Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holiday Smokey Eye Palette


Disclosure: This post is brought to you by BrandBacker

I'm pretty clueless about applying makeup the "right" way. I usually just slap it on and hope for the best. So when I was chosen to write about Studio Gear's new Holiday Smokey Eye Palette, all I could think was "really, me?". However I rolled with the punches and looked forward to getting mine in the mail.


Luckily for me (and all the make up clueless) the palette came with it's very own instructions. Now to be honest, I could still screw this up, but at least this gave me some guidelines about what I was supposed to do with all those colors. Usually I just stare at it for a bit, and then give up and figure no make up would look better than the mess I could make.

The colors in this palette are perfect for a smokey eyed look with a little bit of shimmer. The colors complement each other perfectly.

You can use the code SGHOLIDAY to get 10% off your entire order at Studio Gear, and it's a code that doesn't ever expire! 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fynn Lately: 16 Months

While I'm enjoying not feeling like I need to do the monthly update posts on Fynn, I do miss that time to sit down and think about what she's doing lately. I love having those posts to look back on, and I need to make sure I update more frequently about her.

It's crazy to me that she's already 16 months old. She keeps getting bigger and older and becoming this whole person. I'm blown away on a daily basis by the things she says and does. I'm also blown away by all that she sees and imitates. It's true what they say about your kids being your mirror, and it's making me be more careful about how I speak and act.

Here's what Fynn's been up to lately:

  • She loves saying "hi" and waving to people... as long as they aren't too close. Across the street? Sure, she'll wave and yell and be all outgoing. But if they say hi to her at the store? She'll cling to our legs, asked to be picked up and hide in our shoulders without uttering a word. 
  • Fynn also love Zoey... but she hasn't figured out how to be gentle with her. She'll grab onto Zoey in a big hug, and almost break her. Zoey is soooo patient and sweet with her, but there have been a couple of times when Zoey has given her a warning nip/growl. We scold Zoey about it, but I have to say I can't blame her... poor dog is probably seeing her life flash before her eyes in those moments.
  • Finally Fynn is growing hair. She was a little baldie up until about a year, but since then has grown some gorgeous blonde locks. She has a couple of big curls in the back and it's getting really long. Only in the back though. She has some hair in the front, and it's growing, but she very much still rocking the baby mullet.
  • Sleep. Sleep is soooo much better (I say as I knock on wood). For the past week she's slept through the night from about 7 pm to 6-7 the next morning. A couple of times she cries out at 3-4 am, but she is able to settle herself back to sleep within a few minutes. This type of sleep has been a long time coming, and I'm so grateful for it.
  • Part of why sleep may have gotten better is that we've stopped nursing. She cut down to 1-2 nursing sessions a day at the end of September, and then we just stopped. She asked for it a couple of times after, but wasn't really interested.
  • Fynn is talking up a storm. Mostly gibberish, but a lot of actual words sprinkled in. Right now she can say: mama, dada, fishes, yeah, no, hi, bye, up, mine, that, nanana (banana), truck (though it doesn't sound like truck!), sit (which also comes out sounding inappropriate). She also signs more. She also thinks she's signing please, but it's not the actual sign. If you tell her to say please, she'll frantically sign more. There's been a couple of times I swear she's said "I want that". 
  • The facial expressions. She can raise one eyebrow like Drew does, and it's hilarious to see her do it. She usually does it when she thinks you're saying something funny or if she's trying to tease.
  • If you ask her a question she doesn't know the answer to, like "where's Daddy?" she'll hold out her hands with the palms up and gibber like she's telling you she doesn't know
  • The climbing. She's always been a little monkey, but now she can get on our bed by herself and up on our (really tall) bar stools. It's scary because we'll turn around and she'll be up on something. She hasn't tried to climb out of the crib yet, but I know that's got to be coming soon. 
  • She's a major ham. She loves to be goofy and silly and get people to laugh. She'll put her bowl in her mouth or do something funny with her toys. We call her a ham all the time and she just laughs.




Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So What Wednesday


This Wednesday is the first day of my Thanksgiving break, so I'm saying "So What?" if:

  • We're heading up north super early this morning to spend Turkey Day with Drew's family
  • If I'm so not excited to be spending this time up north. I love Drew's family, don't get me wrong, but Drew's going to spend the time hunting... and I'm going to spend the time chasing after Fynn in a house that isn't baby proof... not exactly my idea of a relaxing vacation
  • I chopped off about 10 inches of my hair last week, and I get really annoyed when people don't say anything about it. It's not like it's a little change! 
  • Fynn and I watched Tangled on Sunday because Drew was working and I was tired. I try not to let her actually watch TV, but sometimes a Mama has to do what a Mama has to do
  • If I was bummed that my second 5k race time wasn't as fast as my first. I guess I just have to do better next time! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Come joing the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 41st Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Other than our new look, there are a few changes taking place, for the better. The first change is that the hop will be held every Tuesday at 9am (MST) instead of over the weekend. The reason for this change is that there are already tons of weekend hops, and we wanted to make this hop more accessible to our audience.

The second change is that the hop will focus on content from here on out. I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of All My Happy Endings or The Dwelling Tree. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Mandi about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 

 photo BlogHopButtonFinal_zps99116d5e.png
 

***Once a week, one lucky winner will be drawn at random to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

Meet your hosts:

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

All My Happy Endings: Blog, Bloglovin'
  
and your co-hosts:

Osborne, My Life in Words: BlogTwitter
Samantha Elizabeth: BlogBloglovin'
Holli's Hoots and Hollers: Blog, Bloglovin'
Simple Moments Stick: Blog, Bloglovin'

 My Show Amanda: Blog, Facebook
Don't Judge Me: Blog, Facebook
Simply Free: Blog, Twitter
Back Home Again: Blog, Bloglovin'

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:


Aw man, Amberly, why did you have to put up such a cute pic of your dog? Anyways, the  moment I saw this post it caught my eye. Partly because my husband and I have been on the fence for awhile about getting a puppy. I love the reasons Amberly lists out on this blog post for "Why every marriage needs a puppy". I love #2 the bestThere is always someone to keep you company when your spouse is gone. So true. Anyways, it is a great post and one worth reading. Plus, I just love this photo. It is rather Pinterest worthy for family photos including your pet! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)





Monday, November 25, 2013

5K #2

Drew and I ran our second 5K yesterday. I was pumped for this one. I have been running further lately, and consistently running at least 3 miles at a time, so I was feeling pretty good going into the race. 

I started at a good pace, I didn't let myself get caught up in race fever which last time had me running way too fast at the beginning and then barely making it past the finish line at the end. I felt good the entire race, even on the big hill at the end of the race.

My time was 34:37, about a minute slower than my time at the last race!
Granted, this 2nd course was ten times harder. I'm talking hills (including one big one right at the end), 20 degree weather with wind chills in the single digits, and wind that took your breath away, but I was still bummed. I'm trying not to get down on myself. I have to appreciate the fact that it was a harder course and that I ended feeling better than I had before. At the first race I felt light-headed and nauseous as I crossed the finish line. This time I felt great. Cold, but great. 

Drew though, Drew did awesome. He finished the race in just under 30 minutes. I am so beyond proud of him. He ran this harder course a full two minutes faster than the last race. Impressive.

The race was fun though, especially all the people in turkey hats. Unfortunately I don't have a single picture. I was stupid and left my phone in the car! Probably a good thing... hats don't look great on me and I was a sweaty, frozen mess at the end.

We celebrated our successful race the only way we know how: with donuts :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So What Wednesday



This week I'm saying "So What" if:

  • I don't even want to think about Christmas yet...I'm trying to to be a Grinch like I was last year, really I am, but so far I'm not feeling it.
  • The blog feels like work right now... I'm thinking I might need a break from it for a bit to start enjoying it more
  • I screwed up my conference scheduling one day last week and ended up double booking... ugh, I do it every single time I have conferences... you would think I'd learn
  • I complain about not losing weight despite running several times a week... even though I eat junk food all the time.
  • I'm super jealous that Drew has lost about 20 pounds since this summer... yes, he's worked harder, but I'm still jealous
  • I let Fynn eat mac & cheese way more often then she should... it's one of the few foods I know she'll actually eat
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!



A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 40th Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Other than our new look, there are a few changes taking place, for the better. The first change is that the hop will be held every Tuesday at 9am (MST) instead of over the weekend. The reason for this change is that there are already tons of weekend hops, and we wanted to make this hop more accessible to our audience.

The second change is that the hop will focus on content from here on out. I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of All My Happy Endings or The Dwelling Tree. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Mandi about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news!

***Once a week, one lucky winner will be drawn at random to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.



Meet your hosts:

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

All My Happy Endings: Blog, Bloglovin'
  
and your co-hosts:
Osborne, My Life in Words: BlogTwitter
Samantha Elizabeth: BlogBloglovin'
Holli's Hoots and Hollers: Blog, Twitter

My Show Amanda: Blog, Facebook
Don't Judge Me: Blog, Facebook

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:
I love the idea of re-doing a dresser, and I loved this tutorial from Stephanie at Barksdale Blessings. In fact, I need a dresser for my bedroom right now! Isn't it pretty? I loved reading Stephanie's blog. She had a 4 pound Yorkie named Bear and a new Labradoodle pup. Seriously? What a cute puppy combo!She loves DIY projects, redoing furniture, and organizing. Her blog is filled with, DIY projects, what God is teaching her, random happenings at the Barksdale household and more! Go check her out! :)

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)




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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Social

1. Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life.

  1. 5th grade teacher
  2. Middle school teacher
  3. Summer camp counselor
  4. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Scooper 

2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over.

  1. Stepmom
  2. The Notebook
  3. The Time Traveler's Wife
  4. How to Train Your Dragon















3. Name 4 places you have lived.
I've lived in 4 different towns in Maine... clearly I'm adventurous :)

4. Name 4 of your favorite foods.

  1. Mac & Cheese
  2. Anything chocolate
  3. Pizza
  4. Mashed potatoes 
(carb lover much?)


5. Name 4 things you always carry with you.

  1. iPhone
  2. lip balm
  3. diapers/wipes

Barcelona '11
6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation.

  1. Barcelona
  2. Dominican Republic
  3. The Lake
  4. Florida

    Florida '08
    Dominican Republic '09


The Lake '13


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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Guest Post: Best Ways To Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Disclaimer: Information brought to you by www.edsairconditioning.com/


Machines have taught us that if we maintain them on a regular basis they will give us hours, months and years of devoted service and come through when we need them most. Ignore them and they'll fail at the worst possible moment. Your air-conditioner works the same way. Ignore recommended maintenance and it won't care if your house is 95 degrees and your mother-in-law is coming for the weekend. You're left standing there kicking yourself for not doing what you should have done. If your unit has failed the first thing you do is call local air-conditioning specialist. They will come and save the day. A qualified specialist does everything you cannot or should not attempt. 1-Check refrigerant level and look for potential leaks. 2-Check for leaks in ducting. 3-Test the operation of the heart and soul of your unit, the condenser and evaporator. 4-Check all electrical connections. AC units naturally vibrate and connections may loosen up over time. This is not an all inclusive list but does give you a guide for what you need to do and try to maintain the AC yourself.

The maintenance you perform annually will go a long way in making sure your AC unit runs properly. A well maintained unit will result in more efficient use and lower energy cost. Schedule your maintenance well before the anticipated heating season. Nothing worse than trying to get service on the first really hot day of the season along with everyone else. And whats really embarrassing is if the unit failed from something simple because you didn't get it maintained at the beginning of the cooling season. Point made, plan early. There are really only three items that are critical. Lets start with the filter. All the air in the house must go through the filter. If the house is in a dusty region or you have furry pets, changing the filter more often is required. For the average house, change the filter every one to two months. Don't use damaged filters or try to shake off the dirt and reuse the old filter. Either your unit will run for longer periods of time because it has a hard time sucking the air through the filter, or the coil will get coated with dirt and it will lose its ability to absorb heat. Either scenario equals big energy use. They do make re-useable filters that you wash off in the sink. Keep in mind however that they also will have to eventually be replaced. Speaking of coils, with time they do accumulate dirt and with great care clean the coils. If your fan fins are smashed or bent get a fin comb and straighten them out. This condition can also lead to  poor airflow around the outside of your unit. Speaking of airflow outside your AC unit, check the foliage growing around the unit housing. Give it a good two feet of clear space for air outside to circulate around your unit. One last item to check and then you're done. A clogged condensation drain should be washed out with bleach water to get rid of any junk that may have built up in the pipe. These drain pipes have been known to backup into the house causing unnecessary water damage. When the cooling season is over remove the room AC unit and store it or if you have central air, put a plastic cover over it to keep leaves, twigs and other damaging items away from your AC unit. A little bit of attention from you will keep your AC unit in good health, both machine and your pocketbook.

November Ipsy Review

My Ipsy bag came pretty quickly this month. I got my e-mail on Tuesday or Wednesday and it was in my mailbox on Friday... pretty good considering there have been months where I get my shipping notification a week and a half before getting my bag. 

I don't know what happened with my pictures today. I updated my iPhone finally the other day, and since then my pictures are a funny size when I load them on my computer. Anyone else having that issue?

This month's Ipsy theme was Glam It Up. I'm not a fan of the bag this month. Gold snakeskin? I'll pass. But Fynn really likes it and has been carrying it around on her wrist, so at least it will get some use. 



I'm not crazy about this color, but maybe it will be prettier on my nails. I love Nailtini nail polish, it just seems to stay on longer then a lot of other polishes I've tried. That said. $13 for a bottle of nail polish? Not going to happen. 



Love Pixi, love bronzer, so I was happy to see this in my bag. It looks really dark in the jar, but when I tried it on my hand it was pretty subtle, so I know I'll use it. 



Tell me this isn't the longest name every for a lip balm? I was a little nervous when I saw the color of this that it was going to be bring and ugly, but it actually goes on clear with a nice gloss. It's not sticky at all and left my lips feeling nice and soft. I don't usually like tubs of lip balm (because it gets all over my fingers) but I really like this and I know I'll end up using it all. 

I get it, bright red lips are hot right now, but I just keep getting more and more bright red lipstick from boxes and other sponsors... I have NO WHERE to wear bright red lipstick to. Seriously. I'm going to have these until I'm 80 and still not use them up. 



I'm just not sure I'll actually use it. I'm rather minimalist in my makeup use, so eyeliner is a special occasion kind of thing. This is a silvery color, so even when I pull out the eyeliner, I'm not too sure this will be the one I grab. 


TRESemme TRES Two Extra Hold Travel Size Hairspray ($2.14)

I haven't used hairspray in forever, so I was iffy about this. Usually when I think of hairspray, I think about it being sticky and making your hair hard... not the look I'm usually going for. To be honest, I don't really use much hair product, so I don't know if I'll use this. Right now the only thing I really use in my hair besides shampoo and conditioner is the Sexy Hair soy beach spray I got in my July Ipsy bag. 


Overall this month's bag had a value of $76.14. I don't always use everything in my bag, but for $10 a month it's a great deal and a fun way to try out new products. 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Catching Fire Prize Pack Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a Catching Fire prize pack in exchange for my post and hosting the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

I've been in love with The Hunger Games series since I read the first book 4 years ago. I read all three books in about a week because I just couldn't put them down. The books are so addicting and exciting, I loved every minute of reading them.




 Then I was psyched about seeing The Hunger Games movie, it was so much fun to see a book I love transferred into a movie. I loved the people they cast to play the main characters and thought they did a really good job with it. Soon Catching Fire is coming out, and I can't wait to see what they did with the second (and my favorite!) book. 

While waiting for the movie to come out on November 22nd, you can enter to win a Catching Fire prize pack which includes: a movie poster, official movie t-shirt with mockingjay logo, two wristbands, an iPhone cleaner and an iPhone dot. A fantastic prize pack if you're a Hunger Games fan like I am.


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Friday's Letters


Dear kids in my town,

It seems excessive for there to be 8 bus stops within a mile of each other. Here's a hint. If you can swing your backpack around and smack the kid at the next bus stop, you don't really need two stops. 

Sincerely,
I'm trying to get to work



Dear Fynn,

Sleep is good. Seriously girl, you should try it. All night long. Even try sleeping in. Trust me, once you do it a couple of times, you'll realize how amazing it is.

Love always,
Your tired Mama

Dear myself,

Stop taking on more! You have a 1 year old, grad school, the club you coach, not to mention all your lesson planning, grading, oh, and trying to be a human being... that wasn't enough? I hope you enjoy your student teacher next semester.

With all due respect,
You're crazy

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Thoughts


  • Thankfully this week is going by fast, because it's been a doozy! Parent-Teacher conferences, tons of work for my grad school class, and Fynn has decided to be a butt this week. I'm talking waking up screaming at 4:30/5. Nothing will make her happy. Her babysitter referred to her as Jekyll and Hyde lately... so not enjoyable
  • Monday the town came to pave the end of our driveway... they ripped it up two months ago to replace a culvert and FINALLY got around to fixing it. Geek that I am, I couldn't stop watching. It was so cool to see how they put that tar down... not at all what I had expected.
  • Also on Monday, Drew took the day off with me so we went... to Cabela's. Exciting right? Fynn loved it though and thought the stuffed animals were awesome and stared at the fish for the longest time. In my book, that's a successful outing!





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