Saturday, April 13, 2013

If Heaven wasn't so far away...

Nannie and I in 2008. 
Not a day passes that I don't wish I could pick up the phone and talk to her or give her a huge hug. 

This morning my heart is really aching for my precious grandparents that are now in Heaven. I'm miss them so much it hurts! I have so many incredible memories with them, yet it's just never enough; I'd give anything to see them again and hold them in my arms one last time. My life is blessed for having had them in it. They taught me so much in the short time that I had with them. I will forever cherish their memories. 

Hug your loved ones just a little tighter the next time you see them. Life is just too short and fleeting.

This song from Justin Moore really sums up my feelings early this morning. 
"Losing them wouldn't be so hard to take if Heaven wasn't so far away."...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

She's Gonna Make It - Garth Brooks Cover

Those of you who follow my blog may have seen me post other videos from James David Carter. He is an talented musician, and I really adore his original music as well as his covers. I especially love his take on one of my favorite Garth Brooks songs, "She's Gonna Make It". Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BirchBox Review! (March 2013)

This month's review for the March BirchBox is up now! Go check it out!
(I haven't filmed a review in a while because I've had tonsillitis. It's nice to be back to filming!)

For those of you interested in a BirchBox of your own, you can visit www.birchbox.com. Boxes are $10 a month and each box includes around five deluxe beauty samples. I think it's a great way to try out more expensive beauty items before committing to a larger purchase, so that you can be sure you really love a product! 

The items included in this month's BirchBox: 


-Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don't Stray (FS $26)
-Caldrea Body Lotion (Tea Olive Lime, Aloe Water Apricot, Coconut Fig) (FS: $22)
-Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum (FS: $35)
-Wish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Blueberry (FS : $20)
-Madewell for Birchbox Emery Board ($5)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hair-larity!

This video never fails to crack me up! Her reaction to her hair snafu is just hilarious!
 Poor girl...poor hair! I have a feeling that the hair fiasco was the result of combining a product with a high alcohol content (Tresemme "Split Remedy") and the highest heat setting on her curling wand. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

People that annoy me on the Internet: Top Ten Internet Offenders!

The Internet is full of many amazing things: cute animal pictures (I personally admit to taking a ton of my own beloved furbabies!), adorable baby pictures, recipes, crafty ideas, and all sorts of useful things! On that same note, it also has its downfalls in the form of people behaving badly! Surely, I'm not the only person out there that is absolutely driven crazy by all of the moronic things I see online via, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Below is a list of what I've deemed to be the,"Top Ten Offenses" on the Internet! If you are guilty of these trespasses, please reform for the sake of humanity! 

1. Coming in at number one, the "Duck face." Stop! Unless you're a duck, this is never acceptable. Please do humanity a favor and just cut it out. It's not cute; you look like a moron.

2. The "Giveaway" phenomenon. You can't get two minutes into a beauty video on YouTube without people doing overly-sponsored giveaways in an attempt to build their followers. Why would you want people following your channel only for the things you might give them, not for if they really enjoy your videos? Focus on creating good content, and your channel will take care of itself. I get sick of constantly seeing giveaway videos, overly-sponsored product videos, and spam. (I understand an occasional giveaway to show love to your subscribers, but doing one in every single video is obnoxious.) 

3. The whole "First Comment!" thing on pictures and videos. Nobody cares if you're the first person to comment. It is really not that big of a deal. 

4. "If you follow so and so, I'll follow you back and give a shout out!" Twitter and Instagram are the worst offenders of this! Why on earth would I want to follow people I don't know/have nothing in common with, just so you MIGHT follow me back and mention me to more people I don't know? Maybe I'm showing my age here, but I just don't see the point of this.

5. People who take an obsessive amount of  "Selfie" pictures. A few nice pictures on occasion...awesome! Pictures of yourself every five minutes, pictures of you pretending to sleep, getting drunk, showing your butt off, or posing in a bathroom near a dirty mirror: not so awesome!

6. People who can not spell. For example, there are differences between the words: "their", "they're", and "their". Please learn it! I'm not trying to be mean; I have Dyslexia; I often mix up letters and words without realizing it. I myself am quite careful about grammar because of that. This said, people who don't try at all when it comes to proper grammar tend to get on my nerves. (I've bit my tongue more times than I can count, resisting the urge to correct poor grammar online. Please, stop butchering the English language! You're making yourself look uneducated; that is not a good thing. Typos and accidents happen; I have them too. At least try to correct it though, folks!)

7. People who feel the need to throw up "deuces" and hand signs, or stick their tongue out in every picture or video.You look like a moron, not a gangster. Stop. 

8. Depressing, cryptic status updates. Of course your friends/ family are going to ask you what's the matter when you come across as a suicidal person in your statuses! Responding with, "nothing" makes light of it. I've had very close loved ones who have struggled with depression and suicide attempts, so I take posts like that very seriously, and don't find it humorous if it's just a joke because you're bored. Unless you are genuinely depressed and need someone to talk to, please refrain from making a joke out of something so serious.(If you do need someone to talk to, this is the number to call, 1-800-273-TALK )

9. People who have fights on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Are you KIDDING me? That is about as tacky as it gets! If you have a problem with someone, address it in person or in a phone call/private message. Don't post it online for the entire universe to see, or bully total strangers.  You're better than that.

10. People who obsessively rant about politics, religion, race, and any sort of controversial topic in an obsessive, "I'm right and you're wrong" approach. I LOVE a good debate! I love conversing about those topics above, but I try to do so in a tasteful manner, and while keeping an open mind, even if I maintain my differing opinion. There is a tasteful way to debate. The only thing that you're doing by behaving in such a close-minded way, is convincing people that you're a bully. Instead of making people want to understand your viewpoint, you're pushing them away.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sir Elton John

On Saturday night, Nick and I went to the Elton John concert here in Memphis. It was such an incredible concert! (It was so sweet of him to surprise me with tickets a few weeks ago after I mentioned how much I loved Elton John's music!) The Elton John concert was nothing short of incredible. I was absolutely blown away with how true he was to his studio recordings, and how pitch-perfect he is. If you ever have the opportunity to see him live, you are in for an incredible performance; he is even better preforming live! (That is a very high compliment, because many artists are better on their heavily edited studio recordings. Elton is perfection in both settings!)

The thing I appreciated the most about him though was the simplicity of it all. The lighting and the stage itself were fairly simple for someone of such fame. The thing I appreciated about that was that it allowed for Elton John's voice to shine through, and put the focus entirely on the music. Not only did Elton John sound incredible, so did his back up singers and his band! For someone that has a music career spanning over 4 decades, has been knighted by the Queen, and is such a legend, he exuded nothing but humbleness. I think that says a lot about his character. Towards the end of the show, he took the time to walk around the front of the stage for a few moments and tried to greet as many people/sign autographs as he could. After nearly every song, he'd stand up for a moment and walk over to the crowd, showing thanks and acknowledging everyone. This is someone who truly values and loves his fans! This just made me love him even more! 

And on the note of loving his fans, you have to admire his dedication! He was so ill on Friday, that he sadly had to cancel his concert in Birmingham, Al. Not wanting to cancel yet another show, they pressed on and traveled all the way to Memphis, just to put on an incredible show. He probably didn't feel 100% during the Memphis show, but his performance was still golden! That is true dedication! I have nothing but respect for him as a person and as a musician. I am so glad that we were able to see such an amazing legend preform live at such a terrific show!

Elton preforming! I was so excited that he sang quite a few of my favorites!
(If you look closely in the bottom right of the picture, you can see his black piano.)
 I apologize that the picture quality isn't the best. I was only able to snap a few pictures before the battery on my phone got too low. 

In addition to Elton John being an outstanding musician, performer, and father...he is also an incredible humanitarian! He has been so outspoken in the fight against AIDS. (For those of you not familiar with Ryan White's story, I encourage you to look it up; he had Childhood  HIV/AIDS as the result of a blood transfusion to treat his hemophilia, and faced a lot of ignorance and hate at the hand of his community during a time when AIDS awareness was very low.) I don't feel that my blog post would be complete without mentioning the incredible charity that Elton John founded to garner support for research and awareness. If you'd like to have a look at some of the work they do, here is the link: http://ejaf.org/ 



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ranger and his girlfriend...

True story, my dog has a girlfriend. Ranger is a canine Casanova! When he's not hanging out at home with our own girls, he likes to hang out with the girl pups at our training facility. The dog that has always "had his heart" though is our friend's dog, Liebchen. (Isn't she gorgeous?! She's a long haired German Shepherd.) Ranger and Liebchen have been training together since they were puppies. Their birthdays are in the same week, and both are three years old now. I am so grateful that I have such an amazing friendship with her family (they're awesome!), and that Ranger and Liebchen get along so well! It's a lot of fun getting to see them interact not only in a training setting, but also when they play on Liebchen's farm together and run around with the horses there. 

Here they are riding in the car on the way to Novice on Monday night.
(Novice is a step-up from Advanced Obedience, and helps to garner their focus in the show ring, or in a therapy setting. Ranger is a registered therapy dog, and his Liebchen is a sweet therapy dog-in-training. They are the best of friends!) 
 Happy pups enjoying their car ride together!
Are we there yet? We're ready to train!






Friday, March 15, 2013

Review: Korres Lip Butters!

If you've yet to try out the Korres lip butters, let me just encourage you...you need them in your life! Yup, they are a lip necessity! I got mine on sale back when Sephora had their VIB sale and they offered 20% off of your entire purchase. They typically retail for around $12 each from Sephora but if you can find them in the value kits during sales, that is the most affordable way to purchase them. Since they last for quite a long time, I feel that they are a worthwhile investment, especially if you have problems with dry or flaky lips. 

I use the Jasmine one every single night after I exfoliate my lips (I use Lush's Bubblegum Lip Scrub to exfoliate with). The Jasmine lip butter keeps my lips super soft and hydrated! Jasmine has a bit of a white tinge to it, so I like to apply one sheer coat, let that absorb, and then apply another thin coat. This keeps you from developing that dreaded white cast to your lips. During the daytime, I like to use the Pomegranate or Wild Rose shades to moisturize with and add a nice pop of color to my lips! Since they are colored, they do not leave any sort of grey/white cast to your lips like the Jasmine lip butter can do when it is over-applied. I feel that the Korres lip butters are THE most hydrating out of all the lip butters I've tested out (and I've tried a lot!). These are my go-to, holy-grail lip items!

The only thing that could possibly improve the lip butters in my book would be if Korres added a bit of vanilla ,honey, or fruit flavoring to them, as I prefer my lip butters to be flavored. If you're not they type to enjoy flavored lip products however, then this is the PERFECT option for you! 

Check out my video below for a quick review as well as swatches!



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Amen!

I couldn't agree more with this sentiment in the picture below! It baffles my mind how people can own dogs and think that they require no training....THEN they wonder why the dog is destroying their home, acting out, or being hyper. Dogs thrive when they have a "job" to do. They need an Alpha owner that can offer positive training and structure. If your dog deserves its own TV show comparable to, "Jerry Springer" then please, seek out a reputable training facility in your area that has experienced handlers and trainers. 
You are your dogs best advocate; please try to be a responsible one! 


Pepsi MAX & Jeff Gordon Present: "Test Drive"

Absolutely Hilarious! I feel so bad for the poor car salesman lol!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Glossybox Review! (March 2013)

Glossybox is one of my favorite monthly subscription services. Each box contains five deluxe beauty samples that allow you to try out products before you commit to purchasing them in full size, so you're able to test things out and make sure you really love a product before you commit. When you receive your GlossyBox in the mail, it's like opening up a little present every month!

This month I did a review on the items that came in my March Glossybox. I hope you find it helpful! The theme for them month was "International Style",and this particular box featured popular beauty items from different countries. 


Items mention in this month's GlossyBox:
-Bvlgari EauParfumee AuThe Blanc soap (FS:$30.00/5.3oz)
-Da Vinci Cosmetics Shimmer Powder (FS: $15.00/ .6oz)
-LISI Eye Definiteion Cream Eyeliner (FS:$10.00/.14oz)
-Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro Gel Mask (FS $6.00/.98oz)
-Nail Rock Nail Wraps (FS $8.00/full set)

Want your own Glossybox? Check out their info below for more details on ordering options and pricing! 

GlossyBox info: 
www.glossybox.com
Twitter: @glossybox_us
#internationalstylebox

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cosmo Tested, Lydia Approved: DIY Hair Masque Recipe! Spa Night In!

Sometimes, your hair needs a little extra TLC! With the colder weather, my highlighting habit, and love of trying out new products, mine has been in need of some extra revitalization lately! Since I was unable to sleep earlier (blasted insomnia!) I decided to have my own little mini-spa night! 

In the April issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, there is a featured article called, "Head Shakes" with a fun DIY Hair Masque recipe called, "Strengthener" from The Hair Treatment Bar at TheBroot. Since the recipe looked good enough to eat, I figured it must be nurturing for my hair, and decided to give it a try! Below are a few pictures of the process!

I have to say that I am VERY pleased with the results! My hair feels silky and is incredibly shiny! I will definitely try to add this into my routine at least 2-3 times a month! My biggest suggestion when applying the hair masque would be to do so while you're in the shower, after you've dampened your hair. I tried dampening my hair in the kitchen sink, and then applying my hair masque, and it was just a bit too chaotic to apply in the kitchen. It would have been easier and less of a mess to do so in the shower, so next time I'll be doing that! Once I applied the masque to my hair, I combed it through to saturate my hair root to tip, and then used a spider clip to hold my hair in place. I put a disposable shower cap on, used a hair dryer to warm up my hair and help the masque absorb better, and then applied my re-usable zebra cap over it to seal in the heat while I let my hair soak in the mask for about 15-20 minutes. Once it was time to rinse everything out, it was a cinch! I then followed up with my shampoo and conditioner, and it was that simple. I love the terrific results that this DIY hair masque gave my hair! It looks much more shiny and healthy now!

I adore DIY recipes simply because I do not think that beauty routines should cost you your life savings! I love how I already had everything I needed to make this hair masque right in my own kitchen! 

Spa Night In!

Hair Masque Recipe I followed
All of the ingredients that I used:
-1/2 banana
-1 egg
1/4 cup of water
-1 tablespoon each Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Honey.


Ninja time! 
I decided to blend all of the ingredients together so that the masque would be more uniform in size, and easier to apply to my hair.
 Blending!
The finished product! 
Apply this to damp hair and let it sit for about 15 minutes while you read a magazine and drink some tea! 
Rinse out in the shower, and then follow up with shampoo and conditioner like you normally would.
 Since I decided to make a DIY hair masque, I thought it would also be fun to try out one of my facial masques at the same time.Tonight I used the 7th Heaven masque in "White Thai Mud", that I received a while back in a beauty subscription box. I applied it to damp skin and left it on for the same length of time as I left my hair masque on (about 15-20 minutes). After I rinsed it off and moisturized, there was a noticeable difference in the smoothness of my skin! Since it only took a small amount of the masque to cover my entire face, I was able to save the rest in a plastic bag, and will likely get three or four more applications out of it. Yay! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Crap Products I Wouldn't Repurchase! And better alternatives!!

Every once in a while I find a product that is just so horrid, I feel the need to warn others to stay far, far away! I typically read blog reviews and watch video reviews before I purchase a lot of things, so that I can avoid a potentially bad product. Every once in a while though, I will try out something and it just doesn't work out for me. In the video below, I show a few "crap products" that should be avoided, and give you better suggestions on nicer alternatives to them! I hope you find it helpful! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Justin Timberlake - Suit & Tie (Official) ft. JAY Z

I am so obsessed with this song! I can't wait until the new album releases soon! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Apples to Apples

One of my favorite things in life: Game night with my family! It really is the simple things in life that make you the happiest! 
(Apples to Apples is our favorite game! If you've never played before, I highly recommend it! It's such a fun, hilarious game!)

Aunt Taylor with baby RJ
 Jose, Taylor, and Baby RJ
 We start em' young in our family! 
 Love my sister! 
 RJ helping his mommy play
 Kianna and baby RJ kisses

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ten Things Thursday

1. This morning my coffee maker wouldn't work. I nearly cried and had a melt down. That's the grip my Keurig has on me. It's sad....but true. (Turns out all I needed to do was unplug it, then plug it back in and it worked just fine! ThankTheLord!)

2. Currently listening to some of Elvis' Gospel music and enjoying a cup of coffee. It's such an amazing way to unwind. Try it!

3. I am still really loving the DIY Gardner's Hand scrub that I made recently after discovering it on Pinterest. I love it so much that I even made a small batch of it for my mom!

4. Nothing makes me happier than having fresh flowers in my house. I guess that's just the florist in me. :)

5. True story: my mom just called a while ago and asked if I needed anything from the grocery store while she's out near my house, since we are going to get snow tomorrow. Want to know what's hilarious? The Weather Channel's site says that we *might* get a slight dusting of snow...as in under 1". I love my mom lol. She thinks we're going to be trapped in our homes for a week! This is what happens when it snows in the South. Everyone panics, buys out the grocery store, forgets how to drive, and then we only get a few tiny snow flurries. Calm down people! (In a side note, if we did get a significant snow accumulation, I would welcome it! We haven't had anything truly significant in the way of snow in years around here...it'd be fun to have some true snow for a few days!)

6. Lip Balm Favorite of the week: Nivea's Lip Butter in "Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss" (I found mine at Rite Aid in the lotion section of the store.)

7. Tonight I plan to depot some makeup singles and smaller compacts into my new Z-palettes. I'll do a blog post soon and let you guys know how that turns out! Wish me luck, because I've never attempted to depot anything before. Thankfully, there are some terrific depotting tutorials on YouTube, so that helps. (The purpose of depotting all of the smaller containers is to have everything organized into one nice, neat palette, rather than cluttered all over the place. If you're a MAC fan, don't toss those containers, save them because when you return six to the store (Back to Mac) you'll get to pick out a free lipstick! For your other containers, Origins offers free recycling for any cosmetic containers.

8. I had such a fun lunch with my sweet Cousin Barton today! You would think given our age difference (I'm 27 and he's 72) that we would have nothing in common to talk about...but it's just the opposite! We can talk about anything and everything. There's never a lull in our conversations. Over the years, he's truly become one of my most cherished friends and confidants. (He's my dad's first cousin. He's like a second father to me.) Today's hilarious moment included me hoping into the car to go to lunch with him, and hearing Ke$ha playing on his radio! When I asked him if he knew who Ke$ha was, his response was "Yes, she's the girl with the dollar sign in her name, right? I like that song of her's about the pendulum ("TiK ToK"). It was hilarious! Our conversation over lunch ranged from gun control, to the Manhattan Project, "Family Man", to pop music.

9. On the note of lunch, while were were eating earlier, I discovered that I had been wearing my shirt backwards all day. Awesome! (I am NOT a morning person lol.)

10. I'm counting down the days until Nick and I go to the Elton John concert. Who's excited? This girl!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Doggy Review: PawBox, BarkBox, and SpoiledRottenBox!

Looking for a fun way to spoil your furbabies? Try out a monthly pet subscription service for them! They are filled with terrific samples, products, foods, treats, chews, toys, and such to try! These boxes are a great way to discover new items that you and your pet might enjoy. Below are reviews the pups and I made today for three of our favorite boxes: BarkBox, PawBox, and Spoiled Rotten Box. Be sure to check out the reviews (and the description boxes) for more information! 

BarkBox Review: Jan & Feb 2013!

PawBox Review: Feb 2013

PetFlow "Spoiled Rotten Box": Feb 2013


Quote of the Day: Booker T Washington

This is such a true, powerful message!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Scarf Collection and Organization!


My goal for this week is to begin Spring cleaning a bit early. My first order of business will be tackling the chaos that has become my closet...one organization project at a time! I don't know about the rest of you, but I always feel more peace in my life when my surroundings are clean and organized. When there is disorganization around me, it definitely affects my mood, so I prefer to try and keep things as tidy as possible. My closet could definitely use a redo right now, so I'm putting my focus on that this week during my spare time. I'll try and take pictures as I go to hopefully give you all some inexpensive organization ideas! 

Tonight, I tackled my scarf collection and organized it. I LOVE how it turned out! Over the weekend, I spent some time with my aunt, and she told me about a scarf organization idea that she saw on Pinterest. (She knew it'd be perfect for me since I'm a total scarf junkie!). Tonight after dinner, Nick and I went to Target for a bit and I found the perfect tool for organizing my scarf collection. (It was in the shower organization area with all of the shower caddies and organizers). It took me all of five minutes to assemble it, and then I went to work placing all of my scarves on it. I may change up the order I put them in at some point so the colors are a bit more organized, but for now I really love how it turned out, and that my closet is a little less cluttered! (Before, I had them on two circular tie organizers, but the metal picked tiny holes in my scarves, and it just wasn't holding them well to the point that they would fall off easily. My new organization solves that issue!)  

Here are a few pictures of how it turned out: 
(This is the organizer that I decided to go with. It's a towel holder intended for shower doors or standard interior doors. It was a cinch to put together, and I couldn't be happier with it! Like I mentioned above, I found it at Target in the shower organization section. It was on clearance for $17. Since it's so sturdy, I think it will be a nice long-term investment in how I organize my closet.

The laughable directions that were included with the organizer. 
(No worries, it was super easy to figure out and assemble. I was done in around 5 minutes!)

The finished product!
(My favorite thing about this is that every single one is visible and won't get overlooked. I also like that they are allowed to drape easily over the bars, and aren't tucked away somewhere collecting wrinkles. The more visible they are, the more they will be used...and now I don't have to worry over wear and tear from the way I'm storing them, unlike my last storage solution for them.)

If you're a scarf lover like I am, I hope this post inspired you to organize your collection and take good care of it! I don't tend to purchase a lot in the way of clothes or shoes, but I do love a nice accessory to make the staples in my wardrobe pop...that's why I adore scarves so much! If you're not an avid scarf collector, this particular organization idea can be used for so many different things! Necklaces, purses, belts, ties...the possibilities are endless! If you're into tech-related things, you could use this to store your extension cords, chargers, and cables so they don't tangle. (You can even add plastic or silver shower curtain rings onto the bars, and use it for more organization if you prefer that!) 

Do you have a great organization idea or tip? Feel free to leave a kind comment below and share! 


Monday, February 25, 2013

Pinterest tested: hand scrub!

Pinterest Tested, Lydia Approved!

I recently decided to try out a hand scrub recipe that I found on Pinterest. Since I'm really enjoying it, I thought I would share it with all of you! This is supposed to be a dupe for Mary Kay's "Satin Hands", which I've used in the past and really enjoyed. While this is a very, very close dupe, it is not the exact same thing. Nonetheless, I still find it to work very well, smell terrific, and leaves my hands soft and clean. It is very simple to make and quite inexpensive too. I highly recommend it! 

Here is the link to the the blog post "recipe" I found via Pinterest. All credit goes to "One Good Things by Jillee"! : http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/03/make-your-own-gardeners-hand-scrub.html


What You'll Need:
-A jar with a lid
-White refined sugar
-Dawn Ultra Hand Renewal with Olay (The pink bottle in "Pomegranate Splash") 

(As far as the jar went, I just used a recycled Mason jar from the latest candle I finished. (Candles by Victoria candle in "Cinnamon Gingerbread Latte". If you'd like to see my review on that candle you can watch it here . If you'd like a tutorial on how to clean wax from candle jars, you can find that here. )

Once you have everything you'll need, you just fill your container 3/4 full with sugar, and then add in the soap the rest of the way. Stir slowly, until you reach a nice consistency. (You want it to be a nice paste consistency, not too runny.) That's all there is to it! It's that simple to make. :)

The next time I make this, I think I will experiment with adding in some moisturizing oils, and essential oils for fragrance. I think these would make terrific little homemade gifts if you decorate the jars a bit and add in a cute label to spruce things up! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Confinement


So this morning, I got in my car, opened the garage door, and almost backed right into the delightful new hole the County created RIGHT by my driveway! I was not expecting this today! Guess I will NOT be running errands today after all.(You'd think they'd at least give you some sort of advanced notice.) 

Hopefully this will be repaired asap so my neighbors and I can drive around without our neighborhood resembling a war-zone! It's not just the road in front of my house, it's all up and down the street that they're repairing pot holes and damaged areas. I'm thankful they're fixing things; I just wish we would have had some sort of heads up! (They're working on the roads near my home that were damaged during recent storms.)  

In the mean time, I'm taking advantage of this "confinement" and enjoying a day around the house. I've got a yummy meal in the crock pot that should be ready in a few hours! (Roast with carrots, potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, tons of yummy seasonings, and two fresh ears of corn!) I'm also enjoying watching one of my favorite DVD's with the puppies! (Any of you lovelies remember, "The Land Before Time" movie from the 90's? It was one of my very favorite childhood movies! I stumbled upon it in the $5 movie section at Target the other day and had to bring it home. I'm watching it now and I feel so nostalgic! :)


(In a side note: for those of you who watch my videos, I'm a bit behind in filming. I've been quite sick to say the least! I have a huge list of exciting new videos and reviews to come in the next few weeks once I'm feeling up to it,so stay tuned!) 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Funny: When wax strikes back! (Wax warmers & clumsiness!)

Throwback Thursday

This little gem of awkwardness is circa 1985. It's the only professional family picture I've even seen from when I was a baby. (My parents divorced when I was little). My dad told me that Sears offered a free family photo around Christmas time that year, so we all piled into the car and went to have this moment of delightful awkwardness captured for all eternity. I rather like it! (Notice: Mom's awesome glasses, Kimmy's dress with the collar, my "get me out of here" expression, and Dad's attempt at a smile. Love it!)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ten Things Tuesday

1. It's the simple things in life: cup of tea, a good laugh, nice company, funny movie, my puppies, so on....that make me really happy!


I took these tonight. Aren't they cuties?!
Mykelti, Rosie, and Ranger


2. I'm currently burning Candles by Victoria's "Cinnamon Gingerbread Latte" candle. It smells amazing! I plan to do a "wax review" video on it soon.

3. Hair clips are bad hair day saviors!

4. My dogs enjoy chasing the laser pointer more than my cats. It's so funny to watch them bounding around the house trying to chase after the little red light that they think is a bug!

5. When I went to the doctor yesterday, the receptionist called out a lady with the exact same name as my sister. So of course, I stood up and looked around for my sister, only to realize the lady just coincidentally had the same name as her. (Slightly embarrassing!)

6. I'm obsessed with Harney & Son's Hot Cinnamon Tea! I highly recommend it to all of you out there who adore tea as much as I do! 

(You can pick it up in the cafe section of Barnes & Noble bookstores.)

7. Today I got fitted for braces for both of my wrists. I'm supposed to wear them when I sleep and during the day. Apparently, my immune system is attacking my nerve endings in a rather painful way, so having braces on my wrists might help a bit. We shall see if they're worth the annoyance! 

8. I love quirky, whimsical coffee mugs! I'm planning on doing a video/blog post soon to show you all some of my very favorite ones. 

9. After a lot of tears and soul-searching, I've decided that I would rather keep my friends few and genuine, than have unnecessary fake, toxic friendships that do not add to the quality, joy, and happiness of my life. It's a tough lesson to learn, and even harder to cut the metaphoric string when you care about someone. When they continually cause you more grief than happiness though, it is  the right thing to do when you really look at the big picture. True friendship is not selfish. It should add joy and happiness to your life. A true friend should be there to be build you up out of love and care, not cause you misery. Life is just too short for drama. The older I become, the more I've discovered that I'd just rather not have any, nor associate myself with it. On that same note, I've also grown to appreciate and cherish the sincere, amazing friendships that I do have. They're such wonderful blessings in my life! 

10. Am I the only person out there who is absolutely going crazy to see the movie, "Warm Bodies"? I think it looks adorable! The previews remind me a bit of the, "My Boyfriend's Back" movie that came out in the 90's.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

The secret to clear skin???

My biggest "secret" to keeping my skin clear is some of the most simple advice I could give: keep your makeup brushes and sponges clean! If you have a difficult time remembering what brushes you've used recently and need to wash, keep a container near your makeup area that is strictly for "dirty brushes", so you'll know which ones you need to wash. I clean my brushes daily after each use with either an alcohol-free makeup wipe (easy if I'm in a hurry), or Sonia Kushuk's spray brush/sponge cleaner that you can pick up from Target. Once a week, I like to deep clean all of my brushes and sponges. This helps keep bacteria at bay so that you have clean tools to work with, and you're not spreading germs and grime all over your face...thus causing dreaded break outs!
When I deep clean my brushes and sponges, I mix equal parts Dawn Dish Soap and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a cup, gently swirl a brush in the solution, and then run the brush back and forth on the palm of my hand under warm water. (The Dawn cleans away all of the dirt and grime, and the EVOO reconditions and softens the brush hairs. This works on both natural and synthetic brushes, as well as sponges. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Next you should gently wring the brush hairs out by squeezing them downwards between your fist. Reshape the brush, and then lay flat to dry on a thick dish towel. (You can also use a rubberband to group multiple brushes together and then a clothespin to hang them up to dry if you prefer that method.) A brush roll/reshapers are also good investments, but not necessary.
Use caution when washing your brushes, not to get the metal on your brushes wet or you could damage the brush and cause it to separate. You want to be gentle when cleaning your brushes so you do not tear the hairs out.) When you wash your sponges, I suggest washing them between the palms of your hands and avoiding contact with your fingernails so that they do not damage or tear the sponges surface.
Hope todays post helps you lovelies keep your brushes and your faces beautiful!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mary Pickersgill: Why Every American Should Know This Name!


So lately I've been really into watching two shows that are featured on The Travel Channel, "Mysteries of the Smithsonian", and "Mysteries at the Museum." They both have all sorts of interesting facts, stories, and details that uncover many famous myths and mysteries. It's really a fun show to watch if you find yourself with a little free time on your hands!

On a recent episode of "Mysteries of the Smithsonian", they discussed our Star-Spangled Banner. When I think of this flag, it resonates the essence of our American history. What a powerful, incredible flag, with an amazing story behind it! Unfortunately, the Star-Spangled Banner is a flag that is often incorrectly credited to Betsy Ross, when in fact a young widowed lady by the name of Mary Pickersgill deserves the credit for creating this particular flag. Mary designed the Star-Spangled Banner that inspired Francis Scott Keys to put pen to paper and create the words that would later become our national anthem. I think her name deserves to be remembered in today's blog, and our history books!

Want to learn more? This link has more background on the story. I thought it was pretty interesting!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: Covergirl /Olay Foundation, Concealer, and Corrector

I hope you lovelies are all having a terrific week so far! I have a lot of catching up to do in my blog over the next few posts (Mainly, one dedicated to my precious new great nephew that was born on Friday! So, check back for a fun post on little RJ soon, as well as other beauty and lifestyle related mentions too!) 

In the mean time, I leave you with this quick review on some products that I am really enjoying right now from the Covergirl/ Olay line! I am not the type to typically reach for Covergirl (I prefer to use products from companies that do not sell products in countries like China where animal testing is required before being sold at market. I also think it would be nice if Covergirl offered a more broad range of shades to match more skintones so that more people could enjoy their products.) That being said, these little beauties down below have left a really good impression on me; they are absolutely terrific products! Be sure to watch my quick video review below for more details!



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I hope you lovelies are all having a great day so far! It's been a bit of a long day already on my end. Instead of griping, I thought I would do a "10 Things Thursday...Thankful-style!"

1. I'm thankful for the adorable little puppy snuggled up on my lap right now! Mykelti is such a sweet girl! I'm also very thankful for Ranger and Rosie. My dogs are the most loyal best friends a girl could ever be blessed with!

2. I'm thankful for a hot cup of Chai Latte (And for my newest Keurig obsession! I've already gotten so much use out of it!)

3. I'm thankful that this week I've been able to call most of bill companies, and negotiate low prices on just about everything! (Thank you Suze Orman; I love her advice!) I would have never thought I could ask for lower pricing, but apparently you can do so for just everything from Utility Bills, to Internet! My suggestion to all of you: call every single company you pay a bill too, and just ask if there is any way they could offer you a lower rate. You'll be surprised how much you can save! Just an example: I knocked $40 off of my cell phone bill, and around another $40 off of my Comcast bill, alone. (Both were apparently overcharging me by quite a bit!) I also managed to get lower prices on quite a few other things as well! )

4. I'm thankful for the cute Valentine's Decorations in my home. I really love decorating for every single holiday!

5. I'm thankful for the lip balm on my lips! My new favorite is NIVEA's " A Kiss of Milk and Honey".

6. I'm thankful that I slept in a warm bed last night. A lot of people aren't as fortunate. Also thankful for a roof over my head, and a lot of the little things we often take forgranted (car, running water, shoes, food)

7. I'm thankful for the medicine that keeps my heart beating at a normal rhythm.

8. I'm thankful that we didn't wind up having a nasty Ice Storm this week. Thankfully our little "ice storm" was nothing in comparison to the one we had in 94'!

9. I'm thankful that I accidentally grabbed the wrong lids for the storage bins I picked up at Target earlier in the week. (Instead of griping that I have to take them back for an exchange, I'm thankful that I now have a fun excuse to visit in my opinion, The Happiest Place On Earth!)

10. I'm thankful that tomorrow, my sweet niece is scheduled to have her precious little baby boy, RJ! My family and I can't wait to welcome this sweet little baby! It would mean a lot, if you could all take a moment out of your day to say a quick prayer for my niece, Kianna, that she has a safe, easy delivery tomorrow and recovers quickly. Also, pray that RJ is born healthy and happy! We can't wait to meet him!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Paying it Forward: A way to show honor to the victims of Newtown

Today marks the one month anniversary of the Newtown tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. My heart still can not fathom the grief and pain that those precious families have endured. I didn't think it was appropriate to write a frivolous blog post today. Instead, I wanted to take a moment to say that, Newtown, you are not forgotten. Americans will continue to honor the memory and legacy of those precious lives that were taken too soon. My heart and prayers continue to be with all of the families that have been touched by this tragedy.

I think one of the best ways that we can show respect and honor the lives that were lost, is to go out of our way to show kindness towards others in our daily lives. Wouldn't it be terrific if the legacy of those lives that were lost, continue to live on through others around the country who pay tribute to them through acts of kindness?! What a lovely way to show love and hope! 

I hope that this blog post encourages you to think about something that you could do for a friend, a loved one, or even a stranger, and pay it forward today...and everyday. You never know what kind of positive difference you might make! 

I also encourage each of you to take a moment today and read over the list below. We should pause to remember the victims of this shooting, NOT glamorize the gunman. (His name does not deserve mention in this blog post.) The names that should be honored, cherished, and remembered are listed below. I encourage all of you to take a few moments out of your day to say a prayer for the families of each and every victim. Their lives deserve to be honored and remembered. Today, I dedicate my blog to their honor, and to their families as they try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and move forward. I can not imagine what they are going through. What I can do however, is pray for them, show support, and try to impact my community and others in a positive way by honoring the legacy of the lives that were lost.

Today, I encourage you to pray for their families: 

Charlotte Bacon
Daniel Barden
Rachel Davino
Olivia Engel
Josephine Gay
Ana M. Marquez-Greene
Dylan Hockley
Dawn Hochsprung
Madeleine F. Hsu
Catherine V. Hubbard
Chase Kowalski
Jesse Lewis
James Mattioli 
Grace McDonnell
Anne Marie Murphy
Emilie Parker
Jack Pinto
Noah Pozner
Caroline Previdi
Jessica Rekos
Avielle Richman
Lauren Rousseau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria Soto
Benjamin Wheeler
Allison N. Wyatt