Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just Because

I ...

love fuzzy socks
Hate getting out of bed in the morning
Feel exhausted no matter what
Hate finger prints on my mirrors...makes me cringe
Don't bathe my kids every night...oops
Like the way I feel after a good work out
Could care less about fake nails
Hate rough feet!!!
Would like to dye the ends of my hair pink...probably won't do it. But I like to think I could pull it off
Hate talking on the phone
Love games in big groups
Am a simple gal. Could care less about owning "Tiffany & Co" or any other fancy shmancy jewelry or overpriced purses
Love to cuddle my baby boy :) finally a cuddler in this house! He's so squishy!
Love my baby girl's singing. She's quite the song writer
Love laughing with my handsome husband
Am grateful for my life
Think HOA is stupid. ( and yes I've heard the opposing arguments and I still think it's ridiculous.
Love "twinkling lights" and keep white ones in my kitchen year round.
Think reading is way better than watching tv
Like music that has meaning or tells a story
Hate california
Like being in the middle of nowhere
Love to dream
Like to write in my journal
Love collecting pictures of my family to capture memories
Like to spray perfume in my hair.
Hate doing my hair. If I could be attractive and bald, it would be so tempting to shave it all off!
Have a sweet tooth (Smores are absolutely one of my favorite guilty pleasures!)
Won't wash dishes in a sink of water. Floating food is gross.


I absolutely love hearing the garage door open in the mornings. it means Shannon is finally home from work. :)

Merry and Bright

This little gal makes life Merry!
And this one makes our lives bright!

We are so blessed as a family. Our Christmas was SO merry and bright!
 The fun thing about Keshlyn's age (2 1/2) is that we got to really talk to her about Christmas this year and she was able to understand a little bit and get excited. We don't really talk about Santa or do that whole world tradition. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year and want my children to know why: because I'm grateful for the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Teaching in Primary at Church, I would ask during this season, “Can you tell me about Christmas” or “What is Christmas about?” The first things those children think of are presents under the tree and Santa. Now, if I ask them who was born on Christmas Day (even though he really wasn’t), they’ll answer,  “Jesus.” But, he’s NOT the first thing they think of when talking about Christmas.  I don't like the idea of asking my children to make a list of what they want or hope to receive for Christmas. I don't want to have them focus on themselves and make materialistic demands.  Shannon and I want our children and family  to look outward during the Christmas holiday. I want to form traditions that revolve around the birth of Christ like going to live nativities or reading the account of his birth in Luke. I've also never liked it when I hear adults ask different children “What did you get for Christmas.” Is it a competition? What if a child’s parents couldn’t really afford what that child asked Santa for? Should parents feel the pressure to fulfill a child's list of toys and spend beyond their means Or should our children be brought up focusing solely on becoming more like Christ and honoring His birth through service and giving?  I just find it a little funny that here we have this holiday, CHRISTmas and somewhere along the line, the world threw in Santa Claus and commercialized what is supposed to be a purely religious holiday. Most people disagree with my thoughts and that's ok. I don't judge others for having a tradition rich in "Santa Claus." I'm not saying it's bad, I just feel like for my family, I want to go a different direction. The idea of Santa is good: he is very giving and loving. But, I don't need a mythical example of someone who exemplifies giving and service when I have the ultimate example that came on a Silent Night and was laid in a manger. :)

To try and accomplish the true spirit of Christmas, I started a new tradition with my family: A service Christmas advent calendar. I came up with this idea and searched the internet to see if anyone out there had done one before and of course, I found a website where I took some ideas from. I can't for the life of my find it right now to give a shout out! Grrr. Every day in December until Christmas, there are cards that have a scripture about service/Christ on one side, and then on the other side of the card is a service to do as a family. It’s a Random Act of Christmas Kindness. 


We had a BLAST doing these. We did things like: Pull people’s garbage cans up to their houses on garbage day, tape money to vending machines and redbox movie machines, drop off anonymous treats, gifts, and money to families in need; hide money in the toy aisle for those buying gifts, buy the cold Salvation Army ringer a hot cocoa in Kentucky, randomly "kidnap" a family’s kids to babysit so parents could have a free day (etc...) It’s an incredible feeling to get an inkling of how Christ lived his WHOLE life: in complete service.  As our family read the scripture each night and had a discussion about how our service is a gift to Christ, our home and hearts were filled with love. I’ve grown from this experience! We hung each tag/card on the tree after each one was completed. I hope that our family will do this for years and years to come and it will be what my children think of when Christmas comes to mind: serving and giving to others in honor of Christ’s birth.


I wanted to make this before Christmas and with going to Kentucky and such, I just didn't have time. But, I saw a picture in a magazine with allof these beautiful ribbons flowing down the tree. I fell in love...but not enough to pay the $79 they were asking for the piece. As I looked at it, I knew it would be SO CHEAP and simple to make so I did today for next year! 
The lighting was bad, and my tree is beyond dead so the limbs are sagging and the ornaments have fallen, so the tree looks terrible. My ribbon looks cute though! :) It's way cuter in person. Next year I'll probably add more ribbon. All you do is take a wire or elastic and make it into a circle. Then you measure out different ribbons and tie it around the ring to place at the very top of the tree. The ribbon flows down the tree and you can tuck it in branches along the way if you'd like. I love it. You can't see all of my little ribbons in this picture. Rats. Oh well. Better picture next year! haha


Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Girl Talk

This is a post about my fave raves right now when it comes to beauty products!

Nail Polish- Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails: Pink Rockstar. Forget paying for "Glitter Nails!" 2 Coats of this stuff looks like you had it professionally done!Love the color. I'm wearing it right now!

Biomega Volume Shampoo and Biomega Moisture Mist: Oh.My. Goodness. I was on a mission a month ago to find a miracle product because my hair has been looking dull and dry. And the Biolage I tried was not cutting it. I found this new brand that doesn't have any drying sulfates and I had to try it. My hair has not ever looked healthier or shinier! I love the Moisture Mist in place of a conditioner, because you spray it on your hair wet and don't rinse it out. It's lightweight and makes your hair feel soft.

Biomega Behave (Smoothing Elixir)- This stuff is awesome for putting just a teeny bit in your hair to smooth it out and protect when blow drying and styling your hair. I'll tell you- my hair curls super easy when I use this stuff.

Aquage Uplifting Foam- You want some lift at your roots so it doesn't look so straight, limp, and lifeless? This stuff ROCKS! It's the best "root lifter" I've used. I got this recommindation off of this other girl's really great blog about hair:

Aquage serum: (if you are a biosilk infusion or Chi Silk lover and you want to try something new...this stuff is AWESOME~ and it smells like heaven.)

Marakesh X Leave-in Treatment. High Tide: Great hair treatment a few times a week. If you're a It's a 10 lover, give this a shot for something new. It's a little cheaper and it's incredible

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Moisturizer with Antioxidants and SPF 15- LOVE this stuff. You should wear SPF EVERY DAY! Lots of people look at me crazy when I say that, but even in doors, UVA rays penetrate through your windows. UVA are aging rays. Prevent signs of aging and skin cancer by wearing a moisturizer with SPF every single day.

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask... This is 1 of my 2 MOST FAVORITE skin care products for my face. I have seen a HUGE difference as I've used this. I can't live without this stuff. It's the only thing I have found that truly hydrates my skin so much that it is constantly soft, smooth, and supple. If you have any trouble with dryness, flaking on your face, or feeling like your face needs a "drink," You must, must, must try this. It's a "mask" but it's like a lotion. You put it on your face and leave it for at least 15-20 minutes, then you can wash it off or leave it on for greater moisture. It's not greasy. I leave it on and it makes all the difference.

My 2nd most favorite product ever for my face is Alpha Hydrox Retinol Res-Q. You wear this cream at night on your face and wake up to amazingly smooth, soft skin. This product in combination with the product above makes my skin look so youthful and flawless. Plus it has Retinol in it! It's a cousin to Retinoids (prescribed by a dermatologist only) which helps reverse and prevent aging signs. If you start using Retinol when you're young, you could do so much preventative care for your face. We always want to "reverse" or undo things when we're older, but why not just prevent why we're young!?

MACs Mineralize Satin Finish Foundation. It leaves a dewey, J-Lo-skin type finish. It really is a good foundation. Used in conjunction with MAC's dual fibre brush (That I've raved about in previous blogs), this foundation glides on and seeps into your skin. I'm not usually a fan of MAC's foundations, but I haven't tried them in years, so I thought I would try and I liked!

Julie Hewett Cheekies. Cream Blush in the color "Jami." Ever used cream blush? Lots of people have never even tried cream blush because they're nervous. If you have really oily skin, cream blush is not for you. If you have Normal to dry, to combination skin,cream blush could be a new favorite beauty product for you! I LOVE cream blush. It soaks into your cheeks and looks natural rather than having a powdery blob sitting on your cheek. For me living in the desert, I have normal to dry skin. This cream blush is perfect for me because I don't ever have to worry about the powder blush clinging to any dry skin on my cheeks and looking uneven.

I truly love MAC's gel eye liner. Always have. It is creamy and glides on very easily. There is great variety in color. It doesn't dry out like Loreal's HIP cream liner does. BUT- somedays I'm lazy and don't feel like grabbing for the pot of gel liner AND an eyeliner brush. (Pathetic, I know.) SO- I'm also crazy about liquid liner in a marker form. I do not do well with straight liquid liner. I love the long lasting and boldness of it but my hand is a little shaky sometimes. Even on myself. So, for people like me, they've put liquid liner in a felt-tip marker form. IT IS THE BEST! It's easy to apply and looks bold and stays put. It doesn't smudge or fade like pencil liner can.Maybelline's Stiletto felt tip liner and Loreal's Lineur Intense Felt Tip Marker are both great choices. Their performances are the same. Just different brands.

Mascara will forever be my struggle in this life! I've tried several that I didn't like. One of which was Voluminous which I raved about in my last product post. I don't know if they've changed the formula or if I've just tried so many that I've raised the bar? At any rate, I don't like it anymore. Others I didn't like or were just

MAC's False Lashes
Voluminous Million Lashes (HATED. Made hard and brittle. Lashes broke off!)

Ones I like:
Maybelline's Full & Soft will always be a great choice (as long as they don't change the formula or brush! ha). For just great looking lashes day-to-day, pick up this tube. It doesn't give drama or any great length, but it does grab each lash and make them look full.

Telescopic Carbon Black- someone recommended this mascara to me a while back.. At first I didn't like it. It's very wet which means that it grabs lashes in sections. This makes your lashes look skinnier and not very full, BUT it makes CRAZY long-looking lashes and it's a dramatic black. Some days I just want to feel like I have some really bold, long lashes. That is when I pull this mascara out.

Clinique's All about eyes concealer. Love this stuff! The tone of it is great for highlighting under the eye. It makes me look much more well rested than I really am! :)

I just purchased NARS Illuminator...We'll see if I like it! I'm sure I will. I like looking like I'm glowing!