Monday, January 30, 2012

Makeover Monday #3

This week's topic: Foundation!

I just switched to big girl foundation!

Benefit Boo-ing concealer

Bare Minerals (andddd the lightest color they make)

I used to use:

Definitely love my upgrade. When I was home over Christmas, Mom and I went to Ulta to get new makeup and I am SO happy I did!

What foundation/primer/powder do you use? Linkup with Molly and Katie!

Ta ta,

PS Check out Lindsey's Blogoversary giveaways @ Keep It Classy, Alabama!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Recipes

I had lots of time this weekend to cook and fulfill that sweet craving I was having last week! 

Friday night I made my favorite chicken, broccoli, and cheese casserole that I found here! It makes SO much so we have been eating it for 3 days. So delicious, but it takes a while to put together.

photo credit from Get Off Your Butt and Bake!

I also made weight watchers cheesecake squares goodies. I think I somehow messed up the recipe. It said to bake the cookies for 20 minutes but it got close to an hour because I couldn't harden the cream cheese. Even though the edges were very cripsy, Tyler and I enjoyed them all weekend! 

photo credit from Weight Watchers

Tonight, we made a couple of other things!

spicy quinoa stuffed peppers were TyTy's idea! I'm not really a pepper person, so I just ate the stuffing! You can find the recipe at Christie's Corner. They made sooo much. 

My dish to make tonight was greek orzo pasta! After I went to Greece 2 years ago, I really developed a love for Greek food, especially the salad and pasta! I found the recipe at  Centsational Girl. I left out the pine nuts. 

What a fun weekend of trying new recipes and relaxing! Have a great week!
Ta ta,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wanting to Craft!

For some reason today, I have been dying to make a craft! I am still trying to finish up decorating my room and I can't figure out what it needs. I visited our favorite website Pinterest to get some inspiration. Sometimes you just want to get crafty!

Here are some ideas I found:

Easy- from beer bottles!

Tissue paper flower

candle sticks and china!

button bowl- made from a balloon! So cute!

Jewelry organizer from window pane 

ribbon wine bottle!

sewn button coaster

wine cork earring organizer

chevron coaster

vases from cans

I love all of these! I can't decide which I want to make first. What do you suggest? Have you made any of these! I would love suggestions as to what fun and moderately easy DIY projects!

See all my DIY ideas at my Pinterest Board!

Ta ta,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Club #2- Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons


Book Club #2

January's Book: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

1. During the sixties and seventies, the Angry Housewives smoked cigarettes and threw back highballs-even while pregnant-without knowledge of the harm it could do. If they could have glimpsed their futures then, what do you think would have surprised them most about their future selves? What is one thing you know now that you would have really appreciated being aware of ten years ago?
I think the AH would be shocked to find out the harmful effects of smoking and alcohol (and drugs!) during a pregnancy. I was so surprised to read about their bad habits during all of their pregnancies!
The one thing I wish I would have known at age 13 was that you won't end up with your 9th grade boyfriend (most likely, there are some like my parents and my bff virginia who will!)
2. Why do you think groups like AHEB-women who live near each other, raise children together, and bond over books together-persist even in a climate of working moms and in a culture that is flooded with other types of media?
I think that friendships that the AHEB-women have are essential. Looking at my mom's friends, it is amazing to see how many of them were her friends when she got married until today. She still has supper club, bridge club, and other social events, and the majority of her friends' children are my friends. I think that you have to make time to have these types of friendships to learn who you are.

3. Audrey has a talent for sensing upcoming events. In what ways do her capabilities influence how she deals with her family? Does it differ from how they affect her friendships? How much do you believe in psychic phenomena? Would being endowed with such a gift help or hinder one's decisions?
I think her ESP-type senses made her more protective of her family. I can't imagine going through life with those capabilities. I was thinking about the psychic phenomena after reading the book and I have to think  that it does exist to some level. There isn't any way for someone to know something before it happens without it being real, right? I certainly am glad I do not have those capabilities because I think learning from experiences after they happen are more beneficial. Also, in Audrey's situation with her husband, she could have gone the rest of her life without finding out about his infidelity, if not for her senses. In this situation, it shows you the lack of integrity people have!

4. How do you feel about the later inclusion of Grant as a member of AHEB? Did you think the inclusion of a male affected their particular group dynamic? What is valuable about inviting men to participate in women's dialogue?
I'm not sure how to answer this question. I don't want to parade around my beliefs about sexual orientation, but as a very conservative person, I wouldn't have liked having a male in my female book club. I think that change isn't neccessarily always a good thing, but maybe the AHEB could have had another social event to include Grant. I'm sure having the male in the book discussion was helpful and gave a different insight, but sometimes I just like things to be female-only!

5. Merit eventually finds Paradise, literally and figuratively. Do you believe that good things come to people who wait?
Absolutely. I believe that and I also believe that things come to you when you aren't searching for them. Merit wasn't looking for a new husband, but Mr. Paradise came when she needed him most. Sometimes I think those relationships are the most special (tooting my horn a little bit here haha).

6. How are midwestern values portrayed in this book? In what ways might the book have differed if it had been set in the northeast or the south?
After living in the midwest for 3 months and the rest of my life in the south, I have learned a couple of cultural differences.
#1: Southerners sugar-coat things and issues they have with others, while Midwesterns flat out tell you the truth. There are positive and negative things about both, and I think this is shown in the book. When two of the AH get in a huge fight, they stayed mad at each other for a while and wouldn't apologize. In the south, I feel like people make up easier because things are sugar coated. Does that make sense?
#2: Manners- Southerners have excellent manners (yes ma'am, no sir, thank you, please, opening doors, etc) and midwesterners don't as much. Hope no one reading here takes this the wrong way, but lets be honest... When in the South, aren't the guys extremely gentlemanly? Tell me if I'm wrong! :)
I think these aspects affected the overall feel of the women of the AH set in Minnesota. It's also colder there so of course people aren't as warm and friendly. Haha, that was a joke.

7. Did you like the format of the book? How did giving every character the opportunity to voice their thoughts support the all-for-one and one-for-all theme of the book and the club itself?
It took me a while to figure out the layout, and often times I like that with books. Faith's letters threw me off some. I did like getting to know each character on a personal basis.

8. In order to attain a greater understanding of herself, Faith utilizes therapy, learns from her friendships and culls inspiration from books. How do these three supplement each other as means of self discovery? Which books and authors have inspired you most through the years?

I think these are very important these days. Today the media is more influential than books, so I think if the book were set in 2010, it would have been different. Some of my favorite and most inspirational books are:
The Happiness Project
Katie Couric's The Best Advice I Ever Got
As a child, the Chicken Soup books
Obviously scripture from the Bible
Calm My Anxious Heart (the book for my Bible study group at home)

9. What did you think of Merit's idea to unite mothers around the world to stop war and halt violence? Were you surprised this notion came from her?
I thought this idea would come from Slip! Go Merit for deep-thinking!

10. Slip tells Merit that re-dubbing their book club Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons would be taking their husbands' words and "giving them and their chauvinism the finger." What other subversive techniques do the women display for giving chauvinism the finger? Do you feel it's an apt name for the club and all it turns out to be?
I think that Merit's going behind Eric's back was the main one! I think their name was very creative and most of the time they were angry AND were eating!

11. How does AHEB compare to our book club? Are there any ideas in the novel, like themes for meetings, which you'd like to incorporate?
I think its important to find a group of people that you might not have anything in common with and have that chance to connect. There are so many bloggers who I wouldn't have necessarily become friends with before blogging (and book club) and it is something that can bring us together (cheesy). 

12. Which character was your favorite? Was she or he the one you identified most with?
There isn't one character that I identify with, but I see aspects of myself in some of the characters. I felt for Merit the whole book because in situations like that I always want to help the victim, but in a book that is hard to do! My favorite character overall was probably Audrey.. or Faith.

13. A number of the characters in the book harbor secrets. What does secret-keeping do to characters like Faith and Fred, who fear their actual secrets as opposed to Kari or Beau who fear the reactions of others?
Geez, tough questions. Faith's life was encompassed by her fear. She was keeping the secret about her mother for her entire life and tried to not believe the secret about Beau. Fred was just so scarred from his military experience that he lived in fear. Beau and Kari certainly are afraid of what others think, but for good reason. Kari did it to protect Julia AND Mary Jo and Beau did it to protect Faith because he knew how she would react to his secret. In the end of the book, I think it was important that everyone's secrets came out and ended up "happily ever after" for the most part.
Fun, easy book to read. Recommend it if you want a girly quick read!

Ta ta,

Check out Lindsey's adorable giveaway @ her blog!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pinteresting Wednesday: Sweets

I have been craving sweets like CRAZY lately, and I have seen some yummies on Pinterest that I must share! I think I am going to just have to make one of these this weekend!

Stuffed strawberries

Cookie dough cheesecake bars

Stuffed rolo cookies

Weight Watchers cookies

REESE EGGS- my favv!!

Choc chip cookie

Brownie sundae


Helloooo yumminess! Think I'll go eat some ice cream now! :)

What sweets have you made recently??

Ta ta,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Makeover Monday #2

Happy Monday! I must say that this Monday was MUCH better than last, so hooray for that!

I'm linking up for round 2 with Molly and Katie for Makeover Monday!

Today's topic: Hair care!

So I have a bit of a confession (que Mom rolling her eyes right now): I have really thin hair. Both of my parents have thin hair (ok, fine hair) and for a couple of years now, I have been kind of worried about the fate of my locks. So, in a nutshell, I have really fine hair and there is only one thing I do about it...

I went to my best friend from growing up, Caroline's, dad who cut my hair until, umm like this summer (yes, at the men's barber shop). I always commented about how thin my hair was and he never really seemed too worried about it. I had been to the dermatologist and she just told me to get some bloodwork to check my thyroid, but I couldn't stand being pricked. She also told me to use Rogaine until I grew a mustache.. Seriously, wtf? I quit going to her, obviously! I switched brushes because my mom thought my brush was too hard, but still my hair just felt really thin. I never was losing clumps of hair or anything (I've had friends who have because of stress), so I haven't ever been TOO concerned. My new hairdresser thinks it is crazy how fine my hair is and was scared to cut it because she said it was so fragile! 

Does it look that thin/fine?
Again, isn't she beautiful!

I think my fine/thin hair has happened with age because obviously THIS HAIR had some body (or LOTS of hairspray).... hayyyy 4th grade! And that is my friend Caroline by the way. 

I know, I blackmailed myself. But I just have to laugh at that hair #awkwardfamilyphoto ?

Then one day, someone (I can't remember who) recommended that I try Nioxin. Since that day (maybe 2 years ago) I have used Nioxin almost daily. I do switch with other shampoo (Suave or John Frieda volume or Progaine, made by Rogaine) if I shower twice a day or if I just want to switch it up.

So here is a little info about Nioxin on their website.

I use System 1. If you are concerned about your thinning (alright, alright, mine is FINE, not THIN) hair, you can take a consultation online about what level to use! I am not a conditioner person, so I only use it about once a week. My hair is also very oily (like my skin) so sometimes I feel like this shampoo makes my hair not feel so oily, so I love it! Every now and then I use the scalp treatment at night, but sometimes it kind of burns my head so I don't use it too much. There are also some vitamins Nioxin makes (like nails, hair, and skin vitamins) that I have taken before.

If you get Nioxin at Ulta or at a salon (I've even seen it in the salon inside Wal-mart), it is like $40! The whole kit was pretty pricy, but I still use most of the products. I have started to find Nioxin at Marshalls or TJ Maxx for as low at $16.99 for the massive bottle (it is huge!!)!! It lasts SO long AND I have the tiny bottle of conditioner and since I rarely use it, I have had the same bottle for years! The shampoo smells like peppermint, so that is an extra bonus!

Hope I didn't overwhelm you on my Nioxin soapbox, but I highly recommend it. Again, I am NOT a products person, but I will use Nioxin forever! If you have fine (or thin) hair, Nioxin will give you volume! Find it on sale at TJs!!

Here are the levels if you are curious!
1: Normal to thin-looking, fine, natural hair (me!)
2: Noticeably thinning, fine hair
3: Normal to thin-looking, fine, chemically treated hair
4: Noticeably thinning, fine, chemically treated hair
5: Normal to thin-looking, medium to coarse, natural or chemically-treated hair
6: Noticeably thinning, medium to coarse, natural or chemically-treated hair

Nioxin is the, so go try it!!

Other than that, I don't use any other products! Rarely use hairspray, and that's it!

Ta ta,

I'm off to watch the crazies on The Bachelor!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Impromptu Chicago!

Earlier this week, Tyler and I decided to take a trip to Chicago for the weekend! We weren't sure if we were going to make it because of the snowstorm, but we went for it anyways and had a blast!

It was freezing! 

Chicago is about 2.5 hours- very easy for a quick weekend trip!

Saturday, we met his cousin Sheri in the city and she  had lots of brochures and suggestions for us! We ate lunch at the John Hancock on the 95th floor. It was such an awesome view. Then we headed down Michigan Avenue for some shopping. My goal was to find some rain/snow boots because I didn't want to ruin my new Uggs. I didn't find any yesterday, but I did have fun looking at all of the fun and expensive things that I can't afford! Window shopping at its best!


For dinner, we went to the Rosebud Steakhouse for a delicious dinner and then back to the John Hancock for drinks. I can't describe how beautiful the city was all lit up.

Excuse the weird reflections! But isn't that incredible!?!? View from 96 stories up!

I had the most delicious martini EVER! It was a pumpkin cheesecake martini and worth every penny!

Today, we finished some shopping on Michigan Avenue. I was disappointed that I hadn't found anything to buy, so I went BACK to Nordstrom Rack.. Still no luck! Tyler was such a good trooper following me around the city!

During our outing, I experienced something unfortunate. I missed the signs that said:


I still have a headache and as much as I wanted to cry, I had to burst out laughing because that would only happen to me! I was so thankful it didn't hit the twins in the stroller behind me! Good thing I have a hard head!

After a fabulous shopping spree at Anthropologie where I found these cute things, we headed out of the city and to Cabelas (I found it only fair to Ty!)

atom art bowl
curvy chrysanthemum vase

pave posts

I had too much fun. Luckily, I only had about 20 minutes to shop around. I would have been in trouble if I had longer!

Next was our stop at Cabelas, to be fair of course.. And guess who bought nothing- HIM! And guess who bought something- ME! I finally found some rain/snow boots! Let me introduce you to Bogs, my new boots!

I know they might look kind of silly, but I am freezing, have no snow shoes, and Tyler's cousin highly recommended them to me! We looked ALL over the city for them, and BOOM I found them at Cabelas.. ON SALE! Yippee!

So, there you have our spur of the moment Chicago trip! Sorry for the random photos! We had such a good time. Sometimes you just gotta get out of the country and explore the city (and shop!)!

Have you been to the Windy City? What is your favorite thing to do there? Any suggestions for next time!?

Ta ta,