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Monday, March 4, 2019

Let's Catch Up...
Turning 35, Financial Goals + Puppies?!

It only took me 2 whole months to post my first blog post for 2019... NBD.  Girl, I wish I could say I feel a way but I honestly don't.  I took the time I needed to be away and didn't let what everyone else was doing rush my process.  January + February tend to be slower months for business anyways so I wasn't pressed.  If I missed out on it, then it wasn't for me... that's how I looked at it.  But I'm back and it feels good to be running my own race at my own pace.  This doesn't mean there hasn't been a ton going on at the Shoppe HQ aka Home, just means that there's been a lot going on behind the scenes that I haven't shared...

First off, I can't believe that I turn 35 years old this August!!  It's the first birthday that I've looked forward to in a while, don't ask me why.  It's so different than what I normally do but I'm excited to create something fun + memorable.  I know you're thinking that it's odd that I'm planning my own Birthday celebration... umm, hi have you met me?  I rarely like big surprises and I'm hella anxious if I don't have any of the control so here we are.  Not sure if I'm going to do a photoshoot or anything as I sometimes feel that's more for 'show' and not the memory.  We are literally just now in the process of getting our wedding pictures blown up poster size for our bedroom, 7 years later.  What I do know is that my birthday falls on a Friday which provides the perfect timeline for a bomb ass birthday weekend.  Ya'll just stay tuned...

Speaking of a bomb ass birthday weekend, we are going to do so responsibly!!  LOL.  No bills will be skipped to make this happen.  We have kept a lot on the back burner when it came to our financial stability but 2019 is the year we are changing that.  One of our biggest challenges is our credit scores.  Not just improving them but rehabbing the poor habits that caused us to have lower scores to begin with.  We use to aim for buying a home but once we decided that wasn't on "our" list of must-haves, things just fell apart.  Now our goal is to be able to be approved for a home loan, whether we actually want to buy or not.  That's one thing a great credit score will do, it will give you options and we all love having options.  The first thing that was necessary for us was establishing a budget, then paying down revolving debt then and last (but not least), finding a financial advisor.  We are still putting these processes in place and I wish I could say it's been easy but it hasn't but I do know we will be hella proud of ourselves once we accomplish our goals.  In the meantime, just keep us in your rich prayers saints!!

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, all the Influencers on Instagram are now pregnant.  Okay, maybe not all of them but GIRL, it's a lot!!  I would be lying if I said that I haven't experienced 'Baby Fever' over the past few years but we just have no room for extra children in our plans.  Not to mention, we are happy with the family we have now.  Kennedy is almost 9 years old, I can't imagine starting over again now.  So, I have redirected any 'Baby Fever' into 'Puppy Fever'!!  LOL.  Yes, that means we will soon have a puppy join our family and I am beyond excited.  I've been patiently looking for weeks to find the 'perfect' one for us + the kids don't know as it will be a surprise which is even more exciting.  Keep your eyes open because he'll be making his appearance sometime this month!!

This was fun catching up with you all.  No worries, I'll be back soon and it won't be another 2 months before you hear from me again.  PROMISE.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Shoppe the Gift Guide

I know I'm a few days late but please believe, I'm not one dollar short when it comes to this 2018 Gift Guide.  Still sniffling + highly medicated right now, I knew this Gift Guide was a MUST have for you all.  I did things a little different this year + shared only products that I have obsessed over in 2018.  Which means that these are all products I already have, love and think you need as well.  None of these items are super expensive so add them to your wishlist ASAP because Santa, we've been good baby!

Some brands have given you a chance to win these products which is even better!  You won't know which brands/products are being given away until the day of, so you will want to keep your eyes open.  If you have a friend who needs to be subscribed, let them know.  Only Blog Subscribers and Instagram Followers will be eligible to win.

1. Ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat
2. The Mom Life Co SKINNIE bar necklace
3. Canary Security System
4. Favorite Skincare: Origins, Dermalogica, Fresh, Drunk Elephant, Pixi Beauty
5. Mixtiles
6. Shark ION Robot 750
7. Snuggly Sweater Candle: Target
8. Kate Spade Taxi Flats
9. Kate Spade Mega Sam Tote
10. Dyson V7 Cordless Vacuum

All of these items are products that the Millennial Woman/Mom/Wife needs!  Idk about you but I like to be connected to everything happening around my home but with little effort.  The Ecobee, Canary and Shark Robot let me do just that with apps.  The other items are must have for different reasons to be shared in the near future, so stay tuned!

Edit:  A few brands have updated their participation in this Gift Guide so things were shifted in the graphic to accommodate.  Please take a peek at the new graphic so you are entering the Giveaways you want.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Marriage Mondays: Our Hardest Year

We are going on 7 years of marriage and while we have been through some shit, our first year of marriage still remains our hardest year of marriage.  For a while, I've always shared this was my hardest year but it dawned on me this past weekend as I wrote this Blog post that I've never asked my husband what was his hardest year.  To my surprise, he actually said that our first year was the hardest!  For some reason, I didn't expect him to say that because like I said... we've been through some shit.  And, the funniest part is that his reason why is EXACTLY the same as my reason why.  Go figure.


We had a beautiful wedding, we really did.  All the planning up to it was perfect + the wedding itself came out better than I could have ever expected.  Then the wedding was just OVER and it was back to living life together but now we were married.  From the time I came home, I expected to see some miraculous change from boyfriend/fiance to now Husband.  I expected our marriage to be just as beautiful as our wedding day but without the effort.  What I forgot was that our wedding was beautiful because of all the work we had put into it.  GIRL, I expected this man to come home with roses daily/weekly to surprise me... I expected him to treat me like his Queen regardless of how I treated him... I literally expected him to change overnight.  Stop talking to your friends so much, I'm your Wife now.  Stop watching Sports so much + watch what WE want to watch, I'm your Wife now.  Spend all your free time with me, I'm your Wife now.  The arguing and silent treatment was constant in our first year.  I would call my cousin (who is also my best friend) + cry on the phone to her while staring at my wedding dress still hanging in my room.  That dress hung in my room for months because it was metaphorically me hanging on to the perfection I expected us to turn into overnight.  Then one day, I decided to talk to Steven about how I was feeling.  No surprise, it started another argument but this argument ended in him trying to prove me wrong.  I told him that I was concerned because we don't seem to even be friends with each other anymore.  He seemed more dedicated to his college and work friendships than he was to us.  His reply was that your Wife doesn't have to be your friend and followed up by saying "watch, I'm going to ask some of my friends that are married"!  To his surprise, not only did every single person say that their Wife was one of their friends but they all said that their Wife was their BEST friend.  That was an eye opener for Steven and definitely a pivotal moment in our marriage.  He looked at me + apologized for not being the friend I needed and asked me how he could be a better friend.

Now for him, things were very different but also the same.  He came home from the wedding with tons of expectations in mind as well.  According to him, he thought a "good Wife" should be taking care of the house, keeping it clean, cooking and taking care of the kids.  On top of that he also expected a "good Wife" to be Fucking + Sucking on demand (his words, not mine).  NONE of this was happening.  I had just started a new job that I was struggling at so I was giving 150% there and probably 25% to the care of my home (it doesn't add up, I know).  Nobody was dying because the house wasn't clean.  Then this man would go the entire day without a quick text to say "hey" or "how's your day" but wonder why there was no connection once we both got home from work.  At first, I thought it was because he was swamped at work but our phone bill proved that to be a lie.  He was using up ALL our data playing games with his friends and had chats a mile long every single day with every single friend.  Of course, I wasn't included in that.  We were both disappointed in each other for different reasons but nobody wanted to make the first move.


Once Steven was open to the idea that your Wife can be your Best Friend, a lot changed.  We talked more, connected more and LAUGHED more.  Things in our every day life began fitting together seamlessly.  How we parented improved because we were just happier people around each other.  The reality is that we began putting in the real work necessary to have a happy marriage.  Did this solve all of our problems, definitely not because shit got real years later but it began to lay the foundation needed to get through the tougher areas down the road.  Our sex life improved as I challenged myself to not say NO for an entire month.  That one month changed our sex life in ways I never thought possible but that's another story for another time.  It took us both wanting to improve not only for each other, but for ourselves + our children.  Looking back at that first year, we were soooooo selfish!  I wish I could go back and not waste a whole year (plus some) being as unhappy as we were over things that were easily fixable.  But hey, you live + you learn.

For all the married women/couples out there, what was your hardest year of marriage?  It doesn't necessarily have to be a "bad" year but which year challenged you the most?  Let's chat below.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Life Update|| Part 1

Well Happy New Year!  Dramatic as I may be, that's certainly how I feel the speed of this year is going.  So much has been going on personally that I have definitely neglected my Blog.  Instead of just coming back with a Fall Skincare post as if I haven't left you hanging for months, I figured we could catch up.

As most of you know, I accepted a job opportunity back in July at a hotel.  I was so hopeful + really thought "this was the one".  GIRL, this couldn't have been further from the truth.  I know I haven't shared yet + that's because I wanted to be further removed from the incident because I truly wanted to cut someone.  LOL.  So the big question is "Why did I leave that job"?  Well, let me ask you something... if the company you were working for was having financial issues to the point that your pay was late + there was a chance that you wouldn't get paid... what would you do?  Yes, it was that bad.  As an Influencer, late payments is something I have to deal with time and time again.  If I wanted to stay on this struggle bus, I could just continue working for my damn self.  It started off pretty simple + innocent... the company didn't have direct deposit.  I thought this was odd but my husband reassured me that a company having direct deposit for only two employees (myself + my boss) is an expense that they may not want to take on yet.  Okay, fair enough... but then.  BUT THEN... my boss told me that none of the hotels with this company have direct deposit!  So, it had nothing to do with it being a new hotel that was not open yet or had enough employees.  Strike 1. 

By the end of my first week, my boss opened up to me + shared that she could no longer deposit the payroll checks from the company at her personal bank because they had bounced so many times.  Her bank refused to accept them anymore.  So, she had to drive about an hour away to go cash the checks at their Mom + Pop bank.  This specific time, she got to the bank and THEIR bank refused to the cash the check because the funds were not available.  GIIIIRL.  Strike 2. 

It was at this point that my energy started to shift + I began questioning if this was the right decision.  Sure, the move would look great on my resume (opening a new hotel) but could I really deal with uncertainties when it came to my pay.  I don't know her financial health but I did know that my household could not afford for a check that size to bounce in my account.  The next week I come into the office to find out that construction on the hotel had halted because the workers refused to come in until they were paid.  How in the world are you not paying the construction workers if you're opening a new hotel?!  What sense does that make?!  After listening in on a meeting between the Owners + the General Contractor (being nosy AF), I overheard that the Construction Company was owed over 100K in payroll.  WHAT?!  Strike 3. 

At this point, I was one foot out the door.  The following week was finally my first pay week... here we go!  Checks were suppose to be ready on Tuesday.  You didn't read that wrong, checks are ready on Tuesday... not Thursday or Friday.  Moving along, so checks were suppose to come in on Tuesday.  The owner called and said they wouldn't be ready until Wednesday.  After all I had put up with, I talked myself into thinking that one more day isn't the end of the world.  Wednesday comes and the Owner walks into the office.  My boss approaches him and asks for the checks to which he replies, "I forgot them at the office, you'll get them tomorrow".  Even after my boss offered to go get them from his office, he replied "No, you guys have work to do... you'll get it tomorrow".  It was at this point that Candice began packing up her shit.  Yes, now I'm talking about myself in the third person because I literally felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.  I packed up all of my shit, left to lunch, went home and sent them my resignation letter. 

I have very little patience for anything but children so for me to have stayed during this nonsense for 3 weeks is a huge deal, you don't even know.  Yes, I went back the next day to pick up my check but that was the last straw for me.  Had I accepted that treatment, they would have continued down the same path they had done with my boss... bounced checks, late checks, no checks, etc.  Nope, I'm good love, enjoy!  My apologies for taking this long to share but as I promised, it was worth it wasn't it?!  What would you have done?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

It Only Took Nearly Two Years:
Our Gallery Wall with MixTiles

I am constantly looking on Pinterest for easy ways to spruce up my home, either easily or on the low low.  Gallery Walls always stood out to me because it seemed like the perfect way to add character without doing too much.  THE PROBLEM:  I am not a Gallery Wall person.  What's a Gallery Wall person, you ask?  Someone who loves to measure precisely, scour stores for the perfect frames and spend hours going through pictures to order.  Thats not me!!  So when I found MixTiles while scrolling on Instagram one day and saw how easy creating a Gallery Wall could be, I was all types of excited.  You all know how much I love a good peel + stick situation from my project I did with Smart Tiles last year.  And, now I have a Peel + Stick Gallery Wall... The Lord knows my heart and continues to bless me with opportunities created just for me.  

Now on to the Gallery Wall itself.  I thought I was going to be annoyed by having to use an App to place my order.  Rolled my eyes and everything but turns out the joke was on me because it might have been easier to do it on the App than it would have on the computer.  The process was super user friendly and easily allowed me to switch out pictures, crop and even add a filter to specific images if I wanted to.  The only thing I wish it allowed was for me to 'preview' what the pictures would look like hung.  I'm a little high maintenance when it comes to this type of stuff so that part may not bother you at all.  To be honest, if I could have someone come peel and stick them to the wall, that would be nice too.  LOL.

Once I chose the images from my phone and placed the order, I sat back and did nothing.  Figured I had a week or so before they arrived, so no need to rush out and get any other accessories I might need for the wall.  So joke was on me (AGAIN), when they arrived a whole two days later.  I've never been upset because an order arrived too quick in the mail but I felt a way because I had been lazy + wasn't prepared.  Nonetheless, I unboxed and immediately began to arrange the pictures on my floor in the way that I would want them on the wall.  They stayed on the floor for another week.  Judge your Momma.

When it came time to finally hang the photos, I was so happy with how easy it was.  No measuring, just eyeballing.  You can measure for preciseness if you want... that's just not my thing!  It took MAYBE 30 minutes and I really don't think it took THAT long.  I ran out to Home Goods and Home Sense to see if I could find some accent pieces but when I found the 'This is Us' sign, I felt like I didn't need anything else really.  Sometimes less is more and in this case, it was.

So I hope you enjoy my Gallery Wall + it inspires you to make your own.  MixTiles gave me a coupon code for you to use if you do: MCSHOPPE15.  Don't forget to send me pictures when you create yours!  Until next time... XOXOMCS
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Sephora Sale: In Case You Needed Help Spending More Money...

Sephora Sale is back and I always laugh as I create these posts because essentially, I'm helping you spend even more money than you were going to spend already.  I appreciate you allowing me into your wallet this way + clearly we are closer than close at this point.  I've gone back and forth with whether I should share suggestions OR share what products I have in my own cart.  I decided to just do both PLUS include links to previous Sephora Sale posts I've done.  You will have all types of options to choose from, GOOD LUCK.

What's In My Cart:

DIOR BACKSTAGE FOUNDATION- Don't ask me why I need another foundation, just don't... because I don't have an answer for you.  You might as well be asking me why the sky is blue.  But I have heard nothing but good things about this buildable medium coverage foundation and I feel like I need to add it to my never ending collection of foundations.  Plus it has nearly 5 Stars on Sephora and you guys know how I feel about anything that has nearly 5 Stars on Sephora... it must be hella good!

BOBBI BROWN PRIMER PLUS MATTIFIER- Does this one even need to be explained?  Yes?  Okay, well first of all it's Bobbi Brown and I have NEVER been let down by this brand.  Like, EVER.  Second of all, it's a Primer that also helps with mattifying my oily ass face.   Lastly, it has 5 Stars on Sephora.  Drops mic.

GLOW RECIPE WATERMELON GLOW JELLY SHEET MASK-  I can't lie, I've definitely been sucked in by the whole watermelon skincare craze.  Not only do I love the scent but the benefits are BOMB AF as well.  This mask is suppose to help with Uneven Skintone + Uneven Texture which are two of my skin concerns always being acne prone.  I know everyone loves the overnight mask but I'm not fond of overnight masks so this one is right up my alley.  

PAT MCGRATH LABS LIP FETISH LIP BALM- Listen, from the time I found out that Pat McGrath was a self-made Billionaire, I've wanted to purchase from the line.  It almost seems like me buying one of her products puts me at close proximity to becoming a billionaire as well.  I know that logic doesn't make sense, just let me be with my dreams!  I've heard nothing about this product but the packaging is dope and it's a clear balm... how bad can a clear balm be?!

Personal Product Suggestions:

ORIGINS CLEAR IMPROVEMENT CHARCOAL HONEY MASK- This mask needs to be a staple in everyone's arsenal who deals with acne.  Dry skin?  Use this.  Oily Skin?  Use this.  Normal skin?  Leave me alone.  Unlike most charcoal masks, this one does not leave your skin feeling tight and dry.  Personally, I have to be careful using drying masks all over my face because my entire face is not oily.  In fact, some parts are actually more normal-dry and using drying products can cause even more problems in those areas.  The honey in this can provide hydration while the charcoal agents pull out that guck from your skin.  It's a match made in skincare heaven.

FRESH BLACK TEA KOMBUCHA FACIAL TREATMENT ESSENCE- About a month ago, a friend asked me how I've been liking this product and honestly my answer was, "I'm not sure because I can't really see what it's doing"!  After talking with her, it dawned on me that I also wasn't using this product consistently.  I have so many Essences + Toners that I wasn't really using this one much and I was also using them interchangeably.  Then I recently learned that Essences + Toners are not one in the same and in fact, you can use BOTH in your skincare routine.  Well that changed EVERYTHING and I began using this Essence more consistently, in conjunction with my Toners.  GIRL.  For this Essence to be so gentle on the skin, it's definitely a heavy hitter WHEN USED CONSISTENTLY.  I can't exaggerate that enough because I honestly didn't notice anything happening when using it every now and then but isn't that the case with anything in life.  No one sees results when doing something every now and then.  Consistency wins every time + that's the case with skincare as well.

PINROSE SECRET GENIUS- I first tried this scent as a sample that my friend received in her Sephora order.  I was hooked at first sniff.  I believe Sephora puts this in the Warm + Spicy family for those wondering what it smells like.  I would also say that it smells like a nice cuddle under your favorite blanket with a strong man next to a fireplace.  But since, that isn't the best description for a scent, let's just go with what Sephora says.  Worn alone, it wears well for an entire 8 hour day but I still like to pair it with my Malin + Goetz Dark Rum for a nice layered scent.  These two together cannot be stopped.  Don't @ me about this!

SEPHORA COLLECTION MASK APPLICATOR-  I don't know how I came across this tool on Sephora but as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed it.  YES, NEEDED IT!  Every time I need to apply a mask from a jar to my face, I wish I had some sort of brush or applicator.  This one fit the bill.  I love that the other end helps remove the mask + provides a little exfoliation while doing so.  I think I might actually go ahead and grab another one to apply my face moisturizers because at  $8, why not?!  Yes, I could use the same one to do both but that seems too easy... let's complicate things a little here. LOL.

DRUNK ELEPHANT MARULA OIL + MAKE UP FOR EVER ULTRA HD SKIN TINT-  I've spoken in depth about both of these products in a recent blog post here.  To save time and not be redundant, you can click to read my reviews on them there.  Long story short, YOU NEED THEM.  If that sounds a bit drastic then you at least need to give them a try!  The Drunk Elephant Marula Oil is a little pricey so that's a product I would definitely grab during the sale.  Don't say I never tried to help you save money.

Okay so I promised that I would share some other Sephora Sale posts in case you just had an itch to spend even more money so here they go.

HAPPY SHOPPING and don't forget to tag me in your purchases whether you grab any of these suggestions or not!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Summer Favorites
#sundayskincare edition

I love 'Favorites round up Blog Posts' but the one thing I don't love about them is how LONG they usually are.  So, I will try to keep this one as short as I can while giving you the important deets!

At first I couldn't really determine if this product was really making a difference in my skin.  It just felt like a step in my skincare routine that I could do without.  But then I started noticing the texture of my skin improving over time.  It's not an overnight miracle worker but it's definitely a heavy hitter when it comes smoothing out your texture and helping to diminish dark spots.  Kombucha in my tummy and Kombucha on my skin, yes please!

I'm not sure if Drunk Elephant figured out how to bottle Unicorn tears or what but this stuff is worth every drop.  Now ya'll now I'm oily AF but I am very specific in how I use this in my routine.  Either I use it at night and wake up with skin that looks like the baby Jesus blessed it Himself.  Or, I use it during the day with the D-Bronzi Serum for a "no makeup" makeup look!  I've been using it for my no makeup look A LOT this Summer and absolutely LOVE the beautiful glow it gives my skin.  I will say that I tried using this under my makeup and found my foundation slipping around quite a bit once my natural oils started to come through around midday.  

3.  KIEHL'S Clearly Corrective Line

Listen to me.  When I say this ENTIRE line is a secret gem, I mean it!  Remember, a few months back when Kiehl's invited me to learn more about their apothecary personalized serums?  Well, I've been quietly using and testing these products since then!  First off, the Clearly Corrective Brightening + Exofoliating Daily Cleanser is now my Staple exfoliator when I'm not using my Clarisonic.  Use it consistently, and you will notice your breakouts become nonexistent.  Be careful using the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution in sensitive areas because this stuff is no joke!  It's potent, strong and IT WORKS.  I'm VERY careful to only use this in specific areas when needed.  And lastly, the Brightening + Smoothing Moisture Treatment is probably the first of it's kind that I've ever used.  It has a Jell-O like consistency but melts onto your skin to provide the perfect canvas.  If you come by a value set that includes these (3) products specifically then GRAB IT.  Otherwise, trust me when I say you need these if you're battling hyperpigmentation.

The Summer season isn't an Oily girl's favorite season when it comes to makeup.  It's a constant struggle to find the products that won't make me look like a frying pan.  So when a brand comes out with a new foundation product in the middle of the Summer, I pay close attention!  I expect it to be formulated to wear well throughout a hot day AND be lightweight.  Both of these foundations from Make Up For Ever are just that!  HALLELU!  The Matte Velvet Skin has a new package and reformulation that I am LOVING.  No more cake face and no more heavy feeling foundation at the end of the day.  You heard me right!  It still feels lightweight at the end of a long hot summer day.  I've been using the Matte Velvet Skin Foundation only on my trouble areas as it's (true) Full Coverage and I don't want to look like I'm photoshoot ready by using it all over.  I love the way it looks more like skin and less like a mask despite how much it covers.  Now the Ultra HD Skin Tint is the total opposite when it comes to coverage.  It gives you a nice sheer (think BB Cream) foundation look which I love to use in the center of my face.  Wearing this in the center of my face with the Matte Velvet Skin Foundation along the perimeter of my face gives me the PERFECT coverage.

The lavender shade of this Primer in the bottle had me a little skeptical at first, can't lie.  It just doesn't seem brown girl friendly at first.  So, I did what any of us would do and applied it to the back of my hand to see what it was all about but turns out, it does go on sheer!  Thank you Jesus!!  Not only does it apply sheer but it totally improves the appearance of your skin before you even put foundation on.  You probably guessed it already, but this is amazing with your "No Makeup" Makeup look or if you actually plan on wearing no makeup, LOL.  I haven't used a Primer in a long time because I generally don't see a true benefit usually but this one has had a reoccurring role in my daily look!  Love, love, love using this with a pump of the Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Serum, OMG... it looks so bomb + natural.

Well I'm going to leave you with these recommendations for now so I don't have us all broke!!  Believe me, this list could be a mile long but I'm trying to be a better friend to you.  Now if you have questions about other products, send them over.  That's totally different!

XOXO Candice

Shoppe Owner


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