Not-So-Throwback Thursday!

So this isn’t really much of a throwback…but it was last month so I’m counting it anyways. =)

They took the preggo lady camping at Cove Creek out by Detroit Lake! Yay for baby beluga’s first camping trip! The lake was scary low, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves.

I present to you: The Married People’s Camping Trip/Baby Beluga’s First Camping Adventure!

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In Loving Memory of Daisy May Ragland

 Just over a week ago our friends lost, what was very possibly, the best dog in the whole world to bone cancer. Daisy was the sweetest, most gentle, loving dog I have come across and words cannot begin to describe how much we are all going to miss this little, smelly lady.

This video was made so that we could all have a something to look back on and remember this happy girl. I don’t think it does her justice, but it can at least help us look back and smile.

♥ Rest in peace, Daisy May ♥

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Where I’ve Been!! Hiatus Explained

I know that it’s been a while since my last post, so I thought an explanation was in order.

Long story short…

♥ I’m PREGNANT!!! ♥

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We found out in early March, and since then have been swept up in a whirlwind of doctors appointments, preparing for our new nugget (affectionately nicknamed Baby Beluga), and moving into (and getting settled into) our starter family home. We’ve been so busy being excited and happy, that I haven’t had much time for writing.

However, as I approach my third trimester, I find myself missing the posts! So I want to work on being better at consistently posting and getting back into the swing of things. After all, once Baby Beluga is here, I’m just going to have more to juggle. =)

I’m so excited to finally share this news with the world! And I will be back to posting on at least a semi-regular basis from now on. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

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Getting Fit!… For REAL This Time!

One of my resolutions this year was to make healthier decisions; and if I’m being completely honest…I have done nothing of the sort. But I think that I have finally hit my breaking point. I can NOT be this fat/unhealthy/out of shape anymore! My own actions are the reason that I will not be able to live a long, happy, healthy life, and that is just unacceptable. I have to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle now if I ever want my future family to have a chance at one.

So I’ve done my crying and I’ve had my own little pitty party, now it is time to do something about it!

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A little while ago, I discovered the Daily Greatness Training Journal online. At the time, I still thought that I could do it on my own; but now that I have hit this breaking point, I decided it was at least worth a try. It acts as a trainer, journal, planner, weight/food tracker, and motivational guide, all in one! They say that it will help change the way you approach fitness, and provide you with a better foundation to help you achieve your fitness goals. That is the exact reason that I was interested in this book; I need to change the way I think about fitness in general, because obviously, where I’m currently at is doing nothing for me. I’m hoping that this will be a sort of guide for me to slowly tweak my attitudes and thoughts about working out and eating right. There are lots of rave reviews about this journal, so my hopes are high! I can’t wait to get started!

The second thing I did was go shopping. I know, I know… how is that supposed to help me get in better shape? Working out on its own, is a hard thing to do get up and do; but just the thought of putting on those tight sports bras and those tight pants or shorts, was enough for me to find an excuse out of it. It was time for me to realize that I have grown a size and get some workout clothes that I am actually comfortable working out or being seen in. It isn’t a big thing, but comfort makes all the difference in the world!

Other things I have done to help my mission:

  •  I’ve charged up my UP24 band, and am back to wearing that every day. Since I am starting from a couch potato, right now I just want try to reach my step goal everyday.
  • I have also cut soda from my diet and therefore increasing my water intake… which has been very hard!

This is going to be a long, hard journey, but I know that it is all going to be worth it in the end. I believe the saying is, “nothing worth having is easy!” I’m looking forward to starting my new life and getting my old body back! =) Just got to keep this momentum going! Whoop!

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Ulta Haul!

Ulta sent out a 20% off your entire purchase coupon, so naturally I had to go and buy entirely too much. =) I was so happy to find that the few items I had on my list were in stock AND I found a couple of unexpected bonus items!

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Urban Decay – Vice LTD Pallet
Look at the color of that case! It’s so weird… and bright… and green! I love it! =D I have collected all of the Vice pallets, which is why I almost passed on this purchase. However, when I thought of missing this and having a hole in my collection, I decided it was better to live with no regrets! Urban Decay is some of my favorite eye shadows, so I already know that I’m going to love these.

Tarte – Tartelette Pallet
This pallet has been ALL OVER YouTube! Everyone is singing it’s praises so I was of course very curious. I really love that they are all matte shadows! Sure, you can get one or two in any given pallet, but I have been really into the mattes lately and love that I can get a whole matte look in one place. They swatched very smoothly at the store as well, so I have very high hopes for this.

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Contour Kit (light shades)
I have been looking for this since before Christmas but it is sold out everywhere! (And before anyone says anything, I know that I can order it online, but I am definitely an instant gratification kind of girl. When I buy it, I want it in my hands!) I picked up the LAST one in the store! This is the perfect addition to my collection and I can use it on my friends as well. I wish that the case was a little sturdier, and not held closed by a magnet, but I think it’ll be OK as long as I don’t manhandle it. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the color pans are removable, so I can purchase singles and customize the pallet to meet my needs.

Too Faced – Melted Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Berry
This is another product that I had heard good things about, so I thought it was worth a try. It goes on very smoothly and the fragrance is very light and non-offensive. I don’t know why, or where I heard it, but for some reason I was under the impression that the color didn’t transfer; however it turns out this is not the case and the color transfers and smears very easily. I’m hoping that the wear-time will make up for this.

Zoya – Matte Velvet Lacquer in Harlow
I found this gem in the clearance section! I have no idea why; it is so pretty! It’s a sparkly purple with a matte finish. Zoya is one of my favorite nail polish brands and I have yet to be let down with one of their products.

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Overall, it wasn’t a large haul, but I am still very happy with the items I picked up and can’t wait to try them all out! It’s always a good day when you get makeup! =)

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My Newest Alex & Ani Additions

These are the latest additions to my collection! I just can’t seem to get enough of these bracelets! My stack is getting rather large; soon I will have to pick a select few to wear due to lack of arm space. The messages behind them are so positive and help remind me to be a better person. Here’s what they mean:

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Butterfly – Renewal, strength, rebirth

Feather – Truth, light, virtue

Lotus Blossom – Strength, eternity, connection

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Birchbox vs. Ipsy: January

There are so many different monthly beauty subscription services out there; it’s hard to pick just one. This is exactly the dilemma I encountered when trying to decide which one was for me. I did some research, and it appears that the most popular ones seem to be Birchbox and Ispy. Both services offer roughly five different deluxe beauty samples for the small fee of just $10 a month and are supposedly, “selected just for [me].”

I’ve decided that the best way for me to determine which one really reigns over the other, is for me to compare the two head-to-head for a year (twelve boxes). Each month I will unbox and give my first impressions of the products inside. A winner will be designated for the month and at the end of the year, I will decide which subscription to keep and which to nix.

Birchbox

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Harvey Prince – Sincerely – Perfume
Musky, light fragrance… sort of reminds me of my husband’s cologne… but I think I still like it. =)
» First Impression: Yay

Coastal Scents – Revealed Palette Sampler in Latte – Eye Shadow Quad
Four, dime sized, neutral toned eye shadows. I’ve liked this brand in the past, so I am looking forward to trying these out.
» First Impression: Yay

Which – Shave Cream – Acai Grapefruit Scented
I am not a fan of the fragrance, but still hoping that I will like the product once I get to use it.
» First Impression: We shall see…

Tocca – Hand Cream – Cleopatra Scented (Grapefruit and Cucumber)
Not at all a fan of this scent and it is very potent so there is no escaping it. I will not be using it even if it was the most amazing hand cream ever (which I am not confident that it is).
» First Impression: Nay

Number 4 Hair Care – Hairspray
A flexible hold, hairspray that supposedly also nourishes hair as well as moderately holds it in place. Usually not a fan of any hairspray that isn’t a strong hold.
» First Impression: We shall see…

 Ipsy

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Bag – Solid deep blue on one side and white on the other… it’s meh.

Elizabeth Mott – All Over Eye Shadow Brush
The bristles feel really soft and it is nice and dense for an all over shadow brush. It doesn’t feel cheap either, which is always a plus with makeup tools.
» First Impression: Yay

Pacifica – Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow – Ethereal
I think this is a full sized product at .08oz. The formula is soft, but color payoff is very light, so it comes out very sheer. It might be better with a colored base underneath it, so I will need to experiment. I am relieved to find that even though the name says “coconut”, the shadow itself doesn’t have a fragrance to it.
» First Impression: We shall see…

Bella Pierre Cosmetics – Eye Shadow – Celebration
This is a beautiful, coppery-gold pigment! It has great color payoff and goes on very smoothly. I’m very excited to try this on! =)
» First Impression: Yay

Probelle – Nail Polish – Into the Blue
Also, I believe, a full sized item (.5oz). I haven’t heard of this brand before but am always interested in trying new nail products. At first swatch, it appears fairly opaque with just one coat, which is promising.
» First Impression: Yay

Eco-Beauty by Fresh Group – Daytime Moisturizer
The description says it provides “ample hydration” and is great for dry skin. Since I have super oily skin, I don’t think that this will be a good day-time moisturizer for me, but I may give it a try at night. It doesn’t seem to have a fragrance or oily feel to it; and it absorbed nicely into the skin on the back of my hand.
» First Impression: We shall see…

 

Both subscriptions had some items that I am still not too sure about, but overall…January Winner: Ipsy

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Mani Monday

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Chanel – May & Essie – Summit of Style

I have been completely in love with gold and pink lately; which is funny, because I’ve always been a silver girl. Whatever the reason, I simply cannot get enough of this color combo right now. And what better way to display my current color obsessions than a Mani Monday post?! =)

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Review: Wen Cleansing Conditioner

Years ago, on a late night infomercial, Chaz Dean graced my screen telling me how much my hair desperately needed Wen Cleansing Cleaner. I, being of sound, intellectual mind, of course knew that the purpose of the commercial was to get me to buy it and therefore, I did not, but for some reason the product and the name stuck with me; as well as the persisting feeling that I needed to have Wen in my life. Fast forward to present time, and I find that Sephora now carries this product in store! Guys! It was legit! =) Soooo…I have finally given in and purchased it!

Wen Cleansing Conditioner is a five-in-one product, that acts as a shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in-conditioner. It is designed to improve your shine, luster and softness; and it is sulfate free (which also means it won’t lather – which has been a really weird adjustment for me). In short, its supposed to make your hair completely soft and awesome!

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I have been using this for about a week now, and I am loving it! My hair has never been so soft! It even looks and feels healthier than it did from a week ago! Wen does all that it promises to do and I am not disappointed. HOWEVER… it is not without its faults. Since this cleanser is acting as so many products in one, it requires you to use a lot, and I do mean A LOT of product at one time. For long hair like mine, it recommends using 24-32 pumps (12 as a cleanser – rinse – and then 12 as a conditioner). The 16oz bottle that I got was more than halfway gone after the second time I used it. To better control the amount of product being used, I opted to wash with my normal shampoo and use Wen as a conditioner. Though it still works well, the results are not nearly as good as when I was using the full 24 pumps.

The flowing are my thoughts in short.

Pros:
♦ Smells amazing! (I got the sweet almond mint scent)
♦ Makes hair ridiculously soft and shiny
♦ Easily accessible now that it’s sold at Sephora

Cons:
♦ Price – $32 for 16oz – that’s about 5 washes for long hair
♦ The no lather thing takes some time to get used to
♦ Claims to reduce the frequency to cleanse, but I haven’t noticed a difference

Overall, this cleanser is awesome… but kind of pricy for how much you get. That being said, I’ll still be repurchasing this. =)

.:: ★ ::.

I’ve Started Project Life!

Number one on my resolutions list was to take more pictures -slash- start a scrap book, and Project Life is going to help me do it! I think that I am pretty late to the Project Life party, but as I am a newb to the scrapbook world, it’s understandably new to me. =)

wpid-sam_1155.jpgProject Life, by Becky Higgins, is a way to scrapbook without going full on scrapbook crazy. I do not see myself as creative, and the idea of creating scrapbook pages from nothing was completely intimidating. But THIS, this is so simple that even I can keep up with it! It is like a fill-in-the-blank version of the original intimidating craft. All you need is an album, and some pocket pages; and if you are not particularly gifted in the creativity department, you may want to pick up one of the Core Kits that they have available to insert into the pocket pages (I went with three of them… in hindsight, probably a bit of an overkill, but I got WAY too excited while adding things to my cart).

You start with picking out an album; I opted for a 12×12 size for lots of room and options. Then you pick out what kind of page layouts you want to use. I think there are about six different layouts and each page has a variety of 4×6 and 3×4 slots for you to insert either a photo or a card (or anything else your heart may desire). Then simply fill in the slots! I love that it is truly that easy! Don’t have enough pictures to fill a page? Add some cards from the Core Kit, postcards, card stock, ticket stubs, journal cards, literally anything that can fit in the photo pocket!

wpid-sam_1154.jpgThe traditional way of scrapbooking is great, but I do not have the time or the desire to put that much work into the process. Project Life is simple enough for anyone to get started with, but doesn’t take away the creative aspect of the craft. There is still that essence of you, and your personal styles can still shine through, even though the process has been streamlined a bit.

wpid-2015-01-13-20.55.07.jpg.jpegThe first page of my 2015 album

We are only into week three of the new year and I have four pages of my album completed already! Even my husband was pleasantly surprised at how awesome it is looking. =) Now all I have to do is make sure that I keep taking photos as the year progresses. I knew from the beginning that actually taking the pictures was going to be the most difficult aspect of this two part resolution; but it eases my mind to know that I have a good system in place for at least the scrapbooking part of it. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me!

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