27
APR
2016

Whatcha Lovin’ Wednesday

Helloooooooo, lovelies! I’m sorry I missed Monday’s #ListifyLife post. This week has been crazy busy (hubby’s birthday, school projects, field trips, physical therapy, blah blah blah), and I hadn’t even been able to glance at the prompt until 3 minutes ago. And it’s a thinker, so posting will have to wait. Luckily, the challenge runs all week, so I’m good to go.

For today’s Whatcha Wednesday, I wanted to talk… *sparkly font* makeup. For those who have zero interest in makeup, you’ll probably want to skip this post. No hard feelings, and I’ll catch you again on Friday. For those of you who do love makeup, grab a chair and settle in.

Full disclosure: I was a late bloomer in my makeup obsession interest. I mean, I started wearing makeup in 7th grade, but I never really got it. I wasn’t ever interested in it. It was there and I would wear it and it was fine. And then sometime after I turned 30, I started carving out more time for myself. And also spending more money on myself. It was (is) really an amazing and awesome thing (though my wallet would disagree), and something I completely support and encourage fellow women to do because we have a tendency to put ourselves last.

So there I was, early-thirties with a thirst for this stuff. Face products, body scrubs, serums, eyeshadow palettes…you name it, I wanted to try it. In the past several years, I have amassed a ridiculous tremendous collection of all that stuff. As such, I’ve been through dozens of different foundations. MAC, Urban Decay Naked, Laura Mercier Silk Creme (yes, creme, not cream. They’re not monsters.), Tarte Amazonian Clay, and BareMinerals, just to name a few. And while they were all fine, they weren’t it. (<—-heh, I made a pun. You’ll see.)

UNTIL NOW.

(Before I go any further, let me say that there are no affiliate codes in this post and no one is paying me anything to say this. (Although if someone wanted to, I’d be totally cool with that.) This is just my opinion on a some awesome products I think everyone should use.)

So a few months ago, I went into ULTA to buy…something. I can’t remember. It’s not important. While I was there, a consultant offered to do a makeover on me, and, me being me, I took her up on it. Free makeup to try out? Hells yeah.

Now, I should also tell you that while I was working my way through all those foundations, I was also going through as many primers and/or setting sprays, looking for the perfect combination so my makeup would stay where it was supposed to stay, and I wouldn’t have this weird feathering/streaking and/or pockets of color that showed up after a few hours of wear. And for the love of God, would someone tell me how to keep my foundation from getting on everything else but my face?

Right. So. Makeover. There I am, getting probably $300 worth of stuff tried out on my face. And while everything she used was nice, I wasn’t sold on any of the “extras” she showed me (I prefer my Urban Decay primer and Naked palettes, my BareMinerals Around the Clock gel liner, and my Laura Geller blush). But I did fall head over heels in love with the face products.

Behold, the trifecta of awesome:

IMG_6803For those following at home, that’s IT’s No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer, Your Skin But Better CC+ cream (mine is illumination, but they have plain, too, which I’m switching to), and Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro-powder. That’s a lot of words for what boils down to The Best Makeup You Will Ever Wear On Your Face.

Let’s break this down into a handy dandy pro and con list, shall we?

Pros:

  • They are all anti-aging. I’m a firm believer that it’s never too early to start protecting your skin. I’m looking at you, twenty-two-year-olds.
  • The CC cream contains 50+ SPF. You should be wearing it every day, even in winter. Are you?
  • It makes your face feel like a baby’s tush. Seriously. Come over and feel my face.
  • Long-lasting (this makeup can last longer than that hero in the romance book you’re currently reading, and that’s a long time.)
  • They smell soooooo good! I get migraines from different scents, and makeup generally packs a punch. IT’s products are really light and fresh smelling…not at all overpowering, and if you don’t have a ridiculously aware nose like I do, you might not even notice it.
  • The serum feels like you’re rubbing the tears of Greek Gods on your face, it’s that amazing.

Cons:

  • Not a lot of colors to choose from for the CC+ cream, so you might have to mix two like I did. It’s a high upfront cost, but I’ve had those two bottles since…November? So, probably an investment twice a year.

Yes, that’s it for the cons. And, hey, maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few who falls right into a color category, so no cons for you!

Another awesome product that I didn’t include in the pic is Bye Bye Redness. I just started using this last week, and whoa, mama. Awesomesauce.

If I haven’t sold you on this stuff yet, good news: you can go to Ulta and either have them try them on you there (then wear for the day and see how it all lasts), or buy, try for a week, and if you hate them, return them for a full refund.

Thanks for sticking around while I totally geeked out on face care. Any questions on what I’ve used/still use and love? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter. See you on Friday!

 

11
APR
2016

#ListifyLife – Happiness & Misspellings

Hey everyone! I am back in the land of the living, though just barely. I had a fabulous time at the first annual, to-be-named writing retreat in Galena, IL. There were seven writers there, and it was a great mix of girls. We had a blast (and definitely too much food). All that said, I’m exhausted. I slept for ten hours last night, and it still wasn’t enough. But I don’t go to retreats or conferences to sleep. LOL

IMG_6512Now that I’m back in the groove (or getting there), I have some #ListifyLife posts to catch up on! I missed last week’s which was Little Things That Make You Happy.

This was a fun one to do. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day monotony and forget all the little things that make us smile. And, thankfully, my list is long. I could’ve gone onto the next page with ease, and that’s a great feeling (and one I need to remind myself of some days). Everything from new office pens to a clean kitchen to my kids’ laughter to fresh sheets can make me smile. Was there anything I didn’t mention that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face?

FullSizeRenderThis week’s list was words you always misspell. And I misspell a lot. But, really, do you blame me for hors d’oeverues? <——I’mma just leave that there for your amusement. Also there for your amusement is that cute as hell birdie I doodled. With prompts from The Revision Guide on Instagram, because I’m not that good.

That’s it for this week’s post! I’ll see you Wednesday for another Whatcha _______ Wednesday. What’ll it be this week? I honestly have no idea… 🙂

06
APR
2016

Whatcha Cookin’ Wednesday

I’m baaaaack! Just in time for another Whatcha _______ Wednesday post. I had a lovely time on vacation, but I came back to a to-do list seventeen miles long—just how it always seems to be.

First on that to-do list? To share with you all this glorious, glorious deliciousness for Whatcha Cookin’ Wednesday. I’ve been modified (read: lax) Paleo for over two years, but we just did the switch to the whole family in January. And when I say the whole switch, I mean we detoxed the kids off of sugar for two weeks and everything. It actually wasn’t as bad as you would think, and my uber picky seven-year-old whose favorite foods were mac and cheese and PB&J is now eating vegetables. Without harassment. It’s a Paleo miracle. We are now a happily 90/10 Paleo family, which means we eat Paleo (or primal) 90% of the time and cut ourselves some slack that other 10%.

The thing that’s made it easy for my kids to do is that I search high and low for great food that doesn’t taste like they’re getting cheated. Who wants to eat plain brussels sprouts when you know the delicious, cheesy goodness of mac & cheese? Not me, I can tell you that.

That’s where Pinterest comes in. It’s a treasure trove of awesome food. While, yes, I’ve tried some doozies there, for the most part, the recipes are top notch.

My absolute favorite Paleo dish I make is this chicken pot pie. I promise you’ll love it and you (and your family/friends) will never have the foggiest idea it’s paleo. After making this no less than a dozen times (I’m not kidding…this is on our menu at least twice a month), I’ve changed up a few things. And you, my fine friends, are going to benefit from my trial and errors.

IMG_6413First, I make a double batch of the crust so I have one already prepped in the freezer and ready to go every other time. And, actually, now that I’ve snagged the Mac Daddy of all food processors, I think I might make a quadruple batch so I only have to go through that pain once a month.

Second, I only use 1/2 a pound of potatoes, and I use them all for the creamy sauce. I feel like I can be honest with you and you won’t judge me, so the first time I made it, I screwed up and pureed all the potatoes instead of leaving chunks. I didn’t notice (and I actually liked it better), so I continued on that way. I just decreased the amount so the “thickening” sauce was creamy instead of gloopy.

Third, I tend to just pour the coconut milk into the food processor until I get it the consistency I want. Of course, on your first time, it’s always good to follow the recipe (unlike I did as mentioned above), but don’t be afraid to add a bit more if it’s gummy. And for those of you who are turning your nose up at putting coconut milk into your potatoes and afraid everything will taste like coconut, to you I say: HAVE YOU NO TRUST IN ME?!

IMG_6415Lastly, I only bake mine for an hour, then let sit for 10 minutes. Mostly because the first time I made this, I didn’t plan appropriately for time, and everyone in my house was moaning over their roaring stomachs.

And I know I said lastly, but a couple more tips for you:

  • Prior to rolling out your crust, lay your wax paper down and place your pan on top of it (upside down), tracing around the edges with a sharpie. Use that to guide how big to make your crust.
  • Bake this sucker on a pan underneath it because parts of the crust will come off. Also, eat those. They’re delicious.
  • The recipe creator recommends trimming excess off the sides and throwing it away. Um. No. That crust is like gold, so keep all that you can. (tip one will help with the reduced excess and tip two will catch everything that is and then you can shove it in your pie hole.)
  • Lastly, if for some strange reason you are not a fan of potatoes, you could sub cauliflower. I’ve never tried that because I hate cauliflower and I love potatoes, but I’m willing to bet it’d be doable. And that your kids still wouldn’t notice.

That’s it! Make this and then come back and tell me how amazing everyone thought it was and how you tricked your kids into eating something totally healthy and 100% clean.

Also, I’m leaving you for another Friday post. I’m sorry! But I have a writing retreat this weekend, and I imagine I will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off Friday morning. But next week, I’ll be back with three posts!

*This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, that means if you purchase something from these links a small percentage of the sale comes back to me (at no cost to you!). It’s Amazon’s way of saying, hey, thanks for mentioning this product! Here’re some pennies. I promise I will never post about things I think suck. I’ll only ever recommend items I really, truly love!

25
MAR
2016

Friday Round-up!

Friday Round-upEeek! I just about didn’t get this one posted, guys. When I set out with my ambitious posting schedule, I sort of forgot that Wednesday afternoon marked the start of Spring Break for the kiddos, which means it’s been a zoo in my house for two days.

Because of that, this is gonna be a quick one. But before I get into that, I want to tell you what Friday Round-ups are! If you don’t know about the amazing Pocket, you need to head over there now and sign up for a free account. I love it. It saves me from having to keep 12,000 tabs open on my computer and phone because I can save them to Pocket and access from anywhere! The Friday Round-up is just gonna be a post of some of the things I’ve saved from the previous week that I think are cool.

First up: Uppercase Box! I saw this review about the different boxes, and thought I’d give it a try. I’ll admit, the only reason I signed up for April was because it’s supposed to be for Harry Potter fans, and Oldest is a diehard one, so I thought I’d see if it’s worth the monthly subscription.

Next is something that you never knew you needed until you click on the link. But beware: it may cost you hundreds of dollars and hours of your time. Now that I’ve warned you…DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN DESIGN YOUR OWN SHOES?! Omg, I’ve fallen hard and fast for this site. And I may or may not have already designed four pairs of shoes. They’re just sitting there in my design folder, waiting to be purchased… Someone throw some money at me.

Then we’ve got something for all the #girlbosses out there. In my lovely FB group of writer-planners, one of the girls linked a video on Marie Forleo, and I was hooked. Marie’s videos are short enough to keep me interested but long enough to have substance to them. And they pertain to me and my life a lot. If you’re your own boss, or even if you just want to get control back in your life, go take a peek at her stuff.

Even though I saved wayyyy more than this last week, I’mma end it with this last one because my kids are running around like hooligans and the pizza crust is going to burn. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I absolutely looooove Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook. I seriously have not made a single bad recipe from there, and in fact have made several dishes more than once (or twice…) because they’re that damn good. Anyhoodle, I was browsing her site and saw this review and figured I’d better check out the cookbook that has highly recommended brownies. Plus, with a name like Every Last Crumb, I knew it’d be my jam. I’m hoping it’ll give me what I’ve been searching for: Paleo brownies as good as boxed. Because so far, I’ve tried three different recipes and none of them come even remotely close to the deliciousness that is boxed brownies. Have a recipe you love? Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment. I’m begging you.

That’s all for this week! I’ll see you guys on Monday for another #ListifyLife entry! Have a great weekend, and a Happy Easter if you celebrate!

*This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, that means if you purchase something from these links a small percentage of the sale comes back to me (at no cost to you!). It’s Amazon’s way of saying, hey, thanks for mentioning this product! Here’re some pennies. I promise I will never post about things I think suck. I’ll only ever recommend items I really, truly love!

23
MAR
2016

Whatcha Lovin’ Wednesday

See? I told you I’d be back on Wednesday, and here I am! It’s a miracle.

For this ongoing weekly post, I’m going to talk about things not at all related to writing (probably). It might be a new recipe I tried and loved (Whatcha Cookin’ Wednesday), it might be a book I read and loved (Whatcha Readin’ Wednesday), it might be a mix of both or none of the above (Whatcha Lovin’ Wednesday). You’ll notice a theme here—it’s all about things I love. I’ll be honest…talking about only writing stuff all the time equals burnout. Major, unavoidable burnout. So I’m bringing my love of other things to the blog, because, hey, you might love them too.

So what am I loving today? My precious, precious bullet journal. I am a huge planner, and I switched to a paper planner last year (the EC ended up not working for me, but it might work great for you. Bonus? They’re 40% off right now, so if you’ve ever wanted to give them a try, now’s the time). I loved the idea of a paper planner versus digital because lots of studies show that actually writing something down cements it further into our brains.

Alas, come summertime, it sat unused, tossed in a corner somewhere gathering dust. And worse, I didn’t pick it up again after summer ended, the kids went back to school, and I dug back into work full time. That told me that particular planner wasn’t the right fit for me.

IMG_6149At some point in the fall of 2015, my friend showed me her Traveler’s Notebook, and I really loved the versatility of it. I could print whatever I wanted for inserts! If something wasn’t working, I could toss it out after a month or a quarter and do something different. And the covers! Tell me these aren’t the prettiest things you’ve ever seen…

I’ve been using the Inkwell Press A5 quarterly inserts for about a month in my TN, and I really like them. But for those of you who are planners, you know planner peace is elusive, and you’re always looking for something that might bring your productivity and organization to the next level.

Thus I started watching these videos and all bets were off. I was lured to the dark side by someone named Boho Berry. What did I love about this new-found Bullet Journal? There was something appealing about the fact that I could make and create this to be exactly what I wanted it to be. It was the same idea with the inserts for the Traveler’s Notebook, but with a bit more of an artistic flare.

While Boho Berry loves the Leuchtturm, I decided to go with the Rhodia journal because of the paper quality. My friend (the same one who lured me to the TN side has since switched to Bullet Journaling as well) brought samples of the three main players (Moleskine, Leuchtturm, Rhodia) to dinner last week, and I was sold.

Moleskine is probably the most readily available (Target sells them), but I found their books to be the least impressive. The paper was thin and scratchy. Leuchtturm was much nicer than the Moleskine, and if I didn’t have the Rhodia to feel, I probably would’ve gone with them. But when that buttery-smooth paper was put in front of me, the others didn’t stand a chance.

There are a couple of things that may sway someone to the Leuchtturm side, though. For one thing, they come in lots of pretty colors. Rhodia was only available in black or orange. *sad face* I’m going to combat this by adding some rub-on stickers to the front to give it a little pizazz, yes I said pizazz. The second and third things in the Leuchtturm’s favor are a built-in index and pre-numbered pages. The reason this wasn’t a deal breaker for me was because I can add those just fine myself. Yeah, it’ll take a bit of time, but I’ll take one for the team if it means I get this amazing paper.

The problem I’m facing now is fear of the blank page. See? It afflicts writers even on non-writing things. Right now, I’m basically planning to plan. I’m doing research to see what I want to include in my BuJo and one day soon, I’ll mark up those buttery soft pages with some of my fancy new pens.

Okay, so that was super long-winded, but I also wanted to throw a book rec in here. As I’ve been mesmerized with bullet journal videos, I haven’t been reading much, but my kids have! Oldest (boy, 11, with a love for fantasy, humor, and magic books) has been reading this series for the second time, but he declined to be interviewed. LOL His reading level is tenth grade, but these books would work for someone as young as third or fourth grade, I’d say. He gets through them in about two days, and while they look daunting with their number of pages, the print is larger.

Youngest (boy, 7, with a love for magic, humor, and superheroes) had absolutely no problem being interviewed about what we’re currently reading. We’re working our way through the Magic Treehouse series. His teacher is reading them to the class, too, but he liked them so much he wanted to read them again.

IMG_6139Vacation Under the Volcano verdict: “I thought it was very, very good.”

Three things you liked:
“I liked how Annie kept running and didn’t stop their mission.”
“I liked how exciting this mission was.”
“I liked learning about Roman times.”

Anything you didn’t like?
“Jack stopped to read too much and he should’ve just focused on the mission.”

So those are his thoughts on it. My thoughts? Holy crap, my mom senses go off like crazy when I’m reading these books. Morgan sent them to an active volcano on the day it was set to erupt. That’s a real dick move, Morgan. I guess that’s why these books are geared toward kids and not parents. LOL

That’s it for this week’s post! I’ll be back on Friday with a round-up of what I’ve saved on Facebook and in my Pocket account!

*This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, that means when you click on a link here, a small percentage of the sale comes back to me (at no cost to you!). It’s Amazon’s way of saying, hey, thanks for mentioning this product! Here’re some pennies. I promise I will never post about things I think suck. I’ll only ever recommend items I really, truly love!

12

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