Saturday, October 31, 2015

Run Out and Buy This!

I've really been paying closer attention to my makeup lately.  As I get older I realize that I need to embrace the concept that less is more when it comes to my eye makeup.  I'm try to go a little more natural and choose shades that are more matte and less "sparkly."  

I thought the Naked eye shadows would be what I needed to make this transition.  I even included the Naked Basics on my Valentine's Day Wish List.  As we mothers tend to do-I bought my daughter the Naked Basics instead of buying it for myself. :(  Of course she let me try it out and I really liked that it is matte and I know I should like that it has more pigment. But...more pigment for me made it more difficult to apply.  I just could never get it to look right on me. But she loves it and it looks great on her 15 year old eyes!

Well I was in Wal-Mart (living the dream) and was looking for some mascara and came across this...

Now of course I cannot find this exact one on their website.  But all of the shades are matte! And I lovvvvve them!  

Excuse the mess! 

So far I regularly use about 6 of the shades but they are all so pretty.  And they go on great and stay on all day.  For around $7 compared to the $29 for the Naked Basics, which I don't like as well, you just can't beat that with a stick!  

Now that I cannot find this on the website I'm sort of in a panic.  What if this was a limited pallete!? What if I can't buy another one when this one runs out!?  I WILL be heading to my Wal-Mart tomorrow to see and to buy all they have!  And to stock up on Halloween candy. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Doggie Door Solution

I wish we could have a doggie door for our high maintenance pooches.  We have a Shih-tzu and a Yorkie who love to go outside but never want to go outside at the same time!  I feel I am constantly up and down letting one of them in or out.  Something like this would be great......


But.....this won't work with our french doors which are the only doors that lead to our fenced in back yard. :( 


The only other option would be to cut through the wall beside our French doors and install one through the wall which would mean cutting through brick outside.  Not the easiest solutions.  So I will continue to let my doggies out 57 times a day.


One problem we had was that when they wanted back in they scratch at the door like they are on crack.  Which led to the bottom of our door looking like this:







Well the hubby spend one Saturday morning painting the door and cleaning it up the best he could.  We had discussed many times how we needed a kick plate or something to protect the door/paint so it wouldn't get like this again.  But again, a problem, a kick plate is too tall to fit under the window in the french door.  After measuring we knew it wouldn't fit either lengthwise or even going up and down to the right of the window.  We talked about trying to have one custom made but never did. 


Then we were in Lowes one day and looked again at the kick plates to see if we could come up with a solution and saw this...


Gatehouse Satin Nickel Push Plate



It's a push plate instead of a kick plate.  Meant to be installed where you "push" open a door with your hand. (In case you don't know what a push plate is!)  It was just the right size to fit under the door's window.  Hubby installed it in the bottom right corner where the dogs scratch and so far the new paint job is still intact!


This is what it looks like after about six months of use....



The push plate has some scratches on it, but better it than the painted door.  When the dogs go all psycho crazy with their scratching, they also tear into the weather stripping.  We have learned to cut just enough of the torn strip out and cut a sized to fit piece out of a new strip instead of replacing the whole thing.  This way we get several replacements out of one long piece of weather stripping.  Not to mention that it is much easier to replace that small section than the whole door.


You may also notice in the first picture that there is a slight problem with the blinds. :)  Just a little crooked.  Or shall I say broken.  That door is used many times a day-mostly to let out the high maintence dogs-and after about 4 years the blinds bit the dust.



The broken blinds are enclosed blinds that we added on to the existing french doors.  In other words the blinds are between glass.  When we built our house we installed regular faux wood wide slat blinds over the french door windows.  And when the doors were opened and closed they would sway back and forth a little and make noise.  Annoying.  These add-ons are great!  They install over the window and can be easily taken off and put back on if needed.  This is good in case the blinds happen to get stuck or caught.


We open and closed them often as well as raise them all the way up.  And apparently we were a little too rough on them and they got to where they wouldn't lower all the way back down.  Hubby replaced these as well with a new one.  We got it at Lowes but I cannot for the life of me find it on their website!  But it was around $130 if I remember correctly for one side.  But here is what they look like....




Here is what we SHOULD have installed when we built the house-doors that come with the blinds built in.  Next time!



Blinds Between the Glass French Door-Benchmark by Therma-Tru

The doors and blinds are looking much better and hopefully this solution will last a while. 



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Colorado & Reno & Orange Beach....One Busy Summer!

It has been awhile!  Life has been busy needless to say.  And to tell the truth.....I just wasn't feeling it. Do you ever feel like that?? Just don't feel like making the effort.  Sad to say but this is how I have been feeling and instead of succumbing to the pressure I just decided to go with it.  If I wasn't feeling it then I wasn't going to do it.  So therefore no blog post for.....not even going to count how long!

I had a very busy summer to say the least!  In the months of June and July I spent the night in a hotel 27 times!!!! Racked up those hotel reward points! And just what made me spend the night away from home so many nights??? To sum it up in one word......SOFTBALL. Which makes me happy happy happy!  I love watching my girl play, sitting in my lawn chair with my feet propped on the fence.  

We visited a few closer states at first....Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia.  Then next up was Colorado.

We My husband decided we would drive to Colorado this time.  14 hours.  In a truck.  Never again. This is what we saw for miles and miles across Kansas.  

The first dozen or so were neat to see.  Kind of got tired of them though.  I did see some buffalo on the way but since the speed limit was 75 mph, we were driving too fast for me to get a pic. :)

We drove ALL THE WAY UP Pikes Peak- eeek!  Our last trip to Colorado we visited Estes Park and went all the way up.  Well I just thought that was way high up!  Pikes Peak kicked my butt.  When we made it to the top, I was light headed and could not walk more than 10 steps without stopping to catch my breath. It was not for the faint at heart! The above picture was before we made it up too far. That's why I'm still smiling. :)

Then our next trip up was Reno.......

We stayed at Circus Circus.  Because that's where our team stayed.  Never.  Again.  I will leave it at that.

We did fly for this trip though.  Thank the Lord.

On this trip our highlight was visiting Lake Tahoe.  I was in awe of its beauty!  

My Youngest Mal

We dined at Moe's Original BBQ and I highly recommend!  Being from the south and near Memphis (home of BBQ) to say that this place was great is a big compliment!  Memphis has nothing on this joint!  And what a view while eating!

Then since we didn't travel enough for softball (or maybe I just needed an actual vacay!) off to the beach we went!

It was a much needed girls trip to Orange Beach, AL. We enjoyed the sun (and the shade after we burned the first day) shopped and ate too much.  The water was murky the entire time but that didn't spoil our fun.

After all of my traveling it's back to the grind teaching 8th and 9th graders.  Whew...I'm tired.

But as you can see I had an extra busy summer so I guess it was no surprise that I wasn't "feeling it."  I was overwhelmed with traveling so. much.  

I just have to remember when I get that overwhelmed feeling that I CAN just let things drop (such as writing on this blog) and just BE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Back to the Grind after Snow Week

Well it's the first full day back at work after being out of school for 5 days and then going in an hour late for 2 days.  While I enjoyed the lazy time off it was good to get back to a routine....and just get out of the house!

We were expecting 6-8 inches of snow.  In Arkansas.  But we got a few inches of sleet/freezing rain instead.  Now I know in Northern states that wouldn't be that big of a deal.  Not compared to the FEET of snow some places have gotten.  But here in the South snow=sit your butt at home.

So I litterally was in my pajamas for 5 straight days!  I got out day 1 and then on day 6.  

This is what the roads looked like on our way to my brother's house to go sledding.  That's ice with a little bit of snow on top.

Now this is a four-lane highway.  Not some back country road!

Here is our group of sledders.  We had so much fun!  I didn't get pictures of my girls and friends riding on a car hood being pulled by a four-wheeler.  (Can we say red-neck!?)

I'm one of those sledders but not going to identify myself.  Wasn't my best hair day. ;)

It was a good mini vaca consisting of pajamas, Netflix, reading and catching up on my TV shows.  I got caught up on Grey's Anatomy, New Girl, and State of Affairs.  State of Affairs is a new show I'm watching and boy is it getting good!  It was good while it lasted but those extra days added on to the end of our school year are really going to suck.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Best Baked Pototoes

It's pretty difficult to mess up a baked potato right? About the only way to mess up a baked potato is to not cook it long enough.  But an hour and a half in the oven on about 425 has always worked for me even for those big honking potatoes.

But I wanted to make it even better!  I googled how to cook a baked potato and used a couple of different sources and tried it my way.

Grab you some sea salt and olive oil.... and of course-potatoes!

PS.  Sorry for the crappy iPhone pics.  Was already running late getting these in the oven so I used my phone. :(

Here is what you will need:

  • Potatoes (however many-I like Russett)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Optional-Shredded cheese (I used store brand Sharp Cheddar)
  • Optional-Bacon Pieces (I used Oscar Myer Real Bacon pieces)

I wanted to put a rush on my potato baking since I fell asleep (!?) and didn't have as much time as I needed.  So I washed my Russetts and poked them a few times with a fork so they won't explode in the microwave and nuked them.  Mine were pretty big potatoes so I put 5 in there for about 15 minutes. Just enough to get the cooking started.

In the meantime I mixed a few tablespoons of olive oil with some sea salt.  

When the microwave finished I brushed the potatoes with the olive oil and salt mixture.  Not too much, just a thin layer.  

I then wrapped them loosely in aluminum foil.  By wrapping them loosely it allows a little air/heat to get in to the potato so the oil doesn't make it soggy.  But without any foil then the skins get too crispy.  Clear as mud?

Oh the blurrrrr.  Sorry.

Pop those suckers in the oven at 425 and bake for about 1 hour.

 (Please don't look at the bottom of my oven.)

I didn't tell my family that I had done anything different to the potaotes this time.  I wanted to see if they noticed the difference.  And they sure did! The husband asked if I had cooked the potatoes different because they tasted much better!  And they really did.  And the texture of the potato as well as the skins were great.  And the inside was YUM. MEE. 

With such little effort the baked potatoes were much much better.  And then we added on some shredded cheddar and bacon.......just can't beat it with a stick. :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

No More Nails

I splurge and do a few things just for me sometimes. We all need a little pampering right?  One thing I pamper myself with are massages.  I absolutely love a deep tissue massage where I feel like I've had all of the stress massaged out of me.

Another thing I do is to get my nails done about twice per month.  I don't enjoy this one quite as much. The tools make me nervous and I am just sitting there thinking of all of the things I need to be doing instead.  

I have always bitten my nails.  Always.  I remember when my first daughter was born (almost 21 years ago! EEK) my dad saying that since I will be changing dirty diapers now so maybe I will quit biting my nails. But that's what soap and water is for. :)  And I don't really remember actually getting poop on me too many times.

The only way I can have nails is to have acrylic ones. I start out with tips glued on and then after a few times I just have acrylic overlay applied to my real (thin as paper) nails.  This keeps them nice and strong and keeps me from biting them.

But I'm trying to take a break.  Mainly because of the damage this does/has done to my real nails. I was recently overdue getting them filled in and the acrylic was peeling away from my real now so I went to town picking every piece of acrylic off.  This is almost as pleasurable and addictive as biting them! :)

So now I am left with very thin nails with ridges in them.  

Can you see the damage???  The ridges??? :/

Ugh.  I'm going to try to be strong and NOT bite or pick at them.  To achieve this, my plan is to keep them cut very short until they are strong.  I'm determined to have real nails.  To help repair the damage I am using this-

I have used it in the past and it really does make my nails stronger-if I don't gnaw them off first. I got mine at Sally's Beauty Supply and it's only $8.99. I highly recommend it based on past use.  I just have to not bite and let it works it magic.  Pun intended. :)  I'm going to stay strong this time and NOT BITE MY NAILS.   Hopefully this time I can be successful!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day Wish List

Just in case anybody plans to buy me a little something for Valentine's Day, here are 9 items that would make me smile.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5/ 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

  1. Clarisonic Mia 3 Removal Expert $199 ($257 value) Who wouldn't want a Clarisonic and with this lip pattern?!  So stinkin pretty.
  2. Elizabeth and Janes Nirvana White Gift Set $75   The sweet lady at Sephora gave me a sample of this perfume the other day when I purchased my Tart lipstick.  It smells yummy.
  3. H&M Moss Knit Throw $79.95 I would love to have this throw for my living room to cozy up with to watch Netflix.
  4. Forever 21 the Everything Tote $60.90 This is a little expensive for Forever 21, but I love the combo of gold and rose.  And this size and shape can do no wrong.
  5. Urban Decay Naked Basic Palette $29 Everyone loves some Nakeness. This is just the perfect pallette. My 15 year old has this and I might have borrowed it a few times.
  6. Sweet Heart Rose Gold Heart Earring $10.90 Sweet little earrings in rose gold.  
  7. Gradient Knit Scarf $13.40 Can't beat the price on this plaid scarf.  And can't beat plaid with a stick right now. It's EVERYWHERE.
  8. Women's Heart Lounge Shorts $10.94 Sweet little p.j.s that I would get cold in right now, but would be perf for spring.
  9. H&M Box with Gold Lid $9.95 And how cute is this little box with the cute little gold top? I love when pretty things give me somewhere else to hide my junk.

I don't want all items on my wish list....just 3 or 4.  I don't wanna be greedy! :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Run Out and Buy This!

Ok....I am cheap.  I use coupons.  I hunt for bargains.  I hate paying full price, even though I do sometimes.  

But I just spent $24 on lipstick and I'm proud of it.  I tried my daughter's the other day while we were out shopping and I was hooked!  

I am picky about lipstick.  It cannot have a taste.  It cannot be sticky.  It has to feel good on my lips. And usually it has to be cheap.  I usually use Burt's Bees???? and wrote about it here.   No taste...check.  Not sticky...check.  Cheap...double check.  And works like Carmex to heal and moisturize.  Love it.

Sometimes you want a little more color.  And boy does this have it.  And the color!  Whoa!  It has great pigment which I love!

Love. Love. Love.  Worth every penny.  It just feels great-like butta!  Well  not really, that would be gross.

I love the pencil shape which allows you to line your lips without have a harsh skinny line from a lip pencil.  And it twist up so there's not sharpening.  

My daughter's that I tried was this color--

Very pretty color but a little more pink whereas Exposed is more rusty.  I loved her color but didn't want to buy the exact one so we can trade. :)  Smart right?  Or cheap?

So if you don't mind splurging ($24 for lipstick is a splurge for me!) for lipstick then you oughta give this a try.  It will not disappoint.

I am at school waiting on our last bell to go home (shhh that I'm on my blog!) and do not have it with me or I would put some on a take a pic.  So alas here is a pic I found of someone else wearing it.  Very accurate pic of the color.  And her lips are prettier than mine anyway. :(

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Self Worth


Have you ever had someone make you feel like you are not wanted?  I'm sure in some capacity you have experienced this.  

I recently did and it sucks.  Someone let me know in a round-about way that I was not wanted.  I wasn't invited or welcomed.  I feel like a 7 year old who was not given a birthday party invitation when the rest of the class is invited.

Of course we are adults and this person didn't come out and say it but I could just tell.  You know what I mean?  And I'm not just being paranoid-I could tell. This is someone who I consider a friend but this showed me that I'm not in the same category of friend that I had assumed.  

I had gotten the vibe before that it was more of a one-sided friendship.  Now I know.  I've heard the saying that every relationship is 40%-60% meaning that one person in the relationship loves/likes the other person more.  But I see that this friendship is more 20%-80%.  

So I  have been feeling a little worthless the past few days.  I hate that I let one person make me feel this way. It makes me wish that I had more self-confidence to not let it bother me.  

Even at the age of 43 I still let what other people think of me matter.  I want to reach a point in my life that I just don't care about what others think.  But I'm just not that type of person.  It matters.  But I just have to get to where I have more self worth.  I am confident it will come with age. :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Check out these great deals!

Now is the time to get you some new boots!  Boots are not going to be going out of style so why not buy them now when they are cheaper rather than wait until next fall?!  I snagged me this pair at a great savings and I LOVE them.

Now these are wide calf to fit my "oh I wish I were taller and leaner" chunky legs. And at $149.90 these were only 20% off.  But what a savings from the $189.95!  They feel and look great!  And I love a wide calf boot that does not have that stretchy material on it to make it wide calf.  This one is just great!

But if you are blessed with normal width legs check these Vince Camuto black boots out that are 50% off!  

Love the lower heel and at $98.96 when they were $197.95-what a great deal!  I like that these could be worn with jeans as well with a casual dress or leggings.  Buy now cause you know these will still look great next fall!  

My oldest daughter has a pair of Vince boots she splurged on for $200 and has worn them over 2 years and they still look great.  She says they are the most comfortable boots she owns.

I'm wishing I would have ordered these. I love this grayish color and I think I could do this wedge heel.  

And get this.....they were $144.95 and are now only $57.98!!! I might have to go back and order these.

I have a brown pair of booties and they are oh so comfortable.  I love wearing them with skinny jeans or skinny pants.  I can wear booties to teach all day and still be comfortable.  Boots sometimes are not as comfy to move around in all day.

I haven't done much ordering from Nordstrom.    I've always thought they were too pricey but I have seen some affordable items lately. And with free shipping and return shipping I am definitely going to continue shopping on there.

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015 Goals

Now that 2015 is well under way I took a little time to think about what I want to accomplish in the new year.  What changes do I need to make?

1.  Let go and let God.  I worry way too much about things that are out of my control.  Anyone that knows me well knows that I am a worrier.  Big things, little things, I stress over them.  I know that I am meant to trust God and let him take care of me.  I need to remember this more often.  

2.  Eat more real foods.  I've got a jump start on this one.  More raw vegetables and fruit.  Less Oreos. Enough said.  

3.  Exercise.  Oh the dreaded one we all aim for each year.  I need to clean the clutter from my treadmill and get on it.  My plan is to choose a series on Netflix and I can only watch this specific show while on the treadmill.  I won't allow myself to watch it any other time.  (I will watch other shows on Netflix at other times-what can I say?  I'm addicted to Netflix!)

4.  Make my bed.  I have been doing this somewhat but I want to make my bed every day.  Even weekdays!  

Monday, January 5, 2015

Back to the Grind

Holy Moly that was rough!  Getting up and around and out the door by 7:20 this morning was a bit more than I was ready for!

Not to mention it was a chilling 19°.  After sleeping in later and later each day of my 2 week break I literally pushed snooze on my phone 6 times.  Yep.  And still made it to work on time. 

One good thing about junior high students is that they are even more tired than you are after a break. :)  They've all stayed up much later than I could even think about doing so they are dragging their butts just as bad.

Now tomorrow I have to be there even 15 minutes early to watch the little darlings eat their pancakes and/or yogurt parfait.  Probably won't make it on time.  Two days in a row would be pushing it!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Run Out and Buy This!


I'm sure you've heard the hype about Dyson vacuums.  May even own one.  When I had a house full of carpet we invested in a Kirby upright at the tune of around $1100 for the vacuum and the shampooing attachment (never used!).  After it was demonstrated in our home I was impressed and bit the bullet.  It is a great vacuum for carpet and still does a good job.  Was it worth that much money?  Not sure. I do feel that it has fairly good suction but I do think it has lost some of it's oophm/suction after using it for going on 12 years.  But for our carpeted bedrooms it is what I still use.  

But.....for my tiled kitchen I need something lightweight to do those quick daily almost daily cleanups.  I really didn't want to mess with a cord (that's NOT quick) and the kicker is that it had to be powerful enough to vacuum the rug in front of my sink.  I had tried the corded Dirt Devil Stick vacuum (corded but for $16 I suffered a cord) but it would not do the job on the rug. (That's What She Said!)

So I bit the bullet and purchased the Electrolux ErgoRapido Ultra+ Bagless Vacuum from Lowe's for around $130.  (Different colored/newer version one now on clearance for $99 here.)

And it was great!  Adequate suction, cordless, easy enough to empty and it did a great job on the rug. And I loved it......for about a year.    Then it wouldn't stay charged very long and the motor was just barely chugging along.  Womp Womp. You could hear the motor getting weaker and weaker in a matter of minutes and it was just barely sucking anything up.  I expected more for $130.  After reading about this common problem online, I think that leaving it plugged in all the time in the charging stand lead to the ruining of the rechargeable battery.

So one day a couple of weeks ago, Raining Hot Coupons posted a deal on Facebook about the Dyson DC35 Cordless for $169 at Wal-Mart.  Now I had been looking at these since my Electrolux went kapooey. One version of a Dyson stick vac was $399 at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Target had one on sale for $299.  I just couldn't find it in myself to pay that much for a stick vacuum.  My $16 Dirt Devil was looking pretty good!

But I might could swing $169 for a stick vacuum that promises to never lose suction.  Well after checking out the reviews for this one and seeing that some people were not impressed I hesitantly ordered it anyway.  I'm a rebel like that. And for what I needed it for-I love it!  The 12 minute charge works just fine for me whereas most people complained about the short time. And it does a super job on my kitchen rug.

Things I like about the Dyson...

  • Fully charges in 3 hours.
  • The charge turns off when done so the battery won't get ruined. (But I still unplug it)
  • Extremely easy to empty dirt out of the canister.
  • Very easy to remove the long handle to turn it into a hand vac.
  • Easy to use attachments.  (Great cleaning crumbs in those hard to reach places.)
  • So lightweight!
  • It doesn't "wind down" when the battery is going down.  It just stops when the battery is depleted so you have good suction until it dies.
  • Easy to clean the rotating brush to remove hair that gets wound around the brush.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it will not stand up on its own, so storing it required some thinking. Some versions of the Dyson stick vacuum come with a wall mount charger, but mine did not.  I found a double hook at Lowe's and problem solved. (Can't find online.)

I found this organizer at Target to hold all of the other stick things that were leaning inside our laundry room closet and were always getting knocked over.  Now I can just grab the cleaning tool I need easily.  Love this set up!

I still use the Dirt Devil in our bathrooms though. Both the Electrolux and Dyson have a rotating brush that gets wound with all of our long girl hair.  And do we ever shed!  So to keep from having to remove/cut the hair from the rotating brush, I just use the Dirt Devil sans brush in the bathrooms. Easy Peasy.

So in a year or so when my Dyson is hopefully still sucking to its optimal power (That's What She Said!) I will be happy I spent going on $200 for a stick vacuum that only works for 12 minutes at a time. We shall see. :)