Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Make Up Party

Last night my friends Jenni, Julia and I hosted a make up party for our friends.  We thought it would be fun to try some new products and get some tips on how to apply our makeup.  I have been using the same make-up for years and it takes me less than 5 minutes to do it every day.  So we thought a party would be fun and informative.  

We had some snacks and some wine for our friends.

We had our party at a spa and they have Bare Minerals make-up for sale. It was fun seeing all of the Bare Minerals products. I  have been using Bare Minerals for years but I always use the same old stuff.  It was fun seeing all of their products and trying on new things.  The lady who did our party explained everything so well.  We learned all about highlighting and contouring and she did a foundation match for us. 

Here are all the steps we did.  I am writing them down and I texted them to my friends who went to the party so we wouldn't forget.  There are SO many steps.  I will not do all of these steps every day but it was fun to learn how to do them all.  

Color Corrector
Setting powder

I especially liked learning how to color correct, contour and highlight. When she contoured and highlighted us it made such a big difference!  I bought both highlighter and contour so I can practice at home.

Here is the color correcting kit she used on us.  I would like to buy something similar to try and cover up the dark circles under my eyes.

We had a great time.  It was a fun night and I loved learning how to use new products.  


Monday, February 19, 2018

Happiness Project Update {January}

In December I read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I decided to do my own Happiness Project this year.  Gretchen chose one theme a month and then spent the month doing things related to that theme.  I chose 6 things to concentrate on for the first 6 months of the year and then I will choose 6 more for the last half of the year.  Here in my post from January about my 2018 Happiness Project.  

 In January I focused my Happiness Project on going to bed earlier (super exciting I know-ha ha)
I wanted to start my year with going to sleep earlier because so much of my personal happiness revolves around sleep. If I am tired I am crabby, I eat more junk and I feel awful.  Getting enough sleep is SO important for keeping myself happy.  

Honestly going to bed earlier wasn't easy for me.  I am the type of person that likes to get a lot of things checked off my to-do list each day and I always want to stay up late to finish one more thing, read a little more, watch one more show, etc.  
In January I forced myself to get into bed each night around 9pm.  I developed a little routine that really helped me transition from wake to sleep. 

These are some things that help me transition to sleep every night...

1-Journal-Every night I write in my journal and write a note for my Happy Things  jar.  

 2.  I put lotion on my feet, spray linen spray on my pillows and sheets and put cuticle oil on my fingers.  

If I have time in the evening I like to do a restorative yoga sequence from the Down Dog yoga app.  The app has step by step instructions and music to go along with the yoga poses.  I love it!  I don't always have time to do yoga at night but I love it when I have the time.  Restorative yoga is great because it is so slow and you hold positions for a few minutes.  In restorative yoga you always concentrate on your breath and breathing.  Doing restorative yoga helps me sleep better at night.  

After I do all of this I get into bed and read for about a half and hour before going to sleep. I I turn my phone on silent and don't answer any messages or go on Facebook or other social media after 9pm.  Sleep is still a struggle for me but doing these things definitely help and I love the little routine I've set up to go to bed earlier.  I really hope I can keep this up all year long!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday Snack {Almond Sugar Cookies}

I have made these delicious cookies a few times now and they are always a big hit!  This week I brought them to the annual Valentine's Day Tea for Garden Club.   I have also taken them to parties and get togethers and everyone loves them.  The best part about them is that they are SO easy to make! 

 The secret ingredient is organic almond extract.  I got this one from my BFF Rachael's organic grocery store but if you can't find it at your grocery store you can get it on Amazon.  

I added pink food coloring to my icing for Valentine's Day but you can color you icing to match any holiday or event.  

Almond Sugar Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt (or can use regular table salt)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk (or water)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract, mixing until combined. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.

Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into small circles and then press with hands into a disk shape. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are! Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Ice: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and almond extract - until smooth.

Using a spoon, smooth icing onto the top of each cookie and let set for 10 minutes, or until hardened. Store in the fridge, let come to room temperature when ready to serve.

Let me know if you make these delicious cookies.  Happy Saturday!!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Book Review {January}

Happy Thursday friends!  I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day.   G and I went to the movies and we saw Three Billboards...I’m trying to see all of the Oscar nominated films this year.  I’ve seen 5 so far and Three Billboards is one of my favorites.  

 This week has flown by! In January I read two books and since I have book club tonight I thought this was a good day to post my January book review.  I absolutely love reading and if I can spend a little time each day it’s a good day.  

Last month I read two books.  The first one I  read Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.

I thought this book was absolutely incredible and I couldn’t put it down.  Historical fiction is my favorite kind of book to read. This book follows a family of children taken from their parents.  The family lived in a shantyboat on the Mississippi river and there  were very poor but they were a very loving and the parents adored their five children.  When the mom goes to the hospital to have twins the kids  are taken and their story of survival begins.    This book was based on s real place-The Tennessee Children Home Society and a real woman- Georgia Tann who ran the whole operation.  I honestly had no idea about that terrible place or that awful woman until I read this book.  This is a hauting book and one that I keep thinking about.  I think we will have a great discussion tonight at our book club about this book.  

From Amazon
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge--until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents--but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility's cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

The second book I read was Fire and Fury:  Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.  There was so much buzz about this book and so much on TV about the release of this book that I started reading it the day it came out.  I was both fascinated by this book and angered by it at the same time.  One year into his presidency, I still cannot believe that Donald Trump was elected.  

From Amazon
With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country―and the world―has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.

This month I am reading Beartown and Kevin Zraly's Wine Course.  I really love both books so far. I'll have a full report on both of them at the end of the month.  

Happy reading

Crafty Wednesday {Mardi Gras and Valentines Decorations}

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Today is my Dad’s birthday.  I know he reads here sometimes-so Happy Birthday Dad.  I wish I was in Illinois so I could celebrate with you ❤️❤️

We don’t do much for Valentines Day. Restaurants are so busy tonight so we are going to stay home and order take out  and I made a heart shaped desert for us.  After dinner at home G and I are going to see the Three Billboards movie.  I’m trying to see all of the movies nominated for Best Picture for the Oscars.  After tonight I have three more to watch-yay!

Since Mardi Gras ended yesterday I made us a King Cake (with Rice Krispie treats) which was SO good.  Ava and I actually ate some for breakfast and then I took the rest to work for my co-workers.

I do very simple decorations for Valentines Day.  For small holidays I decorate the Hutch in our dining room.  It's fun and festive and it's a simple way to celebrate a holiday.  I have had my Valentine Decorations for years.  I didn't get anything new this year I just used things I have used in past years.  

My favorite Valentine decorations are the mailboxes I made for Brock and Ava when they were younger.  When they were younger I would put Valentine Treats for them in the mailboxes.  

This year I turned my Christmas countdown calendar into a Valentine countdown calendar for Ava.  I bought this countdown calendar from my fabulous friend Sabrina at my annual Holiday Market.  

A few years ago I bought a heart garland on Etsy.  I love getting it out every year.

A few months ago I made a vertical planter for our dining room.  I usually have potted plants in it but before Christmas I added some boxwood and pine cones.  For Valentines I added some sparkly hearts to make that little area of our dining room festive.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Valentine's Day!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy things {January}

For most of last year I wrote down one happy thing that happened each day as a way to keep track of the god things that happened last year.  The last one I did was in August and you can read the post here.

I keep this little jar on my night stand and then each day I add a little note about something happy that happened each day. 

January flew by!  It was a fun month-Ava came home from the Czech Republic, I went to Florida with my friends for our annual girls trip, and I celebrated my birthday.

Here are my happy things from January

1-early morning workout and breakfast with friends
2-coffee date with friends and three workouts!
3-cozy night at home with Graig
4-Amazing and relaxing restorative yoga class
5-Autumn cafe reopened!  Went to happy hour with girls
6-Swap party with the girls
7-Brunch at the Autumn
8-Walk around neighborhood which was lovely after months of cold and dreary weather
9-Coffee date with Inez and Donna
10-Dinner for Ashley's birthday
11-Florida trip with my BFF's
12-Florida trip with my BFF's
13-my Bday!!  Ava returns from the Czech Republic and dinner on the beach to celebrate!
14-Florida trip with BFF's
15-Return home from Florida, see Ava and have dinner at her favorite resturant
16-full day retreat with my students before the start of the spring semester
17-My birthday party!
18-lunch with Ava and Rachael
19-Ava's winter photo shoot.  Her BFF Mary took the pics and she got some good ones!
20-Graig's bday!  We played in a Pitch card tourney with friends and we won!
21-My birthday cooking class with friends
22-leftovers and a quiet night at home
23-Rotary presentation with Graig
24-Productive day at work
25-Amazing yoga class!!
26-lunch with Ava at Brooks
27-Made my first dinner with my new Wok!
28-Tried Rock Climbing
29-Made lasagna with Ava
30-Ran this morning and it felt good!
31-Quiet night at home with the family

I love looking back and seeing all of my happy things from each month.

I hope you have a great Tuesday!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Catch up!

I am SO glad last week is OVER.  I had some technical issues with my blog, I got in a fender bender on Tuesday (not my fault-but so frustrating dealing with the insurance companies!) and I've been sick since Tuesday. I do hope that this week is better!!

Last weekend Ava and I went to a chili cookoff with some friends to support the Art Gallery in our town.  The event is called the Chili Bowl and we each picked out a beautiful pottery bowl to put our chili in.  I like to go to this event every year and it's always so fun!

Last weekend was the Father/Daughter Valentine Ball. It is sponsored by the YMCA and since I teach fitness at the Y and since I LOVE to decorate and plan events.  They asked me to help with set up.  It was so fun and I plan to do it every year.  We decorated all day Saturday and it was so fun. The dance was held that evening and 300 fathers and daughters came to the dance. 

When Ava was younger she went every year with Graig.  It was so fun helping her pick out her dress and help her get ready for the dance. Here are some pictures from a few of their past father/daughter dances. 

Last Wednesday we got a big snow storm so Ava's school was closed and so was the College where I work.  We stayed home all day in our pajamas and watched netflix.  It was a great day!!  We love snow days. 

Friday night we had our monthly craft night for Branch and Bloom.  I was going to stay home because I was sick and then Rachael got the flu so I went and taught the class by myself.  Thankfully two of my dear friends were signed up to take the class so they helped me with it.  This month we made a rustic photo gallery.  It was a fun Friday night but I was SO sick and tired.  I went home after craft night and went straight to bed and didn't leave my house for the rest of the weekend. 

This week I have book club and I'm going to see Lady Bird.  I am trying to see all of the Oscar nominated movies before the Oscars.  Last week I saw Phantom Thread.  I know it has good reviews but I didn't like Phantom Thread at all.  I hope Lady Bird is better!

Have a great Monday!