Thursday, July 31, 2014

Not a Fan

I like to think of myself as being open minded.  I will try anything once (maybe twice if you really convince me) and really like to learn new things.  I'm not set in my ways, I'm open minded, and love experiencing new people, places and things.  With that said, there are a number of items that seem to have a large following - die hard fans, fans that will try and talk you in to becoming a fan yourself.  I have tried.  More than once. 


I just can't convince myself to like:

1. Country Music.  I know this is a touchy one.  And, I love music.  Love love love music.  But country?  I just can't get myself to like it.  I've tried.  My friends took me to a country bar and I only really enjoyed myself when the band went on break and they played club music from about 2004.  ("Get Low", "Yeah", "Tipsy" = pure bliss for this girl!)  I am going to keep trying at this one though, because my besties and I are planning a trip to Nashville!

2.  Toms.  Ok, I have tried Toms on more than one occassion.  I love the concept behind them, love the pretty fabrics to choose from, but the shoes themselves look ridiculous on me.  On E?  Adorable.  So I'll continue to buy Tiny Toms for the girls, just not for myself.

3.  Sushi.  Friends, I even lived in Japan for a summer and I still can't bring myself to like sushi.  If someone is lucky enough to drag me to a sushi place, I only want tempura.  Yes, I've tried it.  A lot of times.  No, more soy sauce or wasabi will not make it better for me.

4.  The Bachelorette.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good reality show.  But that's my problem - I have so many on DVR that something has to get cut.  So, I can easily cut The Bachelorette.  The Bachelor is way more entertaining with the cattiness.  And I can "meet" the dudes from Bachelorette on "Bachelor in Paradise" - starting next week, yes!!

5.  Sea Salt.  On everything.  Why?  Can we just leave my chocolate as chocolate?  Adding salt does not make it better.  There is one exception to this:
Costco Salted Caramels, Sanders brand (also at Trader Joe's, but why buy them there when you can get a HUGE container at Costco?!)

6.  White Jeans.  I really, really wanted to like these.  I even bought a pair of cropped jeans, just to turn around and return them.  I guess they just aren't practical on me.  A toddler + a baby + white pants = total disaster.

7.  Pumpkin Everything.  Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bagels.  Enough pumpkin!  I do understand liking the thought of pumpkin meaning it's Fall, but the taste is just not for me.

8.  Starbucks/Coffee.  I just don't like coffee.  The smell of it, the taste of it, the price of it!  My husband loves his Starbucks and goes every day.  He has had a gold card for as long as I can remember and is borderline obsessed.  I don't like coffee from anywhere though, the closest I'll get is a gas station cappuchino (I know you coffee drinkers just cringed at that!)

9.  "Friends".  I might be the only person my age that can't quote the show.  Sure, I watched it here and there, mostly when other people had it on.  But, I don't remember storylines, I only remember some of the character's names, and have never watched a rerun.

10.  Red Wine.  This only belongs in Sangria, and only if that's the only option.  I'll take a vodka and anything, please.

Anyone else like me?  What things are you not a fan of?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Free Library - Do Some Good

Last week while Chicago thought it was Fall, the girls and I took a walk and went on a "nature hunt".  What we found was not part of nature, but so much more impressive if you ask me.

The concept is this:  "It's a "take a book, leave a book" gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories.  In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share." (straight from the Little Free Library website.)
How fun is this idea?  People can make and decorate their own little libraries - and this concept is world wide!  I would have loved this as a child.  Going to the library was a trip that was taken multiple times a week during the summer.  My sister and I would spend hours browsing the selections, often choosing to check out the same book we had just returned the week before.  So, so many memories there.
This got me thinking, though.  How many children don't have the means to get to the library?  I know that a library card is free, but getting there is not.  I think this Little Free Library concept could really be beneficial in those circumstances.  And when they are placed in neighborhoods like my own, it made me look up the organization and realize that you can make donations to help those neighborhoods and bring the gift of reading books to them. 
Sometimes it takes something like this to remind me that my every day activities are a luxury for some people.  My wish for today is this: take the time to find something in your life that others would love to have or experience.  Then, do something to make it happen for that person.  It could be taking the ingredients for your favorite home cooked meal to your local food bank, or donating dog food to your local animal shelter.  Or, dropping off a book or two to your local Little Free Library, found on this  map.

So what will you do?  Tell me, and inspire someone else!

Love the Here and Now

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This is Me, Not Trying

Last Friday, one of my favorite posts was the announcement of the "don't try so hard" link-up, hosted by The Florkens, Jade and Oak and Treasure Tromp.  I immediately thought that this was a great idea, because really, shouldn't we just love ourselves for who we are?  Being the mom of two young girls, this concept really hits home for me.  I want my girls to grow up loving themselves, being proud of who they are, and not letting society tell them what is beautiful.  But, the truth is, I don't live that way.  I wear makeup every day.  I look in the mirror and change my clothes if they don't make me look "good".  I wanted to participate in this link-up, to "walk the walk", so to speak.  If I want my girls to grow up learning those lessons, shouldn't I be the one to teach them?  Afterall, I spend each day with them.  I have to tell you, though, I didn't want to post my picture all natural, let alone take it. 

But I did.  And here it is!

One of my first posts ever was Love Your Flaws.  I wrote about all of the things that I would normally dislike while looking in the mirror, and changed them in to positive things.  In addition to those things, I love that I can wash my hair, let it air dry and it remains straight.  I've always wanted curly hair - or hair that just holds a curl - but I know how lucky I am to have such straight hair.
So, if you were to take this challenge, what would you find to love about yourself?

the florkens

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Friday, July 25, 2014

A Joyful Week

I had a great week - some things developing at work, tonight I am going out with some girlfriends (one of which hasnt had a drink since her baby was born... TEN months ago!) and Saturday we have a wedding.  My awesome mom is driving in from Iowa to spend the night with our girls so Tim and I can have a night away.  I love weddings for this reason - a date night, with all our friends, and no planning required!

THANK YOU to everyone that linked up last week for Blogger Love!  I loved reading all of your posts and found a few new blogs to follow from your great suggestions.  I hope you all found some new bloggers as well.  Is it just me, or were there a number of great posts this week?  I could definitely post more than five.  Something must have been in the water.

"When Life Doesn't Feel Right" by Seriously, Sarah?  While reading this post about Sarah's struggle with Cervical Dystonia, I could feel her emotion through my computer screen.  It was a tough read because of that, but I have so much respect for her to put her feelings out there for everyone to experience.

"Don't Try So Hard" by The Florkens.  I'm pretty sure that this post will make it on to some other lists, as it should be.  The Florkens are hosting a one-time link up with others for all of us to show ourselves without our hair or makeup done, but all natural.  It's an amazing idea, and I want to participate... just need to convince myself to go for it!

"You are More than a Number" by Love the Here and Now.  Ok, so I know that I feature Anne most weeks - but she seriously gets me.  This post was written for me, I swear.  I was just feeling down because I was having a "feel bad for myself" day.  Tight clothes = check. Hungry because I'm trying to "diet" = check.  All because of the moment I had stepped on the scale earlier that day. Anne reminded me that its not what that number says, but how we feel.  Thank you Anne!

"Summer Camp" by The Taily Day.  Oh how I related to this post.  I went to summer camp every summer, until the year my parents sent me to a three week long camp.  It basically scarred me for life - maybe a story for another day - but I loved remembering some of those moments via Taylor's post.  Plus, she was in Iowa - lots of love for Iowa of course!

"The One Thing: A Sister's Love" written by Katie, featured on Ember Grey.  I was blown away at the writing skills of Katie at just 16, as she lay awake in her sister's hospital room.  I had never read her blog before, but that short exerpt from her teenage diary hooked me instantly.  Seriously, go read it.

Want to link up and share the love?  Just a few guidelines - share at least one post by another blogger that you loved from this past week, so you can participate in as many Friday link-ups as you'd like. The link-up closes Sunday night.  Grab the button if you'd like!  Also, don't forget to click around below and check out some new-to-you bloggers!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

DIY: Artwork Photo Book

This past year was the first year of school for E.  As a preschooler, she did a lot of coloring, painting, and creating things with her hands and feet.  I loved seeing the masterpieces she created each week, but quickly got tired of having piles (and piles!) of artwork sitting around the house.  So, like any person looking for a solution, I went to Pinterest.  What I found was an app called Artkive.  Basically, you take a picture of the painting/drawing, then they will put it in a cute little book that you can order at the end of the year.  Great idea, yes?  No.  The prices were outrageous!  So, I decided to make my own with Snapfish.

I began by downloading the Snapfish app on my phone.  Then I got to work taking pictures of everything, trying to keep them in calendar order.  (This helps with the book creation).  At the end of this year, I had over 60 pictures of E's artwork!

Last month I logged on to Snapfish from my laptop - you can make a book from your phone or tablet, but I liked being able to see it larger so I could really customize it.  I chose a 8x11 Classic Photo Book with a Linen Cut-Out cover, and got to work. 

I went in order, and added the name of the months, along with other images through their huge collection of embellishments.  It was so fun picking the layout for each page, adding my photos, and embellishing her already amazing artwork.  (Every preschooler's artwork is amazing, right?)

The last page included her report card and the picture we took on her first day.  I then added some blank pages, that I added printed photos that were sent home with her throughout the year.  Pictures of her with her classmates, on field trips and with her teachers.

 My total price?  Under $30. Beat that Artkive!  (I did have a coupon for 20% off and used Ebates, but without those two things it still would have been under $40!)

I love that I started this during her first year of school and plan on making one for each year after this.  She has shown everyone that comes over and I hope that we continue to look at each masterpiece for years to come.

FYI: Snapfish had nothing to do with this post, I was not compensated in any way.  Just wanted to share the better way to save your child's artwork without the clutter!
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm a Bad Blogger

When I started this blog, I read a lot of "how-to" posts, before even thinking of a name.  I wanted to know the ins and outs of blogging, the things you have to know, have to do, have to say.  I still read "new blogger" tips any time I come across one.  I think I will forever be learning tips to make this space all that it can be.  There were some blogging norms that I took to heart - respond to comments, have a social media account on all sites, connect with other bloggers, etc.  Now that I'm four months in to this (#stillababyblogger), there are certain things that I see other bloggers do, and I'm here to confess that I don't do them as well.  Let's discuss:

- I don't post every day.  I post 3-5 times a week.  Sometimes I just don't have anything to write about, and other weeks I have more material than I know what to do with. 

- I don't share each post on every social media outlet. I do share posts on at least one site daily, but I see others share on every site.  I rarely remember to post on Facebook, and I don't pin my own pictures.  Maybe I should look in to this Hootsuite that people keep talking about?

- I don't photograph every day events, that I later post about.  I am usually so caught up in the moment that when I sit down to write, I kick myself because I don't have any photos of said event.

- Speaking of photographs, I don't own a nice camera.  I would love one - not just for the blog, but for family photos as well - but I just can't bring myself to spend the money..... yet.

- When I do take photos, they aren't perfectly staged or have the correct lighting.  I don't have any "go-to" props and the photos are usually taken with my iPhone.

- I refer to my children as their first initials, and don't share any photos of them.  I briefly touched on this subject before, but whenever I read a post with pictures of children (and I know their names) I feel like I connect more.  I wonder if my readers get annoyed when I share stories of my girls, yet they don't really "know" them.

- I don't have a clue about HTML code.  I've picked up a few things here and there, usually on accident, but I have no idea how to make a button, create a design, or anything else HTML-related.

When I look back on this list, I have to remind myself that doing or not doing certain things is what makes this blog mine.  My wish for today is to remember why I started blogging, especially when I start to feel bad for doing or not doing certain things related to this blog.

Love the Here and Now

As I keep writing, I will probably get better at some of the above.  But if I don't?  Oh well.  That's me!  And you all can pretend to love my blurry iPhone pictures.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Celebrating the Bride

This weekend I was in Iowa, celebrating my sister's upcoming wedding with a bridal shower. It was so nice to spend time with family and have three days of just us. I got my bridesmaid dress (and happy to report it was big, not too small!) and E got her flower girl dress. She looks so adorable in it! But, being the bad blogger that I am, I didn't take ONE picture! Fail. I do, however, have a very yummy drink to share with you. I first had this at a barbeque and knew it was the perfect drink for a shower. I changed it up a bit, but you can find the original recipe here.

source - Betty Crocker

(This is enough to fill a glass drink dispenser, cut in half for a pitcher)

4 cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
30 cups sparkling water (recipe called for 24, I added more to make is less sweet)
4 lemons, sliced
2 pints blueberries
2 pints raspberries
2 lbs strawberries, stemmed and halved
1 cup mint leaves
bottle of Limoncello

Start the night before and fill three plastic cups of water.  Add a few lemon slices in each and freeze.  the next day, mix all of the other ingredients, except for the Limoncello.  Remove the large lemon ice cubes and add.  We put the Limoncello next to the dispenser instead of adding it, in case people wanted extra booze people wanted a virgin drink. 

It was delicious, refreshing and oh so good.  The perfect summer and shower drink - Betty Crocker does it again!

Today I'm linking up with Ember Grey for Grateful Heart Monday.  I'm so grateful to have spent time with my family, including those that I don't get to see very often.  I'm grateful for my stepmom, who took A for me after I had been up with her since 3am so I could get a few more hours of sleep.  (Apparently she thinks she's a newborn again).  I'm grateful for my sister and cannot wait to watch her marry her fiance, who fits in perfectly to our family. 

Ember Grey

What are you grateful for? Happy Monday friends!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites - A New Link Up!

Today's Friday Favorites is an exciting one for me because it is the first time I am making it a link-up!  I love finding new blogs and thought this would be the perfect way for all of us to find some new reads.  I know that there are a lot of Friday link-ups, so the rules for this are simple - share at least one post from this week that you loved.  That way you can combine content and still share with the rest of us.

Let's get right to it -

"GOMI Monster...." by My Cup of Sparkle.  Let's be honest - if you are a blogger, you at least spent a few minutes on a certain thread this past week.  It's easy to get sucked in to this, but this post reminds me to just let it go and move on!

"That Awkward Age" by Dancin' with a Dolly.  YES.  This describes me perfectly.  I feel like I am stuck in between the fun, partying age and the older-middle age.  My weekends are torn between wanting to go out with friends, and wanting to go to bed at 9pm.  This post described me perfectly!

"Leslie Loves" by Martin Manifesto.  Leslie's post is dedicated to the Nordstrom anniversary sale.  I put myself on a "no-spending" rule for July, so I'm living vicariously through her post for all of the things I wish I was out buying!

"Show Life you Have a Thousand Reasons to Smile" by The Kay Times.  Krystal had some pretty crappy things happen during her week, but her attitude towards it all was inspiring.  She actually did what I try to do each day - find the positives!

"A Little About Me" by Knock on Wood.  I love a good Q&A to learn new things about people.  Amanda even throws in some good jokes here and there which made me wish there were more questions!

I can't wait to see the blogs you loved this week.  Link up below and have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm Not a Stay at Home Mom

When E was a baby and I had to go back to work, it was the worst thing in my world.  Not so much because I was concerned about her well-being (she was in good hands and right down the street from my work), but because I was working.  And not at home.  I always had this idea that "moms were supposed to be at home - raising kids, cleaning, cooking".  Call me old fashioned but that's how I grew up and expected my life to be the same.

We had just moved in to our house and having a baby added to the financial strain, so staying home was not a possibility.  For the next three years, I hated working.  I loathed each and every day, and was insanely jealous of anyone I knew (or barely knew) that was able to stay home.  My coworker and I would daydream about the day we could quit.  Each scenerio was extremely dramatic and detailed, but fun none the less.

Fast forward three years.  Hubby has a great job, we've paid off all our debt and managed to save some cash.  I'm pregnant with A and thinking "THIS IS IT!  I finally get to stay home with my babies and do all of the fun things I've pinned!" (true story).  As I'm contemplating when to tell my boss, my Dad and stepmom kindly suggest that maybe I should ask if I could work part time.  My first reaction?  They were crazy!  Why would anyone choose to work if they financially didnt have to?  After a lot of thinking, we decide that maybe I should propose working part time - because worse case scenerio, boss says no and I'm back to being a stay at home mom.  Plus, if I ever wanted to go back full time, I wouldn't have a gap in my employment history.

You guys - it was the best decision ever.

I can not be a stay at home mom.  My two days a week out of the house are gold.  I love my children, but adult interaction and time to eat lunch in one sitting is bliss.  I look forward to work now - two years ago that statement would make me laugh uncontrollably.  But it's true.  It's a win-win.  I bring home some extra cash, my kids get some interaction with our nanny's daughter, and I stay sane.

source This is SO true in my house!
To all of you true stay at home moms - You are my hero.  For real.  It takes more strength than I have.  Every mom is different - I think that is important to realize day to day.  What works for one family doesn't work for another.  The grass is not always greener.

As is the norm, today I am linking up with Anne for Wednesday Wishes.  I wish that I could have done this when E was little.  I feel like I missed out on a lot of things with her as a baby.  As other mothers can confirm, she grew up way too fast and I hate thinking that I "wasted" time at work instead of being with her.  I know that staying home was not an option then, but I still feel guilty about it.  I can never get those days back but I am working hard at making new memories.

What are you wishing for?  What are your thoughts on staying home vs. working out of the home?

Love the Here and Now

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Seriously, Sarah?

Today I'd like you to meet a blogger I recently found - Sarah at Seriously Sarah?  One of the first things that drew me in was Sarah's weight loss journey.  We connected on MyFitnessPal, and she's been an inspiration ever since - logging in several days in a row, always losing weight and working out!  Sarah lives with Cervical Dystonia but doesn't let that stop her from enjoying life.  Read a little more about her, Q&A style and be sure to check her out!

1. What is your favorite room in your house? Why?
I love my bedroom. It was all mine before I got married, but it's still mostly mine. We went with more gender-neurtral decor, but it still has my clothes and makeup everywhere. It's where I go to read, watch a little Netflix, or just cuddle with my dogs!
2. What is your earliest memory?
I don't remember my mom being pregnant with my little brother at all, but I do remember her telling me that when the baby came, I had to move out of my bedroom and down the hall. It was pretty traumatic, I guess. All of my earliest memories surround the birth of my brother (who gets married in July!!!)

3. What is your favorite meal, of all time?
I will never say no to Shrimp & Grits. Or a Low Country Boil. Basically shrimp is my favorite!

4. What is your drink of choice - alcoholic or non?
I love Le Croix's Coconut flavored water. It tastes like summer!

5. What would you spend $1,000,000 on - besides paying off debt or buying a home?
I would go back to school, for sure. I would have a job that I enjoyed, no matter how little it paid.

6. Why did you start blogging?
I love to write, and I was already reading a lot of blogs. My husband, who has experience in designing websites, encouraged me to start one. Without his help, I don't think I ever could have gotten it set up!

7. What is your must-have beauty item?
Blush. I think that a bright pink blush just brightens up my face, no matter what other make up I am wearing. Currently, I love Tarte's blush in Adored.

8. Which store would you max out your credit card at? What would you buy?
Probably Macy's. They have everything from dresses to shoes and purses!

9. Who is your favorite celebrity couple?
I don't really know any celebrity couples, to be honest. I really like what I read about Kaley Cuoco and her new husband because when you know, you know!

10. What is your favorite reality tv show?
I haven't watched reality TV in years, but there was that show that Anderson Cooper hosted many years ago where there was a mole among the contestants and they were supposed to figure out who the mole was. I loved that!

Be sure to check out Sarah here - and check out my Q&A on her blog today!:
Bloglovin / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Goodreads

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!  This week has been really busy celebrating A's first birthday and getting ready for her party tomorrow.  The best kind of busy!

This week was a good one in blogland - lots of posts that I loved reading.  Let's get to it:

"Like A Girl" by Ember Grey.  Emily shares an Always commercial (yes, the pads) about what it means to do things "like a girl", and how it should mean strong and confidently.  With two little girls, this hit me hard.  I want them to grow up being confident in who they are, and believing that they can achieve anything.  If you have daughters, nieces, cousins, siblings, etc. please watch this!

"Total Blog Move" by Helene in Between.  Hilarious.  Based of of Total Frat Move, Helene calls out all of us bloggers that have ever done one of these.  (Guilty!)

"I'm Rich and So Are You" by The Florkens.  It's so easy for me to measure my happiness with material things.  (Case in point - we are saving for a new house but I just really really wanted a ring with the girls' birthstones on it.  I know - wah wah!) Kate reminded me that I am already so rich - with non-materialistic things, but with love and joy.

"Wishes for My Daughters" by Love the Here and Now.  Anne writes about things that she wants her three daughters to know while growing up.  I could have written the same thing.  Maybe I'm emotional this week with my "baby" turning 1, but this one struck a chord with me.  Great life lessons!

"25 Beauty Tips and Tricks" by A Hundred Tiny Wishes.  Tabitha compiled her favorite tips and tricks - some of which I had never heard of before.  I tried #5 - totally works!

Guess what??  Ashley from The Grits Blog is designing me a button for Friday Favorites!  Yes, that means that sometime in the near future you too can share your fave posts from the week. I hope you'll join!

Enjoy your weekend!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Letter to A

I'm not entirely sure where the last year went, but today at 4am you turned one year old.  This past year has gone by entirely too fast - but each moment has brought me more joy than you can ever understand.

It's hard for me to say that you are now a toddler, so just know that you will always be my baby.  Your first year was filled with so many emotions - for all of us!  From day one, you were such a relaxed little girl that slept perfectly and blended in to our family so well that it was like you were always meant to be there.

The moment you were born (at a whopping almost 10 lbs!) you stole my heart.  You were supposed to be born on your Papa's birthday, June 29, but instead you decided that the doctors would need to force you out ten days later.  You were, and still are, most comfortable right by me - always cuddling and making my heart melt. 

Watching you grow has filled Daddy and my heart exponentially.  As soon as you were aware, you were smitten by your older sister.  She can do no wrong in your eyes, and I hope that the bond you both have today continues for the rest of your lives.  You recently took a liking to Charlie - and all dogs in general - cooing at the sight of them, loving their kisses on your face! 

You completed us.  You gave E a sister, a relationship that is so special that you won't truly understand it until you are older.  I wish that you continue to explore, learn and grow with your adorable smile permanently on your face.  I wish that you always have some form of your "easy-going" personality throughout life.  And I thank you for loving and needing me.  I love you with all of my heart.  Happy First Birthday A!

1 Day Old

Love the Here and Now
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Inside My Purse + Giveaway!

I don't know about you, but my purse is a dumping ground for anything and everything.  Especially with two littles, the things I find in there sometimes make me laugh.  If there was one word to describe the contents of my purse, it would be random:

Besides my wallet, which only has my ID, credit cards and sometimes a little cash, here is what I found this morning.  Let's discuss.

Baby Mum-Mums: If you have a teething baby, you need this.  One package (contains two crackers) keeps A occupied and quiet for at least 15 minutes, which some days seems like forever.

Random Receipts and Mail: Time to just throw that stuff away.  They pile up so quickly!

Nail Polish: No shame here.  I painted my nails at work the other day, and never took them out of my purse.  This color was from my Pretty Little Beauty Swap.

TooFaced and Baby Lips: I'm in love with Baby Lips.  Goes on like chapstick, gives just a tint of color and lasts awhile!

Kleenex:  Again, these are for the littles.  Messes can happen anywhere, friends.

Jewelry: To be honest, I don't know why these are in here.  Two bracelets from St. Thomas and one from Tiffany's.  I should probably put these away when I get home.

Sunnies: My beloved Marc Jacobs white and gold sunnies.  I can't drive without them!

Toothpaste and toothbrush: I think this was leftover from when I went to Iowa - a last minute "I forgot to pack this" item.  Good thing I stockpile these at home.  In the garbage they go!

Keys: Don't you love that Boston Terrier keychain?  My Dad sent me that years ago - I love it.  This one is obvi, can't go anywhere without these.  But my keys always get lost.  My car has keyless start, so I can never find my keys to get in to my house or office.  Why don't they have keyless entry for that?

What kind of randomness would we see in your purse?

On to the giveaway!  Sarah's college friend has started an Etsy shop with beautiful jewelry pieces and wants to give one of you something from her shop!  The other bloggers featured below and I want to make it a little sweeter with an extra Etsy giftcard and ad space!  Here are just some of her pieces:

Loving the bird earrings!

etsy giftcard giveaway  
Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Stitch Fix - July

This was my fourth fix.  I have loved seeing others post what they get so I wanted to share mine as well.  I was pretty excited about this fix upon first glance.  It's the trying on part that usually changes that!  For this review, I don't have the brand names or prices.  I was in a hurry to send some of it back that I didn't capture all of the info!  Next time I will be more organized!

I love the color of this shirt.  It fit ok - was a little boxy.  Plus, I have a shirt in the same style with the bow from another fix that I decided not to keep it.

I was so excited about this shirt!  A fun, summery color and a nice wrap over the belly area.  Win win.  Except it was way too big and once I had it on, reminded me of a maternity shirt.  I sent it back.

The fabric on this is so soft and stretchy.  I really liked how it scooped down a bit in the back, and it lightweight enough to wear to work in the summer.  (Spoiler - I'm wearing it right now)  So, obviously kept this one.

My first thought on these jeggings were that they were very maternity-like.  Once I had them on though, I loved them.  The denim was so soft and comfortable.  I would have kept these but they were a tad bit too long, and didn't look cute cuffed.

I've been waiting for some jewelry in my fixes!  This necklace was just ok.  I honestly didn't see myself wearing it often, and for the price (I think it was $48) I just couldn't justify keeping it.
So, overall I only kept one item.  I really wanted the jeggings, so maybe next time they'll send me some that aren't as long.  Each fix I get is a little better, so I think it takes a few times for them to really learn your style.  My next is scheduled for the end of this month and I can't wait to see what is in it!
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Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Faves - Happy 4th!

First and foremost, Happy 4th of July everyone!  I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday.  'Merica.

I really missed not writing this post last week, and I had a lot of faves last week.  Sometimes I hate that my real job gets in the way of this fun job!  On to this weeks faves!

"Be the Match" by Northern Belle Diaries.  Lisette talks about the importance of registering to be a bone marrow donor.  For some cases of cancer, a bone marrow transplant is the only chance at survival.  Unfortunately, some people never find their match.  When I first experienced that, I signed up right away.  Why wouldn't I give marrow to someone and save a life?  The registration is super easy too.

"Work Life (Hanging in the) Balance" by The Adventures of Bug and Boo.  Totally relate to this one.  Rebecca writes about the fine line between being a working mother and a stay at home mother.  It's a constant battle and it's so nice to know that others feel the same way!

"40 Reasons to Celebrate Today" by Love the Here and Now.  I love that Anne married her high school sweetheart.  And I love even more that you can see how much in love they are!  I would like to think that I could write 40 reasons why I love my husband, some days it's hard. :)

"Pretty Little Beauty Swap Sign-up" by Southern Beauty Guide.  If you saw my post about my last Beauty Swap and liked the idea, Chelsee and others are hosting another!  Check it out and sign up - it closes July 12.

"Epic Fails" by Notes from a Newlywed.  I love that Amanda isn't afraid to share moments that did not work out as she had planned - takes some courage!  I mostly love that I found another fan of Big Brother.  It's my favorite show and I look forward to it every summer!

So there you have it, for this week.  Again - enjoy your long weekend (hopefully!) and be safe. 

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Joey, Andrew, Ethan, Paul, Zach, Taylor and Ian

What's one to do with memories of all her celebrity crushes throughout the years?  Make a list and include pictures of course!  Let's start with the first boy I ever had a crush on. (Besides my neighbor's grandson, Jake, who I thought was amazing).

1.  Joey McIntyre - New Kids on the Block.  So I was in second grade when my love for NKOTB began.  I had folders, a huge button, sleeping bag, sheets, vhs of their concerts - you name it, I had it - but only if Joey graced the photos.  That curly hair and blue eyes captured me and I couldn't stay away.

2.  Andrew Keegan - known for a few movies, but Camp Nowhere is where my love for Andrew began.  Maybe it was the long hair?  Or the bad boy personality?  Not sure, but for a 13 year old girl who was just beginning to have interest in boys - he was perfect.

3.  Ethan Hawke - Reality Bites (and others).  I had a thing for Ethan, big time.  It had to have been his scruffy look - or again, bad boy personality (I see a theme here).  I remember sitting in 7th grade art class and we were supposed to paint something we love.  I painted "Ethan" in a heart, and my friend painted "Eddie" (for Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam).  Good times.

4.  Paul Walker.  This one is hard to talk about, because I never stopped and never will stop loving Paul.  His bad boy attitude in She's All That hooked me in, and I was stuck from then on.  His ice blue eyes didn't hurt his cause either.  I seriously am so sad that he is no longer with us.  Even if the movies were horrible - I'd watch anything he was in.  RIP Paul.

5.  Zach Efron.  Apparently at some point, this guy grew up and grew hot.  I mean, really!  Again with the piercing eyes - I can't handle it.  It also helps that he got rid of that awful hair he was sporting in the High School Musical days.  Just look!

6.  Taylor Kitsch - Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights.  Tim was another bad boy.  I don't know what it is with bad boys - but I am instantly attracted to them, even though I know in real life they would be bad for me.  But ohhhh Tim Riggins.  When FNL ended I was sad for weeks.  The tease of a movie just made it worse.  The muscles, accent, star football player status... yep.

6.  Ian Somerhalder - Vampire Diaries.  Ok I am now seeing a definite trend here - bad boys with piercing blue eyes.  Damon/Ian definitely has both qualities.  I think I might be seriously in love with him.  Vampire Diaries has gotten a little hokey for me to watch - but I still tune in every week just to see him.  When there were rumors of him playing Christian in Fifty Shades of Grey - I thought my life might be complete.  (for the record, I never read the books).  Ian needs to do more big screen movies so I can see him on a larger scale!

I had a really hard time picking one photo....
Before you go wondering or asking, I do have a happy marriage - and he does know of my love for all the bad boys mentioned above.  He has his list too!  This post was really fun to write, but so difficult to pick one picture of each guy.  Who is/was your celebrity crush? 

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