Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Product Reviews: Lips and Nails.

I have a love/hate relationship with painted nails and lipstick.

Most days, I love nail polish. Bright colors, pastels, dark maroons, bring 'em on. When my nails are painted....no one can tell how much dirt from gardening I have caked under there. Ha.

OPI's " Lincoln Park After Dark" is my old stand by. Photo from here.

But then I have those days where they're chipped and I'm too busy to touch them up. Or I'm feeling hippie-chic and organic and nail polish just doesn't seem to fit in with my style. Do you ever feel like that?

Lipstick is a tad different. I absolutely ADORE lipstick.....on other people. On me; not so much. I would love to pull off a look like this, but I'm a little reserved.

Taylor Swift sporting a Coral Lipstick. I like to think that Taylor and I have the same hair color so I sometimes try to match things to her...funny huh. Photo from here.

So while I still struggle with nail polish and lipstick, here are my fav's right now.

Essie's "Clambake" is a vibrant color I plan to wear right into fall. Photo from here.
 Finally, my new lipstick. Half chapstick, half lip color; this is THE mother of all wonderful smelling, soft feeling, natural looking shades. I even wore it to bed last night hehe.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipcolor in "Sensuous Nude." Photo from here.

Here's a close-up of the actual shade:

The only downside of this lipstick is the cost. $30 for lipstick?? Never thought I'd be willing to shuck out that kinda cash. When I bought it I also got a free makeover so I felt like I needed to buy something.....anyway I'm glad I did because it's amazing and you should go grab you a sample from Macy's. ASAP.

What are some of your favorite nail polishes and lipsticks right now?

Monday, August 29, 2011

You might be having a bad week if....

It's Monday. At an attempt to bring some humor and relief to my otherwise bad week I had....here are some "You might be a Redneck having a bad week if" jokes that are actually true. You know how they say, behind every joke is a hint of truth? Well, these are all true. No hinting around here, folks. These things actually happened to me.

You might be having a bad week if...

Your spill your coffee not once, but twice in one sitting.

You make a vow to eat healthier this week and then have Pretzel M&M's for breakfast.

You try to give your two year old son a kiss and he replies "No!" and smacks you in the face with a very larger and rock-hard cowboy hat.

You find out that your husband secretly hates the one fashion trend you've been dying to try out.....Leopard Print Heels. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

You realize that tuition is due at school TODAY and that you forgot your wallet AT HOME. Nice one, Les.

You spill about 2 gallons of water.....INSIDE your refrigerator. Don't ask, for the love of pete, please don't ask.

And last but not least; You might be having a bad week if your puppy gets run over. Geez. That just plain sucks, huh?

Don't worry, everyone. I've gotten all my tears out and have just chalked it up to be "a part of life."

If we didn't go through crappy stuff, we wouldn't be the adapting, growing, wiser individual we need to be. Correct?

If you're having "One of those weeks" and you start to freak out because it's only Monday.....just take a second and relax. Don't freak out over things you have no control over.

Be happy, my friends. Tuesday is a new day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Home.

Today our Winnie pup passed away. Although she was with us just a short time, we loved her very much and will miss her sweet disposition.

Winnie is at her new home now. Love you sweet puppy!

Fashion Friday: Warby Parker.

Let me just start off by saying that I'm so excited about today's post that I can barely contain myself! I might just have to let out a little dance move here in a second........I just did a back flip. For real.

Ok, I'm kidding. But seriously I'm ecstatic over what I'm about to share with you!

Could it be possible to have a pair of designer prescription glasses, shipped to my door, with free returns, all for UNDER $100? Also, if that's not already revolutionary enough, for every pair of glasses bought, this company GIVES a pair to a person in need? Are you freaking kidding me?

Before I get too far ahead of myself here, let me start off by saying that I'm a contact lens girl through and through. I do have glasses, but I NEVER wear them out of the house. Mostly because I've had the same pair of glasses since 9th grade and the prescription isn't up to date, but also because they are slightly bent out of shape from sleeping in them, stepping on them, sitting on them, etc. Basically my glasses are just plain messed up. I think after 11 years of use, I'm due for a new pair.

So, like any experienced bargain shopper, I started researching. My eye doctor is seriously THE best eye doctor in town (if you want to know his name, email me and I'll tell ya) but he's known for being just that...the best doctor. His glasses prices on the other hand are not exactly competitive. So I branched out. I found a place here in Cape that had a few pairs of glasses for around $70 that I liked (sorta), but to put my prescription in them (I'm blind, folks. For real.) it would cost an additional $50. That's putting me at $120 for a pair of glasses that aren't really that cute and that I'm only going to be wearing at night when I watch movies in bed. That's not ok with me, people!!

So, I happened to stumble upon Warby Parker when doing my research and checked into it a bit further.

I know what you're thinking....buying glasses online? Without trying them on? No dice.

But wait! Could it be true? Warby Parker has a Virtual Try-On feature....that freakin' rocks. It takes two seconds to upload a picture of yourself and then you're on your way to finding that perfect pair. I tried on literally every single pair of glasses they had to offer....in pretty much every color. Here's my choice:

"The Huxley" in Hazelwood.

And yes, I do think that it's just adorable that the color of the frames is called "Hazelwood." That's what I like to call fate, my friends.

Did you know that "15% of the world's population is unable to effectively learn or work because they can't see clearly?"** Warby Parker is here to remedy this serious issue. Seriously, go to their website and check out their mission statement. For every pair of $95 frames you buy (remember, that includes prescription, shipping, and returns.) Warby Parker gives a pair away. Also, check out their adorable founders. One of them also is a huge Hall and Oates fan....which just goes to show how truly legit these guys are.

Did I mention they sell monocles? How rad. Someone needs to tell Daniel to get one ASAP.

I can't wait until my frames get it! I'll share when they do.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

** Statement from Warby Parker website.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"My Job Sucks" and other things you really shouldn't say to the universe.

Raise your hand if you hate your job.

Now raise your hand if you were too embarrassed to raise your hand before but still hate your job.

Ok, Good. Now raise your hand if you have ever had a job that sucked but now are truly doing something you love.

I estimate that pretty much everyone falls into one of the three categories above.

Probably college/highschool students who work at Taco Bell fall into category 1. (Taco Bell is just an example, and I'm not implying that everyone at Taco Bell hates their job. Someone who works there has to love it, or else they wouldn't still be in business.) Anyway, category 1 folks hate their job and aren't afraid to admit it because, honestly, they know and their boss knows that they'll eventually quit and go onto something they love.

The people who slide into category 2 are a little more reserved. There are recent college grads, middle aged folks, and senior citizens who are all reluctant to tell anyone that they hate their job but secretly do. They are basically just working for a paycheck. Or benefits. Or both. They work because they have to, not because it's their DREAM JOB or because they grew up knowing that they would someday be doing this specific profession. They have a family to provide for, and are humbly working so that their loved ones can have a great life.

And then there's category 3. Those few select individuals who are blessed enough to be doing a job that makes them want to get out of bed in the morning. It's a job that makes them truly happy. THE job of a lifetime. What more can I say? These people are so happy they make me a little sick, or jealous, or both.

Now, I'm not going to tell you which category I fall into, I'll let you speculate on that one.

I'm writing this for those category 1 and 2 folks. Those friends who are still fantasizing about their dream job that may or may not ever actually happen.

The point is, God has us where we are for a reason. We are working for a greater purpose, not for our own. If we are constantly complaining about our job and about what we're doing here on this earth, do you think that's fulfilling God's purpose? Or being in any way a loving, joy-filled, Christ-like example? What about your co-workers who don't know Christ...how is you being in a crappy mood going to lead them to the Lord?

I'm right there, friends. I'm the one with the ugly frown on my face, reluctantly doing things on a daily basis because I have to.

But everyone has those days where they are tired. They just want to give up and quit and move to a remote island and harvest coffee beans all day.........What? You don't have that fantasy? It may not be farming or moving to a remote island but you have a fantasy of your own. That "dream job" fantasy. Take heart, my friends. God is not going to leave you hangin'. You may not see the point of it all currently, but God's going to use you where you are, right here and now.

Here's a little song to encourage you, because it encouraged me. Yes, it's Steven Curtis Chapman, and yes it's a little cheesy. But hey, he's like THE contemporary Christian music Godfather so show him some r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Listen to the actual words of the song, because they will make you feel better about where you are and why you're doing-what-you're-doing.

Don't just work; love. Have a great day, everyone.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three Jars and a Baby Story.

I am giving away jars of homemade detergent to a few wonderful ladies who commented on last week's giveaway, but I actually have three more jars of detergent ready to go! If you'd like a jar just comment below and I'll get one to ya!

I tied the recipe to each jar so you'll have it!

I also wanted to share just a little bit of my day yesterday. It was my first day of school, and I'm in my first 500 level course of my college career. In case you're not familiar with that a 500 level course is as hard as they get, folks. My professor even said that his class is considered as hard as some graduate level classes. Needless to say I was nervous and when I got home from class my head was still spinning with all the information I'd absorbed from just the first meeting alone. When I got home it was after 5pm, and I needed to start dinner, do some laundry, and get John a bath. I was rushing around trying to put things away and clean, and John was playing by himself like a big boy in his room. Then, this happened:

In the midst of all of my busy-ness, John carefully unfolded the clean dish towels that I had just finished folding and laid them on the (somewhat) dirty kitchen floor. This picture doesn't show them all, there were about 20 clean towels now dirty again spread out all over the floor. I turned around, ready to scold him and have him put them all in the dirty clothes pile to be washed again; but then I stopped. Here was this creative, inventive little man finding joy in something so simple. And there I was; rushing around trying to keep working and stressing myself out over what? Nothing. Nothing should be more important at the end of my day than spending time with This Guy.

What I learned my first day back at college: Don't stress out, don't take myself too seriously, and don't get too busy to spend time with my little dude.

To all my fellow Mommy's out there in school, I encourage you to do the same, and I'll be praying for you this semester!

Have a good wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Heart History: The Huhn-Harrison Home

In case you didn't know, I have this "thing" for historic buildings and war-time stories. I'm a tad obsessed with learning the stories behind a historic structure, and the people that lived there before. Recently my husband and I toured two historic buildings in our area, the Esquire Theatre, and the Huhn-Harrison House. We learned of the Huhn-Harrison House from some friends of ours who might be interested in purchasing it. I hope they do!

The Huhn-Harrison Home is located right across from the River Campus in Cape and is currently on the market for $105,000. The actual construction of the River Campus was made possible by B.W. Harrison and Hazel Huhn-Harrison who lived in the home and donated money to the University for the sale of the property that the River Campus now lies on. When B.W. Harrison passed away in 2004, he left his home to the University and it has sat vacant ever since. I've heard that some Cape Girardeau residents are outraged that the home is not being put to use or taken care of since its owners gave everything they had to the University after they passed. Check the comments out in this article.

The Huhn-Harrison home was built in 1905 by Rudolph Huhn, a business man and local bar owner. The home was for many years called "The house Rudy built for his bride." Mr. and Mrs. Huhn had one child, Hazel, who lived in the house with her husband B. W. Harrison after her parents passed away. So, the home has only been lived in by the same family since it's construction, 106 years ago.

When we entered the house, I immediately felt deja-vu. If you're unfamiliar with this term, then I'm sorry because it's a tad hard to explain haha. I just felt like I'd been in the house before, or that I'd had a dream once about being there. Anyway, deja-vu is a very strange feeling and it gave me massive goosebumps. The home has it's original hardwood floors and architectural designs. The upstairs is completely unfinished and a HUGE space with potential for either a master suite or a couple extra bedrooms.

I fell in love with the wallpaper, the huge wrap-around front porch, and all the doors in the home. The 12 foot ceilings are a rare find in an older home as well. They say that the ceilings were built tall to have natural ventilation, which is why the home doesn't have air conditioning. Open all the windows and doors up in this place and the breeze flows perfectly!

After leaving the house, I couldn't stop thinking about the family that lived here and the life they lived. It made me feel like I belonged with them. Is that strange? I felt this odd connection to a family that I had never even met.

I hope that someone will buy this home and live there. I hope they will keep the house mostly the same as it is now, wallpaper and all. I hope they raise a family there, and laugh and cry together there. Just like the Huhn's and Harrison's did.

Who knows, maybe the Huhn-Harrison home will be our next business adventure?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bank on it.

Fall is here. It may not seem so weather wise, but school has started and for some reason I feel like it's a new beginning for me, much more so than on January 1st. My classes for the Fall semester are on Tuesdays. I have one class at SEMO here in Cape, and another class at the Sikeston campus. I won't be home until close to 10pm on Tuesdays because of school so you can bank on it that I won't be posting on Tuesdays this semester. I hope to make up for it though on the weekends with some fun photo's and outfit posts. I love blogging and writing, but I haven't felt much like posting lately, and thus I have not.

We went to Sam A. Baker State Park over the weekend for a little end-of-summer getaway. Just what I needed to re-charge my batteries and relax. Here are a couple of my favorite photo's from our trip.

John in his jammies helping his Dad grill burgers. His hair was still wet from swimming in the creek.

We drank grown up drinks from Mason Jars on the back porch of our cabin every night.

At the Drive-In movie theater. You can see John sleeping in the backseat!

Look at that goofy grin. While I felt incredibly re-charged and relaxed after our trip, my favorite part was knowing that the guys had a nice time as well.

I'm looking forward to having my blog design re-done by my friend Emily. That might give me more motivation to write. Otherwise, that's all I have for now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent UPDATE and GIVE-A-WAY!

A few weeks ago I shared with you my homemade laundry detergent recipe, and I wanted to give you an update on just how much I love it since I've been using it. Here's some pics of the process. Also a chance to win some to try out for yourself! Read below:

Instead of using Ivory soap, I used this Fels-Naptha brand bar soap I found in the laundry isle at Wal-Mart. I used a cheese grater to shave down the entire bar and then added it to the two quarts boiling water.

Here's the soap shavings added to the boiling water. Mix until it's all blended together.

After the soap is blended, pour it into your CLEAN 5-gallon bucket. Add two cups each of Borax and Washing Soda.

Blend together the melted bar soap, Borax, and washing soda with 2 Gallons of water in the 5-gallon bucket. The result is a frozen margarita. Just kidding, but that's what it looks like! A couple tips when using this detergent:

1. Use 1/4 of a cup for each medium load of laundry. Make sure and add the detergent to the water BEFORE you add your clothes.

2. You won't see the detergent make any "suds" in the water, which makes it seem like it's not cleaning your clothes....but don't worry! That's normal and it is in fact doing its job.

3. You will need to stir the detergent each time before using.

I've been washing my clothes with this detergent for a few weeks now and I think it works great! My clothes smell good too--and I didn't even add the essential oils!

If you're like me, and HATE spending money for things you know you can make yourself--this recipe is for you.

I bottled several jars full of the detergent and want to give them to.....YOU! Simply comment below or on my facebook wall with a DIY project that you enjoy doing. Whether it be gardening, sewing, even a favorite recipe of yours; something that you take pride in completing---all by yourself! You Go Girl! I'll pick three winners from a hat on Friday, 8/19 at noon. Good luck!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blah! It's Monday.

I'm not the most interesting person on earth. Don't believe me? Well my posting-absence proves that I haven't done anything exciting. Honest. That's why you haven't heard much from me.

Here's what I did last week. All pretty mundane and un-blogworthy. But that's the good thing about blogs, I can talk about whatever I want :)

1. I painted my nails in this color:

Essie's "Lady Like."

2. I bought these for John to wear now, and a pair two sizes bigger for next summer:

Cherokee Hiker Sandal from Target: On SALE right now for $5.99.

3. I changed my major, paid for my classes and enrolled for the Fall semester at SEMO. Go me.

4. I ate fried fish and sweet potato fries from The Bayou. Daniel and I had our first date at The Bayou and we eat there almost every week. Actually you could say we love it so much that we moved about 2 miles from the restaurant. Ha.

5. I drank lots of coffee and sat at my kitchen table gazing at these:

6. I pretended to be a cowgirl and went to the rodeo. Twice in one week. I was probably the only person over the age of 21 not drinking but still having a good time :)

Our neighbor Charles, me, and Daniel. Who better to go to the rodeo with than two country boys (at heart).

The Guys once again in all their hick-i-fied glory. Check out the littlest cowboy's boots and hat :)

I promise to share some more exciting posts with you this week, including some packing tips for a weekend getaway, which we happen to be going on this coming weekend! I'm so excited!

Hope everyone had a great weekend :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Put a Cork in it, Dear.

I have a tiny problem. There's a hole in my kitchen's wall. Right above the sink, we ran out of backsplash (technically, a store-that-will-remain-anonymous ran out) and have never gotten around to finishing it. The Hubs says it looks fine the way it is. I say that when I'm washing dishes I'd like to look at something pretty instead of foam insulation and raw-edged wood. Call me crazy, but the kitchen just doesn't seem all that appealing to me with this unfinished space.

Thankfully, trusty Martha came through yet again with this idea for a DIY Corkboard. She affixed her cork sheets to the inside of an unused door frame.

Martha's Corkboard. Cute, huh? She must have painted her corkboard because I can't find it anywhere in pretty colors.

Here's how Daniel and I used a $6.99 roll of cork sheet from Ace Hardware to cover the unfinished space. Pretty handy if I do say so myself. Now I can look at sweet little notes and pictures while I'm doing the dishes. Ahhh...much better.

If there is something in your home that makes you feel in any way unhappy or stressed--take a minute and rectify that unfinished project. You'll be relieved that it's finished, and your hubby will be relieved that he doesn't have to hear you complain about it anymore ;) that is, until the next project comes along!

Hope your having a good week so far, everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fashion Friday: That 70's Girl.

I've always been inspired by the 1960's-1970's. My parents were around my age during that time and I especially love reading about the war and political changes that were going on then.....I know not everyone likes to read about war but that's kind of a closet obsession of mine haha. So shhh don't tell anyone.

I'm also inspired by the fashion trends of that era. One of my favorite fashion icon's ever is Donna from That 70's Show. Her outfits always rocked.

Photo from here.
Donna's high waisted flares and Jackie's Floral dress are amazing. I mean, who wouldn't love to dress like that all the time? That free spirited, feminine yet "take charge" type of style. Love love love it.

We're going to the Arts Council tonight for the First Friday of the month show. I'm going to channel my inner Donna and Jackie and wear this:

High-waisted flares, tall wedge sandals, and a floral hippie shirt. I could wear this outfit everyday!
Do you find yourself "flashing back" to a certain era when you get dressed? Or do you prefer to stay in the present?

Happy Friday, Everyone. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes and Lemony Squash.

Ohhh I just love a good old Fried Green Tomato. Both the actual food and the movie starring Kathy Bates.

Feeling like a nice, long chuckle? Watch the "Parking Lot Rage" scene from the movie hehe :)

Anyway, back to the food.

Green Tomatoes are great in salsa, but my favorite way to eat them is fried. The reason they're so easy to fry is because green tomatoes aren't as juicy as red and so they slice really easily. Just dip the slices in milk, then in some flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in the skillet and fry away! Delicious, classic, summer side dish.

When I was a kid I ate so many one time that I puked them all up later. So, don't over-do it, ladies.

Another way to use your Farmer's Market finds is by grilling up some squash mixed in lemon juice. I like to brown the squash with lemon juice because it's not as fattening as oil, and takes the bitterness out of the squash. Throw on a few dashes of lemon pepper and you've got yourself some delicious, home-grown goodness right there.

Use the leftovers in a turkey wrap for lunch the next day! :)

Do you have any fresh produce recipes you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!

Local Lovins.

FRIENDS! I'm so excited because today is the Cape Farmer's Market! I've got my re-usable tote, my cash, my sunglasses, and my shopping list ready. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE (and I'm writing this in all capital letters because I'm trying to emphasize how important this is to me---please take the hint!) you to shop local. Your tummy and your heart will thank you.

Shopping local is not only great for your community, but healthy for your family. There's just something extra special about biting into a fresh, home-grown tomato.

Photo from Cape Farmer's Market Facebook page.

The Farmer's Market in Cape is every Thursday from 2:30-6pm in the Galleria Parking Lot. (You know, the old ice skating rink?) They'll be there until November 17th! Wowza!

One of the items I'll be buying today will be a bouquet of these lovely Sunflowers.

Sunflowers will be sold today at the Market by the Laughing Stock Farm.

Check out this video on how yummy lettuce is prepared from Farm to Market. Just another reason why I shop local---seeing the hard work of someone in my community benefit others.

Check out the Laughing Stock Farmstead Blog for more info!

I'll check in with you later tonight with a couple of recipes made from market fresh ingredients. Happy Thursday everyone! Hope to see you this afternoon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"I can do anything you can do---better."

"I can do anything...better than you!"

Remember that little song from back in the day? While I'm not a fan of patting myself on the back, I do like to try to do something myself first before I ask for help. That being said I ALWAYS seek the help of professionals when dealing with things I care about...like the dry cleaners for my silk items and a local jewelry store for my jewelry repairs and cleanings. Last year a jewelry store which will remain anonymous charged me $50 smackers to re-string a necklace--after shelling out that kind of cash I vowed to try to repair my jewelry on my own first.

This necklace is one of my FAVORITES. I love it. The colors the length everything. I've had it for about four years so when the thin rope holding the beads together started to break, I knew I needed to re-string it. Never done this before, folks! But how hard could it be, right?

The necklace before its makeover.

See where the string is breaking in some areas?

This is the thread I bought. Thought it was 30% off, got up to the register and this particular brand wasn't included in the sale. Bummer.

First, I cut the old necklace up and laid all the beads out in a pattern across my desk.

Then, I just re-tied the clasp to my new string and started stringing the beads. Easy peasy.

Tadah!! Now I have a new necklace.....for only $6.99! Take that, over-priced jewelry repair shop!

While I may not have repaired this "better" than the jewelry store could, it's certainly the less expensive option!

What have you tried to "repair" yourself recently?