April 18, 2014

Loving: Delicate Jewelry

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Occasionally I'll start to get the itch to make jewelry again. I love working with my hands, and now that I don't have the ability to do that daily behind the chair, I find myself wanting to create in other ways!

But as much as I would love to make jewelry again, I think it's wise to not overload my plate.

Thankfully, my sister is carrying on Elisabeth Ashlie (and killin' it!) so I get to shop her jewelry often. She was even sweet enough to send me these earrings as a surprise! 

I can't get enough delicate jewelry these days. My outfits are simple, so I keep the jewelry simple as well. It's usually limited to rings and earrings, and on rare days I'll throw on a necklace. 

Lauren is kindly giving away 2 $50 shop credits to Elisabeth Ashlie Jewelry! Enter using the giveaway tool below!

If you just can't wait to shop, Use promo code Smallthings10 to get 10% off your entire order today and tomorrow only! 


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April 17, 2014

Fifteen

Since becoming a mom, I now have 15 new very close friends.

They are kinda clingy.

Okay, really clingy. 

Weirdly enough, they all share the same name.

And that is "pounds".

15 pounds. Hanging on for dear life, the little punks.

When I was nursing I just ate everything in sight (aka Snappers), but now I don't have the luxury of burning 1 million calories as I sit on a chair. It's a crying shame, isn't it? 

Now listen up. 

I know my body isn't going to look the same as it did pre-pregnancy. I carried a stinking human inside of me. And he's seriously chunky and cute. <---that is unnecessary but I just needed to say it.

But here's the deal.

I don't feel strong. I can tell I'm not in "healthy shape". I want to feel confident, strong, and healthy. I'd also love to see an ab or two, but let's not get carried away.

I've had no trouble finding time to shower and get ready, but I have had trouble finding time to work out. It's simply a priority issue. I'd rather shower and get ready for the day in the morning, instead of waiting until an afternoon nap to finally shower. It's mental for me. I'm more productive that way.

I love working out at a gym, but I didn't want to go in the evening because that was precious time with Justin. 

So I bought T-25 in hopes that a quick home workout would be the trick.

I was excited about it. I couldn't wait to see my "after" shot and just watch the weight fall off. I made a dramatic change in my diet (Snappers were replaced with Rice Cakes) and did T-25 for two weeks.

Then I woke up one morning with a pinched nerve in my neck, so I was out for a week. 

And I was pretty happy that I didn't have to get up and do a bunch of jumping around at 6:00am. The thing about doing "cardio" in front of your TV is you really only have a few options. Run in place or do jumping jacks. And there's a lot of that in T-25. 

It's not bad, it just not my thang. I'm motivated more by competition than working out alone.

I'd see my couch out of the corner of my eye and think, "Hm, that looks appealing. I've done 500 jumping jacks today already. . . it's time to sit." 

My husband is totally self-motivated. He would argue that it's a choice, and I would argue that it's how you are wired. He did P90X last year and completely changed his body. And other than looking ripped, he felt healthy and strong. He was in the best shape of his life.

He can work out and push himself to the limit by simply having the goal of health and a strong body in his mind. I need to see other people pushing it and try to keep up with them in order to push it myself. 

So, T-25 is over. I think it's a great work out, and absolutely do-able in that it's 20 minutes a day. It's just a little too much jumping (my feet would fall asleep half way through the work out from all the pressure on the balls of my feet!) and I didn't feel motived by watching Shawn on the screen. 

So, then I took a Pure Barre class when I was home a few weeks ago. And I loved it. I was sore for days and felt fantastic. It motivated me and inspired me to keep going to get in shape. 

Unfortunately, the only way I could swing regular Barre classes would be in the evening and I didn't want to miss evenings with Justin. So I contemplated for a few days and then it hit me.

Go to the gym in the morning before David gets up. 

Duh.

He wakes, or we wake him, at 7:00a every morning. So, I've been getting up at 5:15a and going to the gym.

And I love it. 

I love the gym atmosphere. I love the alone time. And I love that I'm able to get my work out in before he wakes up for the day.

I need an extra cup of coffee, no doubt, but it's worth to me in order to feel good.

It is literally the hardest thing in the world to wake up at before the sun comes up but I'm always glad I did when I leave the gym. 

So I'm ready to get rid of these pesky pounds, start wearing my old clothes again, and feel a little bit healthier and stronger.

April 16, 2014

Happy

He's a happy little boy.

It is my goal, every single day, to try to make him smile and laugh as much as possible. I love seeing the smile spread across his face as his eyes squint down expressing pure joy.

It does my heart good. (wow I've lived in the south too long)


I threw together a little video to share with you today because I thought that would be a better way to showcase his smiles than me trying to paint the picture for you.




Baby smiles are the best, aren't they?

April 15, 2014

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Review

I had to try it.

I'd been itching to try it for over a year. It's the foundation I've heard the most about from other beauty bloggers.

A promotion came up at Sephora so I bit the bullet and threw it in my cart.

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Overall, I like it. Does it blow me away? Not really.

It's beautifully sheer and is probably the most natural looking foundation I've ever worn. It sinks in, but doesn't feel heavy. It's the right amount of glow and illumination without being too shiny. It's build-able, but wears really well as a sheer-medium coverage. 

I find that I need to make sure my blemishes are concealed very well since it does wear quite sheer. Full-coverage foundations allow me to be less meticulous about covering blemishes. 

It was built up so much in my head since I had heard so many great things about it. I think my expectations were possibly a little too high.

If you are on the search for a beautiful and sheer foundation, and willing to seriously invest in something, give it a try. If you prefer a bit more coverage, or a more reasonable price point, I'd suggest looking elsewhere! 

April 14, 2014

The Fold Over Braid Hair Tutorial

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I like using hair as a tool when I'm creating an updo. Oftentimes, I'll tie the hair into a knot to start the foundation on which to build an updo. I like to tease hair to create fullness and bulk. 


So with this tutorial, I liked the idea of "using" the braid on one side to look as if it's holding the left side of the hair back. I like hairstyles that look complex, but are actually really simple to do!

You can absolutely do this style on any texture of hair. Curly, straight, or even a bit shorter than mine! 

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April 10, 2014

Danish Æbleskiver

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When I was growing up, it was customary for my dad to make æbleskiver for the family after we returned home from church. We've got a bit of Danish in our heritage and I look forward to carrying on this tradition within my family.

They are sort of like tiny pancake puffs. They are light and fluffy, and taste similar to crepes.

Growing up, my brother, sister and I would change out of our church clothes as my dad started getting things together in the kitchen. He's the master æbleskiver maker.

We would sit in the three chairs that pulled up to the peninsula in the kitchen and wait for the first batch to come out of the pan. But always, before taking the first bite, we had to cut it in half to make sure the inside was cooked. 

Once my dad had gone through a batch or two, he is able to get the cooking temperature right.


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We would spread on a pat of butter, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and let the feasting begin. 

Fact: it's impossible to eat æbleskiver and walk away hungry.

These are filling little monsters that melt in your mouth.

Recipe (this is a half recipe, double for full recipe)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
2 eggs (3 eggs for full recipe)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. granulated sugar
(you will need a æbleskiver pan and crisco as well)

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Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until light and fluffy using a whisk. Set aside. 

In another bowl beat yolks and buttermilk. Add remaining ingredients to this bowl.
After well mixed, fold in egg whites.

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Egg whites should look like a cloud

Heat æbleskiver pan over medium to medium/high heat (it's tricky at first but practice will help you find the right temperature). Place about 1 teaspoon of crisco in each cup of the pan. Once hot, drop 1/8 cup batter into each cup. Allow to cook for a bit, then use a toothpick or skewer to flip over. Make sure to add more crisco to each cup before cooking a new batch. 


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After you have consumed one too many, you may be so inclined to take a nap. 

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Some people put jam into the center of the æbleskiver, but I prefer them without. Just sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, and you'll wonder why you haven't tried these before. 

April 9, 2014

The Balancing of It All

I practically laughed out loud at the fact that I included the word "balance" in this blog post.

That's always the goal, isn't it? At least for me it is.

I thought I could pretty much keep going at the same pace that I was operating in prior to David being born. I wasn't working behind the chair anymore, so surely I'll have more time, right?

I learned early on that newborns and work are a hard combination.

So I started to evaluate the situation.

And after much thought a lightbulb went off in my head.

"Hire a babysitter you dope." 

And so I did.

She comes on Wednesdays for about 4 hours while I power away at blog-work upstairs in my office. It is, by far, the most productive 4 hours of my life.

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And the best part is that it freed me up to enjoy just hanging with David during the day, instead of eagerly anticipating nap times so I can get work done. I can honesty say that I love staying home with him. I love getting him up in the morning and feeding him his bottle while Justin makes my breakfast for me. We have a little groove on weekday mornings that I so enjoy.

David will be four months old on Sunday. We've officially stopped referring to him as "__ weeks old" and are now saying months. It was time to stop. I would tell people how many weeks he was and they would give me a blank stare trying to do the math in their head.

And coming from a girl who still counts on her fingers, I felt inclined to do them a favor and simply tell them the months.

He's grabbing toys and becoming very chatty. He likes to straighten his legs and "stand" with assistance, but hates sitting in the Bumbo.

He's also seriously chunky. He has too many thigh rolls to count. It's adorable.

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He has started to suck his thumb and it's heart-meltingly sweet. He never really took to the pacifier, so I'm glad he's found something to soothe himself. I've heard that thumb-sucking can lead to a pretty jacked up grill, but if you had seen my teeth prior to getting braces you would know that I'm already planning on his teeth being jacked up. Of course, if he gets my husband's teeth that wouldn't be a problem. But come nap time, if he's sucking his thumb and sleeping, there's no way I'm going in there to pull it out!

We are taking a short road trip up to Virginia this weekend. I've flown with David 4 times, but I'm nervous about driving a long distance with him. Once he's "done" with being in the car seat, he will let you know about it.

We might be making a few pit stops just to give him a breather from the car seat. Have you traveled by car with an infant? Do you have any tips for me?

I really love sharing little details about our life with you on Wednesdays. Thanks for reading!