Friday, January 31, 2014

The Anti-EOTWR

I'm flipping the script this week and giving you the top five reasons why I don't have an End of the Week Roundup post.

1. Because this polar vortex has apparently done more than just freeze the outside up, but also my brain. 


2. Because I spent my time taking this quiz, and the results were the least bit surprising:

3. Because the surprise gift box I got in the mail from Angie was so awesome, I was left speechless. 

4. Because I'm sick, again. And it's all Dave's fault. Again. He is really lucky I love him. And that he makes the best grilled cheese to go with my tomato soup.

Want to hear something gross? I left the house Thursday morning sucking on a cough drop and pulled into work, realizing I was sucking on the same cough drop that I popped into my mouth when I first woke up...meaning I didn't brush my teeth. Nothing like spending the whole day wondering if your coworkers realize how grody you are. Forgetting simple hygiene needs? That's the definition of being really sick. 

5. Because I couldn't do another all Nibbler and Squishee end of the week roundup two weeks in a row. 

Come on now, did you really think I'd post a Friday post without at least one Nibs or Squish pic? I'm not THAT sick. 

Linking up with Lauren and Jennie.

                                       Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January Beauty Favorites

In November, I posted about a few of my favorite beauty items. I still use everything on that list faithfully, however I also found a couple of new products that I use regularly and I figured I would share with you today:

1. Sonia Kashuk Eye Shadow Quad in Fair and Square

I really like the colors in the Naked 3 pallet, but I'm not sure the pink hues would look nice on my fair skin and didn't want to shell out the $53 bucks to find out whether or not it would, so I decided to pick this up and try out the pinks. The color in the upper left corner was a bit too pink for me, but everything else looks good and satiated my want for Naked 3. 

2. Aveeno Baby Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash

Okay, so I'm not sure if it was weird or not that I use a wash meant for babies, but it definitely leaves my skin really soft and has been helping me beat the super dry skin I normally get.

3. Tarte BB Tinted Primer

I've been avoiding BB creams (or any of those alphabet creams for that matter) for a while because I need something with a bit more coverage than BB creams seem to offer. However when I saw that Tarte was offering this up as a primer too, I decided to give it a shot. This has replaced my normal primer, Neutrogena's Shine Control primer, most days and I love it. 

4. L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara

I used to use Clinque's Lash Doubling Mascara, but I had a coupon for L'Oreal and decided to try out this mascara based on all the good reviews I read about it. L'Oreal's version gives me the same results that Clinque's mascara did for half the price.

5. Tarte Maracuja Oil

I talked about my new found love of this oil here. I love what it has done for my face. 

6. L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Balm in Heavenly Berry

Another purchase that I "splurged" on because I had a coupon. I was worried the berry might be too dark for me, but since it's a lip balm it gives me the perfect color. I am pretty sure this particular color would be flattering on anyone, but I'm definitely not an expert so....yeah. 

7. philosophy Purity and Refresh Set

I started using each of these products around the same time a few months ago. I definitely noticed my face broke out less after I started using these two. Then I saw that philosophy offers the set for a little less than purchasing the two separately, which is win/win for me!

What products are  part of your daily routine? 

                                          Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Monday, January 27, 2014

14 in '14 Update

As some of you may remember, at the end of December, I set a goal to read 14 specific books in 2014. I plan to read more than just those 14, but I highlighted those books as ones that I wanted to make it a point to read  during this year. 

Without further ado, here are the ones I've read so far...

The Graveyard Book

Ironically enough, I finished this book before 2014 even started. I began reading the book on the 28th of December and just blew through it so that it was done by the 30th. I really enjoyed it and I think I'm becoming a fan of Neil Gaiman. So far, I've read this and The Ocean at the End of the Lane and I've loved both books.

The Husband's Secret

This book was excellent. I normally do not like adult fiction and prefer young adult; however I could not put this book down. I loved how the author interwove three different women's stories into one and wrapped everything up at the end. It was a satisfying read. 

I listened to this book on CD instead of reading it because I love listening to audio books on my commute to work, and because reviews said it was better to listen to Libba Bray read her own book. There were parts where I hated this book and almost shut the CD off and then there were times where I loved it and thought it was a great listen. I gave it three out of five stars on Goodreads. I probably wouldn't recommend it to many people, but I also wouldn't tell people to not read it either. 

The Girl Who Circumnativgated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

This was kind of a disappointment. I think I was so excited about the premise of the book that I went into it with high expectations. It won awards, and even Neil Gaiman sang its praises. I put this book down so many times throughout the month, I finished three other books between starting and finishing this one. The ending of the book really got me into the story (sadly, a little too late) and made me wish that it wasn't ending, which was surprising considering I was literally counting the pages left in the book that I had left to read. I would recommend this book to people who like books like Harry Potter, but I would definitely add a disclaimer that it may not be as great as it appears. 

Want to be friends on Goodreads? Check out my profile here and add me as a friend. I'm always looking for people who also enjoy reading so I can find new books!

Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Friday, January 24, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

This week has been a bit light, event-wise. I'm pretty sure arctic temperatures put a damper on any type of social life anyone has....and if you're anything like me that social life is pretty slim to begin with. 

What I have been in abundance of this week is a ton of ridiculously cute pictures of Nibbler and Squishee. So this week, I'm changing it up a bit and making the round up the top five favorite pictures of Nibs and Squish. Enjoy! 

1. Starting with Squish, I was having a rough day Monday and when I came home, Squish cuddled with me, which he never does. It's funny, he always seems to know when I need love the most. 

2. I love Sunday mornings. I always wake up before Dave and lay in bed reading. If they aren't already sleeping on the bed from the night before, they'll jump up and cuddle me, each other, or everyone. It's such a peaceful way to start the day. 

3. Nibbler loves Sundays almost as much as I do. Why? Because I always do laundry on Sunday and he loves jumping into the warm clothes and burrowing himself in, kinda like he did here with towels I had just pulled out of the dryer. 


5.  And lastly, my personal favorite (with the one of Nibs under the towels being a close second), Squish using me as his human recliner. 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures, how was your week. 

Linking up with Lauren, LaurenLulu and Jennie!

                                         Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lesser of Two Evils

I have a confession to make. I was almost about to post a "fluff" piece today. You know, one of those gimmicky posts that you write on the fly when you don't have anything else to write about, or a post that you borrow from another blogger, or posts like Monday's post

Why, you ask?

I've had a major case of the writer's block along with an astounding circumstance of the mysterious missing creativity. 

I have to wonder, what is the lesser of two evils?

I've been blogging for 10 months now, faithfully every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I haven't missed a day yet. People who have been following me consistently are probably aware of this and (God willing) if they enjoy my blog, they probably look forward to reading something from me on these days. I know that I do when it comes to some of my favorite bloggers. 

When these bloggers miss a day where I'm expecting a post from them, I feel disappointed, almost like my day isn't complete. It's almost akin to me walking out of the house without saying goodbye to Nibbler and Squishee (which would NEVER happen, I'm like a tiger mom to those cats, it's bad I know...). You expect it to be there and when it isn't, it bums you out and you feel like something is missing all day.

On the flip side, there are days when my favorite bloggers obviously post fluff pieces. Because, let's be honest here guys, there is no way in the world anyone can post everyday for two to three years without once or twice going "well crap, I have nothing to say". Honestly, the days of the fluff pieces, I'm left feeling a bit unfulfilled with it. That isn't to say that I expect bloggers to "dance for me monkeys!", just that when you expect something and it's not quite at the level that you're used to, it's a bit disappointing.

The point I'm making here is that as a reader of many blogs, I see both sides of the coin and I can't tell what is the better option. Do I post nothing on the days I cannot come up with a post, or do I post a fluff piece and say to myself "better luck next time!"?

What are your thoughts? 

To fluff or not to fluff, that is the question!

                                         Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pinterest Recipes

One of my favorite things to pin on Pinterest (besides hair and makeup) are recipes. I normally only grocery shop once a month so before I go, I go through my pins and set aside the ones that I want to try out. There are a few all stars in my household that I go back to often (and some of which Dave absolutely loves):

I love chicken pot pie, almost as much as I love mashed potatoes. That's saying a lot. Not only is this recipe good, but it's really easy to make. And it looks so beautiful when it comes out of the oven, it looks like you slaved all day for this masterpiece when you didn't. 

Dave grew up on a good bit of prepared and boxed food, so one of his favorite meals is On-Cor's Salisbury Steak. I, however, am not a fan of mystery meat and the meat in those frozen meals is suspect. Enter in this recipe, it tastes exactly like the salisbury steaks Dave loves, and I know exactly what meat is going into the dish. 

These are so good. Dave practically runs around the house like a little kid that you just told was going to Disneyland when he hears I'm making these. Seriously, if you make anything on this list, make these. Tonight. 

They taste exactly Red Lobster's biscuits but better because you made them. Whenever Dave and I want some type of bread at dinner, this is the recipe we always pull out and make. Plus they taste awesome the next day microwaved for a few seconds. 

What are some of your favorite recipes that you've pinned? Share the link below in comments, I always love checking out new recipes!

                                            Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Friday, January 17, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

This week has flown by for me, although I have to say I'm looking forward to the weekend! Here is this week's roundup:

1. Dave and I enjoyed a date night Friday night and then a lunch date on Saturday. It was so nice just relaxing with him, although I have to say I ate terribly all weekend. But this fruit tart was so good, I'm pretty sure I'd happily eat one everyday.

2. Sunday, I went wedding dress shopping with my sister (who is getting married June 24th), my mom, our cousin and my sister's lifelong best friend, Crystal (aka, my other sister). Since I obviously can't show you my sister in her dress (she looks amazing in it!), here is a selfie shot of my mom, Crystal and I:

3. Monday I picked up my diploma!!! It finally hit me that I was a college graduate and of course I bawled my head off and then ran around my office building showing the diploma to anyone who would look. 

4. This week was a bit light event-wise. Honestly between the dress shopping and the diploma, I had enough excitement for the week. So my last two roundups focus on the one thing I'd love to be doing right now: sleeping peacefully. First up is Squish, my dear sweet Squish. I still am over the moon about our "moment" that occurred earlier this week

5. And finally, here is Nibbler curled up on me. The one thing I love about the cold weather? My kitties become even more cuddly than normal. 

How did your week turn out? Linking up with Lauren, LaurenLulu and Jennie!

                                        Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


A few observations I've discovered over the past few days, which I will now share with you:

::It's okay to put a book down and pick up another one::

I'm neurotic and I'm one of those people who prefers to do everything by the book. Sorry if that's a turn off. The good news? This isn't a dating site and you aren't trying to pick me up. 

But I digress. Big time. 

You're supposed to read one book cover to cover. Who says? "They" say. Who's they? I don't know, it's just "they". Anyway, there's this one book that's mildly interesting but not enough for me to not want to put it down and start another one. Which I've done now three times to this book. 

And guess what? 

"They" didn't come running with their pitchforks and burning torches. I didn't crumble to ash and dust and blow away. And I was able to pick the book back up right where I left off. 

And all was still well with the world. 

::People cannot magically see into your uterus::

Just go with me here on this one. 

Dave and I have been casually trying to conceive now that I am done with my bachelor's degree. It was always the plan (see the first sentence in the previous section), but so far it hasn't happened yet. 

We went to visit his grandfather over the weekend at his nursing home and I'm sad to say that he's not doing very well. At one point he looked at me and very clearly stated "You're pregnant" to which I responded very loudly, "I'm sorry, I'm WHAT?" and he stated again, "you're pregnant" and for three days I thought there may be an inkling that he might have some magical clairvoyance or be some kind of baby psychic that could see something I didn't know about yet. 

Well I'm not and he's not. Because people cannot see into your uterus. 

::Animals have souls ::
(okay I already knew this but I wanted to share this story)

We cut the boys' nails Monday night. Nibbler is really good, he knows he's getting a treat so he just sits there like "hey hurry up, I've got some yummies I need to devour". Squishee? Not so much. Normally, he's my good kitty, so sweet and kind and only getting yelled at when he fights with his brother. He doesn't get into much and only jumps on the kitchen table once in a while. But when you go to cut his nails, he becomes demon kitty, growling, hissing, hollering, kicking, all to the point where I have to grab him by the scruff and hold him while Dave clips his nails while I coo to him, "Mommy's so sorry, you're still a good boy, we just need to do this". 

But Monday night? Monday night Squish and I had a moment. He quietly sat there and allowed Dave to cut  his front nails, then when he moved to the back Squish kicked a little. So I called his name (I was holding him baby style) and he looked up at me and with his big brown eyes, I could tell he was giving in, saying that it was okay for us to clip his nails, that he loved and trusted me and knew we weren't trying to hurt him and it would be okay. Then he rested his head on my chest and let Dave finish cutting his nails. 

I will never forget the look of love and trust he gave me, or how his eyes told me everything I needed to know. It also showed me there was a personality in those eyes, a thinking, feeling, seeing, loving soul. 

::Sometimes the best celebrations are the simple ones::

I got my diploma Monday and when I came home I really wanted to celebrate the occasion. Dave mentioned that after paying bills, we didn't have much money to spare going out. So I "settled" on a free large pizza that we had collected enough stamps for and a viewing of "Mighty Macs" which is a movie about my school's basketball team.  Dave also surprised me with some cheesecake that he had picked up when he was out grabbing the pizza. 

When I went to bed Monday night, I don't think I could have been happier. I spent time with my  husband watching a movie where I got to yell, "I took most of my classes there!" and "That's the rotunda!" followed by "Look out the window, that's where the professor's offices are!" and have some good food, and then have an amazing moment with my one cat who normally prefers his "papa" over me. Life really was (is) good. 

and lastly:

                                          Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Monday, January 13, 2014

Oil That's Good for My Face?

Okay so I'm aware this whole "oil is actually good for your face" trend has been around for a while but I was completely hesitant to try it out for myself. I have combination skin, but there are times when it feels like if I were to put my head in my hands, I would literally slip out of them because my face is so oily. Hence, me avoiding adding any oil to my face that was already there. 

Then, while in Vermont, I saw this blemish stick from Burt's Bees. Don't ask me why I picked it up or what inspired me to buy it but I did. 
I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I always get pimples across my chin and this stick did a great job of speeding up the cycle of them being there without over drying my skin. 

Then I saw Tarte was offering a gift set  for $20 that had a sample size of their Maracuja Oil in it (sorry I looked everywhere and I can't seem to find it anymore; however here is another set that has a sample size).

I decided to wait while I was off of work to try it so that if the oil made my face breakout badly, no one except Dave could see it (sorry hubs).  I rubbed some on my hands, then patted it on my face and went to bed. The results that I saw from one use overnight were miraculous. My face had mostly cleared up, my cheeks, which are normally red and splotchy were nice and even toned. It took a few weeks of using the oil on a nightly basis to see my skin clear up completely, but it has. 

The week before my period, I normally breakout with massively large pimples all over my chin. This time? One or two mini ones that disappeared after a few days. 

I've never had clear skin, and I've never been comfortable enough to go out to public events without some type of foundation on, but now I'd be pretty confident to go out bare skinned. There are tons of different oil products out there and I can't speak for any except for these two, (although Sephora has done a pretty good job of rounding up some oils and providing tips on how to use them) but I can say that if you have been hesitant to try the oil trend, take the leap! 

Have you tried any type of face oil? If so, what did you try and how did it work for you?

Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Friday, January 10, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

It's Friday, which means it's time for another roundup! 

1. This is the first week of my 100 Days of Happiness challenge. I have to say, the number of girls who saw the post and joined in made me so...well...happy! It was about five girls. Now I know what you're thinking...five? That's it?!? But if those five girls inspire five other girls and so on, that is A LOT of people! If you are just seeing it now, you can check out what I've posted so far on my Instagram, and if you decide to join in on the challenge, please let me know!

2. Saturday, Dave and I had dinner with our friends, Bob and Becca, then went to see Catching Fire. It was such a great movie, it stayed mostly true to the book and I was so excited to see how the arena turned out on the screen. After the movie was over, I opted for a great photo op with Becca, cause...well, why not?

3. Teen Book Club met this week and I'm happy to say that after nearly two years, I finally got all the girls out of their shells. This means hilarious discussions that often go off topic but end up in eye rolls (the good kind) and laughter. I always look forward to these meetings, but now that everyone feels comfortable enough to open up, I'm literally counting the days to my next meeting with the girls.

4. Sorry, this week is mostly about reading. Since I've completed my degree, I've immersed myself in  TON of books. I'm currently in the middle of four. I need to stop that. Anyway, I just started The Fault in our Stars, at the request of the teen book club. I really wanted to distance myself from this book. If I know it's going to make me ugly cry, I tend to avoid it. But if it's what the teens want, then I'll make some sacrifices. This particular passage sealed the deal for me. I'm going to ugly cry and enjoy it. 

To put things in context, the two characters in this book gave each other books. The boy read 453 pages in the first 24 hours for this girl. Now that might not be overly romantic to some of you, but for me, that's about a close as you can get to putting a ring on it without the ring. 

5. And finally, the kitty pic of the week goes to Nibbler who has gotten into the habit of laying across my belly when I read, making it look like he's reading with me.

How did your week turn out? Linking up with Lauren, LaurenLulu and Jennie!

Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gets Me Every Time

I have been a Sex and the City fan since day one. I remember being in high school and staying up late (at least late for me) on Sunday nights to watch this show.  When my mom and I moved, I made sure she had HBO at the new place. It was something that was a must for me. SATC inspired me so much, I wanted to move to NYC upon graduation and live life like Carrie. 

I wouldn't have lasted a day, but nonetheless, a girl can dream. 

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that anytime I see SATC on, I have to watch it. Even the less than stellar 2nd movie. When I do watch it, there is always a small part of me that yearns to be like Carrie and company. 

The first SATC movie was on TV the other day and this particular scene came on and my eyes immediately began to tear up, which it always does at this part:

Dave looks over at me and says, "Why are you crying? You know it all works out in the end." But what he didn't realize was that I wasn't crying at the obvious part of the scene. You know, this part:

No, the part that always gets me is the raw moment between Carrie and Charlotte. Carrie rants to Big and then turns and hangs on to her friend for dear life. Charlotte is the rock that Carrie literally throws herself on to in order to not be swept away. And Charlotte is right there to catch her. Then she turns into mama bear and you can almost see the protective shield she has created between Carrie and Big. 

Oh to have that, that my friend, is something pure and holy. Something that if you have you should never let go. 

satc on Make A Gif
Ugh, it gets me every time. Excuse me I need to go dab my eyes.

Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. In the words of Charles and Eddie, would I lie to you? 

I've been wearing prescription glasses for quite some time. I have gone through so many different types of glasses frames, it's funny to look back on some of the choices I made. Like my very first pair: 

In fairness, lenses the size of your head were in style when I got these. 

As a girl on a budget, I don't switch up my eyeglasses frames as often as I should. In fact, in recent years, my glasses have literally been falling apart as I wear them before I changed them up.  This is where comes in handy. Not only do they offer a huge variety of frames and lenses, but they have a 110% low price guarantee which means that I can be sure I got the best deal from them. It also means I can purchase new glasses when I want or need them (and way before I have to pull out the duct tape). is offering readers of my blog an additional 10% discount, on top of the 15% they are currently offering:

STOREWIDE OFFER - Take 15% off + get free shipping on your entire order 
(orders over $50). Code: FS15

Take 10% off any order of prescription glasses. Code: Blog10 also offers this really neat virtual mirror feature where you can upload a picture and it will show you what the eyeglasses will look like on your own face. I was having way too much fun with this feature. Dave had to rewind a movie three times because I kept getting distracted by the mirror feature. 

It was so much fun to see different glasses on my face without having to actually try each and everyone of them on. Here is an example of one of my favorites:

 You can experience the mirror feature on your own:

What were some of your favorite frames? Share with me! I'd love to see what you come up with!

Monday, January 6, 2014

100 Days of Happiness

Over the weekend, I read a Buzzfeed article about the 100 Happy Days challenge and I was inspired to try it out.  I find more often than not, there are days when I struggle with being happy because I'm focusing on the bad things and not seeing the little things that bring me joy. 

100 Happy Days states: We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.

I'm hoping that by focusing on one little thing each day that makes me happy, I can condition myself to be happy not through materialistic things like, "I got a new shirt!" but through things like, "Dave made this pizza tonight and it was really good!" That isn't to say that one or two of the photos I post won't be about a new shirt or hairstyle, but I'm hoping to focus more on the happiness aspect. I want to be more aware of when I am happy in that moment versus when I'm sad and then look back on the fact that I was happy and didn't appreciate it. 

I decided to take up this challenge via my Instagram, so if you'd like to follow my progress, make sure you're following my Instagram profile. And if you are inspired to take up the challenge for yourself, let me know! I would love to experience the #100happydays challenge with others!

Facebook Bloglovin Instagram Pinterest Image Map