a guy is expected to learn along the way to adulthood.

Only $6.10! Get it here.

 

 

 

Magnetic Desk Sculpture

 

This sculpture is not only sick looking, but it’s also supposed to help with stress relief and intelligence-building. With 160 stainless steel balls, the combinations are endless, and will keep your teen’s mind working.

Only $9.99! Get it here.

 

 

Electronic Mini ATM Piggy Bank

 

 

Everyone should have a personal piggy bank, especially teens. It’ll help them to learn to save, even if only a little bit. This is super cool looking, too! Anything to get your kid saving money, right?

Only $28.99! Get it here.

 

 

Basketball 3D Illusion Night Light

 

 

For those teens who aren’t necessarily AFRAID of the dark, they just don’t like it too well.

Only $20.90! Get it here.

 

 

Dollar Shave Club

 

 

Dollar Shave Club makes the BEST razors. I’ve been subscribing to this club for years. I get refills every other month, and it’s less than $10 a pop. Your teen will love it!

Only $5 for the first month, and $9 per month after that! Get it here.

 

 

Camping Hammock

 

 

Hammocks are life! Your teen will love sleeping under the stars on camping trips, or even just in the back yard. You’re gonna want to use this too, trust me!

Only $19.99! Get it here.

 

 

Dakine Vert Rail Wallet

 

Every teen guy needs a wallet. This popular Dakine wallet has a great tri-fold design with a zippered coin section. Slip a $20 in and you’ll have a happy kid!

Only $11.95! Get it here.

 

 

Wallet Ninja

 

 

Since, you’re getting him that awesome wallet, why not grab him the Wallet Ninja to go with? This has so many different functions! 18, to be precise. It has a bottle opener, four screwdrivers , can opener, nail puller and so much more!

Only $8.49! Get it here.

 

 

Money Maze Puzzle

 

Cash is always a great gift for teens. How about making it a little more interesting by putting it in this Maze Money Box? It’ll make your teen use his brain to get his reward.

Only $8.90! Get it here.

 

 

Funny T-Shirt

 

 

T-shirts with funny sayings always make good gifts for teens. This one is great for your little gamer.

Only $11.54! Get it here.

 

 

Magnetic Shoe Closures

 

I hate shoe laces. I keep mine tied just loose enough to not have to untie and tie them when putting my shoes on or taking them off. These magnetic shoes closures take away that problem by keeping them tied always. Every lazy teen will love them!

Only $10.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Bluetooth Beanie

 

Like the bluetooth backpack, this beanie has built in speakers that your teen will love. He wont have to worry about misplacing his earbuds or headphones.

Only $17.99! Get it here.

 

 

Magic Gravity Ball

 

 

With this crazy ball, your teen can impress his friends by creating the illusion of no gravity. There are no strings, it’s simple hand manipulation, but very impressive!

Only $34.89 ! Get it here.

 

 

Beginner’s Acoustic Guitar Set

 

Many teen boys express interest in playing guitar. However, it’s hard to justify spending a lot of money on equipment with how fickle teens can be. This kit is great because it’s super affordable, and includes everything your teen needs to get started playing guitar. If he loves it and sticks with it, then perhaps consider getting your kids lessons.

Only $34.95! Get it here.

 

 

Ultimate Gym Duffel by FocusGear

 

For those teens who are athletes, a gym duffel is always a great gift. This one was designed after FocusGear did a crowd-sourcing research project to see what features athletes think are most essential in a gym bag. Your kid will love!

Only $24.99! Get it here.

 

 

Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani

 

Last, but certainly not least, it’s essential for your teenager to have a good cologne (boys stink, remember?) Acqua di Gio is a classic scent every guy, young or old, should own.

Only $85 for 3.4 ounces ! Get it here.

 

Do you have some great gift ideas for teenage boys? Share them below in the comments section!

If you don’t find at least a few great ideas for your young Mister on this list, it may be a lost cause!

 

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!