Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Loves

In honor of Black Friday I am going to post my 8 (Sorry…I couldn’t find 10 stores with great sales today) favorites shopping spots that I hit either online or braved walking into in the wee hours last night. This was my first ever early morning Black Friday experience and it was a long one. My friend and I agreed to meet at midnight and I ended up being up until 4:30am trying to get the best deals. It was crazy and probably something I won't do again for a looooong time.

Bed Bath & Beyond- They didn’t have “deals” this year. Instead they offered a 20% off your entire purchase coupon. It could have been better…but I still managed to do some damage here. :)

Kohls- I thought their deals here were great…but so did about 500 other people. The line wrapped the store and Mara and I managed to move a whole 5 feel in almost 25 minutes. We finally threw in the towel and I bought everything I wanted online this morning with free shipping. :)
Cabela's- So Mara's hubby turned Michael and I on to this store. Every single time we go camping with them we find new things of theirs that we want...well this morning I bought a bunch of them. Cabela's had a great deal going on most of those items AND free shipping. Awww...I'm in love!

Macys- They had some great deals online when I was shopping around this morning. Plus, I just love this store.
Ulta- This was not even on our list of stores to hit, but when we saw it was open we couldn’t resist. Yay for random Black Friday shopping!
JCPenny- You just can’t beat their door buster deals…it’s as simple as that!

Pottery Barn- Well they were like BB&B because they didn’t have any “sales” going on…but they did offer back 20 bucks for every $100 you spend. Unfortunately for me, I am able to do that in about 5 minutes.

Home Depot- Michael ended up going here this morning and bought me the patio heater that I’ve wanted for a long time now. It totally matches our d├ęcor out there and I can’t wait until spring when we can start using it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My apologies

So I have already gotten slack from a few people about not writing my 10 Loves Friday. To that I say I apologize and I promise I will not skip this week…even with it being Black Friday. :)

My weekend started off with the Harvest Festival. It was great. I look forward to it every year! I bought a few things and headed home to spend time with the hubby. We caught up on our DVR recordings and just relaxed. It was so nice!

Saturday we got up early and headed over to JFK High for their Craft festival. See a pattern here? :) It wasn’t exactly a craft festival, but it was fun none-the-less. We grabbed some food and headed home so I could lie down because I wasn’t feeling too hot. After a 4 hour nap I headed over to the hospital to visit a friend and bring her some requested goodies and some flowers. I hung out there for a bit and then headed home and back to bed.

I spent all of Sunday in bed. It was the biggest waste of a day ever, but it was something that my body desperately needed.
Now I am back at work, thank goodness it’s a short week, planning what Michael and I are going to be having for Thanksgiving dinner. We were joking the other night that this will be our 4th Thanksgiving together. Man does time fly!

Anyway, if I don’t talk to you all before Thanksgiving…I hope you all have a fun & safe Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Style differences between man and wife

So I have previously stated how much I love fall and winter. They are by far my two favorite seasons. Only problem is I am never happy with my wardrobe this time of the year. I can wear the same things for summer/spring year after year without any issues, but I love a new wardrobe for the cooler months. Part of that problem is I’ve gained about 10lbs since last fall and the other part is my complete obsession with shopping. There are so many layers that go into an outfit this time of year. It’s not like I can just throw on a sundress and some cute sandals and call it a day…
Anyway, I went to the mall today and realized how much I love the new trends. Everything is vintage looking and more conservative. I love it! I joke with Michael that my “hoochie mamma” days ended a few years ago. There is a time and a place for that and my day-to-day life is not that place. Of course he rolls his eyes and says he liked my clothing taste more 3 years ago than he does now.
My poor husband. He likes my hair blonde and I like it brunette…what do I do, dye it brown. He likes short skirts and plunging necklines…what do I wear, knee length skirts and scoop neck shirts with sleeves. I swear I want him to think I look good, but our styles just don’t match this time of the year. I guess he will just have to wait for spring...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekend Recap

So this weekend was a good one. It is the first one in a while that I have been able to get things done and felt somewhat refreshed come Monday morning. Friday night I worked on Thank You cards…and thankfully I am almost done with them! Our Christmas cards finally came in, so that will be my next project to tackle…
Saturday morning Michael and I got up early and ran errands for Friendsgiving. We picked up the turkey, all of the yummy sides and then came home and I got to work on cooking. Because I had been sick most of last week I decided to cheat and we ordered a HoneyBaked turkey. All would have been good if they hadn’t lost our order and then given me the wrong directions. After cooking it one hour past what they said to cook if for it was still frozen! Thankfully there were enough sides and part of the turkey was cooked that we all left full. At the end of the night everyone got a good laugh out of it…but it will be the last time I cheat with a store bought turkey again.
Here's a picture of us after my hubby figured out he likes my Sangria... :)

After we were done eating we gathered around our fold out tables and played some poker. Oh how do we love our poker!!

Sunday morning came around and I finally got to sleep in! It was only until 8:30…but I will take what I can get these days. Lol. Then my sister, Nick, Michael and I packed up and headed out to finish my dad’s Christmas present. It turned out really well and I can’t wait for him to see it!
If only all of our weekends were as nice as this one!

Friday, November 11, 2011

One day isn't enough!

When I think of Veterans I think of both my grandfathers. I think of my friends that have gone to Iraq and Afghanistan…some never to return. I think of 9/11, of D-day… of Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I fathom how someone could run towards open fire knowing that they very well may not survive…
I admire them so much for believing in something so strongly that they are willing to sacrifice their life to protect it. I admire their families for standing by them, supporting them and staying strong for them. I admire it all because at the end of the day I don’t know if I would be able to sacrifice the same things that they do. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud to be an American. I love our flag and what it stands for. To me, it seems selfish to only have one day where we collectively stop and acknowledge those who have served.
I hear friends talk about which branch is better. About how one does more than the other. Maybe that is true, maybe it isn’t…but at the end of the day Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard; wartime or peacetime, they all serve a purpose and defend our nation. For that, I thank every single one of them; past, present and future.

Visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 2009
 One trip I will never forget...

10 Loves Friday

So most of you know that I do makeup for brides and models in my spare time. It’s a fun side hobby and another way I am able to be creative. The main reason though is it’s the perfect excuse to buy makeup constantly without Michael getting mad at me. J I know, I know…so smart! Well in honor of this Friday’s 10 things blog I’ve decided to list my favorite makeup items that are my “must haves” for not only my pro kit, but also for me. I have sectioned them by the type of items that they are so I could show the different brands that I use in that area.

Foundation- This is the one foundation I swear by. It doesn’t break me out, there is no shine and it lasts all day without needing to use a primer. I really can’t say enough good things about it!
Now I go through WAY too much foundation to put multiple shades of a $30 dollar foundation in my kit. For this reason I love Revlon Color Stay. It gives the same overall look at a fraction of the cost. Only problem is I have really sensitive skin and if I wear it multiple days in a row I tend to break out in small patches. I can wear it every now and then in a pinch and have put it on my clients without having any issues, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you have sensitive skin and plan on wearing it on a daily basis.

Bronzer- Love, Love, Love this bronzer.  It doesn’t make my skin look muddy and it smells like chocolate cocoa. It is probably the best thing I put on in the morning.

Blush- I really like this blush. It stays on my skin for hours without having to retouch it…which for me is the number 1 reason why I choose the makeup I do. I hate having to retouch makeup and I refuse to walk around with a ton of products in my purse. There is enough junk in there without having to add half of my face.

Eye shadow- While I have a lot of high and low end shadows, most of my collection is MAC. I get a nice discount there, they come in pallets of 12 so it’s easy to store, the color payoff is amazing on most of their shadows, and the color range is probably the best of any brand out there. A few of my favorite “must have” colors are: Pink/Orange Family- Paradisco, Expensive Pink, Coppering, Winter Sky, Sushi Flower, Cranberry. Black/Gray Family- French Grey, Typographic, Print, Carbon. Purple Family- Sketch, Fig1, Graphology, Signed Sealed, Blackberry. Nude/Brown Family- Sunday Best, Naked Lunch, All That Glitters, Soft Brown, Bronze, Embark, Handwritten. Green/Blue/Teal Family- Sumptuous Olive, Flourishing, Swimming, Surreal, Tilt, Nehru, Meet the Fleet, Contrast.
Yes, I know that some may think that is a lot…but those are the ones that I rush to MAC to get when I am out, and have gone through at least one pan of each…if not more.

Gel Eyeliner/Pencil liner- My tried and true gel liner is MAC Fluidline, however I have fallen in love with Tarte’s liner in the last 6 months. It doesn’t wear off and it doesn’t smudge. While I haven’t given up on MAC, my new preference is definitely Tarte.

Now with the pencil liner I switch back and forth between Urban Decay 24/7 liner and MAC’s liner. Both are great and the color spectrum is great in both lines.

Mascara- Mascara is one area that I refuse to spend a lot of money because I toss it after 3 months and the drugstore has some great options. I really like the two Maybelline mascaras that are shown below because they make my lashes look long and full. Most days I don’t even wear false lashes because I get the effect I want using one of these mascaras.

Lipstick- In Michael’s opinion I am a lipstick hoarder. I probably own 30-40 lipsticks and bought about 10 different shades of pink just to find the perfect shade for my wedding. I LOVE lipstick! It is the one thing that I would buy high end if I could only pick one. With that said…my kit has 2 high end colors (for brides) and the rest are drugstore brands because they do not need to last long during photo shoots. Some of my favorite shades/brands are the following: Chanel Boy, Chanel Chance, Chanel Adventure, Chanel Evasion, MAC Honeylove, MAC Pink Plaid and Stilla Rosie Posie

Lipliner- I only really line my lips when I am wearing a really light nude lip or if I am wearing red. The red doesn’t happen much because Michael hates red lipstick…but the nude is a normal occurrence. The following two brands are my tried and true liners.

Lip gloss- Considering how much I love lipstick I am not a huge fan of lip gloss. I like it for some looks, but most of the time I like a matte lip more. With that said I still prefer the high end brands over drug store brands because I think the color payoff is much better and they aren’t sticky. If there is one thing I hate…it’s sticky lip gloss.

Miscellaneous Products- The two products I can’t live without are my beauty blender and my setting powder. In the summer I tend to sweat off my makeup and that is soooo not an attractive look for me. One day while I was browsing in Sephora I found Makeup Forever’s (MUFE) setting powder. Honestly, that was it for me. I wore it both days Michael and I got married and you don’t see a single sweat mark/shine on my face in any of the pictures….and trust me I was hot and sweaty both days. It is probably one of my Holy Grail items and I love it.

Now the beauty blender came into my life within the last 6 months because I wanted a flawless look to my foundation for the wedding. I found this product and it honestly blends my makeup so well that most people don’t think I am wearing any when I actually am. I hate the caked on look and usually wore tinted moisturizer before I found this product. Now I don’t usually walk out of the house if I don’t have my Matte Velvet + on that was applied with my secret weapon. J

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Thankful...

Well it is a few days into November and I keep seeing people post one thing a day that they are thankful for. Since I won’t be on here every day I figured I would post 30 things that I am thankful for in today’s blog instead of my 10 favorites… It was actually really hard only listing 30 because there are about 100 more that I could put down. I hope you all enjoy. J

The special people in my life…
<3 My hubby 

<3  My family

<3 Our animals

<3  My incredible friends
*Just to show a few. :)
<3  My guardian angels

<3  The people who read this blog

The random things in my life…
<3  Our home
<3  My job
<3  My health
<3  Our lifestyle
<3  My faith
<3  My values
<3  Being an American
<3  Holidays
<3  The changing of the seasons
<3  Italian food- yuuuuum
<3  Fireplaces and a good book
<3  SPCA and other animal rescues
<3  Country music
<3  Random weekend trips
<3  New Years- allowing myself to start fresh

What I’ve been able to do and accomplish…
<3  The ability to go back to school for another degree
<3  Traveling to foreign countries
<3  Planning a destination wedding that went off without a hitch

Things I like about me…
<3  Being a nice and caring person
<3  Being a decent writer
<3  The ability to forgive those who have wronged me
<3  Knowing when to walk away from things
<3  Being ambitious
<3  Never settling when I know I can do better

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gone but Never Forgotten

Today is a hard day for some reason. Nothing special (or horrible) happened on this day in the past that I know of…but I just can’t shake this sad feeling I have. I had a dream last night about my Uncle Grant. I’ve been having them a lot since he passed away for some reason and I don’t know why… Hopefully writing about it helps. J

I found out my uncle had stage 4 Lung Cancer this last February. It was scary to think about at first because his girlfriend had just given birth to their baby Stacey Mai just two months before.
We all tried to stay positive though and constantly gave him words of encouragement. We would Skype or chat on FB messenger whenever we both were online. He was the one person that never judged me because he knew that he made mistakes too…

I have so many great memories of him that I am tearing up thinking about all of them. He was a great man that never made a promise that he didn’t intend to keep.

I remember sitting on my parent’s bed in Loomis and calling him while he was in Taiwan. I could have talked with him for hours, but international calls aren’t exactly cheap and I usually got booted off of the phone fairly quickly.

I remember being in kindergarten and asking what type of person I should marry and he joked that if my future husband could get past my dad and him then they were golden…and not to fear because if it never happened I would smarten up and marry for money. Haha. Years later he taught me the beauty of Ross. He would take me there to buy “expensive” name brand gifts for his many girlfriends. He would let them think that he spent all of this money on them when he was really saving a bundle because he was shopping at Ross.

Then there was our late night yahoo chats when I was in high school and never slept. He usually would introduce me to his current girlfriend or take me on a tour of his new apartment. It was great. It was a way to spend time with him while he was so far away.

I have to say though that my favorite memory of him was his surprise birthday party this year. He was already pretty sick and my grandmother had told me that she didn’t think he had ever had a birthday party that was just for him. I decided it was unacceptable for a 51 year old man to have never had a birthday party and decided to throw him one. Now I got a lot of help from my mom, sister and grandma…but in the end it turned out great. It was Batman themed because that was his favorite superhero growing up and I thought he needed all the help he could get. We all showed up and walked into his room with batman masks on. I will never forget his face as long as I live. It was pure shock and bewilderment mixed together. He didn’t recognize us with the masks on…not even my grandpa! It was great. We ate batman cake, had singing Batman balloons…the works. It was here that I asked him if he would walk me down the aisle in the California wedding later in the year. He told me he would be honored to and I told him that I would hold him to it.

Unfortunately my uncle lost his battle with Cancer almost 3 months ago on August 6, 2011…just shy of 6 months after learning he had it. I had spent almost 48 hours straight in the hospital because I didn’t want him to be alone. Nobody deserves to be alone.

Uncle Grant kept his promise though…he was at my wedding on October 23 and walked me down the aisle. I had ladybugs everywhere. I remember telling him when he was sick that his Oncologist told me that they were the universal sign of Cancer patients and that I would know it was him checking up on me every time I saw one. About half way through the reception one of my uncles pulled me aside and showed me a lady bug on a leaf in the corner where they were all sitting. I smiled at the time, but I really wanted to cry. He kept his promise. J

What happened to him wasn’t fair and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Now I may have idolized him as a child, but he definitely earned my respect as an adult. He was my uncle, my Godfather and most of all a friend. I am soooo thankful for all of those apartment tours now and the Skype chats that we had. I was given a chance to get to know my uncle when he lived so very far away and at the end of the day that is what I will remember. J

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

♥ November!

Happy November everyone! Halloween is now over and it’s time to put away all of the bats, jack-o-lanterns and witches. It’s a shame really because I do really love Halloween. It’s probably one of my favorite holidays…and this year was no exception. 3 parties and 2 sets of haunted houses later I am exhausted!

This weekend started out with a bang…literally. Friday night we went to couples poker at a friend’s house. Some of us got dressed up…and others wanted to wear sweats. :) Michael was still a cop and this time I was a convict that he killed. My inmate number was 09232011 and I had a huge bullet wound on the side of my face. Best part was Michael had blood on his hand!

Then Saturday rolled around and we got together to have an estate sale for Michael’s grandmother’s things. It went well, but I was exhausted to say the least. That night Michael went to a boy’s poker night (guess there is no such thing as too much poker) with some friends while Mara and I made the journey down to Pleasanton to experience their haunted house set-up. It was so much fun and thankfully there were no clowns! Thanks Tim & Liz for the invite. It was a blast hanging out with you both and I know Mara enjoyed the break from school work.

Sunday was another crazy day. I ran all of my errands and went grocery shopping for the week. That night Michael and I decided to catch up on some SOA while enjoying a steak and potatoe dinner.

If only the journey was over there… Yesterday was Halloween and I got to be a “dead employee” at work. I figured out how to create open wounds and wanted to play around with it this year. Everyone at work loved it and most everyone took pictures of it.
Then I went home and cooked a great dinner and enjoyed a jack and coke with my hubby while watching Hocus Pocus and other Halloween movies.

It’s a shame it’s over…but now the real fun begins with Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Everything is so jammed packed already and I am soooo excited for it all!