Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today is day for giving thanks. I always feel thankful for the big things in my life like my loving husband, my brother, my parents and family, my friends and my job. I have the most amazing people in my life - you all know who you are. But on Thanksgiving I like to take time to really be thankful for the littler things too.  If you follow me on instagram, you might get bored. Sorry. ;)

I'm thankful that my hubby is handy so he could repair our utensil drawer this morning so I could get to my essential tools for Thanksgiving cooking!

I'm thankful for the apron my brother got me for Christmas last year. It makes me feel glamorous while I'm slaving in the kitchen!

I'm thankful I have access to things I usually take for granted, like aloe gel, to treat my inevitable burns. I'm a clumsy cook!

I'm thankful for recipes that get passed down the generations, like my Grandmother Wylie's Apple Crisp.

I'm thankful I get to spend Thanksgiving with two of the most important men in my life.

I'm thankful for our two furbabies, who fill our current "children void".
I'm thankful for the delicious meal we shared, all made from scratch except for the rolls (ran out of time).
I'm thankful that in this tough economic year, we always have food on the table.
I am SO thankful for dessert! ;) (Apple crisp and Pumpkin Roll)

I'm thankful for the roof over my head that provides a safe, comfy home for my boys to nap in.

This has not been an easy year of us, but it's so nice to stop and recognize all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for. And there is so, so much.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Product Review - It's a 10!

Oh Hair. You fickle thing. I've discussed my complicated hair ad nauseum on my blog, but to sum it up for anyone who hasn't heard it hair is naturally curly, thick, coarse and FRIZZY. Once I started to really care what my hair looked like (my teen years), the hunt for perfect products began. Super moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. Deep conditioning treatments. Serums and mousses and balms. You name it, I've tried it.

For the longest time, I would wash, condition and deep condition in the shower, then use a anti-frizz serum AND a mousse and/or leave-in balm.

So. Many. Steps. 

I thought it did a pretty decent job...but it was a lot of products (and money). Then several of my friends starting talking about this spray-in treatment called It's a 10. Miracle Leave-in Plus Keratin to be exact. I did some of my own research and decided to pick up a trail size bottle at Ulta.

The "miracle" part of the description was no lie. I could feel a difference in my hair after just the first use! About a week in, I stopped using my anti-frizz serum and balm altogether.

I didn't need it anymore.

My hair was getting softer, more shiny and most importantly, SO MUCH LESS FRIZZY. Fixing my hair is far more enjoyable, too. It blow dries smoother so I don't have to flat iron each section twice like I used to. And it stays smooth basically all the time once it's fixed. That is a whole new world for me! I used to carry a smoothing balm in my purse and I'd apply it several times a day. No more of that! My hair just looks and feels so much healthier.

See the difference for yourself...

Below is a picture I used in my post about the Dove Evolution campaign. Long before the wonder that is It's a 10. Post blow dry used to equal poof and frizz:

 Now, it's almost smooth enough to wear as is after just blow drying!

I mean, is it obvious yet that I am IN LOVE with this product? In case it's not, let me try it this way. THANK YOU It's a 10! I love you!

Try it! You won't be disappointed.

*Disclaimer: I am not being paid or compensated by It's a 10 or Ulta in any way. This is simply an opinion from my personal experience.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Came Early

Ryan and I share our love for the holidays that occur when the weather is cool. Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine's Day...but mostly, Christmas. As soon as one Christmas comes to a close, we are thinking about the next. We love shopping for others, we love the holiday foods you only eat once a year, we LOVE the cooler temps, and we love decorating.

In my house growing up, my Mom transformed our house for the holidays. She had a box for each holiday of the year...and many, many boxes for Christmas. Our house turned into our own private Winter Wonderland, and I grew accustomed to that. So, when the weather starts to turn chilly, I get excited to transform our little apartment too. Usually we decorate on what most people call "Black Friday". (I don't participate in that madness. I loathe it, actually. I digress.) BUT, this year we decided we were ready for a little Christmas early. And I am SO glad we decorated. It just makes me happy.

Setting up the tree - I took the bottom layers, Ryan took the top.

We love our "hipster" holiday Pandora station! ;) Stockings by the fire, Cooper under the tree, lighted garland hung around the living room. Love it all!

Our little tree. With a really bright bow on top, haha.
Some may call us crazy for decorating so early, but to us it really is the most wonderful time of the year, and we want to be in it as long as possible. :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Product Review - Ardell Lash Excel

I don't like making broad generalizations, usually, but there is one that I stand by 100%.

Women love when their eyelashes look amazing.

No seriously. We do. Have you seen the insane amount of mascara available to us? It's because we are all about our lashes. Nothing else we put on our eyes looks as good without it. And I say "we" because I am no different. I own a ridiculous amount of mascara for one person. But its because I'm constantly trying to find that one magic tube of black goo that will make my eyelashes PERFECT.

I have pretty average lashes. They aren't super long or super short. They aren't very dark on their own. And they are a very moderate thickness. I also have one eye of lashes that behaves (right) and one side that sticks straight out and does NOT like to curl (left). Like I said. Average

For a long time I have thought about lash enhancing options. But they are expensive. All the lash serums I had heard about cost $50 or more for a tube. Out of the question. There are also lash extensions. I have friends that swear by them, but they are also expensive and just like fake nails or hair color, you have to maintain them. No thanks.

Well, finally there is another, less expensive, option. I'm talking $15.

Ardell Lash & Brow Excel

After lots of research and reading online reviews, I decided to take the plunge. I dropped into Sally's Beauty Supply and picked up a tube. It's been about a month and a half since I started using it, and I'm starting to see a difference! 
After picture taken 11/9/12
I should have taken a before picture on the first day, with only mascara on...but I just didn't think about it until I started thinking to myself, "My lashes seem longer". So, I dug up a picture of a make-up look I'd tried to use as a comparison.They totally look longer, right? The most interesting thing is that I am sprouting NEW lashes. There are about a dozen little short lashes on each I am eager to see what those little guys do as they grow.

At first, I really just noticed length, but I'm starting to see a little increase in thickness also, maybe because of the seemingly new growth. One of my bffs was looking at me the other day and I looked down at something and she said, "WOW! Your lashes basically just touched your cheekbones!" Of course she was kidding, but they ARE longer.

Overhead view
They are starting to touch my eye brows when I look up
Now listen, I have no doubt that if I would cough up the money for one of the more expensive brands, I'd be seeing crazy results...but I've been pretty happy with the changes I am seeing so far. And for considerably less money? That's a WIN in my book.

Want to know a sad fact? When I was telling Ryan about this product and that I was starting to notice a difference, he said, "I don't think I've ever really noticed your eyelashes."

Dead stare.

I mostly blame that on him being a dude who has never, in his life, thought about his own (thick, long, dark) lashes. But he constantly compliments my eyes. Its actually a running joke. And when I do anything that further enhances my eyes, he notices. I just don't think he has given eyelashes, as a separate entity, much thought. Well, when these puppies are long enough to braid, I bet he'll take notice. ;)

*Disclaimer: I am not being paid or compensated by Ardell or Sally's in any way. This is simply an opinion from my personal experience.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kind Founders

Last night, I had an experience that will forever be one of the best moments of my life.

Unless you are brand spanking new to this blog, chances are you've read posts about the Denton Women's Collective and our work with Finding Kind. Collectively, we have done 5 screenings now and are working on a few more in the near future. It has been an amazing gift to us to be able to spread this message...but we always hoped and dreamed that we would eventually get to meet Lauren and Molly, the inspirational founders and film makers.

Well, last night, that dream came true for us! We found out that they would be speaking at a high school in the area and we jumped at the chance to be able to see them in action. The anticipation grew as Lindsay reached out on various social media outlets to let them know we'd be there. It was a whole new experience for us, being in the crowd instead of leading, and being able to see how Lauren and Molly interacted with the girls was so special.

Lauren and Molly, speaking to the group
After the movie and discussion had wrapped, the five of us waited (sort of) patiently for an opportunity to speak with these amazing ladies. Much to my delight, they are just as kind and genuine as they seem on film. As we met and hugged them and started to express our appreciation of them, they were doing the same! Thanking US for spreading the kind movement in our area. It was an absolutely surreal moment, chatting with these two and having them pay us such sweet compliments, when all we are doing is spreading the message they started.

Members of DWC with Lauren and Molly!
L-R: Stephanie, Me, Shell, Brittany, Lindsay
Lauren, Molly
After we snapped a few pictures and discussed future plans, we parted ways...with very full hearts. It was a night I will never forget, as Lauren and Molly have made such an impact on my life. And Britt, Linds, Shell and Steph, I am SO grateful I got to experience this moment with you.

I'm still smiling.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our Fourth Anniversary

November 8th was our FOURTH wedding anniversary (time flies y'all), but since it was on a Thursday, we decided to celebrate on Saturday night. We planned a low-key date night this year, which was new for us - including a strict "no gifts" rule. We don't go to a lot of movies (we are all about Redbox in our pjs) so, we planned on just doing dinner and movie.

Our obligatory self-pic
We headed to a nicer-than-where-we-usually-go Mexican restaurant for dinner and enjoyed the atmosphere a little too long because on our way to drop the left overs at home, we realized we were probably not going to make it to theater before the movie started.

Super grainy picture
But since spending time together was the main reason for celebrating our anniversary, we were perfectly content snuggling up on the couch and catching a movie on TV. After all, part of the celebration is that we still love just being together, no matter what the plans are, right?!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Ants Go Marching...

My drive home yesterday was traumatic.

Let me paint you a picture.

A few minutes into my commute home, I merged onto the highway and reached the optimum (and legal) cruising speed of 70 mph. Upon entering the highway, I turned my a/c on high. (Yes, high. It's in the high 80's here in Texas right now. Which is SO rude. But I digress.)

Moments later, I noticed there was something spitting out of my air vents. Soon its progressed from spitting to raining. I felt it pinging against my face but I thought maybe it was pollen or moisture or something NOT terrifying. Like an idiot, I just pointed the vents UP and kept on trucking.

Then I glanced down at my shirt.

And there I discovered about 20 little ants, just crawling around.

I immediately started to panic and I glanced around my car and realized there were ants EVERY WHERE. Hundreds of them. On my face, in my hair, on my clothes, all over my passenger seat and dash board, and some had even made it into the backseat.

I zipped over to the nearest exit and whipped into the first parking lot I saw. I jumped out of the car and started brushing and shaking the ants off of me like a crazy person. I flipped my head upside down to shake out my hair...and ants were falling onto the ground. (YOU GUYS. ANTS. IN MY HAIR.) After I felt I'd sufficiently gotten these pesky little insects off of me, I started to try and brush off the seats. I got as many as I could before I called Ryan SOBBING (because my first reaction to EVERYTHING is tears). He offered to come meet me and drive my car home, but I felt like that was ridiculous in rush hour traffic so I bucked up and got back in my car.

The remainder of the drive home, I could just FEEL them all over me...and I was watching as the survivors of my initial seat-brushing crawled all over my car.

This picture does not do the incident justice. This is after I'd brushed about twice as many out of my car. But, all those black dots are ants. And on the right side, there are about 20 in that crease of the seat.

Ryan met me in front of the garage and immediately put the shop vac to work as I ran upstairs to get out of my ant infested clothes and shake out my purse. Ryan said he thinks I parked on an ant hill at some point and it was either yesterday and they'd crawled into my engine or it was a while ago and the ants laid eggs...that hatched yesterday. Either way...I was terrible and I am still traumatized.

Fingers crossed that I won't have to bug bomb my car and those ants go marching two by ANYWHERE else.