Thursday, December 22, 2011

And the winner is...

Ok so I've been really under the weather for the last week so...
I'm picking a winner today. I will be having LOTS of family time tomorrow (which I didn't exactly expect) and lots of family time over the weekend too (which I was expecting) so I'm going to announce the winner now.

I put all the names in a can and shook it up really well and had my coworker pick a name for me.
The lucky winner is...

Leslie Hazelwood!

Congratulations Leslie and thank you to everyone who came by and signed up for the Christmas Giveaway. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I will try my hardest to post pictures from this weekend asap.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm alive...

Hey everyone. I hope you all are having a good week so far. I'm under the weather and have been for the last few days. Sorry about being skimpy on the posts, but my mind is cloudy from the meds that I'm on. Hope you all have a wonderful week. Keep your eyes peeled on Friday when I announce the winner of the Christmas Giveaway!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Birchbox is HERE!

I finally got my Birchbox in the mail yesterday!

(I say finally but really it's only been a month since the last one. hah!) If you haven't heard of Birch Box you should definitely head over to their website and check out what they have to offer. I love it because it's samples of high end products that I wouldn't normally get to try out first hand. This month was no exception to some really great goodies. Even better is that this holiday season, they are working with Baby Buggy, a non-profit that supplies needy families in the United States with essential goods for their children. The entire month of December, Birchbox will donate 100% of the profits from full-sized
Look at all the samples!

Up first we have...
Harvey Prince's Yogini: retails for $26 for a 8.8ml bottle
"Take a deep breath and relax with this calming scent. Notes of sandalwood, Egyptian myrrh, and grapefruit will help you feel as good as you smell."

I will say this scent reminds me of something that I would smell on my more "nature friendly" friends. Haha. It's not a bad scent, just not something I would normally wear. It's very natural smelling.

Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink: retails for $20 for a .21oz tube
"We teamed up with one of our favorite brands to create this custom fuchia shade. Apply one coat for semi-sheer pigment, or build it for a hot pink pout."

I actually REALLY like this lip gloss. It's really long lasting. I put it on as soon as I opened the box when I got home yesterday and it lasted several hours without getting that weird clumpy feeling on my lips. I highly recommend this product.

L'Oreal Professional Mythic: retails for $30 for a 4.2oz bottle
"Bring home the salon with this lightweight oil, which boosts shine and beats frizz before or after styling."

I haven't gotten to try this oil out yet but if it is anything like the Moroccan oil that I normally use I'm sure it will be right up my alley.
This is the Moroccan Oil that I normally use. If you would like to support some local business, head over to Concepts. They are locally owned and operated and sell this product along with some other really great products. My favorite hair stylist Amanda works there so if you are in need of a trim or some color go to her! She's REALLY good. She has saved my hair when it was on the brink of disaster. They also sell some really great products that go to charities all over the world.

Next on the list...
Befine Gentle Cleanser: retails for $25 for 3.4 fl oz
"A moisturizing face cleanser made with sugar, rice, and oat extracts to hydrate and restore winter-dry skin."

I don't wash my face on a daily basis, but when I do I usually use Bare Minerals face cleanser and moisturizing face lotion. This sample seems like it is specifically made for that horrible winter dry skin that plagues me every winter. This might be added to my nightly routine.

Prep ShowStoppers Designer Fashion Tape: retails for $9.99 for 24 strips
"Celeb stylists swear by these double-sided tape strips, which will ensure that your party dress stays perfectly in place."

This will definitely be tried out this New Years if we make any plans to go out for a night on the town. I'm always pulling and tugging at my dresses when they are strapless. (this is partially from my lack of cleavage to hold the dress up. haha) We will see how these work out in the future for me. I'll keep you all updated.

Last but not least...
Recharge eBoost Orange Natural Energy Booster: retails for $28 for 20 packets
"Bounce back post-party with this tangy citrus energy booster, packed with a mega-dose of nutrients."

I'm not sure that I'll be partaking in this product because of warning label on the back. "Warning: Consult  a physician before use if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, are taking prescription drugs, or are pregnant, nursing, or contemplating becoming pregnant." Because of my heart problem I can't eat or drink anything with the "energy boosters" in them. I'll give it to my husband none the less and let him try out this sample for me.

Hope you all enjoyed this months Birchbox!

Product Review of the Day

I would like to start out by saying that I have not been this happy about it being Friday in months!
Finals are over and I couldn't be more excited to see this weekend. No more teachers no more books! I'm even more excited because not only did Derek and I get our Christmas bonuses at work, but I actually got to get out and do a little shopping with my two favorite men and have supper going at home while we shopped. Score! P.S. I need to give a little shout out to my girl Leslie for the awesome Chili Recipe! If you don't know it already, she's also having an awesome giveaway for the 12 days of Christmas. Check it out!

You all are so lucky today. You're getting THREE posts!
Product Review

Fist up is a new mascara that I'm trying out. I got it at Sephora last night on my Christmas Bonus shopping spree. The name of the product is by the company Beyond Mascara and the type is called They're Real!
The second product that I got last night was an eyelash curler. It's not your momma's curler though. It's heated! Yep you read right. Heated!
 I took pictures from no having makeup at all to all decked out in eye coverage. Here's how it the process looked. I started out with just using my face primer all over my face and eyelids and then did my Bare Minerals matte foundation.
Next I put on my eyeshadow.
Here's what eyeshadows I used to get this look.
A. Sugar Skull by Kat Von D. It's a translucent green color. It's perfect for high lights.
B. Pussy Cat by Bare Minerals. It's a goldish brown color. I love it for the smokey daytime look.
C.  Oasis by Bare Minerals. This was another splurge that I bought myself yesterday. It's a really pretty gold/green color. It's bold but not too dramatic.
D. True Gold by Bare Minerals. This is a beautiful gold color. I usually use this as the middle color for a more brown/gold eye but I thought it would look pretty as a little darker highlight on the inside of my eye.

Once I had my eye shadow on and blended neatly I moved on to my mascara. Now, normally I wouldn't move right on to mascara. I take this time to put on my eyeliner. I think it's easier to put on eyeliner when you don't have to fight with your eyelashes. But for the sake of showing off more of the mascara and not my eye lining skills, I skimped out on the eyeliner today.
There's a pretty big difference between not having any mascara on at all and using this new mascara. It was really easy to put on and the picture above is only after one coat! I like to put at least two on just to make sure I get the dramatic look I like to go for but the second coat wasn't needed in this instance.

Last was the new heated curler! I'm not gonna lie. I hate curling my eyelashes. HATE IT! I always wound up smashing them and they look like a mess. Either that or I would wind up pinching the inside of my eye because of the crimper thing. So, when I saw this heated eyelash curler it kind of made me a little bit giddy to try it out since it's a wand instead of a torture device.
All you do is put in the AAA battery (which is included) and flip on the switch. There's a little orange indicator light that shows that it's on. Next, you wait 15-30 seconds for it to warm up (I waited a whole minuet just to be on the safe side). Then you brush it over your mascara. This produce was designed specifically to be used over mascara because it gently warms the waxes in the mascara. This apparently causes your mascara to be stronger and longer lasting! Check and check!
Here is the after result for the Heated Eyelash Curler.
I was a pretty impressed by it's curling abilities. I liked it MUCH better than the crimper version too.
Here's the beginning to end process so you can see it a little better. The only down side I saw was that even thought it curled them I had to apply a little bit more mascara after it was curled because it did take off a little bit of it. But overall I like it!
Hope this helps you all out at least a little bit, especially those you like me that hate to curl your lashes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Are There 12 Days of Christmas?

So, I got to thinking yesterday about 12 days of Christmas. Why do we have 12 days of Christmas? What are the 12 days of Christmas, etc..
The twelve days of Christmas is the period stretching from December 25 to January 6, culminating in the feast of the Epiphany which commemortates the visit of the "magi" to the Christ child in Bethlehem. Epiphany is the only holiday in the Christian year which you can tell a whole lot about merely by considering its name.

"Epiphany" is, of course, a word in current usage with a positive meaning: "an intuitive grasp of reality usually through something simple and striking, an illuminating discovery, a revealing scene of moment." It is also, with Christmas and Easter, one of the three oldest festival days of the Christian Church. It commemorates, according to tradition, "the first manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles."

Translation: those strange visitors, called magi in the biblical, birth narratives, "three kings" in Christmas carols and artwork, were the first non-Jews to recognize that the child born in Bethlehem was in fact the Savior of the world. In the churches of the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the recognition of Christ's divinity occurs first at his baptism by John in the Jordan River. For these churches this was the breakthrough moment, the occasion on which it was recognized that this man was in fact the Son of God.

In churches of the West the evening preceding Epiphany is called Twelfth Night. Hence, the twelve days of Christmas. Personally, I like the idea that Christmas is actually a season which stretches out from December 25 all the way through to the New Year, culminating in Epiphany.

This simple fact allows one to separate the secular and commercial Christmas from the more reflective period in which the actual significance of Jesus Christ can be contemplated. A period of twelve days allows an appropriate amount of time in which to probe to a deeper level of understanding.

Thus, Epiphany may redeem Christmas, and this time of the year can indeed be an occasion for illumination and discovery, a breakthrough moment in which those things that are most real (and thus most divine) in human life come shining through.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Giveaways

Hey everyone! There's only 12 days until Christmas! 
You know what that means?

Me either.

Well, I would like to point out some GREAT giveaways that are going on right now. 

First is my friend Leslie at Life Told by Leslie.
She is having a 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!
Starting tomorrow she will be giving away a gift a day until Christmas!
She's giving away some really great LOCAL gifts for this holiday season. 

Next up on my list is Kate at The Small Things Blog.
Kate is giving away an awesome Cutting Edge Stencil (up to $50.00)
The winner will be chosen at 7:30am EST on Friday December 16th via The winner will be notified via e-mail.  So hurry over for your chance to win!

Dave Ramsey (my new favorite debt free teacher) is having a Giveaway a Day!
All you have to do is head over to his website and register daily for his prize of the day. 
Today he's giving away $10,000! Wouldn't that be nice for Christmas?

Last but not least...ME!
I'm doing a giveaway on this very blog!!

Exciting right?!
So here's what you could win, you have a choice of one prize. I realize not everyone that follows my blog lives near me so that's why I'm giving options.

1. A total blog makeover
this includes: 
-title bars
-any pages needed
-gadgets as needed

2. A photo shoot done by yours truly
this includes:
-2 different outfits
-up to 4 people
-location anywhere in Cape Girardeau or Jackson
(preferably outside)
-CD of images

3. One Stationary item of choice
this includes:
-up to 30 stationary cards
-up to 30 envelopes
-all made to your order
-This item could be anything from a birthday invitation, birth announcement, thank you cards, you name it.  

For your 1st chance to win:
All you have to do is tell me what item you would like to win the most and why. Leave your name and e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.
i.e. "I would like to win a photo shoot! My name is Emily Williams my address is"

For your 2nd chance to win:
Tell your friends and or family member to follow my blog and leave a comment saying that you sent them here. You both will be entered to win one item. They MUST follow my blog and leave a message for both of you to be signed up.
i.e. "Sandy Smith sent me here and I'm now following your blog. My name is Emily Williams my address is" 

Winner will be announced Friday the 23rd of December at noon!
So let me know what you want to win and don't forget to tell your family and friends.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

As some of you might have remembered we did our 3rd Annual Jingle Bell Walk/Run this past weekend! It was our 2nd year doing it with 4 generations of walkers! 
 Stratton was seriously SO excited for this day to come. I told him that if he ran he could win a prize!

 I love how all walks of life come to run and walk for a good cause!
 We put jingle bells on our shoes. It's something fun to do and Stratton enjoys hearing his feet jingle while he walks.
 He looks like such a big boy with his running number on!
 He wanted me to make sure I got a picture of him covering his mouth while he coughs. He's been really good about it lately.
One more big cheesy smile before we go up to start walking.
 Three generations of walkers. Stratton didn't like Santa so he kept looking at him to make sure he stayed away. Haha.
 This little guy RAN the whole mile!
 My sister Casey, my Grandma Marge, and step-Grandpa John. Enjoying the one mile walk. 
 Stratton ran the ENTIRE time!
 We had to make a few pit stops so he could wave to the lifeguard on duty.
 Grandma Kathie finally showed up after getting home at 3am from working. Glad she made it though.
 Sisters! Nothing like a wonderful picture with bed hair and no makeup.
 This little girl was so stinking cute too. She's only a few months younger than but she's so petite! It's adorable!
 Every time Stratton got close she had to make sure she started running again.
 Her little bow and outfit were so dang cute. 

Grandma Kathie and Stratton were having so much fun.
 After the one mile walk Stratton did the Tot Trot.
 This was how far they ran. It was a good 100 yard dash.
 Stratton came in 1st!
 He looks SO grown up with his little metal!
 He thought that it was so cool that he came in first.
 Trying to show that he came in first.
 There we go!
 Great Grandpa John, Great Grandma Marge, Aunt Casey, Grandma Kathie, Stratton, and me!
Here was her outfit from the front. She ran with us last year too.

Sunday night we had the pleasure of eating all together with a young man that was granted the scholarship that is in memory of my Uncle Mark. My Uncle Mark passed away at a young age due to a virus that settle in his heart. It was nice to get to see the scholarship go to such a good guy. His name was Michael, he was very nice to talk to and he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. I'm glad that my Uncles Scholarship can help him with his studies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Welcome Baby Jackson!!!

Welcome to the Family Baby Jackson!

Born: 12/11/11
Weight: 7lbs 10oz
Congratulations Ashley and Justin! You all made a BEAUTIFUL baby boy!