Round-up: April 2016

 

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It’s almost time to say goodbye to April!  How is 2016 zooming by at the speed of light?  I dunno, but it just is.  I.  Can’t. Even.

I hope you had a lovely month.  I certainly did!  At the beginning of the month, I made a to-do wishlist…just basically things I was hoping to do.  These are the ones I accomplished!

  1. To visit to my Alma Mater!  It’s a little college in the Shenandoah River Valley.  I have only been back there once since my wedding there, and it was extra special because this time our baby girl was with us.  There is something so sweet and wonderful about going back to a place full of special memories, and bringing the little one who was just a twinkle in our eyes back when we were students there!
  2. Adopt a furbaby.❤  Only, we didn’t just adopt one furbaby.  When you can’t decide on which dog is best for you, sometimes that’s because there are two that are the best. ❤  I tell the whole story here.
  3. Try a new foundation brand. (hopefully IIID Foundation by Maskcara Cosmetics!)
  4. Introduce baby cereal to my little one.  Baby oatmeal was a big hit!  She likes it mixed with a her purees, like bananas or sweet potato.
  5. Begin editing my book.
  6. Finish watching Friends.  *sigh* I’m watching The Last One Part 1 & 2 tonight!
  7. Finish the prayer book I’m reading.  I have about 4 chapters left.  My takeaway from the book: it is the gift and place of a wife to pray constantly for her husband.
  8. Get our copy of Star Wars VII. <– that’s for my husband, I promise.:)  Got it. Watched it.  Worth it.
  9. Purchase a few new tees.
  10. Begin using my salt lamp for essential oils.  Ok, so I did start using my salt lamp!  But I use it less for essential oils (that’s what massages are for!!) and more for it’s nightlight glow and air purifying properties.

7/10 isn’t too bad, right?  I guess I can tack those three onto next month’s to-do list!

On top of those things though, my month had a few other highlights, but mostly just the regular every-day happiness that is life.  Even though traveling can be a bit of a headache, I definitely enjoy road trips with my family.  There is something so fun about being cozied up in the car with those you love and all the “essentials.”  Also, my little one started crawling this past week, which is more like a combination between scooting and an Army low-crawl (who did she learn THAT from?).  Not sure if I’ve mentioned it or not but I’m semi-fluent in French…and so this month I got hooked on DuoLingo and have been using it to brush up on the language (read: to compete with family members).  🙂  Last but not least, I delved a little deeper into my love for essential oil in picking out lavender as my new massage oil.

What did you do in April?  I would love to know!!!

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything”-  William Shakespeare, Sonnet XCVIII

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My No Ma(y)ke-up Challenge

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This is crazy, but I’m doing it.  Today, as I was reflecting, I thought about how it would be really great if I spent less money.  My husband doesn’t mind when I buy makeup, skin, and hair products whenever I get the urge, but sometimes, I do.  He is always so careful to not splurge on himself, but since I consider makeup a “necessity” of life, I don’t really think I’m splurging on myself when I buy makeup.  But I kinda am.  If I didn’t have a nice bountiful collection of makeup, I might feel differently.  But you guys know the truth.   I buy.  I spend.  I haul.  So in honor of the fact that I appreciate how my husband isn’t a splurger, I’m going to try it out for a month too.

I’m still going to wear makeup for all of May, if that’s what you’re wondering.  But, my No Ma(y)ke-up challenge is that FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF MAY, I WON’T BUY ANY *NEW* MAKEUP PRODUCTS.  The little unimportant asterisks around the word ‘new’ are because if I run completely out of a product I wear daily, I wouldn’t consider replacing it to be splurging.  But what I’m NOT going to be buying is “the latest shade of Milani blush” or “that eyeliner that I saw on that one Youtuber’s video” or 5 new shades of nail polish just because.

*GASP*  Surely saving money can’t be a big enough of a motivation to give up buying makeup this month.  NO WORRIES PEOPLE, IT’S NOT THE ONLY REASON.  Of course, a big benefit to this will be saving money for our summer trips, anniversary gifts, and potential moving costs.  But my secret motivation is that I want to focus LESS on makeup and MORE on skincare and hair.

I think having beautiful skin and amazing hair would be lovely.  I want to spend more time on my skin this month, and less time on covering it up with makeup.  *Again, NO WORRIES, I will still be wearing makeup all month*  But I recently bought a facial steamer, and some radiance serum, and I’m just getting really excited about focusing my attention on my skin.  And my hair.  I will be getting a new serum from my salon this week and I couldn’t be more excited.  I also switched shampoo/conditioner brands and have been loving it.  I really feel like my hair and my skin deserve some special, undivided attention.

And so…in the spirit of saving my money and imitating my husband’s self-restraint, I am dedicating all my beauty energy in May to taking care of my skin and my hair.  I’ll let you know at the end of May how it all went, what I learned, and what products helped me in my journey!! Until then, wish me luck!  And comment below if you’d like to join me in my “No Ma(y)ke-up Challenge!”

Post Exchange Beauty Haul

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The other day my husband needed to buy some new Army boots, and so my baby and I accompanied him to the PX.  To also get makeup.  For anyone who hasn’t heard about it, the PX (formally titled “The Post Exchange”) is basically the Target of the military world.  It is a store located on military bases that has house goods, clothing, makeup, electronics, toys, etc.  The stores vary from location to location in how much they stock, but some even have a nice outdoor/garden section and furniture options!  The basic idea of the PX is that since military families often (read: SUPER often) end up in the middle of nowhere, the Post Exchange carries a lot of good brands and options to make up for the possible (read: SUPER OFTEN) deficit of “good stores.”  My PX carries brands like Michael Kors, Bath and Body Works, Clinique, Smashbox, and even Vera Bradley.   I totally love it!

Anyway, I was running low on foundation this week.  As in, the DAY that I was going to visit family and my alma mater for an alumni event, my foundation squeezed out its LAST PUMP.  <– that was BAD TIMING, people.  But of course, there is no such thing as picking up one beauty product, and so at the end of my PX trip, I had acquired a nice little haul.

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L’Oreal Infallible in Amber Rush.  I had been meaning to get this ever since I watched a beauty video by iheartmakeup92.  This tutorial to be exact.  She said it was so beautiful and she was right!

 

Victoria Secret Lip Scrub in Strawberry Fizz.  I have the Victoria Secret Lip balms, but never have tried the sugar scrub.

 

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NYC Shimmer polish in Skyline Shimmer.  I wanted to get a light/beige color and this one had a shimmer to it.

 

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Wet n’ Wild polish in Sparked.  My stash of glitter nail polishes has been rapidly depleted between college and working at a ladies’ fashion store.  I needed another bottle.  This one is really close to my all-time favorite Milani glitter in Disco Lights.

 

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Double Duty by Sally Hansen.  I had to pick up a base coat…  because I needed something to put under those two polishes. lol

 

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Triple Moisture Shampoo by Neutrogena.  My hairdresser said that she feels like my hair was screaming for moisture.  I thought that was odd considering my current shampoo specifically says ‘moisture’ on it.  At the same time though, I wasn’t surprised considering my shampoo is a grocery store brand (Kirkland). haha <– and that’s not Kirkland as in the furniture store (I’m not THAT crazy) it’s Kirkland as in the Costco brand).

 

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Triple Moisture Conditioner by Neutrogena.  Because mis-matched shampoos and conditioners are annoying.  So is the fact that I always have half a bottle of shampoo left when my conditioner runs out.  Anyone else?  #longhairproblems?

 

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Foundation.  Because let’s not forget the whole reason I walked through the makeup aisle.  0:)  It’s the Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in Natural Ivory 30.  This was definitely a lighter shade than I had last time, but that’s okay because I couldn’t find my original shade and because it had actually been a little too dark for me.

It was a fun trip and I’m excited to use all of my new items!  Have you tried any of these products, and did you like them?

The Miranda Sings Award

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Thank you to startwithstyle for nominating me for the Miranda Sing’s Award!  I love blogging awards!  They usually involve some kind of question-and-answer-type-thing that helps us get to know each other, as well as nominating-aspect that helps spread the word about other blogs.  This one does both!  Here are the rules:

  • Announce your nomination with a post, including a link to the blogger who nominated you.
  • Include the featured image on your blog.
  • List seven things you love about yourself (e.g. your appearance, personality, achievements, etc.), but don’t use negative comparisons.
  • Nominate other bloggers for the award and notify them.

So…without further adieu, here are 7 things that I love about myself:

  1. I love that I’m a mommy (especially a stay-at-home mommy!)
  2. I love my hair.  *truth: it is a love-hate relationship LOL*
  3. I love that my husband is my best friend, and I always pick him over everyone!
  4. I love that I’m committed to living and eating healthy.
  5. I love that I am gentle (seriously, I tried getting frustrated and it stressed me out!)
  6. I love that I love animals.
  7. I love that I love taking care of myself: hair, makeup, fashion, etc.  It can be really hard to some people to be comfortable doing that–they feel like it’s vain or pointless.  I’m really happy that I have a healthy relationship with beauty.

Thanks so much for reading!  I’m sure there are so many things that we would all love about you!  Please share them below.  And also, please check out the blogs of these lovely bloggers who I would like to nominate for the Miranda Sings Award:

With All My Affection

MyCrazyAshLife

Her Quarters

The Falcon Life

Fashionably Meek

DajanaErd

Thanks to all the lovely readers who took a moment to stop by!!  Leave me a comment below, as I would love to find your blog and read your latest post. (:

 

 

Adopting Twin Furbabies

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This post is dedicated to the two new little fur babies who have already left little paw prints on our family’s heart.  We love you guys!

Two weeks to the day we met the two most perfect and adorable puppies ever.  This post is all about them.  Though this is just their adoption story, I have a lot more to share about them.

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My husband and I are total dog lovers.  We had been talking about adopting a dog for a long time (read: every single day searching ads, animal shelter postings, etc. and talking about it for hours).  Even though there were a couple breeds we were specifically attached to, what we were REALLY attached to was the idea of a dog who was loving and gentle, playful yet lazy, sweet but silly, and above all, well-mannered.  Does that even sound like a dog?

Anyway, it was a particularly well-weathered late afternoon that we came upon an ad for two labrador retrievers that needed a home.   Like all the other ads before, we innocently clicked on the link, but instantly, our hearts were melted.  On the screen was a selfie of two labs wearing birthday party hats.  O. M. Gee.

Two dogs?  We had talked about how fun that would be.  But we never thought that could ever really happen.  I mean, once you have a dog, does it mind you getting another?  And what age is a good age to introduce the second dog?  Does gender matter?  But these two dogs were ALREADY BONDED BUDDIES.  They could be our ‘his’ and ‘her’ dogs.  They could be “the more the merrier” dogs.  THEY COULD BE OUR NEW TWIN FURBABIES.

So on March 30th, their owners brought them over to our apartment for a first meeting.  And that meeting was all we needed to know that they were the perfect dogs for us.  Loving…as in they follow us around the house.  Gentle…as in they leave the baby alone.  Playful…as in they attempt to play fetch.  Lazy…as in they sleep in our bedroom til noon sometimes.  Sweet…as in they love to cuddle beside our couch.  Silly…as in they go crazy for water.  Well-mannered…as in they will lay in the kitchen without begging once.

Meet Samson and Benson.  They are our two new fur babies and we just love them so much.  Adopting them was the best decision we have made in 2016!

Samson is a yellow lab.  He is older than Benson, but sometimes acts like the baby of the two.  He loves attention but is happy to sleep for 4 hours straight without moving.  With a true lab heart, he loves family time.  Benson is the black lab.  He is actually the baby of the two, and can definitely act like it.  He’s a great guard dog, and loves to keep our family safe.  Don’t let his 100lbs of muscle fool you though–he is a great cuddler.

Even though our family always felt like we needed a dog, what we really needed was two.  We are so blessed to have these two furbabies in our life!  They really do give the family an extra dimension of cuddles, licking, outings, and a good time.

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole.

Fashion Haul: Charlotte Russe

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In case you missed my last post, lately I’ve been getting inspired by minimalism and wardrobe capsules.  In case you also missed it, I seem to struggle with the part about MINIMALIZING.  I’ll get there one day.  It’s not like I haven’t tried.  I’ll see an inspiring closet pin and I’m like, “I really need to do that.” And so I go to Charlotte Russe to buy clothes. Ahem, to START minimializing and capsuling. By buying more clothes. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.

The thing is, in order to be an effective minimalist, I have to love the few things that I have. Same goes for a wardrobe capsule–I have to have functional items. And apparently right now my thousands of pieces of clothing aren’t worthy of a minimalist capsule. And so I went and bought some.

Here are my 4 pieces:

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$10. It’s a tee with a nice slouch on both sides of the hem. Perfect for leggings!

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$10. Same style, different color!

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$6. Need I say more?? This is a cotton tube skirt (I think they call it a body con skirt). I love the pencil silhouette (which my hanger does injustice to) and the material. Finally, a pencil skirt that is super comfortable and can be worn below the waist line without looking baggy!

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$6. And of course a black version of the same body con skirt–bc this couldn’t be my fashion haul without a black skirt! Lol

The thing I love about these pieces is that they can comfortably mix and match with eachother, as well as with many of my other clothes! That means that I’m well on my way to having a real minimalist fashion capsule, right?! Or at least, I just took one fashionable foot forward in the right direction. 😀

 

 

My Faux Fashion Capsule

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It’s been a little while since I bought new clothes. (Read: two weeks) Which means that all my clothes feel old and out-dated and just not “my style.” Am I the only one who constantly has style-identity-crisis? One Fall, I am totally into ponchos and leggings and then the next fall its like, skirts, tights, and sweaters ONLY. Ugh.

The real issue comes in when you end up changing your “style” each season, for 4 or 5 years in a row. And hardly get rid of any clothes between seasons. But you keep buying more. Then when you move to college, you have the excuse of having extra clothes because you keep bouncing back and forth between the dorm and your parent’s house and so nobody can keep track of how much clothes you *actually* own. So you have too many clothes and you get away with it.

I remember one time as a teenager, having 4 closet spaces and being relieved. My dad called me “Elizabeth Taylor” when we were moving because um…I guess it was kinda a lot of clothes for one person. Poor dad, I am only one of six daughters. He had a lot of clothes to move. Anyway, apparently in the brand new house he bought, the closet bar wasn’t sturdy enough for two sisters to hang up their clothes together–especially when one of the two said sisters used to have 4 closets. NEEDLESS TO SAY THE POPPING SOUND COMING FROM OUR CLOSET WAS THE SHELF WIRING COMING OUT OF THE WALL AND RIPPING THE HOUSE’S DRYWALL. Oops.  Personally, I think daughters are great.

Moving on.

I’ve been browsing Pinterest, getting inspired by minimalism and wardrobe capsules, and now I’m like, “Hey, I could/should do that!”  And so I go to Charlotte Russe to buy clothes. Because who doesn’t need a good arsenal of clothes in order to start a capsule?!

Here’s the truth:  I don’t actually want a REAL capsule.  And I’m not a minimalist.  But I’m inspired by the idea of having clothes that I love, that fit me well, that are beautiful, and that make me happy to wear.  And that aren’t completely OVERSHADOWED by drawers and drawers of clothes that I don’t like at all and never ever wear.  The little issue is that I hate getting rid of clothes, even said drawers of clothes that I’ll never wear.  It’s just so hard to say goodbye to a shirt I might need ONE DAY.  Honestly, I have to think of giving the shirt away as an act of charity in order to part with it.  Otherwise it will sit in my dresser FOREVER.

Solution to all these problems: the Faux Fashion Capsule.  Let me explain, since I made that concept up.  It’s truly a capsule because you have a limited selection of clothing in your drawer, each piece being multifunctional, good-fitting, beautiful, quality, and a top-favorite.  But here is where the faux-part comes in.  All the other pieces of clothing get bagged up and set aside for the next season.  Obvi don’t pack up things that are dated, misfitting, not “your color” etc.  (Donate those)  The point is to bag up those “options” that you are having a hard time getting rid of, but don’t want to keep in your daily closet.  Knowing that you have this back-up bag of options can make you (read: ME) feel more comfortable about downsizing your wardrobe.   And you can always pull them out when the seasons change and you’re looking for a way to mix-up your wardrobe.

The big bonus here?  If you can’t actually remember what’s in the bag of “options” after a month or two, or haven’t missed them once, go ahead and just donate the bag to charity because OBVIOUSLY you truly are ready for a real capsule wardrobe and more importantly, someone else would love to wear what you don’t want!  Basically, think of the faux capsule as a graduation program– it works you up to getting a real capsule!

Here is the million dollar question.  Will I have the willpower to accomplish this?  I HOPE SO.  KEEP ME MOTIVATED.