Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dealing with Hardships: Patience, Perseverance, and Compassion

Click HERE for this beautiful desktop download from Kelli Trontel

Several of my close friends that I've talked to recently are dealing with difficult trials. Each own is completely unique, and I would bet that most of us wouldn't want to trade places or exchange our own hardships for the ones on their plates. I want to share some of my favorite quotes/sayings/statements that inspire me and put a spark of hope in my heart when I'm going through particularly rough circumstances.

I definitely have a bad habit of sometimes looking at another person and having a false illusion of how great their situation is, when in reality, they could be going through things I could never handle.  It's easy for me to feel like my load is too much to bear, and wonder, "Why can't I have their life?" 

I will always remember a conversation I had with a coworker at one of my previous jobs. There was another girl we worked with who seemed to have it all: hot husband, great body, incredible looks, sleek luxury car, prestigious roots, etc. My coworker said, "I just want her life." When she said that to me, I found it interesting, because although this girl did, on the surface, seem to have an enviable life, I always sensed an element of sadness about her. Something in her countenance struck me as unhappy or unfulfilled. A couple of years later, in another state, I ran into this girl at a social gathering of mutual friends. I hadn't spoken to her in over a year and a half, and I was curious to see how she was doing. She related to me how her marriage had always been troubled and she had suffered through it for a long time, but finally couldn't deal with pain anymore. I immediately thought about the statement our former colleague had made to me, and in that moment I realized that I really never should judge a book by its cover. 

There will always be situations out there where "the grass seems greener on the other side." No matter how incredible their situation may seem compared to yours, my advice is to have compassion in your heart for them, and be kind. I believe we should heed the advice Atticus Finch gives to his daughter Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird:

"You really never understand a  person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Countdown to Maleficent Continues: Children's Theme Party Roasted Raven Sandwiches


Get your bow and arrow ready! It's time to go a-hunting to make roasted raven sandwiches for your children's Maleficent-themed party (check out the Maleficent "Dream" Trailer!). Hopefully raven is plentiful in your area and hunting is in season. If you don't have Katniss-like skills, never fearHousewife2Hostess and I have a simpler solution, which even comes with an easy-to-follow YouTube tutorial

Sunday, February 23, 2014

For the Grownups: Host Your Own Maleficent Mocktail After Party

Lock your kids in the tower, call your lords and ladies, and put on your most fantastic finery—it’s time for the king and queen to party! There won’t be any cute cupcakes at this event. 

Housewife2Hostess and I showed you how to throw a candy-coated children’s party, but now it’s time for the grownups to have a spine-tingling celebration after seeing the upcomingfilm Maleficent.

We will help you put a chill in the air with dark decor that’s deceivingly simple to create. 

Then you can wine and dine your courtiers with pernicious pomegranate punch, sinister spiced coconut coladas, loathsome lemon-berry ginger ale, and an array of dark delicacies.  

Ominous hors d’oeuvres, rotisserie raven sliders, and deceptive dark chocolate cake will satiate your guests’ palates into the wee hours of the morning.  

Don’t stress—we will show you easy-to-find, affordable décor to design a party that will wow your guests, and give you recipes that knock traditional mocktails on their hineys.

The only thing you need to do is mark your calendar for May 30 and watch the trailer to get eerily excited for Maleficent!

Friday, February 21, 2014

My First EVER YouTube Beauty Video - Home Hair Color/Root Touchup

Happy Friday!

Alright y'all, here it is: my first YouTube video! This one shows me doing a semi late-night home root touchup.
It was impromptu and it's definitely so me. I'm going to keep them a bit shorter in the future. 

Let me know your thoughts! And seriously, I don't know WHAT is up with the still frame it shows. Seriously? HAHA Moi at my finest! xoxo 

Subsribe to my YouTube Channel!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Attention Bloggers: A Mother Thing’s iPad Mini Giveaway Event

A Mother Thing’s iPad Mini Giveaway Event

Sign-ups are now open for A Mother Thing’s latest giveaway event!
  • Event is free to join for bloggers who a.) have Facebook pages with at least 5,000 likes and b.) post an announcement on their blog. If you don't wish to post the announcement, please send the $5 non-post fee to
  • You'll receive 1 free link for participating (either Twitter or Pinterest)
  • Additional links (RSS/Email, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest) are available for $5 each. Facebook links are now available for $15 each.
  • Sign-ups for this event close on February 25th
  • Event runs from March 1st - March 15th
  • Prize: Apple iPad Mini 16GB (ARV: $329)
Please send all payments to as a "gift" via PayPal. Sign up for this event here.

Make Disney's Maleficent Come To Life With Your Own Maleficent Premier Party!

#AngelinaJolie #ElleFanning #Maleficent #Disney #May30

Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite childhood Disney movies. The new grown-up addition, Maleficent, comes out May 30, with Angelina Jolie perfectly cast as the villainous lead. 

The theme song for the movie may be “Once Upon a Dream,” (have you heard Lana Del Ray sing it in the trailer? It sent delightful shivers down my back!), but Housewife2Hostess and I made Maleficent a reality last night, styling a children’s party in anticipation of the film’s release.

#AngelinaJolie #ElleFanning #Maleficent #Disney #May30

The photos are just a sneak peak of all the tips and tricks we have for you to host your own party, for adults or children! 

#AngelinaJolie #ElleFanning #Maleficent #Disney #May30

We’ll show you sinister snacks, a Maleficent makeup tutorial, thrifty party decor, malicious mocktails, and recipes galore. 

#AngelinaJolie #ElleFanning #Maleficent #Disney #May30

Set a date now, because you’ll want to start planning ASAP after we unleash all the wicked ways you need to throw the party of the year!

#AngelinaJolie #ElleFanning #Maleficent #Disney #May30

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Exercise Update: 3+ weeks later my Skinny Jeans Fit!

I had an exciting moment last night... but the reason it was exciting goes back to 2 weeks ago. Confession: I don't like jeans. I love the way they look, but I can't stand the way they feel. I like to be comfortable and cute, but jeans are just not comfortable to me. It's extremely difficult for me to find a pair that fits my body and that I also actually want to wear. Well, I found a pair at Nordstrom Rack a few months ago that felt OK, and they were a decent price, so I got them. 

I hadn't worn them in a while, so I took them off the hanger a couple of weeks ago to give them a shot. Random: do you fold or hang your jeans? I love hangers like the one below. I also use hangers like this to keep my boots out of the way. You just clip them on and they pleasantly hang in the closet, instead of lying cluttered on the floor.

organization pants boots hanger
Back to the story: I put them on, and not only were they tight on my thighs, but they would NOT zip. The zipper would have probably broken, or I would have sustained internal bruising and bleeding had I forced them to zip. 

I started exercising on January 21, with a simple routine: cardio for 20 minutes every day. Every SINGLE day. I'll be honest: I have missed two days since January 21. However, each day after I missed I did 40 minutes instead of 20. I switch my routine up each day. I either do a brisk walk on the treadmill (between 3.5 and 4.5 mph...sometime I go crazy and jog at 5.5), or use the elliptical. In terms of eating, I haven't changed anything. 

I'm guessing you're saying to yourself something like this: "Please. 20 minutes a day and she's not even running? How much good can that really do?" 

Well, this is exactly what it can do. I put on my skinny jeans last night, and they were no longer tight on my thighs, and they zipped! They are still slightly snug for my taste, but it was a vast improvement from two weeks ago. I have not weighed yet, because weighing kills my motivation. I usually expect something dramatic, then it's only three pounds and I sink into a depressive state of yoga pants, hoody, candy, and Hulu Plus.

I avoid taking full-body photos for the most part, but here's a picture from December 27, and then today. It's not a drastic difference, but I feel great, and even this slight change has increased my motivation times 100! 

Exercise cardio weightloss fitness health

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tales of Dating Woe + $25 iTunes Gift Card Giveaway from Housewife2Hostess

blogging blogs giveaway iTunes
Before I begin today's lengthy blog post, I want to mention Housewife2Hostess's  $25 iTunes gift card giveaway! Her blog is fantastic; It is filled with home decor tips, beauty advice, and organization tutorials. Check her out!

Today when I commented on Housewife2Hostess's blog and my friend Ashton's FluentinBlonde, I used the word "über" as an adjective. As in über-chic, or über-organized. I like it. It adds emphasis. But guess what, dear reader. The last guy I dated hated the word. As in absolutely abhorred it. Sure, there are words most of don't like, such as moist (please don't stop reading my blog because I mentioned it!), but this was his word. So guess what: basically, I wasn't allowed to use it. I don't know how I ever managed to be in a relationship where a word had to be eliminated from my vocabulary, because I'm way too independent, free-spirited, and sassy for that kind of nonsense. 

The first time I ever used, he complained a bit. Then I used it jokingly a couple of times after to rattle his cage. But it did more than that. It flat-out made him annoyed. So I stopped using it. Even though I really, really wanted to.  Ladies, just say no to someone that constrains your vocabulary!

But honestly, this story pales in comparison to some of the other psychos I've gone out with on dates. Close friends of mine have encouraged me to write a book of dating stories. For today, I'll just share one gem from that treasure trove. I hope it gives you some laughs!

Online Dating 

Yes, I've tried online dating. If you're single in this day and age, nearly everyone has explored Tinder (see my other blog post about that),, or another similar site. One guy I met last summer seemed cute, if not a bit too eager to take me out. He insisted on taking me out the day after we started chatting, because the day after that he was leaving to do summer sales for the next three months. That was red flag #1. Summer sales guys have a reputation, and there's a reason for it. Red flag #2: he arrived at my front door (yes I let him come to my house, I know, idiot) and didn't look half as good looking in person. Next, he proceeded to ask, "Can you drive tonight?" Um, sure, I could drive, but why didn't he mention this sooner? Evidently his car was jam-packed with his belongings for his summer sales trip. 

Red Flags

We got in my car, and things went downhill from there. He insisted on getting food from Zupas (which is delicious and remains untainted by him) and then taking it to Rock Canyon Park for a picnic, even though there was an impending storm about to drop buckets of rain. But he planned the date, so I went along with it. As we ordered at Zupas, I asked for a sandwich, and the employee said, "Do you want a salad with that?" Before I even had a chance to respond, he said, "No, she's fine." I said, "Hey! I think I can decide for myself what I want." And I ordered the damn salad! 

A Real Picnic

We took the food to Rock Canyon Park, where we sat for about an hour and I listened (emphasis on listened, not talked) to him telling stories that were a vain attempt to make him sound super bad ass. Thank goodness I made plans for after the date, so it couldn't go on until the early hours of the morning. I told him we should probably get going, and that, my friend, is when it happened: one of the grossest moments I have ever experienced on a date. It was sprinkling outside, but my car's air conditioning was broken, so I rolled down the windows to let in some cool air. 

Digging for Buried Treasure

On the way back to my place, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he was picking his nose. I'm not talking about some light scratching, I mean he was in full-on fossil excavation mode. Suddenly, he pulled out a fairly large booger out of his nose, examined it, and flicked it out the window. As a sat in the driver's seat, I began focusing on not dry heaving or going into involuntary convulsions. Did that really just happen? Yes, it did, and guess what: he did it again! Evidently there were two specimens that required extraction. This guy officially was tactless, rude, annoying, and now, unhygienic. 

The story only gets worse from this point. We got back to my house, and he managed to weasel his way inside (I could have been more forceful about keeping him out, but I was still reeling from the booger flicking incident). I wasn't supposed to meet up with my friend for about an hour, but that quickly changed to 30 minutes after what ensued. We sat down on my sofa and I tried to engage him by showing funny YouTube videos on my phone. During the viewing of one of these videos, I began feeling him inch closer and closer. No. No, no, no, no, no! Then, I experienced something unusual. 

Twilight: The Horror Movie Version

He didn't try to kiss me. That came later. Suddenly, he breached the remaining space between us, and, I kid you not, bit my ear. I'm not talking about a seductive little nibble. He vampirically attacked me. "Ow!" I blurted out and jumped off the sofa. He then, seemingly pre-meditatively, grabbed me by the waist and pulled me onto the sofa and shoved his tongue in my mouth. Gag. I pushed him away, and told him that he was moving way too fast. He said, angrily, "Well, I'm just trying to figure out what you like!" Um, not you, bozo. I then told him it was time for him to leave, and for me to meet up with my friend. He said, "Gosh, I wish I wasn't leaving tomorrow for the entire summer. Now that I've met you I really don't want to go." Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! 

I escorted him down the stairs, and then, at the door, he asked if he could get a goodnight kiss. I responded, "Oh, I think you've had plenty already." He seemed aghast, so I gave him the quickest, most chaste smooch you can possibly imagine, and nearly pushed him out the door, quickly locking it behind me, then silently screaming as a I went back upstairs. That's when I saw his sunglasses on the sofa. Oh no you didn't! I quickly scooped them up and put them in a Ziplock bag. After about 10 minutes, I cautiously opened the front door and set them on the steps. I then got in my car, left the area, and texted him to let him know their whereabouts. 

Take a Hint

He texted me a couple of times after that, but quickly got the hint that I was far from interested when I never responded. I would say that's the last I heard or saw of him, but my life, unfortunately, has too many random, freaky coincidences. About a year and a half later, I discovered he was student teaching at the high school where I taught. That's a story for another time. I'll leave it at this: he made eye contact with me once, which was met with a glare that said, "Talk to me and die." He didn't bother me after that. 

Let me know if you'd like to hear more of my crazy dating encounters! Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out my social media links! 



Friday, February 7, 2014

It's Friday I'm in Love...with Target One Spot

The Target One Spot is kind of like TJ Maxxcompletely hit or miss. Sometimes I step through and feel overwhelmed by the chaos of junky, dollar store-esque items. Other times I peruse the offerings and start cooing at the little treasures nestled in the bins. I just had the latter experience recently, when I snagged this precious gold notebook:

gold notebook Target find

So chic and my favorite metallic, GOLD. I want to tuck it into a gorgeous Kate Spade or Coach handbag. (P.S., have you seen the new leopard print Borough bag? Only, $1,198. Ha. You MUST check it out.)

gold notebook Target find

At $2.99, this little notebook is a gem of a steal.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

That's my Bag, Baby! Face, Lips, Brow, & Eye Picks for your To-Go Makeup Bag

There are plenty of days when I don't have time to finish my makeup at home (just had to hit snooze for 30 minutes) and am scrambling to dab on concealer at stoplights or finish my eyeliner in the parking lot of the place I'm going. I won't lie, I was putting mascara on while driving in slow traffic one day (I honestly can put on mascara perfectly without looking at a mirror), and suddenly a horn honked and startled me quite a bit. I just don't love horn honking. I looked in the direction of the noise, and an older man was angrily shaking his fist at me. He obviously didn't understand how skilled I am at maneuvering my vehicle while applying mascara. So, my little Houdini, I'm not suggesting you should apply makeup while driving, but for those days when you're rushed and need some beauty on the go, I suggest having an easily accessible bag of tricks. Check out the lovely items currently nestled in mine (yes, it might seem like a lot, but they all fit in one small bag, I promise):


Forever 21 makeup bag: Keep your makeup bag simple and washable. There have been so many times I've lost the top to a liner or broken a blush or powder in my bag, and what a mess that makes! I love that my little synthetic bag can easily be turned inside out and thrown in the washing machine. Side note: One day this particular bag peeked out of my purse and one of my good friends said, "Um, Liz, what is that sticking out of your purse?" She thought it was a pair of panties. 


Beauty Blender: The little pink puff creates a flawless, completely blended look used in conjunction with your foundation or concealer. At $28.95 for 2, it seems a bit pricey. The good thing, however, is that these sponges are quite durable, and not the traditional, cheapo throwaway type. I've used mine for nearly a year and they're holding up well. I haven't personally used the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge yet, but it's supposed to be a perfect duper for the Beauty Blender. Check out fabulous Casey Holmes' review here.


primer porre-reducing Benefit
Benefit the Porefessional PRO Balm: Here's the dealI bought this because the majority of people seem to love, if not worship it. Read the reviews on Sephora. Unfortunately, I'm not in agreement. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad. However, I've used other primers that were just as good. My beef with this one is that it claims to minimize the appearance of pores, and for me, it just doesn't. However, you can find one product that truly does do this from ClarinsInstant Smooth Perfecting Touch. This primer is absolute magic.

foundation conceal beauty makeup Sephora
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation: This is another find from Casey Holmes. She's seriously my guru! This foundation is perfectly portable thanks to the no-mess pump dispenser. Long gone are the days of foundation getting bacteria in it or caking around the seal. Note: this foundation covers everything. In fact, wearing it alone can be a bit too heavy. I mix it with equal parts moisturizer or BB Cream

makeup powder foundation beauty face anti-aging

Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder in Light: Wow. Wow. Wow! And no, I'm talking about the hefty $59 price. This magical potion makes your skin so smooth and luminous. You can buff it over foundation or wear it alone for light coverage. This is one of those high-end "treat" products, and when I'm not using it I go for my second favorite, NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation. Slightly more affordable at $9.50, but I also hit pan on it after about a month of consistent usage. 
concealer makeup cosmetics face

Covergirl Simply Ageless Eye Corrector in 230: I'm not going to spend too much time talking about this wonderful concealer, because it was discontinued. I'm almost out and will soon begin the search for my next favorite.

concealer cosmetics makeup highlighter brightener
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Radiant Highlighting Concealer in Radiant. Talk about impressive! I previously used Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector, which was OK, but Maybelline's version blows it out of the water. Just a couple of clicks provides coverage for both eyes, and yes--it really does cover, in addition to brighten! Neutrogena's version gave a subtle, brightening glow, but it didn't do much to mask dark circles. Not that you ever have those. 

concealer cosmetics makeup
L'Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer in Medium-Deep Neutral: Surprisingly, or not if you're a beauty fanatic like moi, I don't use this as a concealer, but as a cream contour. I just dab some on my finger then blend in where I want to contour. Easy, breezy, beautiful..L'Oreal? Yep.


eyeshadow primer urbandecay cosmetics makeup
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin: Note that I specifically mentioned the color Sin, which is described as a "shimmering champagne." I've used the original, which is basically translucent, and it just doesn't help shadow adhere like this one. You can also wear this on its own and it's absolutely gorgeous. Don't let the "shimmering" dissuade you. Once you apply shadow, you won't even know it's there. Bonus: a little goes a long way. My tube, which I use daily, has lasted well over a year.


eyebrow pencil cosmetics makeup brows
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown: I love this brow pencil, but not the price ($21). You don't need to sharpen it, which saves a lot of time and effort. Plus, the small size of the pencil creates a fine, natural-looking brow. If I buy this again, I'll switch colors, because it's been looking a bit too warm. One of my biggest fears in life is having brows that look like Harold Zidler from Moulin Rouge. Sonia Kashuk makes my other favorite, much less expensive ($5.99) brow pencil, which I buy in Taupe 09. I believe this color can work for nearly anyone. It's the perfect ashy brown. I just wish it didn't require trimming!


lip pencil lippencil NYX makeup cosmetics
NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Nude Beige or Nude Truffle: The day I discovered this lip liner I said "Hallelujah!" It's perfect. I honestly have not tried another liner since, because this one does it all for me. It comes in an array of gorgeous color, has decent staying power, and has the perfect consistencynot too creamy, and not too dry. And you can get it from Ulta 

moisturizing skincare makeup lipproducts lipgloss
Aquaphor: You will never buy Vaseline again once you get a tube of this. It's incredible. It really does soothe burns, chapped lips, and irritated skin. I keep it in my makeup bag to prep my lips for gloss or lipstick, but it's also a must-have for me when I have a cold and my nose starts to get raw from excessive tissue blowing. Dabbing a bit on your nostrils provides so much comfort. And gets rid of unattractive dry skin flakes!

lipgloss plumping cosmetics makeup lip products

Lip Fusion Micro Collagen Lip Plump Color Shine in Flirt: This plumping gloss pairs beautifully with either of the two liners above for a full, nude, Kim Kardashian-esque pout. It doesn't burn or dry your lips out like Lip Venom, but the plumping effect is somewhat more subtle. I must admit that I got mine for a much discounted price from HauteLook

lipstick makeup cosmetics pigmented nudelip
Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs in Truffle Tease: I love this line from Maybelline. They just recently brought out "The Buffs" shades, and the advertisement had me drooling. I'm a bit addicted to nude lipsticks and glosses. Truffle Tease might be my favorite satin (not matte, but not super glossy) nude lip color of all time. 

lipgloss lipstick makeup cosmetics pigmented
Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor in Moxie: I'm high maintenance. I keep a nude lip shade and a bright shade in my to-go bag. I had never used these incredible lip colors from Bare minerals until my lovely friend Emma gave me this for Christmas. The concentrated pigmentation of this bright pink honestly shocked me, in addition to its brilliant staying power and velvety texture. If you don't love lipstick, but want something with more staying power than a gloss, get this! 

eyeshadow makeup cosmetics shadow pigmented

Assorted brushes/shadow/liner: The whole purpose of a to-go bag is portability. There's not enough room for an arsenal of brushes. I keep a couple of basic shadow brushes and one blush/powder brush. In terms of liner, I truthfully rarely use it on the go. When I do, I use a rich dark brown such as Urban Dec The shadow I stock in the bag varies. The Urban Decay Naked Palette reigns as my ultimate favorite, but it definitely does not fit in this small bag! Instead, I rotate between a variety of smaller palettes, and my current pick is the Stila Vol. III Modernist Palette.  

What are your to-go favorites? Share in the comments section!

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