Tell Me a Story – Early Spring

I’m most likely jinxing myself here, but in Alaska we’ve been experiencing an early Spring. I know some other parts of the United States are experiencing extreme amounts of snow, cold, and nastiness, and I don’t mean to rub it in your face, but here in Alaska, we’ve had an unusually mild winter.

Even though I live in the arctic, I don’t enjoy winter. I’m not a fan of snow sports, I don’t like the cold, and I’d rather be on the beach. A mild winter is perfectly fine with me. While others here are complaining about the short ski season and the constantly melting ice, I’m giggling with glee.

And, I’m sure the minute after I post these pictures, the skies will open with a snowstorm to exceed all records. We’ll be stuck in our house for days with very few groceries, no power, and only the heat of our collective bodies huddled under every blanket we own. Early Spring was fun while it lasted.

Tell Me a Story: Early Spring

Tell Me a Story: Early Spring

Tell Me a Story: Early Spring

Tell Me a Story: Early Spring

Tell Me a Story: Early Spring

I’m teaming up with some wonderful photographers every month to share our stories through pictures and words. Please take some time to check out Beth Williams’ trip to Vienna and then follow the circle until you find yourself back here on my page.

Stitch Fix Review

I had put my Stitch Fix on hold for quite some time, because I am attempting to save money this year. However, after our tax return came in, and I was sick of all of my work shirts (does this happen to anyone else?), I decided to give them a chance to perk up my wardrobe. I requested some tops for work that were comfortable but work appropriate. Check out my current Stitch Fix Review.

(Disclaimer: These pictures are terrible. The lighting wasn’t right and, while I am quite pale, I think these photos wash me out even more than normal.)

Pixley Benzer Plaid Layer Sweater

Plaid Layer Sweater

The Benzer Plaid Layer Sweater by Pixley was comfortable, but strange. See the layered plaid shirt underneath? I don’t like that it doesn’t continue at the top. If I were actually wearing a plaid shirt under a sweater, the collar would be coming out the top. The sweater material was also itchy and thin. At $64, this top went back.

Market & Spruce Sawyer Space Dye Dolman Sleeve Knit Top

Dolman Sleeve Knit Top

I literally said, “EW!” as I pulled this Sawyer Space Dye Dolman Sleeve Knit Top by Market & Spruce out of the box. The list claims the color is “Olive,” but it looks like a poor representation of camouflage. I am not a fan of camo in any color, and while I liked the fit of this top, there was no way I was going to wear it in that hideous color. The price was $58, and this top went back as well.

Brixon Ivy Atticus Pointelle Knit Sweater

Knit Sweater

I am sucking in my muffin top HARD in this picture. Why? Because this Atticus Pointelle Knit Sweater by Brixon Ivy was dumpy and highlighted everything I hate about my body – muffin top, slumped shoulders, overlong arms. I’m also not a fan of this bright coral color with my skin complexion. No way was I going to pay $58 for this top, so it went back as well.

In all three of the pictures above, I’m wearing the Amalia Pull-On Skinny Jean by Just Black. I didn’t think I’d like these or that they’d fit me as I pulled them out of the box. I’m not usually a fan of skinny jeans. However, these are more like leggings and are super comfortable. They fit tight, but with a long top, they actually look pretty good on me. I paid $78 to keep these pants.

Octavia Henry Birds on Branch Infinity Scarf

Infinity Scarf

I love a good scarf, especially big infinity scarves. I also love birds, so this Henry Birds on Branch Infinity Scarf by Octavia was super fun. At only $28, I decided to keep this piece as well.

Considering what I really wanted were new work tops, I was disappointed in this box. I kept two items. Together, they were $106. Check out Stitch Fix for yourself. Sign up to try some new fashion sent straight to your door. And check out the last box I received here.

Ipsy Glam Bag Review – February

Jumping into the spirit of February the Ipsy Glam Bag theme for this month was “Ipsy Love.” Pretty pinks and pastels showed up in my bag this month to focus on some girly love. Check out my Ipsy Glam Bag Review for February!

Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I like the cute diamond pattern on the bag. The bag is mostly hot pink with white and brown accents.

  1. CARGO Cosmetics Mini Lip Gloss – The color they sent is called Anguilla and is absolutely atrocious. A very light, almost white pink so that when I put it one it looked like I had cotton mouth all day. I will not be wearing this lip gloss. It was also way too thick and sticky.
  2. Hey Honey Take it Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask – I haven’t had a chance to try this product out yet, but the smell is heavenly. I enjoy new facial treatments, so I’m excited to try this one. However, I am a little bummed at the small sample size. Two or three uses are the most I’ll get out of this one.
  3. Luxie Beauty Large Angled Face Brush – I love a good makeup brush, and this one is perfect. This brush is super soft and works great for blush. The brush alone was worth the cost of the subscription for the month.
  4. ModelCo BLUSH Cheek Powder – I wasn’t sure about the “Cosmopolitan” shade that was in my bag as I was afraid it would be a little too pink. I usually wear more of an orangish shade of blush. However, this blush didn’t look bad once I put it on. It was light and just the right amount of color.
  5. Rob Scheppy for ‘Tini Beauty Eyeshadow – The shade of this eyeshadow, Pearl Fizz, is a perfect base shade. It pairs perfectly with the eyeshadow I received last month. I’m always excited to try new eyeshadow.

This month’s glam bag was definitely worth the ten-dollar subscription fee. I especially love the makeup brush. I’d love to see more in upcoming bags. Thinking of signing up? Use my referral link so I can gain some points. Are you already a subscriber? What did you get in your bag this month? Or leave a link to your Ipsy Glam Bag Review.

How to Answer the Dreaded “When are You Having a Baby” Question

After you’ve been married awhile or when you’ve been in a serious relationship, they ask, “When are you having a baby?”

After you’ve had your first child, they immediately begin asking, “When are you going to have another?”

And once you have two or more, the question changes to, “You’re done, right?”

People are nosey, especially about babies. They want to know when you plan on having a baby or when you are done having babies or why you are not having babies or how many babies you plan on having and they want to know now. Here’s a handy guide to answering these dreaded questions when people cannot seem to keep their questions to themselves.

When Are You Having a Baby

If you’re newly married or have been in a relationship for some time and someone asks, “When are you having a baby?” try these responses:

  • When I feel like it.
  • When pigs fly.
  • When I damn well please.
  • We decided to enjoy some time alone first.
  • Never.
  • None of your business.

If you’ve already had one child and someone asks you when you’re having the second one, try these responses:

  • When you write me a check for five years of childcare.
  • When the first one gets off the tit.
  • When this one is old enough to take care of the second one.
  • Once my uterus heals up from the last one that took residence.
  • Never.
  • None of your business.

If you already have two or more and someone asks you if you’re done having kids, try these responses:

  • Nope. I’m trying to beat the Duggars.
  • Insurance is the same price no matter how many kids I have, so why not keep going?
  • No. I love being broke.
  • Yes, because the ones I have are terrible enough as it is.
  • I haven’t decided yet.
  • None of your business.

When you get the “when are you having a baby” question, you’re now prepared. Are you asked this question several times? Does it annoy you as much as it annoys me?

Book Review: The 30 Day Marriage Challenge by Becky Moseley

The 30 Day Marriage Challenge is a book written by Becky Moseley of the blog Tales of Beauty for Ashes. She’s releasing the book for kindle on Monday, February 9, but was kind enough to give me a copy in exchange for my review. Marriage is such hard work, I think we can use any help we can get, and Becky provides some wonderful tips and activities in The 30 Day Marriage Challenge. (This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure.)

The 30 Day Marriage Challenge The thing about self-improvement books is that they can become very cumbersome quickly which usually leads me to leave them unfinished. What I love about The 30 Day Marriage Challenge is that each tip includes a short introduction with an example from Becky’s own life, a bit of reasoning behind her tips, and suggestions on how to implement each of the challenges in your own life. Easy-to-follow, quick to read, and fun challenges make this book worth the read.

While I haven’t taken all of the challenges yet, I did read all of them. Each challenge made me appreciate my husband a bit more. Becky asks you to give grace and remember what you love about your spouse so that you can not only appreciate them more, but you can learn how to show them that you appreciate them. I think it would be fun to take this month-long challenge without telling your spouse to see how they respond to the attention they’re receiving. If they notice, you can share the book with them so they can participate as well. Whether your marriage is just starting out or (like me) you’re celebrating ten years together this year, this book is a great reminder that marriage requires hard work every day.

Please consider purchasing the book here as an instant download and visiting Becky on her blog to tell her I said hello!

Currently

Can you believe it’s February already? I really thought we had only been in school two weeks when I looked at the calendar today and realize we’re on week five of second semester! Where did the time go? The first Wednesday of the month, I link up with Anne at In Residence and Jenna at Dearest Love to share what’s currently happening in my life. This month we’re sharing what we are currently hearting, reading, pinning, eating, and anticipating. Come play with us and share your “currently” list.

What I'm Currently Hearting, Reading, Pinning, Eating, and Anticipating

Hearting: Working in the school library. I am interning there three hours a week during my planning period so that I can be certified by the end of this summer. My mentor has set up a special project for me of weeding the fiction section. I’m having a blast going through the books, helping kids check out, and setting up displays. Makes me wonder why I didn’t choose this career path in the first place.

Reading: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. I found it on my bookshelf and had forgotten I had purchased it over the summer. I was so extremely excited, because I had read my most recent library book in less than two days and needed something new. A friend recommended this book to me, and I am enjoying it so far. (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Pinning: Sixth birthday party ideas. My kindergartener turns six next month, and he says he wants a Paw Patrol birthday. I am a bit concerned that this concept is a bit young for his age, but he has insisted on more than one occasion, so we will go with it.

Eating: Homemade meals. We’re trying really hard to not spend money on going out especially with the kids. We make date night once a month the exception. I’ve been sticking to this plan by using the 30-minute meals plan through eMeals. They’re iPhone app makes shopping and planning a breeze.

Anticipating: February’s date night! On Valentine’s day, we’re heading out to fancy meal at a restaurant I’ve never been to, Paris Bakery and Cafe. They’re hosting a special seven course meal for Valentine’s Day, and I love trying new food, especially while talking and laughing with my husband.

What’s currently going on in your life? Share in a comment below!

Portrait of My Twin

Recently I’ve come to the realization that I have a twin in this world. Not a twin that has the same birthday as I do. Not a twin with the same parents (although we are related). Not a twin who grew up with me. My twin is my five-year-old son. He’s so much like me in so many ways that I find it hard sometimes to see this little version of myself. Realizing that he’s my twin has forced me to learn a bit about myself (and laugh at myself in the process).

My Twin

  1. We’re not into team sports. We attempted to put Miles in soccer. He cried every time another kid (even one on his own team) had the ball. My parents had me play basketball once. I stood in the middle of the court biting my fingernails the entire time.
  2. We’d rather be reading or drawing. Talking to others is overrated. Reading a good book or “writing” a book is much more fun.
  3. We hate cold weather. Miles recently got in trouble at school for hitting kids on the playground, so his punishment was to sit in the office during recess. He went with a smile. Even reminded his teacher he was supposed to go there. I used to get detentions on purpose in elementary school so I wouldn’t have to go out in the cold. Which takes me to our next similarity…
  4. We’re master manipulators. We know how to get what we want in a way that people won’t even know we’re wanting it or getting it.
  5. We’re stubborn as mules. I used to tell people that Miles was the most hard-headed kid I know. Then I remembered the time I ate an entire giant dessert at Red Robin clearly meant for a family of five just to prove my mom wrong.
  6. We are hopelessly uncoordinated. Miles tried out a tumbling class this weekend. The poor kid cannot skip or leap or somersault or cart-wheel. I couldn’t help but laugh as I remembered the horror at glancing my reflection in the mirror at zumba class.

Did I mention we look alike too? People think he looks exactly like me, and I have to agree. My twin is a little reflection of myself all rolled up into an adorable (and often crazy) package. Do you have a twin? Or possibly a mini-me like I do? What have they taught you about yourself?

Ipsy Glam Bag Review – January

January’s Ipsy Glam Bag theme was “Fresh Start” for the new year. They seem to have focused on fresh, clean products for this month. I was excited for some fun new products for a new year. Check out my Ipsy Glam Bag Review for January!

Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I love the bag for this month. One side is a pretty blue, the other is white, and the inside and zipper are a salmon pink. I’m running out of uses for my bags, so I’ll have to think of something fun for this one. Any suggestions?

  1. Hikari Cosmetics Mechanical Eye Liner – The color they sent was “Slate” which is slate grey. This eye liner was difficult to apply and so light that you could barely tell it was on my eye. The pen did not glide on easily, and it was quite chunky in spots. I don’t see ever using this product.
  2. La Fresh Eco-Beauty Be Good. Good Day. Day Moisturizer. – I love a good moisturizer. I’m a little disappointed at how small this sample is. I can use it maybe two or three times. I did like the thickness and creaminess of the lotion. Some other people mentioned the scent of this product, but I didn’t notice it having a smell at all. Overall, a good moisturizer to try.
  3. MALIN+GOETZ Mojito Lip Balm – A lip balm in the scent of my favorite alcoholic beverage? Yes please. This lip balm is a clear gel that goes on smoothly. I threw it into my purse so I could have it wherever I go. I usually use vaseline on my lips, but I can’t resist this yummy scent.
  4. Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo – I don’t understand the point of this product. Online, it claims to be “an incandescent liquid that lights up skin with all over radiance.” I mixed it with my foundation this morning. The only difference I saw was that my face appeared a bit pinker than normal. Seems like a pointless product.
  5. Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow – I received the color “Treasure” which is a bronzy brown color. I love it. The color looks great with the eyeshadow I received last month, and it goes on great. Definitely excited to add it to my eye makeup collection.

Three out of five products were winners this month for me. I’m still a little bummed that the moisturizer wasn’t sent in a bigger size, especially since the cost of the product is a bit steep. I’ll use it until it’s gone though! Thinking of signing up? Use my referral link so I can gain some points. Are you already a subscriber? What did you get in your bag this month? Or leave a link to your Ipsy Glam Bag Review.

What to Say When Someone Asks if You Are Pregnant (And You’re Not)

Has anyone asked you if you were pregnant when you weren’t? I get asked this question quite a bit. I’m a pretty thin person, but after two kids, any of my extra weight settles in my belly. Finding clothes to cover this area can be difficult, so when my muffin top is peeking through, people assume I’m expecting. Situations like these can become embarrassing quickly, so I’ve compiled a list of what to say when someone asks if you are pregnant (and you’re not).

What to Say When Someone Asks if You Are Pregnant (And You're Not)

Note: I actually was pregnant in this photo.

  1. No, but thanks for calling me fat.
  2. Yes, with a food baby. I’m delivering later today, so you might want to steer clear of the bathroom on this side of the building.
  3. No, I’m still trying to lose this stomach from my last baby (who is now almost three).
  4. Why? Are you?
  5. I just ate a Cornish game hen.
  6. Yes. I have been for three years now. Not sure when this thing is coming out.
  7. What? I thought that memory of an alien abduction to impregnate me with the last one of their species was a dream!!!
  8. Nope. I’m part of a medical experiment to see how many times people will ask me if I’m pregnant. Thanks for being part of the study.
  9. I’m smuggling a pillow under my shirt so I can nap whenever I want.
  10. Bite me.

For anyone reading this who has never had to experience this situation, I bow to you. For anyone reading this who has asked a woman if she’s pregnant, take note: the only appropriate time to ask that question is never. Never ever ever.

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

{This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.}

Big Little Lies by Liana Moriarty is a book about friendship, drama, and *gasp* murder. I picked up this book as part of an online “Book Club for Recovering Readers” put on by Tiffany at Peanut Blossom. I thought Tiffany’s idea for a book club was very original, and I’ve been having fun all day answering the questions she’s been posting about the book over on her Facebook page. This book is not necessarily something I would have picked out myself, so I’m really glad Tiffany chose it as her first online book club pick.

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies follows three women who have children starting kindergarten at the same school together. The story takes place in Australia, which is important to know, because I was very confused at first why the school year began during the month of January. The three women become friends, but there are secrets and lies that some characters hold close to their hearts. As these stories are unraveled, interviews between the police and members of the school community are included at the beginning of most chapters from a flash-forward at the beginning of the book where a murder took place at the School Trivia Night! As you read more about the town, the people, and the families, you start to question who was murdered, who did the murdering, and why the murdering was done!

I very much enjoyed Big Little Lies. Most nights, I could barely put the book down. I just had to know what happened and why! I also mildly related to the kindergarten parent drama as my middle son began kindergarten this year. You will get several shockers from this fun, easy-to-read book. I’m looking forward to Tiffany’s next pick, Eleanor & Park, which I’ve picked up from the local library. I’ve already begun reading, and it’s very good so far.

Have you ever been part of an online book club? Is Tiffany’s “Book Club for Recovering Readers” one you would consider joining?