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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Makeup Brush 101

Hey guys! I’m back with another vlog for you today. Today I’m sharing my favorite, must have, use every day makeup brushes with you. Check it out!

Sephora no longer carries my brush roll. The closest thing they have to my brush roll is the Makeup Artist Brush Belt.

Please keep in mind I’ve been purchasing and collecting my makeup brushes since 2007. The majority of my brushes were purchased in 2007/2008. They have held up remarkably well and I have not had to repurchase any of the brushes you see below. I have gotten rid of a good many “cheap” brushes – mainly drugstore makeup brushes or brushes that come with kits.

I’ve photographed my entire collection for you below. The first picture is brushes I use daily. The other two are brushes that are seldom used and are only used for special occasions/specific looks.

If a brush is linked, it is available in stores or online. If it is not, it is no longer sold. If you see a MAC brush labeled SE, it was sold in a kit during the holidays or with a special collection.

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  1. Beauty Blender
  2. Sigma F86 – Precision Tapered Brush
  3. Sigma F82 – Round Top Synthetic Kabuki
  4. Sigma F84 – Angled Top Synthetic Kabuki
  5. Bare Escentuals Heavenly Brush
  6. Bare Escentuals Heavenly Brush
  7. Jane Iredale Handi Brush
  8. Bare Escentuals Heavenly Eyeshadow Buffing Brush
  9. MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush
  10. Tarte Brush With Greatness – Double Ended Eyeshadow Brush
  11. MAC 219 Pencil Brush
  12. MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush
  13. MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
  14. Bare Escentuals Angled Brow Brush
  15. Pop Beauty Kabuki
  16. MAC (travel sized) Kabuki
  17. MAC 182 Buffer Brush
  18. MAC 185 Kabuki
  19. Sigma F80 – Precision Flat
  20. Bare Escentuals Double-Ended Soft Focus Face Brush
  21. MAC 187SE
  22. MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush
  23. Bare Escentuals Feather Light Brush
  24. MAC 184 Duo Fibre Fan Brush
  25. Bare Escentuals Angled Face Brush
  26. MAC 130SE
  27. MAC 286SE
  28. Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush
  29. MAC 282SE
  30. Bare Escentuals Wet/Dry Shadow Brush
  31. Loreal HIP Crease Brush
  32. Sigma E25 Blending Brush
  33. Buxom Smokey Eye Brush
  34. Bare Escentuals Rock N’ Roll Brush
  35. Bare Escentuals Double Ended Precision Eye Brush
  36. MAC 227 Large Fluff Brush
  37. MAC 266 Small Angle Brush
  38. Bare Escentuals Eyeliner Brush
  39. MAC 209 Eye Liner Brush
  40. Sonia Kashuk Bent Eye Liner Brush
  41. Sephora Classic Smudge Brush
  42. Bare Escentuals Heavenly Liner Blending Brush
  43. Sonia Kashuk Brow Groomer with Metal Comb

If you’d like to see a post regarding how to build your brush collection or perhaps must have brushes on the cheap, let me know and I can possibly put that together for next week.

Thanks guys! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TTUT & Swap Package!

Announcement: 2 On Tuesday will be taking a brief hiatus for the next few weeks. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to retire it entirely, or if I’ll retool it and bring it back on another day of the week. Participation has not been great, and I don’t know if the hassle of a linky party is worth 2-3 participants. Give me some feedback. Do you love it? Hate it? Do you want to see it come back or would you like it retired?

Today I’m participating in Talk To Us Tuesday, hosted by my good friends Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn.

So want to know an embarrassing fact about me? What the heck, I’ve shared almost everything else on the blog. Why not?

Well…. lately I have been….. wait for it…. wait for it….

Hallucinating.

Now, wait a minute. Before you call the looney bin and fit me for my white jacket, let me explain.

I’ve been having trouble sleeping for the past year or so. It started right before Jason got out of the Navy and I was seriously stressing about our future. My doctor at the time prescribed me a couple of different sleep aids, starting with Trazadone. I don’t know about you, but Trazadone does nothing for me. It doesn’t even make me yawn. Next he prescribed Xanax, which I love like I love ice cream, but it still doesn’t make me sleep. I finally told my doctor that I would need a tranquilizer dart to quiet my brain enough to make me sleep, and he said “Hmmmm. Maybe a high dosage of this is in order.”

This being Ambien. Sweet, sweet Ambien.

I love the stuff. I don’t take it often, because I believe it should be kept for emergencies only. But when days pass and the husband’s snoring gets to be too much, I slap on some face moisturizer, grab a bottle of water, and snuggle in my bed with my BFF Ambien.

Only no one ever told me Ambien has some curious side effects.

For me, that side effect is hallucinations. I took it a few times and experienced nothing more than a dead-to-the-world sleep. However, the past three times I’ve taken the drug, it has been straight up crazyville up in here.

And the evidence:

  • I took it once before Christmas, and my Christmas tree in my bedroom started rotating and moving up and down. Let it be said I do not have a rotating Christmas tree.
  • I had sex with my husband in my sleep. He now encourages me to take “that magical little pill. Aren’t you tired, baby?”
  • The last time I took it, I straight up saw a ghost in the bedroom. Not an actual person, but a Casper-type specter out of the corner of my eye.

So. Yeah. Beware of the Ambien, y’all.

I’m still going to take it, hallucinations and all. Until I see Bloody Mary in the mirror, it’s good stuff to me.

I participated in Shawn and IA’s Seriously Impulsive blog swap, and was paired up with the sweet Megan from Mainly Megan. Please go by her blog and say hello! She is new to the blog world and could use some friends! Show her how awesome the blog world can really be!

I had a blast getting to know Megan through her blog and emails. We have so much in common and she was seriously the easiest person to shop for. I basically just got her anything I would want for myself. Smile

Megan’s package to me was perfect and so generous!

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Megan sent me some knee high socks (I love knee high socks!), some pretty paper clip binders, a zebra jewelry roll (who loves zebra? this girl!) and a very generous Starbucks gift card!

Thank you so much, Megan! I hope we continue to get to know one another and grow our friendship.

Blog swaps are such a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Be sure to follow Shawn and IA… I’m sure they have another blog swap up their sleeve for the future!

Thanks for organizing, girls!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Anatomy of a Post

Hey friends! Happy Monday!

(I really don’t know why I bother saying that. My Mondays are never happy. I am not a Monday person.)

There is something specific I want to address here on the blog. I’ve had some great feedback from last week’s post Dear (Fill in the Blank): the Twitter/Facebook Edition, Part 2. Most of you took exactly the way I intended it to be read – snarky and funny. However, one or two of you have questioned my intentions in writing that post. One person (that I know of) was upset and hurt by it.

I think most of you who read my blog know my true personality and my intentions. If you’ve been my friend for any length of time, you know that while I’m certainly not perfect, I do not ever intentionally set out to hurt people or cause harm. I am not a mean girl. I don’t go around starting drama for drama’s sake. I try my very best to present my true authentic self to the world.

However, I’m not perfect. Sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I say or write things I should not. Sometimes I say (or write) things I don’t intend to be hurtful, but the way someone processes it or perceives it causes it to be hurtful.

My intentions were to write a funny post. I wrote the first edition here, and not one person had anything negative to say about it. In fact, I got lots of feedback on how funny it was. I ran out of material having completed that first post, so I turned to Twitter and asked for feedback as to what others’ pet peeves were. I got lots of material, and I used it to compose the second post. As I do with most posts (otherwise, my blog posts would consist of “I ate a sandwich today”) I embellished the feedback I received to make it good blog reading.

The letters were never meant to target any one person. I did not set out to write a letter to a specific person. It wasn’t about anyone in particular. I mean that with all my heart. Y’all, I really and truly intended the post to be funny. If I’m honest, several of those letters apply to me. They probably apply to you, too. They are things we unwittingly do in social media that can be annoying – but we all do them at some time or another.

I’ve thought about that post at length in the week since I wrote it. I stand behind what I wrote. Dear (Fill in the Blank) is meant to be a funny way to vent your feelings or get things off your chest. Would I ever go up to the Target lady and tell her I think she’s a terrible cashier? No. But it makes for funny reading to blog about it. I am, however, sorry if anyone misconstrued what I wrote. I’m sorry if it caused you to see me in a different light. I’m very sorry if I hurt any of your feelings, because that wasn’t at all what I intended to do.

This is the last time I’ll address this here on the blog or on Twitter. If anyone has a problem with anything I wrote, please contact me directly and I will discuss it with you. In the past week I’ve seen the very best and the very worst of people. Thank you so much to my friends who have supported me and defended me.Thank you to those of you who emailed/DMed/texted me to talk TO ME, not about me. Thanks to those of you who waited to hear both sides of the story before automatically labeling me as the villain.

And to us all….

Let’s all agree to disagree. Let’s agree to talk our problems out with each other and not an audience of hundreds who don’t know the true story. Let’s agree to disagree, and not spread our discontent or hate, causing others to get involved in drama that isn’t their own.

We don’t have to all like one another. It’s ok to not get along.

Let’s just do it in a classy way.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

Hey guys! Last night I decided to do an impromptu video of some of my current favorite beauty products. I hope you find it helpful and that you enjoy!

I also just colored my hair yesterday – red! What do you think?

 

Products Mentioned Include:

Tarte 12 Hour Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Foundation

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

MAC Cremeblend Blush in Florida

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Loud & Lovely

Too Faced Lashgasm Mascara

Please let me know if there are any topics you would like me to do future vlogs on! Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dear (Fill in the Blank)

Apparently my last post got people talking (and unfollowing!). I got tons of tweets with responses about other’s Twitter/Facebook/blog pet peeves, and I wanted to share a few of them with you.

But first….

Dear Unfollower,

I’m guessing on of my Dear (Fill in the Blank)s applied to you, huh?

I’m not going to lie – I enjoy stirring the pot every once in awhile. I’m not sitting over here twirling my mustache by any means, but every once in awhile, you just got to call people out on their BS.

Dear Big Spender,

Listen, I enjoy shopping. I also enjoying blogging and tweeting about my purchases. It’s fun to show friends your new shoes or purse! However, if you constantly whine and moan about how you are “so broke” and you can barely pay your bills, don’t freak out when people raise their eyebrows when you tweet about buying $100 shoes or new makeup. Not being able to pay your bills usually means necessary purchases only.

Signed,

Judgmental. I’ll admit it.

Dear So In Love,

Your husband is not that great all the time. Please. I’m sure he farts and leaves his socks on the floor just like mine. I bet he even picks his nose when you aren’t looking. He’s probably even – GASP – had carnal thoughts about Kim Kardashian. Listen, I completely get you don’t want to bash your husband on your blog or Twitter. That’s great! But please stop tweeting 10,000 times a day about how perfect your relationship is. I’d believe you if you talked about how he grated your nerves once in awhile. No relationship is perfect, honey booboo. It’s usually the people who need so desperately to convince others that their relationship is perfect who need the most work.

Sincerely,

Been Married 8 Years & Some Of Them Were Unpleasant

Dear Faker,

Girl, please. You are not that nice. I’m well aware that you are talking about me on HeyTell (did you SEE what Andrea just tweeted?! OMG!) while tweeting me wishes for a nice day. I wasn’t born yesterday.

Dear Promoter,

I get it. You have a new blog post. Super cool! I read it the first time you Facebooked or tweeted about it. No need for 20 more tweets in one day. How about you throw in some other topics? If your only tweets are tweets that promote your blog, I guarantee you that you’ve been unfollowed or muted.

Dear Mother Knows Best,

Seriously. There is no possible way you can give me the directions to Antarctica, tell me how to bake meatloaf, advise me on who I should vote for, and solve my son’s calculus homework. Yay you’re smart! Thanks for the advice, friend, but it is ok if you don’t know something. Dummies unite!

Your name isn’t Siri, is it?

Dear Mother of the Year,

Geez. You have an opinion on everything, don’t you? CIO, cloth diapering, daycare, SAHM, organic foods, Baby Einstein… While I appreciate that you are so informed, I don’t need you to tell me how to parent. I especially don’t need you to tell me you think my parenting is bad or wrong. Shame on you! Parenting books DO NOT make you an expert in the subject. Wait… you’ve only had one child? Your child is 2 months old? Shut your trap, woman, and give me advice when you’ve been there, done that – successfully.

Dear Football Fan,

Yowzers. How about we all just agree not to tweet during football games? How about football season, period? Your fan devotional is much appreciated, but don’t be a player hater. Seriously. Don’t hate on the players. Or the coaches, or the other teams for that matter.

Go Gamecocks!

Dear Excitable,

You know, I get this one. I really do. You can see above that I’m guilty of this myself. However, NOT EVERY TWEET NEEDS TO BE CAPITALIZED. It means you are yelling.

Calm down, woman!

What’s annoying you today?

Monday, February 20, 2012

2 On Tuesday: Celebrity Girl Crushes

Hey friends! Happy Tuesday. I hope you are all doing well.

Today’s topic for 2 On Tuesday is celebrity girl crushes. What celebrity female do you think is absolutely beautiful? If you could steal anyone’s look, who would it be?

I pretty much despise her as a person and I think she is a total fame whore, but you can’t deny Kim Kardashian is beautiful. Granted, 50% of her is artificial, but that hair! The perfect skin! The large yet perky boobs! And let’s not forget that famous hiney.

I’m super jealous of her overall look and style, but I do think it must be exhausting to be her. How long do you think it takes her to get ready every day?

I have always loved Hilary Duff’s makeup. (I was secretly a huge Lizzie McGuire fan.)

PS – Could I pull of those bangs?

Hello, LC. Gimme your hair, please. (I’m actually seriously thinking about going blonde.)

And I’d just like to be Adele. Talent, looks, and British accent.

How about you? What celebrity do you have a girl crush on?

What’s New, Pussycat?

Why the title? I have no idea.

How was your weekend? I hope it was restful and wonderful! I had a bit of an annoying situation at a restaurant, Wild Wings, on Saturday night. We met my parents for dinner there at 6:45. Now, generally I won’t go out to eat with Cooper on a weekend unless it is a special occasion. The restaurants around here are just too crowded and the wait times are usually 30 minutes to an hour. It just isn’t a good idea to make a toddler wait that long to be seated, and expect them to wait again for their food.

As I said, we arrived at 6:45. We sat down to wait and around the 30 minute mark, a friend of my mom’s passed us by and mentioned that they had to wait over an hour to receive their food. Jason and I wanted to leave then, but my dad wanted to keep waiting because he didn’t want to leave and have to go wait again somewhere else. After around 45 minutes, we were seated.

It took the waitress awhile to come and get our order, but the restaurant was way understaffed and I could see her running around like a mad woman. The situation wasn’t her fault at all. I think the problem was that they had seated too many large tables at one time – right before we were seated, they seated a table of 10 and a table of 20. I just don’t think the kitchen could crank out that many meals at one time.

We finally ordered and waited (guess?) 1 hour to get our food. We would have left, but thank goodness I had brought a backpack full of entertainment for the boy. Our food came out and we dug in. My dad had ordered a side salad before his meal – it came with his meal, and he didn’t get fries. He didn’t care enough to complain and wait again for his food. I got about halfway through my salad, and I found A HAIR. Yeah, I know it happens, but nasty. I lost my appetite rather quickly, and when I complained the waitress took it and one of our drinks off our ticket.

So yeah. 45 minutes to be seated, 1 hour for food, and when the food arrives it is served with a side of hair. FAIL, Wild Wing, FAIL. I do not recommend the Wild Wings in Augusta, Georgia. Stay away!

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On a more positive note, here’s my family of three before heading out to dinner. I think Cooper looks a lot like me here – what do you think?

Just some other iPhone pics I wanted to share:

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Doesn’t my dad look pleasant? This is his picture face, believe it or not. He just doesn’t smile.

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Cooper’s Valentine’s Day (is it Valentines or Valentine’s?) loot. He’s obsessed with penguins right now. No picture, but I got Jason P90X and he got me some flowers.

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I tweeted this picture last week asking “Do I have on sale goggles? Are these cute or ugly?” They are pink sequined Converse that were on clearance for $20 at Target. I did end up getting them.

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When Jason and I picked up Cooper at daycare on Friday, they told us he had bitten a child. His teacher said he was put in time out as punishment. I asked what led up to the biting, and she said he just bit the other child out of the blue. We scolded him for biting and went about our night. Later when we got him ready for bed, I found this bite mark on his arm. Hmmm… wonder why he bit that child?

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We took him to get a haircut on Friday night and his hair turned out a little Dumb & Dumber-ish. He’s still a cutie though.

What’s new with you, pussycat?

Friday, February 17, 2012

iPhone/iPads Apps for Babies & Toddlers

Hey friends! Today I am guest posting on I Love You More Than Carrots! Click on over to hear all about the best iPhone & iPad apps for preschool age children!

See you there!

Monday, February 13, 2012

2 On Tuesday: Your SO

Welcome to 2 On Tuesday! I’m so excited about today’s topic and I really hope you will play along.

Today’s topic is:

What 2 (or more!) things do you love about your significant other?

If you do not have a SO currently, please consider blogging about what you’re looking for in a SO. What attributes must your future spouse have?

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Meet my loves – Jason and Cooper. You’re heard lots about Cooper on this blog, but I very rarely talk about Jason. And when I do, it is usually to complain about a holiday he forgot or fight we had the night before. I rarely, if ever, praise my husband on the blog. He is most certainly praise worthy, so that’s about to change right now.

#1 – He loves me for me.

I’ve always been insecure about my looks, and I remember being in high school and praying the man God intended for me was a man who would love me for me – plus size and all. Jason has always been attracted to me no matter what my size. I’ve gained 40 pounds in the 9 years we’ve been married and he told me recently he finds me more attractive now than he did when we married.

#2 – He loves all the things I hate.

Jason and I could not be more of an opposite pair. I’m preppy and Southern; he’s throw-on-whatever-isn’t-wrinkled-and-doesn’t-smell and a Yankee. I like Britney Spears and he likes Metallica. I like to be out and about and he’s more of a homebody. But our differences work in our favor. I’ll never be a heavy metal girl, but that Yankee now counts the South as his home.

#3 – He has a great sense of humor.

He makes me laugh, daily. And I love that our son is turning out to be quite the comedian, just like his daddy.

#4 – He can talk to anyone.

Seriously, anyone. I am so socially awkward and my husband could met you and be your best friend within 10 minutes. He doesn’t know strangers, and everyone he meets gets the same attention and interest. I love that he’s so friendly and open.

#5 – He pushes me to do things I don’t want to do.

Whether it is loosing 15 pounds or getting out in our new city and making friends, he’s fully supportive of all the goals I set for myself.

#6 – He can’t dance.

Jason dancing is one part Elaine from Seinfeld and two parts the worm. I have two left feet as well, so our dance parties always look like something straight out of an 80s alien dance party. I love that he’s always willing to bust a move to make me laugh.

#7 – He is a great dad.

Jason is such a good dad. Cooper loves him so much, and I love him so much more for being my baby daddy.

#8 – He takes care of me.

Jason was the best when I was pregnant, and he was wonderful when I came home from the hospital with Cooper. He took 3 weeks off work and did nothing but run errands, cook meals, do housework, and laundry. My only responsibility was to bond with our new son. I have such great memories of that time! When I look back at those three weeks, all I can remember is how peaceful and happy our little home was.

#9 – He is a great provider.

He brings home the bacon. My chosen field will never make a lot of money, and the fact that he works hard and has so much ambition means that I can continue to do what I feel called to do.

#10 – He served his country.

He served in the US Navy for 10 years. He made countless sacrifices during that time, and I’m so proud of his service.

#11 – He continues to serve his country.

He completed his enlistment (and more) with his 10 years, but once he got out of the Navy he voluntarily chose to enlist in the Navy Reserves because he wanted to continue to serve. Being a military member means a lot to Jason, and he wants to continue to give back to the country that has given so much to him.

#12 – He’s so smart.

He once tried to explain the concept of nuclear power to me, and 10 minutes in I said “wait, won’t you have to kill me if you tell me this?” and then I went off to contemplate jumping out of our one story windows.

#13 – He loves my family.

My family is large, loud, and our dynamics are hard to grasp as a newcomer. Yet Jason jumped right in with both feet. He talks to my mom more than I do. He goes to visit my grandmother when I’m working and can’t get away. He’s ok with vacationing with my parents, and he lived with my parents for 6 weeks this summer.

#14 – He was meant for me.

I truly believe he is the one God intended for me. While we have had our shares of highs and low, I know I am committed to this man and he is committed to me.

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Love you, babe!

What do you love about your spouse?

 

Dear (Fill in the Blank)

Happy Monday friends! Well, as happy as it can be considering it is Monday, right? Today I'm back for another edition of Dear (Fill in the Blank). Won't you play along? 
 
Today's Dear (Fill in the Blank) is dedicated to all those Twitter/Facebook posters who make you just shake your head. Shout out in the comment about anything I might have forgotten to include!

Dear Attention Seeker, 

The first three times you asked for prayers, I bowed my head and prayed for you. The next fifty times, I asked myself “what in the world is going on now?” Just so you’re aware, when you post “Desperately need prayers! I can’t talk about what’s going on but it is BIG!!!!!!” and then follow that up 30 minutes later with “The new Trident gum is super tasty!:)” I kind of start to feel like your desperate situation is not quite so desperate after all. 

Dear Middle School Girl, 

Seriously, what purpose does it serve to post things like “I have a secret!” and then refuse to share said secret? How about when you continuously respond to your select group of girlfriends with “so excited!” and “we can’t tell yet!” with an abundance of smiley faces. Ugh. That’s not annoying at all. Let’s just keep said secret to ourselves, mmmkay?

Dear Paranoid

Why oh why are you so paranoid? You’re private, meaning you have to approve your followers, yet you talk about “cleaning out” your followers several times a month. You’ve shut down your Twitter and reappeared with another handle at least two times that I know of. Here’s a tip: if you’re worried about someone reacting to something you write, you probably shouldn’t write it in the first place. 

Dear Spoiler, 

I won’t lie – I’ve been in your shoes a few times. I’ve done my fair share of live tweeting during The Bachelor. However, please remember that not everyone watches American Idol at the same time as you. If you spoil the winner before it airs on the west coast, be prepared for a lynching. 

Dear Eeyore, 

Life is really not that bad. It just isn’t. Even if you are going through a hard time, there is beauty all around you. Find it! Stop dwelling on the negative. Step away from the computer and find some positivity in your life. While your friends want to support you, a person can only take so many “FML!” posts in one day. SMILE. Fake it till you make it, baby. 

Dear Breastfeeder, 

Yay! Go you! No, seriously, I mean that. I’m proud of and I support the fact that you breastfeed. However, it super duper weirds me out that you post pics of your child breastfeeding on Facebook. Take the pictures, sure. It’s a treasured memory for your family. But post them for all 500 of your acquaintances to see? Honey, no. No one wants to see your aureole except you and your hungry child. 

Dear Snarky, 

Following up a bitchy statement with ;) does not negate the fact that you just posted something bitchy. It just means you know it is bitchy and you’re trying to get away with it. 

Dear Play-by-Play, 

I really don’t care that you did laundry today. I don’t need to know what you had for lunch or what you’re planning for dinner. What time are you going to bed today? Oh wait… I don’t care. 

Highlights only!

Who do you need to write today?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Bushel and a Peck

I love you
A bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck
And a hug around the neck

Have you ever heard the expression “it takes a village to raise a child?”

Well, that was true for me. I had many people who were valuable parts of upbringing, but none more so than my childhood babysitter, Mrs. Claudia. 

My mother and father were both working parents. My mother took 6 months of maternity leave, and during her leave she found what she hoped would be a great childcare provider for me – Mrs. Claudia. It was instant love, or so I’m told. My mother tells the story of when I was 8 months old and Mrs. Claudia went on vacation. She called my mom two days in, crying over how much she missed me.

 I’m sure I missed her too. 

Mrs. Claudia was many things to me, but what she was not was “just” a daycare provider. I was part of her family. I thought of her children as my siblings and Mrs. Claudia as my second mother. As I got older, I requested to spend weekends with her family. I went on their family vacations. I attended weddings, parties, and family reunions. I was the maid of honor in her daughter’s wedding. Her son and daughter both refer to me as their little sister. 

Most of my childhood memories center around activities I did with Mrs. Claudia and her family. I remember watching “stories” with Mrs. Claudia (Days of our Lives) when I was supposed to be napping. I remember her teaching me to make zucchini bread. I remember going to the local video rental shop to pick out movies to watch on the weekend. I remember my one and only trip to Galveston, Texas with her family. I remember camping, swimming in the lake, and eating food cooked on a campfire. I remember sitting on the couch, shelling beans while watching Jeopardy. 

One of my most treasured memories is sitting in Mrs. Claudia’s lap, hearing her sing to me while I fought the urge to close my eyes for just one minute. “I love you/a bushel and a peck/a bushel and a peck/and a hug around the neck.”

When I was 16 years old, Mrs. Claudia was diagnosed with lung cancer. She battled the cancer and won, going into remission when I was 17. When I was 18, the cancer returned. 

I was away at college in October of 1997 when I received the call that she had passed away. I was 18 years old and was completely unprepared to deal with the grief that comes from loosing someone you love dearly. My solution to the pain was to lock up my memories some place far inside of me and to not think about Mrs. Claudia. I didn’t talk about her. I wouldn’t let myself think of her. I refused to see her family and ignored their calls. I just couldn’t let that door open or I knew I would drown in grief. 

I have regrets, now that I’m older and somewhat wiser. I wish I had handled things differently. I wish I had stayed a part of their lives. I wish I wouldn’t have let time and distance make us all into strangers. 

That door stayed closed for years, until I found out I was pregnant. Her daughter, Angela, came to my baby shower, and it was if floodgates of memories were opened. 

Since I had Cooper, I think about Mrs. Claudia often. I wish so very much she could have been a part of my child’s life. I wish he could have known her. I wish she could have carried on the tradition and helped me raise my child. I think about how I hope she’s looking down on me, and I hope so much that she is proud of the woman and mother I’ve become. 

The other day I found myself singing to Cooper:

I love you
A bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck
And a hug around the neck.

I love you, Mrs. Claudia. I miss you every day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2 On Tuesday: Favorite Hair Products

Hey friends! Welcome back to 2 On Tuesday. I'm sorry this is going up late today but I didn't have computer access last night. 

Today I want to know:

What two hair products can you not live without?

I've been trying to grow my hair out for what seems like forever. I had it to my shoulders back in July, and the oppressive heat of SC/GA got to me and I chopped it off to chin length. Now it is back down to the base of my neck. It seems like it is growing so slow! I swear, when I want to wear short hair my hair grows like a weed. When I want to grow it out, it doesn't grow at all. 

First of all, let me tell you about my hair texture. My hair is super thick - like breaks rubber bands when I put it into a ponytail thick. It's also coarse, wavy, and frizzy. If I let my hair dry naturally (which I never do when I need to leave the house) it is a big poof ball of frizz. However, my hair straightens relatively easily. I can get rid of the frizz and straighten with just a round brush and my hair dryer. I rarely use a flat iron, except on day 2 hair.  


When I want to wear my hair straight, I start by running some Hana Shine Shield or Moroccanoil through my hair. This adds shine and serves as a heat protectant prior to blow drying. I blow dry using a T3 hairdryer, which I love. This is my second T3 - my first died this summer after 5 years of use. After my hair is dry, I run a dab of Aveda Brilliant, which is an anti-humectant pomade (a fancy way of saying it keeps your hair from frizzing). 



My real secret for super smooth, shiny, and frizz free hair is the Olivia Garden hairbrushes. Erin and Nina turned me on to these brushes this summer, and I seriously could not live without them. They are sold at Ulta, but I purchased mine from Amazon


When I want to wear my hair curly (which is days I'm feeling lazy/tired or when I'm running late) I have many products I use. My hair isn't super curly - it has a weird wave pattern that I have to put a lot of product into to make it look ok naturally. I would love to hear what you wavy/curly girls use because I've yet to find a holy grail product that will enhance curls and eliminate frizz. 


A few of my other favorite hair products:





What are your favorite hair products?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Hey friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Did you watch the Super Bowl? I am such a sucker – I cried throughout the whole game! The National Anthem gets me every time, and some of the commercials were super sad.

What did you think of Kelly’s rendition of the National Anthem? Jason and I thought her performance was one the best we’ve ever heard. Who did you think has had the best performance of the National Anthem ever?

What was your favorite commercial? I don’t think any of them were standouts, but I’m watching as I type this (and I haven’t seen the Ferris Bueller commercial everyone is raving about).

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I have the sweetest friends. Check out the super thoughtful birthday package that arrived from Shawn this week! She sure does know me well. Zebra nail polish strips, post-its, paper goods, and a coffee mug? Score. Add in chocolate and this is pretty much the best package ever. Thank you, Shawn! I love you so!

Susan also gifted me the Marley Lily leopard scarf I blogged about here, and I love it. Sus, you are the bestest bestie ever! Love!

I never announced the winner of the Reader Survey, although I did contact the winner privately. Mindy, the gift card is headed your way once I can get my lazy butt to the post office.

My birthday (the actual day) was not the best. Jason, as great as he is at other things, does not “do” birthdays. He did not acknowledge the day, and I spent the day in a huff as birthdays are very important to me and I was hurt that he didn’t make an effort. SIGH. I’m trying to get over it but he is not sorry about it at all. He just doesn’t think birthdays are a big deal. However, on Monday my co-workers threw me an impromptu party so that was super fun!

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I headed to Sephora Monday to drown my sorrows in beauty products. Here am I trying a magenta lip – can I pull it off?

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I got a new mirror for over my mantle for Christmas. Like?

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Here’s a recent look for a far too sporadic date night. Those heels lasted about 5 minutes. (Don’t look at my clothes piled in the corner!) How about date night consists of Costco browsing and Outback? My, we’re adventurous.

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My sweet boy. Ugh, he melts my heart.

What’s new with you guys?

Tomorrow’s 2 On Tuesday topic is about your favorite hair products. What hair products can you not live without?



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