Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted about something I’ve read! I don’t have a good excuse really, and there was a good amount of time in February? when I was reading pretty regularly. I think it was around this time that the new season of Outlander was premiering so it was hard for me to keep up with what was going on in the timeline of the show verses what I was reading in the first book. Life just got away from me I guess, but I finally picked it back up and finished!

I’ve been a fan of the Outlander television series for a little while now. Of course this meant that I would have to read the books eventually, but there were always other books that I wanted to get to first. It didn’t help that there are so many Outlander books in the series, and that I knew that they were pretty long.

I finally decided to take them on and I’m so glad that I have, or at least I’m glad that I’ve started.

For those who have watched the show but haven’t read the book, the show did a fantastic job of sticking to it’s source material. From what I can remember the storyline follows what happened in the book almost exactly.

I can’t remember if it left off in the same place or if part of the first book was included in the second season. Part of me feels like it did because there’s just so much that happens I can’t possibly imagine squeezing it all into one season of a series. I might have to go back and re-watch just to check.

This story is so exciting and has so many parts, it’s really hard to even write about the plot and how I felt about all of it. I’m not even going to try.

I will say that I really enjoyed getting to see Claire and Jamie fall in love all over again. They’re just so great together, right? I am curious what the books will be like and if we’ll get to see more of the time when Claire went back to the present. I’m interested in knowing more about what it was like for Frank all the time that Claire was away and I feel like it was just a very short amount of time in the tv series.

I’ve already purchased the second book and I’m hoping to get through this one a little faster. My goal is to read them all by the end of the year, but we shall see.

It’s Just A Bunch of Hocus Pocus

I Smell Children Hand-Painted Wood Sign

I know we’re past Halloween, but it can still be spooky season in November, right?

I wanted to share a little bit more about what I’ve been working on with my home decor signs. I mentioned it in my last post and I’m really excited and have so many ideas that I’m working on.

In October, I went on a little bit of a Hocus Pocus kick with my Halloween decor. Even painting a huge sign for outside that I had seen on Pinterest.

Every time I’m in home decor stores, it’s hard for me to justify spending money on signs when I know that I can paint them myself. I love painting and often have re-created art that I’ve seen on Pinterest for my home decor.

I decided to give it a shot and paint a few Hocus Pocus themed signs for Halloween, and I think they turned out really well! I know it’s a little late to be promoting them, but I still wanted to share them with the world.

I plan on working on more fall signs next and then some for Christmas. Like I said before, I have so many ideas so I’m really excited to put them to work. I’m going to be selling them on my Etsy Shop: Kayla Cropper Art

This is something that I’m really enjoying doing, so I hope other’s will enjoy my work too. If you have some time, please check it out! 🙂

Amuck! Amuck! Amuck! Hand-Painted Wood Sign

Another Glorious Morning Hand-Painted Wood Sign

I Burn For You…

Is there anyone who hasn’t binged Bridgerton at this point? Personally, I’ve been considering starting it over for the third time. I was so glad to hear that it had officially been renewed!

When I was in high school I loved doing portraits, but always just did them with pencil. I’ve never attempted portraits in watercolor before, so decided to give this a shot. I had some watercolor cards on hand, so thought this would be cute as a love/valentine’s/anniversary card if it turned out well.

I have to say, I’m pretty happy with it. Simon turned out so well, I sort of impressed myself. Daphne could use some work, but I’m still pretty happy with it.

I decided to put it up for sale on my Etsy account. It’s one of a kind and hand-painted, check it out here.

I definitely want to do more of these, maybe some more famous couples in television and film? We’ll see!

I Finally Did It! Check Me Out on Etsy!

So something that people might not know about me is that I love making art. When I was in kindergarten, my grandmother would bring me along to art lessons that she would take and I fell in love.

All throughout school, art was always my favorite subject. In high school, I took as many art classes as I could. I really enjoyed portraits back then, and would always be drawing pictures of my friends and favorite celebrities.

I *almost* decided to go to school for art, but ended up choosing journalism as my major instead. Even then, I kept up with my interest in art and ended up working as a blogger for the Tyler Student Life page at the Tyler School of Art. I got to talk to students and artists, see their work, and start conversations about art and working as an artist. It was something that I really enjoyed.

Life’s gotten in the way a little bit since then, so I haven’t really had the time to sit down and draw or paint, but thanks to my current job I’ve been able to travel the world. Seeing the beautiful architecture in other countries, visiting art museums, and just enjoying life have really made me want to get back into the art world.

Then came COVID and here I was sitting at home bored out of my mind. Like many others, I decided to order art supplies from Michael’s and Amazon (which wasn’t easy because everything was pretty much sold out). I finally picked up the paintbrush again! And I’m actually not that bad at it.

I decided to open an Etsy account so that my artwork doesn’t keep piling up at my house. It’s really just something for fun, but I appreciate any one who’s willing to check it out.

I have tons of photos from my travels that I plan on painting and selling on the shop, BUT FIRST! I’ve been painting photos of my family’s dogs on ornaments and decided to offer it as a custom ornament on the shop. It’s just a start, but here’s a link if you want to see it for yourself: Custom Hand-Painted Dog Ornaments.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to share. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and check out my new venture 🙂

Visit KaylaCropperArt on Etsy!

Product Review: Raw Generation 3-Day Skinny Cleanse

If you’ve been following along with my monthly trackers, you may have noticed that I’ve been working on exercising more and taking better care of myself.

Since we’ve been stuck at home and under quarantine and social distancing guidelines, I haven’t been the best with my health. I was being lazy, ordering takeout multiple times a week, and just not really caring about my body.

I started feeling really down and depressed, so I decided that I needed to make a change. I bought an exercise bike and starting working out at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day.

I noticed changes in my body, but I wasn’t really losing the weight. I tried to eat healthier, but again it was hard for me to plan meals and to stick to them. I still found myself ordering out pretty often and eating food that was not healthy for me at all.

A few weeks ago, a friend from school posted about this juice cleanse she was doing and how they have a sale that’s going on so others should take the plunge and do the cleanse too. I figured, why not?

The Raw Generation Skinny Cleanse has three options – a 3-day, 5-day, and 7-day cleanse. Since this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, I decided to just try out the 3-day cleanse and see how it worked.

The package came really quickly and inside there were 6 frozen juices per day for a total of 18 bottles. It took about a day and a half for them to thaw in my refrigerator, and that Monday morning I started the cleanse.

Before I get into my review, I just want to mention that with this cleanse you are allowed to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, and you’re allowed to drink coffee and tea without any cream or sugar. Before the cleanse started, I decided I was just going to skip all of these unless I felt like I absolutely needed them, so the days of the cleanse the only thing I had were the juices and a ton of water.

Day One was easy. I don’t typically eat anything until mid-day anyway, so I wasn’t super hungry in the morning. The first day I only drank 4 of the 6 juices I had thawed for that day. I still exercised, but didn’t push myself like I normally would and I felt really good afterward.  I went to bed pretty early this night. I didn’t sleep well the night before, so this isn’t out of the ordinary for me to do.

Day Two was a little harder. It seemed like every advertisement on tv and online was for food. I was craving foods that I never eat. It was all that I could think about. I felt like I had a good amount of energy, but had a slight headache throughout the day. I was glad that I didn’t drink all 6 juices the first day because I definitely needed an extra one this day. I still went to bed kind of early, just to get the day over with and to be on the final day of the cleanse.

Day Three was way better. I was excited to almost be done. I had a ton of energy, but felt a little weak so I still didn’t exercise. The headache was still there as well, but a little ibuprofen did the trick and it went away. I wasn’t thinking about food too much, but I think it’s because I was just so excited that I could eat food the next day.

The first day after the cleanse, I weighed myself and I had lost 4 pounds. I was pretty happy with that for a 3-day cleanse and it was about what I expected to lose based on the reviews others had left.

The company suggests continuing to eat a lot of fruit and veggies, and to cut back on dairy, sugar, and meat. The day after the cleanse, I went to the grocery store to stock up on these things and made the switch from regular milk to oat milk.

I ate an omelette and some soup that day, and it made me feel really full.

It’s now been about two weeks since the cleanse ended and I’m still doing better with eating healthier meals. I signed up for HelloFresh, so I’m trying that out in hopes that I’ll keep staying away from takeout food and learn how to cook healthier meals.

I did lose 2 more pounds since the cleanse, which I’m really happy about. I was afraid I would just gain the weight back, but I’ve been able to maintain the weight loss and even continue slowly losing weight.

Overall, I’m really happy with the cleanse and I’m actually thinking about doing it again. The juices were really good and really did do a good job keeping me full for the 3 days. I’m not sure that I would want to do it any longer than that though. I feel like after 5 days I’d definitely be starving and I have no idea how people can do it for 7 days.

Has anyone else tried it? I’m really interested in seeing what others’ results were.

Product Review: Nestle Splash (Mandarin Orange)

I’ve had flavored waters in the past, but they’re not really my favorite thing to drink and I tend to not buy them if given the option. What I like about this water was that it tasted less like water with flavoring and more like an orange flavored drink. I feel like I would consider buying this if I wanted something like orange juice or orange tang. I liked that it didn’t have any calories, however I was surprised by how sweet it actually was. I feel like if there was one thing about it that I didn’t like, it would be that there are artificial sweeteners so that it can be advertised as not having any calories. Personally, I’d rather just have sugar than artificial sweeteners. Overall, I really liked it and would probably buy it again/recommend it to others.

* Disclaimer: I received the Mandarin Orange flavored Nestle Splash beverage complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster, however all opinions are my own.

Finally Some Beauty Reviews!

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Okay, as I promised wayyyy back in August I’m going to review these products! I received them all as a gift for completing the P&G Everyday Challenge hosted by Influenster.

1. Gillette Venus Snap with Embrace

This razor is so easy to use and portable. I’ve already reviewed it once before, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time writing about it again. The only thing I’ve noticed is that if I don’t use it often and if I keep it in the shower, the gel starts sticking to the container and is kind of gross. Nothing huge to complain about though!
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Beauty Product Review Coming Soon!

IMG_5906Hi Guys! I participated in the P&G Everyday Challenge for Influenster and this was my gift box! I’ll be doing reviews on all of these products once I’ve used them long enough and have taken some pictures. I’m looking forward to sharing these with you!

xoxo

Ashley Benson Inspired Makeup

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Hey Guys! Wow, sorry for waiting so long to post. It’s been a really crazy summer. Looking for jobs and helping my parents completely restore the outside of our house has left me with very little free time. I feel bad about slacking on my blogging, but I’m going to try to make it at least at weekly thing.

Since this blog started as a place to review products (mostly makeup), I decided to do another makeup tutorial. I absolutely love Ashley Benson. I think she’s great on Pretty Little Liars and she was crazy amazing in Spring Breakers. She’s absolutely gorgeous and her makeup is always flawless.
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