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Monthly Archive for January, 2012

Fluffy to Fabulous update

Fluffy to Fabulous update

Well, I’ve been on the Jenny Craig program for 8 months tomorrow and would like to update some numbers for you.  I’ve been stuck at 180.0 for three weeks now and have taken extra steps the last two weeks to help bust into the 170’s.  For me, this has truly been a “one pound at a time” process.  I happily found 179.0 on my scale this morning and thought I’d take some measurements, too, since it’s been 5 months since I’ve even done that.

For comparison I’ll give you all my starting numbers, too, horrific and embarrassing as they might be.  They were the beginning of my weight-loss road and therefore part of my story.

June 1, 2011 Weight 246.8 January 31, 2012 Weight 179.0 Lost: 67.8 pounds

Bust: 50  /  41                     9 inch difference

Waist: 45  /  33.5                11.5 inch difference

Abdomen: 54  /  42          12 inch difference

Hips: 54  /  45                      9 inch difference

Upper Arm: 17  /  13          4 inch difference

Inspired by friends, I have purchased a few different sets of dumbbells and have added arm weight training to be proactive about addressing the granny arm waddle.  And with the goal less than 30 pounds away (WORD UP, Y’ALL!!!) I have gotta bust my butt to be proactive about losing every last pound – one at a time.

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Current mascara lust

Current mascara lust~

As I have probably mentioned in many previous posts, I am a mascara junkie!  LOVE it.  It is, without a doubt, the one make-up item I experiment with the most and for me – the one thing I will NEVER leave the house without.  My current brand and type that has me in a tizzy is Maybelline Illegal Lengths Fiber Extensions.  I recently tried the L’oreal fiber version and was not super thrilled with the brush or texture, so I waited a bit to try this one.  Something about the formula and the brush of this one make it just heavenly for my little lashes.  It makes them darker and a mile longer.  I won’t say that it plumps or thickens to any spectacular degree, but I am a bigger fan of long and defined lashes for every day.

See below:

The eye on the left has just one coat, and the right eye is bare for comparison

Both eyes are coated just once, and here’s a profile

Another random question for y’all ~ who else (besides my mother and myself) have to apply mascara BEFORE other eye makeup because it gets all over your lids, like this?

My sister doesn’t have this issue…and I didn’t know my mom did her mascara this way till a few years ago.  Weird.

I have to do mascara first and then clean up with a moist q-tip, like this:

And just for fun, here’s what’s on my counter top in the bathroom

Left drawer:

Middle drawer:

Right drawer:

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Mini-French Braid

Mini-French Braid

Most little hair do’s I do are quick experiments that usually end up being brushed out if they don’t quite do right.  Well, a quicky experiment this morning before preschool ended up looking pretty good so I scrambled for my bobby pins and anchored it down!  It’s a mini-french braid along my hairline on the wider side of my part.  Visuals to prove it:

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Heavy Heart

Heavy Heart

Since this past summer I have had a bit of a shadow on my heart.  I have been following two blogs about some precious, sweet, desperately sick little boys, both of whom have recently passed away…one was barely 9 months old and one was almost three years old.  Here are their stories through their parents’ words if you care to read: http://randycourtneytripproth.blogspot.com/ and  http://jamescamdensikes.blogspot.com/

I also know another precious young couple who lost their baby boy late summer/early fall after an extremely premature labor and birth.  Their little man lived but a few hours, but he made an everlasting impression on so many people in his short life.

There are many other women from all avenues of my life who have lost children, and I wonder…why them?   Why babies?  What for?  And it sticks with me.  All my friends’ losses all stick with me and on the off days when I can barely handle my two boys, and I get frustrated and upset…I feel so guilty when it is sometimes a struggle for me to remember that I am a lucky girl.  I have healthy boys who both came from perfect and healthy pregnancies and I should thank my lucky stars for my two blessings.  I don’t know why God chooses some so young, but if these tiny angels have done one thing, it is making me appreciate my little loves and our indefinite time on earth.  I hug them a little tighter, read them one more story, give them an extra Nilla wafer, stay at the playground a few extra minutes, rock them a little longer before bedtime…

Take a few minutes to tell the people in your life that you love them.  Do it today, do it now.  Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.


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Tagged: Blogger Game

Tagged: Blogger Game

Oh man.  My sister tagged me on her blog Gilder & Grace and I have to respond.  A) because if I don’t it’s just rude.  And B) because she’s mys sister and I HAVE to!  Like she said, it’s a great way to learn something about fellow bloggers…though I haven’t quite figured out the “following/followers” type thing on here….I will “tag” a few ladies in blogs I read and if they see this then maybe they’ll play, too!

The Blogger Game (Rules):

1. You must post the rules.
2. Share eleven fun facts about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger gave you in their post.
4. Tag eleven people, and create eleven new questions for the people you tag.
5. Make sure to let the people know you tagged them!
My Eleven Fun Facts:

1. ET scares the bejeezus out of me.  Always has.  I’m still paranoid that his nasty little glowing finger is going to touch my ankle when I’m getting into bed.
2. I love Elvis!  Music, movies…love him!
3. I have days when my eyelashes just hurt.  It’s a weird feeling.  This problem is only fixable by waiting it out, sleeping on it and showering the next day.  By then they are fully recovered.
4. I prefer written correspondence over email…gorgeous stationery is one of my weaknesses.
5. I took a salsa dancing class through a local community college.  SO FUN.  I didn’t have a “partner” sign up with me, but it was great!
6. I totally dig bubble gum and can blow rather impressive bubbles.  Bubble gum bubbles kinda freak out my two sons.
7. I have had over 20 teeth pulled (most of my baby teeth and 8 permanent ones).  And no, I do not have dentures.  Just large teeth and a small jaw which = not enough room for them all.
8. I collect Barbie dolls.
9. I can burp on command.  Super ladylike, I know.  But it’s a secret “talent”.
10. I would pick Drew Barrymore to play me in a movie.
11. I am a mascara whore.  I experiment often and cheat on all my brands.  It is my FAVORITE beauty product (skincare not included) and 9,998 days out of 10,000 I will not walk out of the house without it on.
Questions from Elizabeth:
1. Do you have any guilty pleasures? (If so, what are they?)  Oh….bubble baths, pedicures, and trips to Target WITHOUT the kids!
2. What is your favorite season?  FALL
3. If you could meet any historical figure from the past, who would it be and why?  Princess Diana…I just love her and want to know more.
4. What is your favorite possession and why?  Letters and notes from my parents – precious and irreplaceable memories
5. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas (but Halloween is THISCLOSE behind)
6. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Well…if it had to be healthy I’d probably say a spinach salad, steamed veggies and lemon-herb chicken.  If I just pick something because it’s awesome it would be the pasta dish with truffle sauce that my husband and I ate TWICE in Florence while on our honeymoon with some sort of decadent chocolate/caramel dessert and an amazing cup of coffee that is sugared and creamed beyond recognition.

7. What is one skill or hobby you would like to learn or take-up?  Crochet and “ribbon flying” (like they do in Cirque du Soleil)
8. What are you looking forward to most in the year 2012?  Hm…my 10 year college reunion.
9. What is your favorite scent?  Scent – my boys’ hair right after a bath.  Perfume – Hanae Mori “Butterfly”
10. What did you aspire to be as a child?  A Rockette.  But I was crushed to discover during my junior year of high school that you had to be 5′8″ to even audition.  Eliminated due to shortness.  Sigh…
11. What is your favorite day of the week and why?  Probably Saturday – my husband is home and we can relax with the kids, hang out with friends, run errands, putter or whatever!

I tag:

Rachel Bee@ be confectionate

Rebecca @ Traveling With Mercy

Krista @ The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Yeah, yeah….not 11 people, sorry.  It’s the best I can do at the moment!

My questions for you:

1.  If you had to live in another country (for whatever reason), where would you pick?

2.  What is your favorite Halloween costume from childhood or Halloween associated memory?

3.  If you could have a chill evening with any celebrity/music or movie star who would it be and what would you do/where would you go?

4.  Tattoos – love ‘em or hate ‘em?  And if you had to get (another) one, what would you get and where?

5.  If you had to stick to one “type” of outfit to wear every day, what would it be?  (wrap dress, jeans/top, sequined evening gown…)

6.  At any point in the future, if you had the option of getting any cosmetic surgery done, would you? and what?

7.  Johnny Depp – scruff or no scruff?

8.  What Super Hero power would you choose if you could have one?

9.  Favorite book EVER?

10.  What’s your favorite sleeping position?

11.  What’s one of your favorite blogs to follow? (I’m still learning my way around the blog world)

Happy Blogging and happy remainder of the weekend!
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Little Frankenstein

Little Frankenstein

Zeb is 17-months old this Friday and he FINALLY started letting go of things and walking around on his own just yesterday!  He’s been “cruising” for months now, and walking with his little fists gripped around our fingers.  Shoe-clad or shoe-less, he’s making his way around his environment in the most adorable & unintentional imitation of Frankenstein ~ arms straight out in front of him, legs stiff and his face alight with his signature gap-toothed grin.  Oh, how I love my little squishy!  I’ll get pictures on here soon.  Happy Tuesday, y’all!

It’s kinda fuzzy, but here ya go!

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Favorite Beauty Products of 2011

Favorite Beauty Products of 2011

I’m taking this idea from a few beauty blogs I like, and doing my own version.  I am kind of a product junkie, though as I get older I think I’m getting better…instead of experimenting so much and partially using a new thing I may not end up liking, I’m sticking to some things I know work for me and that I love.  But there are a few newbies that made my list of faves this past year.  So, if you’re interested, here you go!  I may add to this as I go through the daily motions and see what I take for granted as a daily (or at least regular) item in my repertoire!


I used John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray from roughly March 2010-August 2011 (at which time I decided to join the dark side for a bit and dyed my hair brown).  I tell the whole truth when I say I have not had professional highlights since before my first son was born (he’s three years and change now).  Once I achieved the lightness I desired, I used the spray about once a week to maintain my root color.  It smells nice, was about $10 per bottle, which lasted me many months in comparison to the expense of professional highlights every 6-8 weeks.  It gets an A+ from me and I would (and probably will) definitely use it again when I am done with my brunette phase.

Here’s a comparison for you of my before and after ~ the first one is from December 2009 (a few months before I started using Sheer Blonde)

This next one is from May 2011, at the peak of blonde perfection (I’m on the right!)

I am also quite in love with Paul Mitchell’s Lavender Mint shampoo & conditioner.  It’s on the pricier side of the shampoo spectrum, so it’s not an every day ‘poo for me.  But I mix it in a couple times a week because it just smells so lovely and my hair is extremely shiny and gorgeous after use.

And my final item on the hair list is new for me: Oscar Blandi dry shampoo.  I’ve had this product for a little while, it was a small bottle I bought at Sephora just to test it out.  I haven’t done so until recently.  I have found this one to be a must-have in my life as a mommy.  Those preschool mornings I just can’t drag myself out of bed to shower an hour before I wake the boys up, the mornings after being up with a stuffy tot and (again) don’t have the time or energy to shower, or those days you want to fit in a later-in-the-day shower, but don’t want to look oily before then – it is great!  Once I figured out how to do it properly, it allowed me to make it through the day without having dreaded greasy roots!  It absorbs that extra oil, adds a little bit of texture and volume to my hair and keeps me from feeling self-conscious about not washing it that day.  Some reviews say the smell is too much, but its’ lemon-esque scent doesn’t bug me too bad, it kind of adds to my re-freshed hair feeling.  I would probably not recommend it to folks with very dark hair, as the nature of the powder might make your roots look grey and powder-y, but when I’m blonde you can’t even tell and my current brown has faded enough that it’s not too noticeable especially when rubbed in and brushed out well.


I’ve fallen hard for my Urban Decay “Naked” palette and the eye pencil that came with it…so in love that I bought a gift set of the eye pencils and another palette with a vivid color selection to play with as well.  I’ve always loved intense, smooth colors like the MAC line but have never really been capable with eyeliner of any kind – pencil or liquid.  I can sometimes pull off a dark shadow as a liner with my small angled brush, but usually don’t take the time to do this.  The UD 24/7 eye pencil changed my mind about it all!  It is so gorgeously colored and creamy (but not too soft).  I can get it on very easily and blend it into my lashline without hassle…I love the Naked palette & this brand for a few reasons.  A) The eye colors are so richly pigmented, the color you see in the package is the color that shows up on your lids B) The texture is so smooth during application, it makes it a breeze to sweep on with your brush or your finger and it blends beautifully  C) Regarding the Naked palette in particular, the combination of colors and finishes (matte, shimmer, velvet) gives you massive amounts of easy creativity and versatility for every day casual/work wear or stunning, dramatic evening looks.  Here are images of the palettes and pencil set I bought and have a major crush on:


Hanae Mori Butterfly

This one is also fairly new for me.  I originally tried it because I received a sample of it in a Sephora product shipment.  I shared the sample with my sister, who also loved it, and to my grand surprise she gave me a gift set of the perfume and body cream.  It is light and lovely, not too floral, not too musky.  Directly from Hanae Mori’s website is the official description:  Butterfly is the legendary centerpiece of the Hanae Mori Parfums line. A treasure of fragrance that grows in popularity each year, sought by loyal clients and new generations of fans, Butterfly combines luscious berries, fine blooms and rich woods in a fragrance of pure Parisian sophistication. Pretty and charming, Butterfly alights on the skin and lifts the heart like the exquisite creature that is its namesake. Fragrance connoisseurs will recognize Butterfly is a linear fragrance with a single, complete note as perfect as a garden breeze. Butterfly arrives in a jubilant flutter of wild strawberries, sweet blackberries, blackcurrant for contrast and bilberries for charm. Her heart opens in a melange of lush Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, lilting jasmine and French peony. Butterfly’s lasting impression is the deep warmth of rosewood, gentle almondwood, richest sandalwood and French cedar.

Love it!


St. Ives Apricot Scrub.  This has seriously been in my lineup since the mid-90’s.  The packaging has changed, the texture is a bit more refined now, but since high school I have ALWAYS had this stuff in the shower!  Most of you ladies out there have probably used it or at the very least heard of it, and I don’t know what to say besides “it’s great!”  A few times a week in the shower, just gently rub it into your skin in a circular motion, and it just gets all of that gritty, old goo off!  It smells nice, there are several variations now for sensitive skin, dry skin and blackhead control.  It’s nice for body exfoliation  also – before a self tanner perhaps, or to just help scrub off dead skin before some extra thick winter moisturizer.

A Christmas present from my mom, my face now enjoys the thorough cleansing benefits of the Clarisonic Mia 2. It’s pink, it’s portable and it is fabulous!  My skin feels like I just had a facial after I use this in my nightly face-wash ritual.  I use my same foaming face wash as before, but let this little lady do all the hard work.  I feel smoother skin, and I don’t think it’s in my head – I truly think my lotions and stuff absorb better after use.  I looked on Amazon for an idea of customer reviews and the little pink  Clarisonic Mia currently has 263 reviews, of which 190 are 5-star, 40 4-star, 13 3-star, 11 2-star and just 9 1-star.  It’s only been 2 weeks (got it on Christmas day) and I’m not sure I’ll ever wash my face any other way again!


I love me some good lotions!  My two favorites for the last 3-4 years have been Johnson’s Body Care 24-Hour Lotion & Oil of Olay Quench.  They both smell divine and have the perfect consistency for me (creamy, but not so thick they doesn’t absorb, and definitely not runny).  I haven’t bought any other lotion but these since before my first pregnancy and I have both of them in my bathroom right now.  They are luscious.

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12th Day of Christmas

12th Day of Christmas

January 6th is the twelfth day of Christmas.  In our household this means the last day for our Christmas lights outside.  The last night our Moravian stars shine bright ~ one from our front porch and one from our attic window.  Remember today why these lights are shining (no, not just because of the power company, sillies!)  and keep the glow in your heart until it’s time to unbox all the Christmas goodies this coming November!

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Welcome to the new year!  As it is the first post, though completely cliche, I would like to begin this year’s portion of the blog with my New Year’s commitment.   I am well on my way to some very long-time-coming weight loss needs.  As of my weigh in yesterday morning I am down 63.8 pounds and I want to get to my goal weight of 150 pounds by the end of June.  I have 33 pounds to go in 26 weeks and I am so motivated to get there!  I’ll keep you posted as I carry on.  It’s not a resolution for me, it’s a commitment to myself, my husband and my children.

I’ve been making those vague, soon forgotten “resolutions” for years…probably since high school or college.  You know the ones I’m talking about, “I’m going to eat better.”  “I’m going to workout after class every day.”  “I’m going to cut out soda.”  And the variety of phrases that sound similar…

This is my commitment to life!  I want to be around for a really really long time with and for my three handsome men.

So, embrace the symbolic fresh start the new calendar year brings and make your commitments.  Be happy now!

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