Friday Five: This Week’s Photos Explained

Friday Five: This Week’s Photos Explained

Let’s get a bit more background on this week’s Instagram photos, shall we?

1. Monday night’s dinner.  Venison tenderloin wrapped in bacon, balsamic green beans, and mashed cauliflower.  Here’s the story: This is our first deer.  I have NO idea how to cook it….but I’ve been using the ground like beef and it’s been great. But we have steaks, backstrap, tenderloin…and I had to ask the Googlers what to do.  This didn’t disappoint.  It was marinaded in soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and pepper.  And it was SO yummy.

2. I took Gram to the community theater on a little date.  We ate dinner, went shoe shopping (where she got two new pairs of shoes…and insisted she buy me a pair!), and saw 9 to 5 the Musical put on by local folks.  It was great.  The back story is cool: our little community theater is the oldest continuously running community theater in the state! #prettycool

3. My first sunflowers bloomed. These are little Mexican sunflowers.  The story: Most of my sunflower leaves have been eaten (I think by grasshoppers) so I had to make sure I picked a pretty one for the picture.

4. I’m still LOVING Piyo.  The real story: I was sore all day from lower body.  You don’t really realize how hard you are working during Piyo until later.  Because it’s low impact and not as stressful in the moment, you don’t notice how hard you’re working.

5. Thursday at lunch I went and had my nails painted a pretty orangey red.  The back story: I’m TRYING SO HARD to stop biting my nails.  And having paint on them is the only thing that keeps me from chowing down.  But paint only stays on my nails for like 3 days, even Shellac.  So I’m becoming a regular at the nail salons in town to get a polish change.

August Goal update (1 week in!):
1. No fast food- Good!  Have eaten a few meals in restaurants, but have managed to plan so I’m not grabbing fast food. 
2. No bingeing. I had one day with a binge feeling, but managed to snap myself out of it. Last night, I was alone eating a snacky dinner, but measured out one portion of everything and stuck with that. 
3. No chips and salsa. Good.  But I’m eating Mexican with friends for lunch.  Gotta stay strong.
4.Worked out Saturday, Monday, and today.  Got my three in this week.
5. I’ve had no drinks. Wanted one one BAD last night but didn’t have it.

Friday Five: Five Products That I Couldn’t Make It Through Summer Without

Friday Five: Five Products That I Couldn’t Make It Through Summer Without

Summer brings it’s own challenges for my beauty routine.  Here are five products that are helping me survive the summer.
1. After Bite Itch Relief.  I am a mosquito magnet.  Seriously.  We can be outside for 5 minutes, no one else will get bit, but I will have 5 bites in 5 minutes.  This happens each year.  Pair my bug-magnetism with the fact that mosquitoes are bad this year (thanks all that rain for extra standing water!)…and I’m slathering this stuff on regularly.  It really does calm the itch fast. 
2. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner.  Humidity and sweating make my normal long wear eyeliner smear.  No one likes a raccoon-eyed girl. I can’t usually do liquid- I find it difficult to apply.  However, this stuff goes on easily and stays put.
3. Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation.  I got a sample of this from a Sephora order…and I fell in love.  It’s a little pricey ($55 from Sephora), but TOTALLY WORTH IT.  It covers well, feels light, and stays matte better than anything else I’ve used.  Great for keeping your makeup on despite the humidity and sweating. 
4. Big Sexy Hair Powder Play.  The humidity makes my hair fall flat fast.  A sprinkle of this at my roots helps keep it bumped up.  It also makes it easier to “poof” and fluff up later in the day. 
5. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray.  This also helps give my hair volume.  It’s a texturizing spray.  I have NO texture in my hair…so this gives it a little body.  It also doesn’t feel sticky when it melts away off my sweaty head. 
What products help you deal with the heat/humidity/summer?

New Hair and New Home Stuff

So I decided to cut my hair.  I didn’t go quite as short as the pictures I posted (based on my hair stylist’s recommendations).  I love it.  It’s not anything too drastic (I’ve been here before really with my hair) but it’s a change from where it was.
Here it was before church last night.
And this was how she styled it…with it out by my face, and then I put it behind my ears.  More Ginnifer Godwin looking.

And we finally got some new things at our house.  While I was gone in San Diego, Tyler and my dad put a chair rail up in our kitchen.  I had tried the wall decals, but the stripe didn’t stay up.  So my parent’s anniversary gift to us was a chair rail! I love it! (excuse the messy table…it’s Tyler’s dump zone and always covered in paperwork and stuff). 
And while I was in SD, he also went and got the new dining room chairs I wanted! Yipee!  I love them.  They match our table PERFECTLY and are much more stable.  Our previous chairs were used that we bought at a consignment shop in town, and they were a bit rickety.  But these are new, leather, and so nice. 
It’s a low key week when you’re pumped about hair and new chairs. 🙂  I love it.

WILW: Birchbox Samples, Goodies, and More!

Before I get started, one quick thing:  Anyone in NWA/River Valley/Hot Springs want to buy the black Ballard Designs step stool?  It was too tall for our bathtub (what I bought it for)…so I’m trying to sell it before I pay return shipping on it.  $99 (what I paid)….I can deliver it to NWA/River Valley/ or Hot Springs…or for $15 ship it to you wherever you are. Let me know! 🙂

Now on to what I’m loving this Wednesday…
So, I have found an easy way to get a little beauty pick-me-up every month.  It is called Birchbox.

I hadn’t heard of Birchbox until I read about it on another blog…so I wanted to share it here.
Birchbox is ” the best way to discover new grooming, beauty and lifestyle
products. Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice,
buy new favorites and earn points with every purchase.”
With Birchbox, you sign up for boxes.  They are $10 a month….or a whole year for $110 (that’s a free month!).  Then, every month, they send you a cute little box full of goodies!
You fill out a profile, so they send samples that are customized to you.  Every month, there is usually a full-size product in the box, so it makes it TOTALLY worth it.  I mean, I used to drop in Ulta or shop around Walgreens and buy beauty products all the time.  Now I just wait for my Birchbox and I have all these fun things to play with.  Some samples, some travel sizes, some full size.  Always fun! I got a great liquid bronzer this summer (full size), an awesome eyeliner (full size), a sample of some shampoo and conditioner that I LOVE (and will be buying soon). 
Let’s look at this month’s Birchbox!
This months: shampoo and conditioner sample, perfume sample, hair volumizer (the yellow spray bottle in the bottom R), a sample of BB cream (that I liked so much I purchased a full size!), a nailpolish, a trendy hair tie, and a mini-magazine full of fall trends.
Here is another cool perk…if you like a product and want to buy more of it, if you buy it through Birchbox, you earn points.  And then the points are used for discounts!  I’m saving my points to buy something fun.  Maybe a product for me, or maybe a gift subscription for a friend! 
You can sign up here.  (Honesty time.  If I made you want to check out Birchbox and you use my link, I will get points if you sign up through my link.  But you like me, right?  You are just helping me earn points! So thanks!) 
Birchbox is awesome for my beauty routine.  It helps mix it up, show me new products, and have a little fun with some neat stuff!