28 February 2013

Best links from the around the web

image via
I am a punctuation snob. These are classic.  I have one more thing to add.  Plural versions of words do not require an apostrophe. Anybody with me?

I'm not a huge fan of rap… more of a country girl myself.  I'm loving this history of rap, however.  A little Jimmy Fallon + Justin Timbelake never hurt a soul.

{Social Media} etiquette for the 21st Century.  Key.  

Super talented not-yet-discovered singers really get me.  Wowsa.

image via
You've probably heard about Pantone's 2013 color of the year.

27 February 2013

What's in my {makeup} bag

Are you ever curious about what's working for other women? It's hard to keep up with everything in the makeup world, and sometimes I just wish someone would give me a heads up about the great stuff they've found.  My sister does that for me on a regular basis. It's so helpful.  She and I were talking the other day about how much the cosmetic world has improved in the past ten years or so. Drugstore brands used to fall so far below department store brands, but now, for many staples, drugstore brands are just as good. 

Aside from that, the birth of places like Sephora and Ulta allow us to browse multiple brands without feeling disloyal to our favorite gal at the Bobbie Brown counter (hello to the beautiful european BB consultant with the nude lips and beautiful hair whose name I don't know!).

In that vein (I'm very sorry that I just typed vein), I thought I'd provide you with a quick summary of what's in my makeup bag right now. 

  1. All my brushes are from Bobbie Brown. It's not that I think they're the best on the market, necessarily. They just nabbed me first, and work just fine.
  2. Bobbie Brown Bronzing Powder in Medium - for an all-over sun-kissed glow
  3. Benefit Watt's Up Highlighter - for right under my brow
  4. Lorac Pro Lengthening and Thickening Mascara - doesn't get clumpy when I need to re-apply before an evening engagement
  5. Stila Stay-All-Day Illuminating Beauty Balm - for general tone and togetherness
  6.  Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion - no more eyelid creases (no seriously)
  7. Benefit Eye Bright - used on my waterlines to brighten eyes
  8. ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Black - it's only a buck at Target
  9. Urban Decay Naked Palette - so many beautiful eyeshadow combinations. the stuff has changed my life (excuse the melodrama)
  10. Lancome Maquicomplet Under Eye Concealer - I've tried a million (again with the melodrama), and this is the best
  11. Bobbie Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze - for a subtle highlight on my cheekbones

What are your standbys? Are there some you need to ditch? 

It's always good to try something new, especially if it's been awhile!

25 February 2013

The Girl Behind the Blog - an Interview with my Sister!

I'm linking up once again today with Ashley from 5 oh Wifey…  for a little interview action with my sister.

There are antics.

And the audio / video sync is really annoying, for which I apologize. Apple and I are going to be having a little sesh on how to avoid this in future videos.



21 February 2013

A Simple Valentine Cookie Decorating Bar

I've talked before about how much I love my Monday night college-gals life group.  I see my group as an opportunity to speak-into the lives of young women, encouraging them and loving them - providing a place for them to come and be - laugh, eat, enjoy.  

They're all living a college lifestyle, and their busy study schedules don't leave a lot of time for someone-else-does-the-work festivity. That's where I come in. :)

For Valentine's week, I decided to prepare a simple Valentine's cookie decorating bar.  It was a hit. 

Amidst the giggles and decorating competition and coffee drinking and glasses of milk was a fair amount of instagramming. They are college students, after all.

Here's a selection of our instagrams...

Aren't they just so stinkin' cute? Goodness I love those gals.  

19 February 2013

Valentine's City Swap :: What I Got

As we discussed yesterday, Valentine's Day brought another City Swap gift exchange.  Such fun.

My City Swap goodies came from miss Leslie in Hartsville, South Carolina.

Isn't it so much fun to gift + get gifts from our local towns?  I love it. Can't wait for the next one!

18 February 2013

Valentine's City Swap :: What I Gifted

Remember over Christmas, when I participated in Allie Lehman's Christmas City Swap? It was such fun exchanging local goodies with other bloggers in other cities. Such fun, in fact, that when Allie announced a Valentine's Day City Swap, I signed right up!

As a reminder, here's the task: Come up with a small gift or card to send to someone else in another city.  The contents of the package must be sourced locally from your city.  

My City Swap recipient was Susan at Thoughts from the Edge. I put together a pretty little  local coffee combo.

When Susan first opened her box, she was greeted with a friendly hello...

Howdy-Hi-Hello was followed by some yummy coffee and a chubby mug from mad-town.

Once again, I visited one of my favorite local shops to select the goodies. I love that their tagline is Wine for the masses, Coffee for the people. 

Another City Swap success!

What were your favorite Valentine's items to gift this year?

15 February 2013

high five for friday!

  1. Festive plates and napkins are must-have items this week.
  2. The makings of a simple + cute cookie decorating bar.
  3. Another City Swap success!
  4. My favorite way to stir a new jar of natural peanut butter: chopstick.
  5. Festive business casual.


13 February 2013

the good stuff

**Update: The youtube videos I originally uploaded are no longer available, so I've updated the links with ones that work today.

My high school best friend and I used to take turns giving each other cassette tapes that we created (I'm sure we thought we were grand curators of the great art of the day).  We called them The Good Stuff, followed by whatever genre we'd chosen from - for instance - The Good Stuff - Country. Classic.  That was some good fun, right there, people. I was such a wild child.

Though the days of cassettes are long gone, the goodness of the concept remains. Sometimes you just need someone in your life to draw attention to the good stuff.  

Do you need that? Look no further.  

11 February 2013


 martha stewart champagne punch via
Spring is coming… can you smell it? There's just something in the air, isn't there?

With that in mind, here's what's currently on mine:

Watching: I know it's on its way out, but if you haven't yet seen Les Miserables, GO. It's a beautiful story of love and grace and redemption. The singing is exceptional. The acting believable.

Pinning: Spring is on the way, and summer not far behind. I can tell because Pinterest is exploding with lovely beach and lake and lawn game and sunshiny images. CAN'T. WAIT. FOR. THE. WARM. (I know it's going to be awhile. Leave me alone.)

Wearing:  It's still cold here in the north. Have I ever told you how my winter coat has changed my winters for the better warmth?

Snuggling: Remember this mustache-themed baby boy shower? The little nugget-honoree is now a newborn baby boy. I can't get enough of the snuggles.  No, really. Can't get enough. 

Spinning: No, really. I have been. Spinning. At my gym.  

08 February 2013

high five for friday!

This week was kind of a doozie.  Is that how you spell doozie? >>> In all good ways, of course, just really busy, not to mention it won't stop being cold and snowy here.  I'm so over that.  Placing order for vitamin d lamp in 3… 2….

  1. Mondays this winter are quickly becoming my favorite.  My college gals come over, and we talk life and God and journey.  See all those coffee cups and blankets and trendy scarves? Evidence of a really good night.  I love them.  In other news - I can never remember that it's now 2013.
  2. My team wasn't playing in the Super Bowl this year, so it wasn't a big deal to me at all (not like it ever really is #let'sjustbehonesthere), and I was on the schedule to lead worship for the evening services at my church.  After the last service, my man grabbed some carryout and we had a super bowl party-for-two.  It was pretty nice. 
  3. My favorite class at the gym (and by favorite I mean it's torture while it's happening) is Body Pump.  One day this week, the instructor decided to do the whole class backwards. It's so crazy how my muscles had gotten comfortable with the normal order! Sore.
  4. Received this beautiful print from @naptimediaries.  I love it.
  5. Another best friend had a baby this week.  No amount of newborn snuggles could ever be enough for me.  One of my favorite roles in this wonderful world is Auntie Cam. 


06 February 2013

system failure

If you know me, you know I love a good system.  I am a 'yes' person (another topic entirely), which means that at any given time, I have a number of projects I'm working on, things I'm committed to.  

Enter good systems. I need them. My brain can't hold it all, so my systems need to.  This is one reason I love Getting Things Done (while I was committed to practicing it, for approximate 46 days - must work on that) - the system takes the pressure off your brain, and puts it in the system. Love it.  The book is 35% off at Amazon right now - good time to buy if you're interested!

Anywhoooooo… back on track.

I keep a grocery list in my phone's notepad.  Super high tech, I know.  Leave me alone.

My phone is always near me, and whenever I notice I'm getting low on a spice, ingredient, kitchen item, I stick it on my list and forget it.  

This has worked famously for me so far… when I'm at Target, I pull up the list, and voila! - my list.

I was at Target this weekend, getting my groceries, and pulled up my list. GROCERY LIST FAIL. AUTO-CORRECT FAIL.

What. Is. RIGEL?!

My system has failed me a little bit here, people. Let's be honest and say I have no idea what I typed that would have resulted in a RIGEL auto correct, but you can be sure that while I'm cooking some amazing recipe, we'll figure out what rigel was, when I don't have any OREGANO (or some other vital ingredient that there are no viable substitutions for).

I'm leaving it there for now, in case by some miracle I remember what I wrote, but we can all be sure I'm going to keep an eye on auto-correct from now on.  Geesh.

04 February 2013

big huge salad

Lunch is a confusing meal for me. I never quite know what to grab, and on busy work days I am often in a hurry, and need options I can use in a hurry.

Some weeks, I prep a big salad on the weekend, and enjoy it all week long.  It's a healthful and delicious way to do lunch.

Here's what goes on my Big Huge Salad:
  • Assorted lettuce
  • Assorted sweet peppers (this time I used mini peppers - so stinkin' cute and yum)
  • Matchstick carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Chickpeas (for protein)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • A touch of shredded Cheddar
  • Shredded chicken (I bought a rotisserie chicken to shorten prep time)
  • Dressing of your choice 
All the veggies go for a big long spin in my OXO salad spinner (which I got for Christmas a couple years ago and LOVE). When I say big long spin, I mean LONG. Make sure you get all the water off the veggies. It makes them last. I think I also spun the chickpeas (which probably wasn't necessary, but admit it - the salad spinner is like the Gravitron for veggies).

What are your favorite lunch ideas?

01 February 2013

simple DIY sparkle pen cup

I'm not a huge DIYer, because I just don't have the patience.  It's a shock, really, because my mom loves to knit, sew, paint, and basically every other use-your-hands hobby there is.  Not me.  I get bored and antsy.

Once in awhile, though, I'll see something adorable online for some slightly outrageous price, and decide it'll take a small enough amount of time that I'm going to give it a try.

I was browsing the other day, and came across this real cute  glittered mason jar.  The price isn't actually all that bad, but I had a few clear glass votive holders that I'd used up and dishwashered so they're good as new. I'd intended to find a little project for them, and this was just the thing.

I grabbed some tacky glue and gold shimmery glitter at Michael's craft store.  The glitter is REALLY sparkly, which I am so very happy about.  It was in the scrapbook aisle. I found lots of other glitters in different aisles, but this was my favorite because of its texture.

please excuse my freaky finger

almost done!