Friday, January 9, 2015

What's in My Cosmetics Bag

Good Evening! 

Last week I bought the book "365 Blog Topic Ideas: For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About" by Dana Fox. I heard about from a blogging help website and ordered it right away and it has been the most helpful thing! This is the first post I'm deciding to use from it! 

I'm super excited to introduce you to my cosmetics bag! It's taken me YEARS to find a consistent make up routine and products that I like and don't hurt my skin but I truly feel like I've hit the jackpot with the products I have now! 

First off... Let me show you the darling cosmetics bag that I keep my stuff in! I got it from my mom's store (DSW) and it is perfect! I couldn't find a picture online... so I had to take one. Then I figured out that my camera was dead... so I had to take it with my phone. My apologies for the poor quality.

Now onto my products! I seriously LOVE all of these!!!

1 • Cover Girl Clean Foundation: Sensitive Skin - Foundation has been the most difficult thing for me to find. I have very sensitive skin and am prone to break outs. So I needed to find a foundation that wasn't going to irritate my skin, but also wouldn't break the bank. This is the PERFECT solution. My skin has been so much healthier since I started using it and it doesn't clog my pores, make me break out, or feel heavy on my skin! It's really a wonderful discovery. 

2 • Cover Girl Clean Pressed Powder: Sensitive Skin - Like foundation... I really needed a powder that wasn't going to be harsh on my skin but still give me the matte look that I was searching for. This is an amazing product and it pairs perfectly with the Clean Foundation. 

3 • Rimmel Match Perfection 2-in-1 Concealer & Highlighter - I have tried about a hundred other concealers and this one tops them all. It's pretty tricky to find... the only place I've ever found it sold is CVS... but it's absolutely worth it. It gives all day coverage and highlights perfectly under my eyes which are prone to dark circles. Seriously one of my favorite products I've ever found. 

4 • E.L.F. Blush - I love nearly everything about E.L.F... there are very few products that I've tried of theirs that I haven't at least liked. Their blush is a classic pink and it's just the perfect addition to my face. :) 

5 • E.L.F. Studio Cream Eyeliner - Another E.L.F. product! This one is pretty common and I've seen it sold anywhere that they sell E.L.F. Even at Old Navy! It's my favorite eye liner ever and I've tried quite a few. I love the cream eyeliners because it's right in between pencil and liquid liners... neither of which I like... It's pretty smudge proof and easy to apply. It comes with a little brush. The only drawback is that the little brush can get gunky pretty quick, so you need to stay on top of cleaning it and wiping if off after you use it. Other than that... I absolutely love this product! 

6 • Maybelline Volum Express "The Rocket" Waterproof Mascara - I grew up using all Maybelline products. It's what I used for everything since I started wearing make up. Now I only use it for my eyes... but some things never change. I've never found another brand of mascara that I like as much as Maybelline. On top of that... I have tried almost every kind of mascara that they've put out and The Rocket is BY FAR my favorite. It makes my lashes voluminous and defined. Perfect! 

7 • Maybelline "The Nudes" Eye Shadow Palette - A solid eye shadow palette for any look you are trying to achieve! I love nude colors and they are really the only colors that look good on my eyes. This is the perfect palette as far as I'm concerned. I haven't used another eye shadow since I bought this, at target, by the way.

8 • Eye Brow Shaver - Honestly, I'm not sure which brand of this I have. It's just a little electric razor that shapes and trims your eye brows or anywhere else you may have unwanted hair I guess... but I use it for my eyebrows. It's super handy and does a great job without the pain or plucking or waxing

9 • Tweezers - Always good to have these too just in case the eyebrow trimmer doesn't reach a hair. 

10 • Nail Clippers - Just good to have these handy in case you break a nail and need to trim them. Also come in handy to clip tags off new clothes. Ha. :)

That's all my products that I keep in my cosmetics bag!!! I hope you've enjoyed this post as it's the first one I've done like this. Let me know!

What kind of products do you use? Do you use any of these same items?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Hey All! 

I want to share this recipe with you! I made it for dinner last night and it was so easy and tasted so good! Let me introduce you to Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken! 

What You Need: 

• Chicken Breasts (5)
• 8 tsp. minced garlic
• 6 tbs. brown sugar
• 6 tsp. olive oil

How It's Done: 

1 • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. // Arrange chicken breasts in baking pan (I used a 9x13) and season with Salt and Pepper. 

2 • Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. // Add garlic and sauté until tender and smelling wonderful! Pour oil and garlic into a small bowl. 

3 • Stir in the brown sugar with the oil and garlic. // Pour over chicken and spread across evenly.

4 • Bake for 30-35 minutes. 

5 • After the 30-35 minutes, turn on your broiler for 3-5 minutes until sugar caramelizes on top. 

6 • Serve with a couple of sides and enjoy! 

... and that's it! It is seriously one of the easiest recipes that I've ever made! and I mean... it tasted pretty great too...but who doesn't love easy?! 

Please let me know what you think if you decide to cook this recipe! :) 

** Adapted from Slender Kitchen **

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Think I'll Go to Boston

This past Saturday my dear boyfriend Asa and I took a trip to Boston! It was such a fun filled day with the most handsome guy. Here's a little walk through of what we did! 

The very first thing we did once we got into the city was take a tour of Fenway Park! If you don't know what that is, it's where the Boston Red Sox play baseball! Fenway is one of my favorite places to visit so I really wanted to show it to Asa. It is so fun to see all the different areas of the park! 

The view from the press box!
The most famous seat in Fenway Park! The spot of the longest home run ever hit
inside the park. (they can't measure ones that go outside the walls)

Asa and I on the Green Monster :) 

After touring Fenway... we were hungry and it was nearing lunch time! We started walking away from the park to look for something to eat when I noticed Jerry Remy's right next to Fenway! Jerry Remy was a player for the Red Sox and now he's an announcer for NESN! It opened at 11:30 and we got there at 11:32! Perfect timing... we were the only people there for most of the time and it was actually pretty cool. I ordered the Remy Burger and it was SO good. One of the best burgers I've ever had. If you find yourself in Boston... look up one of their four locations and eat there! Delicious food and very reasonable prices! 

After lunch we hopped back on the T and headed over towards the prudential center to go to the skywalk observatory! It was the coolest thing ever and if you're in Boston... it's definitely worth it to do at least once! The views were breathtakingly incredible! 

Once we made our way back down to ground level, we grabbed some Starbucks for the second time of the day and walked up Newbury Street towards the Public Garden and the Boston Common. 

We ended our evening walking up to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. We crossed the street to go see the water for a little bit and look over towards the airport. 

Eventually we made our way back into Quincy Market for some New England Clam Chowder for dinner. We grabbed Starbucks one last time and hopped on our T back to Riverside then got in the car and drove home. It was a marvelous day and I can't wait to go again :) 

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Goals and Theme

I've been thinking a lot about what is ahead for 2015. I am honestly really excited for this year! I don't know exactly what it is, but I just have a really great feeling about this year. I've decided on five major goals for myself this year:

Goal 1: Grow in Faith

This year, as with every other year, I desire to grow more in my faith and walk with Jesus Christ. I wouldn't be alive without Him, and I know that He is my strength. I want to learn to trust Him more and keep faith even in the tough times. I am expecting great things for this year, but there will ultimately be some trials... as there always are. I want to learn how to better keep my faith during those times. Now, this is sort of scary because in order for me to grow in faith... there must be tests of my faith. I am looking forward to growing in this area this year... even though it will be difficult. Keep me in your prayers! 

Goal 2: Grow in Love

I want to grow in love this year. I want to grow more in love with God... as well as growing in my faith. On top of that... I want to grow more in love with my family. They are the people that God has placed in my life for the last twenty-two years and for the next however many He allows and they are the people who will be consistent. I love my parents and my sister very much already... but I want to learn how to better show that through my actions and attitude. 

I also want to grow more in love in my relationship with Asa. We are young and have a lot of time left in our lives (Lord willing)... but we are in love and learning how to be in a long distance relationship. Like my family... I want to learn how to better show him through my actions and attitude that I love him. Long distance is hard... but if I were to ever have faith that a long distance relationship could make it... it would be ours. He is so special to me and I can see in his eyes when he looks at me and when I overhear him talk about me that I am special to him as well. We can do this. Plus, it's only a temporary distance. 

Lastly, I want to grow in love with people in general. I want to see people through the eyes of Christ. I want to understand and realize that nobody is perfect and everyone has their flaws and quirks and that just makes each person more uniquely and wonderfully created. I want to love the people around me more this year. 

Goal 3: Grow in Patience

This is something that I'm not very good at. I'm not exactly a patient person and it's something that I have really recognized about myself lately. I am praying this year that I am able to grow in patience in every area of my life... from traffic on the highway to the people I'm closest to. Like my faith, I know in order for me to grow in patience, it means that my patience has to be tested. I am praying and believing that when tests of my patience come... I am able to react calmly and react in a Godly manner and if I'm being really honest... I'm not off to a great start this year. Pray with me for this?

Goal 4: Grow in Authenticity

This year one of my goals is to be authentic. I want to truly be me. Fearlessly, unapologetically, authentic. My twenty-two years have been a long roller coaster of figuring out who I am. While I don't know that anyone ever fully knows who they are as I think we discover new things about ourselves all the time... I believe that we can act on the things that we do know about ourselves.  I want to live more authentically this year and just be me... the person that God has created me to be.

Goal 5: Grow in Health

Typical I know... everyone makes the resolution at the beginning of the year to lose weight. Well, I guess that's me. However... I don't want to just lose weight. I want to create a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy is so much more than losing weight. I want to develop healthy eating habits and exercise habits. I also am going to get on a sleep schedule which very well may be the hardest thing for me, as I have a really hard time waking up to my alarm lately. I'm not concerned with how I look weight wise. I know that I am created beautiful by God and I have a man who loves me the way I am... but I desire to be healthier and better take care of my body. 


This is the first year that I'm deciding on a theme for myself. My theme for this year is:


{"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." - Hebrews 12:1-2}

This year I am going to run this race of life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I am going to be unstoppable  in my race and not let the things that the devil throws at me or the things that try to hinder me stop me. I will persevere and keep my eyes on Jesus. I am so excited for everything that God has for me this year! 

What about you? What are some of your goals and themes this year?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Year in Review

Happy New Year! 2014 was a great year and as I've been reflecting on it I've realized how many great things truly happened. As I write this on January 1st, 2015... I can't help but have great expectations and such excitement for the year ahead! ** Keep your eyes peeled for a post talking about my goals for 2015!** Please enjoy my little year in review!


Welcoming in 2014 was so much fun hanging out with family and friends at home and looking forward to all that the year would hold! I headed back to what was then Valley Forge Christian College a couple weeks into the year after having been off campus for the fall semester and the month was filled with readjusting to life on campus, hanging out with what seemed like long lost friends, and enjoying many, many snow days as the Pennsylvania winter was really quite rough. 

Snow Day #1!


A month filled with more snow days and harsh Pennsylvania winter. My whole group of friends went over to our friend Michael's house from school to watch the Super Bowl. It was a night full of friends, fun, and food. Even though the super bowl was actually horrible and a complete blowout... it was a night that holds great memories and that I loved. February also included a trip home for presidents day weekend with my friend. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the weekend home with my family! This month also held a minor league hockey game with my dear friend Karen! It was at the Wells Fargo center in Philadelphia and we had a ton of fun! I also was quite excited to be in the Sports Complex in Philly as I absolutely love stadiums! 

The Minor League Hockey Game with Karen!


An interesting month indeed. March was probably one of the most challenging months of the year for me, if not the most challenging. I had some pretty serious complications in some friendships and ended up moving apartments. I kept up with my schoolwork however and had a nice refreshing spring break at home. I believe we had one final snow day at the beginning of the month... which was always nice. I enjoyed some crafting with my new roommate for our school's Spring Banquet which was coming up and all around just enjoyed the impending coming of Spring. I spent a lot of time with Asa during this month which of course is enjoyable. 

Heading home for Spring Break!


This month was quite busy! It started off with Spring Banquet... my first and last time going! It was such a lovely evening spent mostly with Asa and then a group of us headed out bowling after! April was also filled with things such as housesitting for the family I worked for while they were in Florida, VFCC's Community Service Day, the opening of an extension "campus" of our school... The Conference Center at Valley Forge, Asa's Senior Recital (which he KILLED, by the way), a day trip to Philadelphia with Asa, Easter Break and family time, and most importantly... we welcomed a very beautiful baby into our family! My little cousin, Emma! 

Baby Emma


A beautiful month, but another very challenging one. It started off with finals week which of course is aways rough... but then came graduation. I didn't graduate because of being behind in some classes... but the graduating class was the one that I came in with which held 98% of my friends. I'm really not good at goodbyes so that day was emotionally completely draining for me. I got through it, but it was a rocky road. The rest of the month held time spent with family and a few friends at the wedding of two wonderful friends, Liz and Cody. We celebrated mother's day. My summer addiction to the TV show, Friends, started in this month. May was also "home" to one of the most difficult decisions that I've ever had to make. I was supposed to leave home at the beginning of June to move to Harrisburg, PA for the summer but not very long after I got home... I started feeling God direct me and move me to stay home for the summer instead of going to PA. The phone call I made to the church I was supposed to be working at killed me, as I truly hate letting people down and backing out of commitments, but I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was what God was leading me to do and as I look back on that decision now... I am so glad I made it. I still feel bad that I had to back out of something I had committed to... but I know that I made the right choice. 

On the way to Liz's wedding!


What a month June was! After deciding to stay home for the summer, I finally settled into my room and started getting things done. I had two summer classes that I needed to work on, so I started my work for that, I spent a lot of time on the back deck and by the pool. Cousins came over to swim and the weather really got nice. We celebrated my mom's birthday, father's day and my parents anniversary. My sister and I ate a lot of ice cream from Nick's Nest. I watched soccer for the first time, played Bingo every Thursday, spent a day at the lake with my best friend and traveled to Pennsylvania again to see my friends Tim and Vanessa get hitched! It was a gorgeous month and I absolutely loved every moment of it. 

Can't leave PA without Wawa handy!


WHAT A MONTH! July was extremely busy. Out of the 31 days in the month, I was gone for 17 of them. The month started off with a visit from my wonderful Aunt Shar who lives in Iowa! She was here for almost a week and over the fourth of July holiday. It was so nice to have her in town for a visit! Also in July, I did two weeks of youth camp with my home district (Assemblies of God, Southern New England) and had an absolute BLAST! Seeing students lives transformed over the course of the two weeks I was in the mountains in New Hampshire is a completely humbling and awe inspiring experience. I love camp, and I love teenagers. God really used these two weeks to reconfirm my calling into Youth Ministry and rekindle my love for Southern New England District. I can't wait until I'm back in this district permanently. I also went on a beach trip with my home youth group and had a great day! The last week of July was spent in Columbus, Ohio for National Fine Arts! I got the opportunity to go with my church and jumped on it because I'd been dying to gain the experience. It was probably my favorite week of the summer and holds so many different memories with so many different people. I love the network of friend's that I've gained from all over the country... it makes me so overjoyed. Also, I became a Starbucks Gold Member while in Columbus, so that's cool. 

Gold Status!


A month of final relaxations and starting school again. Once I returned from Columbus, I relaxed and spent a lot of time with my family. My cousins all came over one day and we spent the day hanging out and swimming and eating watermelon. I painted, I ate frozen yogurt with my best friend, I tried to eat healthy, I cut my bangs, I watched movies... I genuinely enjoyed life. Towards the middle of the month, my family drove three hours north to spend a weekend in Old Orchard Beach Maine. It's basically my favorite place to be on earth and it was a very relaxing weekend. Once we returned I got my hair cut and packed up my life to move back to Pennsylvania for my final semester on campus at Valley Forge. My dad and I headed down with cars full of things and moved me into my small dorm room. I met my suite mate who would quickly become one of my closest friends. I also went to Atlantic City for a day with Asa and went to Maryland to stay with him for labor day weekend. I love that boy, a lot. 

Old Orchard Beach


I enjoyed September. For some reason I never have a great taste in my mouth when it comes to September... but this year was different and made me rethink my attitude on the month. It started with the end of labor day weekend in Maryland. What a truly wonderful weekend that was. After that it was a couple weeks of truly diving into homework, coffee dates with long lost friends, trips to the National Park, and hanging out with a few friends that I had left on campus. On September 16th, Valley Forge Christian College officially became The University of Valley Forge! It was a huge day on campus full of celebrating and class canceling. I got to hang out with an excellent group of folks and the weather was just simply gorgeous. I spent another marvelous weekend with Asa in Maryland and we went to a Red Sox game and hung out in Baltimore. The rest of the month was taken up with school, a trip to Six Flags with Asa and the first sights of fall and lots of coffee and doctor who and target shopping. It was a marvelous month.

Asa and I in Baltimore!


My absolute favorite month! I don't know exactly what it is about October... maybe its the cooler weather sitting in, the pumpkin spice everything, the gorgeous and colorful leaves, or the fact that it holds my birthday... whatever it is... I just absolutely love October. It was a jam-packed month for sure... filled with again, lots of schoolwork and time spent with Asa. We traveled home to Massachusetts for my fall break and spent five wonderful days with my family and celebrated my 22nd birthday. Once we got back to school we headed out to one of our favorite spots, Marsh Creek State Park and walked along the rocks. It was nice. The next couple weeks were full of more coffee, work, school work, cookies... etc. The last weekend of the month was a great one. Asa was down at school for a day to play for Alumni chapel and then we went to Maryland to celebrate Asa's 22nd birthday. It was such a fun weekend hanging out with him and the people from his church! The last week of October was spent helping out some family friends who were visiting UVF to do a play! It was a blast and I totally missed being involved with theater! 

at Marsh Creek State Park


A better month than expected. November started off with a bang with Asa and I driving home to Massachusetts to surprise my family for my Dad's birthday. The surprise was very successful... they had NO idea we were coming and it worked out great! We had a great time even though it was a very short visit. It was a month of stressing about school, final academic chapel, coffee naturally, and lots of trying to get myself to relax and not freak out about things so much. I took a Saturday off and drove to Havre de Grace, Maryland to meet Asa halfway and it was the best thing I could have done. We fell in love with the little town. It held so much charm in its shoreline and little shops! We will definitely be visiting again someday. The weekend after that I went to Maryland for the weekend and Asa and I saw the Hunger Games and wen tot Washington DC for a day. The month was also when I started helping Asa direct his Christmas Show, Baby Boy and met the wonderful cast and crew who welcomed me in. Thanksgiving is in November (duh) so I drove to the Berkshires to spend Thanksgiving with my family at a resort in the mountains. It was the relaxing week that I needed before heading back to school for finals week. 

Asa and I in Washington DC


The not so distant past! December feels like it went by pretty slow and I'm okay with that. Finals week flew by and I ended with good grades in my classes which is actually a really big accomplishment for me. I moved out of my dorm at the end of the semester because I am finishing online in the spring and GRADUATING in May! I can't wait... anyway... after moving out of my dorm, I went to Maryland for a week with Asa to finish up rehearsals and do the shows for Baby Boy. It went wonderfully and the cast did so great! I also loved being able to spend time with the love of my life. :) I left after six days in Maryland and drove eight hours home to Massachusetts where I've been ever since. We had a funeral for my Uncle Karl not too long after I got back, which was obviously very sad. Christmas Eve came around and we headed to Connecticut to spend it at my cousins house! We spent the evening opening presents and drinking... you guessed it... coffee! It was magical. Christmas Day was spent at home with my family and my cousins came over later in the day. We watched Frozen and played Pictionary and had a marvelous time. I really do love Christmas time! I spent the next couple days cleaning the house in preparation for Asa's arrival for New Years! He arrived this past Tuesday via plane and we've been having a ball since. Last night for New Years, my Nana and her fiancee Bill came over as well as my best friend Julie and my cousin Matthew and we all ate my dad's pizza and played games and counted down as the ball dropped to welcome in 2015! It was a wonderful time and I can't think of any better way to ring in the new year! 

Happy New Year from Us!

That's my 2014 in review! I am SO looking forward to everything that 2015 holds! Keep your eyes peeled for a 2015 goal post, a 2015 theme introductory post, and a new project that I'm starting today! We are off to go on a double date with my cousin and his lady and we are spending tomorrow in Boston! I hope everyone's year is starting off wonderfully! 

What was your favorite thing you did in 2014?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Roundup

Hello Everyone! I'm back to blogging today after a little break over Christmas! I'm going to try to do a couple of posts today because I actually have the time, but this first one is going to be a roundup of my Christmas!

On Christmas Eve, my whole family gets together at someone's house... this year we went to my aunt and uncle's in Connecticut. We all gathered around and ate Borscht (polish soup) and then we opened our presents! I truly love being around my family. Many laughs were shared and many memories
were made. Including painting my cousin Matthew's nails with glitter :)

As far as Christmas Eve presents go... I'm always so blessed. This was our second year pulling names for Christmas Eve presents instead of everyone getting everyone something. I pulled my sister's name and got her The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition, exactly what she wanted. My name was pulled by my cousin Matthew and he got me a pack of K-Cups filled with one of my favorite Starbucks Blends and a super nice travel coffee mug. My cousin Amber also got me K-Cups (Starbucks 2014 Fall Blend), I think my family understands that I really like coffee. All the other Christmas Eve Gifts were from my Nana and her Fiance' Bill... a new set of pajamas, some nice shirts, hair and body things (mousse, body wash, etc), and a new hair straightener... which really is a Christmas miracle because mine was on it's last leg and my new one is by a long shot the best one I've ever owned, they also gave me some money and a Target gift card. I know there was something else that I received from them and it's totally slipping my mind right now... I'll update this post when I remember. One other thing about Christmas Eve... The Saturday before, my cousin Amber and I went Christmas Shopping together and decided to get matching outfits for Christmas Eve. We had nearly everything the same even down to our shoes and earrings. It was so much fun and so exciting. Everyone's reactions were hysterical and actually, my uncle and little cousin were matching as well. I'm so glad that we did it. When we got home, my mom and dad gave us our annual Christmas Pajamas. This year they were a soft pink shirt with penguin pants! They were lovely :)

On Christmas Morning, we woke up late... since we're not little kids anymore we don't do the whole getting up at 6am to open presents thing. So we got up late and had some coffee, then very impatiently waited for my parents to be ready so we could open presents. Let me tell you... my parents did good this year :) First I'll round-up what I got my family and then I'll go through what they got me. I made my mom and dad hanging letters (K & S for Kris and Steve) for above their bed. I got my mom a candle from target (sugar blossom... smells AMAZING) and a Bubba mug for her coffee. I got my Dad a Boston Bruins shirt and Macadamia Nut Popcorn. For my sister, a picture frame that I painted a nice sister quote in, some earrings and a necklace, and a hand painted coffee mug. Finally, for my Nana, I did a painting for her and Bill, and got her a ring holder for her new engagement ring. I also made up baskets for my Nana and Mom filled with note pads, lotion, and chocolate. Now onto what I so wonderfully received:

Although this is one of the last things I opened, I'm putting it first in this post because it was the most meaningful. My parents got me a $100 Southwest Airlines Gift Card so that I can buy tickets sometime to go visit Asa (boyfriend) in Maryland. They also got me two movie tickets that I plan to use for a date night for Asa and I. My parents are so supportive of Asa and I's relationship and that fact and these gifts mean so incredibly much to me. I also got new canvas and paint pens, new boots, new moccasins, socks, more K-Cups (Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla this time), a couple new belts and a new gorgeous journal. The other couple big gifts were an Olaf (from frozen) stuffed animal and a Bose Bluetooth Speaker! I loved all of my gifts from my parents... they're wonderful people. My sister did good with her gifts for me too. She got me the book "Unstoppable" by Christine Caine, which I've been wanting to read for a while and she got me a new gorgeous watch! We also open presents from my family in the midwest on Christmas morning! From my grandparents I got a 2015 Red Sox Calendar (a tradition for them to get me) as well as a Target gift card. From the Thompson's (aunt, uncle, and cousins) I got some gloves, socks, hot chocolate, and another Target gift card. Finally from my Uncle Matthew, Aunt Molly, and baby Emma I got a handmade scarf (see picture below) and one final Target gift card. Overall, I got $125 in Target gift cards... my family knows me really well. To my family members who may be reading this, thank you so much for all the gifts! I love them all and truly appreciate them :) The rest of Christmas Day I just hung out with my family. We ate a huge meal, watched Frozen and then played pictionary. It was truly a marvelous and relaxing day. I love my family! :) 

That's the round up of my Christmas Festivities! 

What about you? What did you do and get for Christmas?

** Please enjoy some of these other pictures from the day. **

My new Bose Speaker
Nana's Fiance' Bill resting with Mia
My Christmas Selfie! (Note: New Scarf made by my Aunt Molly!)
Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

From the Archives: My First Post

It's been almost a year since I started this blog (what?!) and I've gained a lot of new readers since then... especially since joining The Peony Project. A lot of my current readers may be wondering why my blog is titled "Life is a Highway" and haven't dug all the way through my archives to find my very first post! My first post was about exactly why I chose the name of the blog! I decided to pull that post out of the archives and re-post it for those new readers who may be wondering! I hope you enjoy! 


Now, I know we probably all know the Rascal Flatts song that was featured in cars... and even if we may be ashamed of it, I'm sure we've all jammed out to it a time or two... but have you ever actually taken the time to sit and think about that phrase? No? Neither did I until it came to my head for a blog title. 

Life truly is a highway. Think about it. What do highways have? 

Highways Have Ups and Downs. Hills and Valleys.

Sometimes we have to put our foot down on the gas a little harder to get up the hill when we're driving, but once we make it to the top, it's a feeling of relief. I remember last summer when I interned in South Dakota we were on our way across state on Route 90 to take the kids to summer camp and the church bus is OLD. There's one hill just past Chamberlain, SD that the bus has a hard time making it up... we had to put the flashers on and move slowly up the hill the whole time wondering if something is going to snap and the bus is going to break down. But it didn't, the bus made it up and over the hill and we all breathed a sigh of relief at that moment. 

When we're trying to get up a "hill" in our lives... when we're fighting that upwards battle... don't we get so worried and anxious sometimes that we're going to break down and go sliding back down that hill? But when we finally persevere enough and we make it to the top... to the plateau... isn't that the most relieving feeling?

And then there's the valleys, or downs. When we're driving and the road starts going downhill and the speed of the car keeps getting faster and faster what do we do? We hit the brakes... sometimes not so hard that we come to a screeching halt... but we ease on the them... to keep our car in control. Everyone will have a "downhill" time in their life. 

There is nothing wrong with that... there is nothing bad about that... but how do you handle it? Do you just let yourself keep speeding up and speeding up until you hit rock bottom and slam into something? Do you slam on the breaks and cause a pile up behind you? Or do you gently ease on the breaks and keep yourself under control and send a warning to those behind you that you're slowing down and everything is okay? 

Highways Have Open Roads

Picture it. You're driving down the highway in the warm month of June, the sun is shining, the radio is up, there's only a couple other cars on the road... and everything is going great. We've all got those "open road" times that it feels like nothing can bring us down and life is going so wonderfully. Those are my favorite times.

Highways Have Traffic

Have you ever come around a turn on the highway and had to slam on your breaks before rear ending the car in front of you because there's some sudden traffic? I've learned something when it comes to traffic... it doesn't last forever. It may last longer than we would like it to... but eventually... the road clears. Something else I've learned about traffic is there is always a reason for it. Whether it's a small reason like a lane shift and people just don't know how to merge properly... or a bigger reason like a car wreck... there is always a reason. 

However, we don't always see that reason until when? Until we're through the traffic. Life is so similar. Sometimes everything is going fine then we round the turn and slam on our breaks to wait through a time of traffic, a time of difficulty. But much like the traffic on a highway... the traffic of life doesn't last forever... and there's always a reason for it. 

So make the most out of the highway in your life. Persevere up the hills, have control in the valleys, turn your music up on the open road, and have faith in the traffic.

This is why my blog is titled "Life is a Highway". Follow along with my as I travel my highway... enjoy my posts about life, love, beauty, food, and anything else that comes up along the way. I hope and pray that you are blessed by this blog.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fancy Fridays: Holiday Edition

Fancy Fridays is back! It's been a LONG time since I have done one of these posts, but I'm excited for another post! In this edition of Fancy Fridays, I'm going to show you some of my favorite finds for the holidays! Whether you have a work or family party, or you simply just feel like dressing up, I hope these simple and adorable outfits inspire you! Be prepared for a lot of red! 

The first of my adorable finds! I've actually sort of copied this outfit in my own wardrobe. Simple red dress with black tights and little booties! It's so adorable, simple, and fun! 

Source: Indulgy

This is probably my favorite out of the dresses in this post! I love the champagne and burgundy colors together and you could absolutely pair some excellent accessories with it! Also, take along a cardigan if you get chilly! 

Source: Lyst

(I tried to find a direct link to this exact dress, but Lyst apparently has a never-ending dress supply... so after scrolling for about 20 minutes, I gave up.)

This sparkly gold dress is a perfect alternative to the typical red dresses that you usually see around this time of year. I still love the pop of red in the shoe though! 

Source: Pinterest

More Red! Again, an adorable short sleeve that you could pair with black leggings or tights and a cute black cardigan. Throw on some gold accessories and you're set for a wonderful evening! 

One more red! I love when I find dresses that are actually on models! She looks great in this dress with a deep V and simple earrings and clutch. Soft curls go perfectly with this mini-cocktail dress! 

(The link goes to a blog... the author of that blog gives no credit to where the original outfit was found) 

Last but not least... black and gold! A simple combination and another great alternative to red! I love this outfit! Throw on a chunky necklace and simple cardigan and you're set! 

Source: Nordstrom

(Unfortunately, this dress is currently not available)

Well that's all from me today! I hope you've enjoyed this edition of Fancy Fridays! 
What do you think? What do you like to wear around the holidays?