Beauty

Obsessed About: Balm Stain | Review

It’s kind of out of character for me to write a beauty review lately, being that I’ve basically let myself go. In the last six months, I have barely put on makeup. I throw my hair into a pony tail. And I throw on leggings or jeans at any opportunity instead of dresses and skirts.

It’s kind of depressing. It was even more evident how sad I’ve started looking when I was flipping through old pictures on my phone and TimeHop. What happened? I used to get up and do my hair every day. I would do my makeup. I would put on cute clothes that were slightly uncomfortable because I looked adorable in them.

So the other morning I dusted my dreary self off and dove head first into my makeup bag and came up looking half decent. I even did the unthinkable, I put on lip color.

Now to a normal person, that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I’ve thrived on the fact that people have seen me with nothing on my lips and told me they “love that color.” Yes, I’m not kidding you. So when I do buy lip color, I always go for something crazy, and I NEVER wear it. Which is how I found a stick of Revlon ColorBurst  Balm Stain in my bag.

It’s called Cherish Devotion, is hot pink, and I’m in LOVE. Seriously, no joke. I always have trouble with lip sticks looking funny on me and getting clumpy or making me look super fake. Sure, I’m probably just too hard on myself, but after putting on this balm stain (which comes in a solid stick), I’ve become obsessed. I want to wear it all the time. And I’m for sure going to be getting it in other colors.

It lasts all day, too. I’m not one to touch up all day long, so come 4 p.m. when I finally looked myself in the mirror, I was so surprised that the color was still there. I had snacked all day, drank out of my water bottle and it was still there. Yes, some had come off onto my straw, but I still looked just as good as when I put it on that morning. So win for me: one-of-the-worlds-laziest-makeup-ladies.

 

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Life In General

Why I Write

Rifle Paper Peony Card

When I was a little girl, my grandmother would sit me down at the kitchen table with a pen and a sheet of paper. She’d give me a person – my mom, my dad, my aunt, a cousin – and tell me to write them a letter. She’d task me with telling them what I was up to, what new adventures I had gone on, and to recount all of the places we had gone in the last week.

I was maybe 7 or 8, and as I got older, I continued to write letters. Mostly, it was because grandma had taught me that’s how you show someone that you really care about what is going on in their lives. It shows you took the time to sit down, organize your thoughts, and then carefully place them on the page.

It was a time before computers consumed our lives. Before we used auto correct for everything. When I could type out a letter on the typewriter or in an ancient version of Microsoft Word, but chose not to. Why? Because it meant more.

When I was in college, my grandmother would write me letters occasionally and I’d try to set aside the time to respond. When I studied abroad in France for a semester, I returned those letters more frequently. But as I got older, left college, took on the real world, I forgot about handwriting letters.

I forgot to take the time to show people I cared.

Why not send them an email? Because it’s impersonal. It would take me 2 minutes to write an email. It might get lost in their Junk Mail. It might never be opened.

However, when someone opens their mailbox and they get a letter, they know the person took the time. They took the time to pick out the card or paper to write the letter on. The time to write an address on the envelope. The time to get a stamp. The time to physically drop the letter at a mail box.

So that’s why I’m writing. I’ve hand written eight letters in 2016 so far. Some thank you cards, some just because, and a few just to tell a few people that I miss having them in my life.

We can change how people communicate. We can put down the phones, stop texting so much, and get out from behind the computer screens. Get a piece of paper and an envelope and tell someone you care. Try it, at least once.

And if you need some inspiration, there’s plenty of pretty cards out there to choose from:

 

Need address labels, save at Tiny Prints with this link: Click Here. Some of their designs are SUPER cute, start at $8, and they almost always have coupon codes!

Fitness

Nerdy Morning Workouts

No more than a 30 second walk from my work is a new fitness studio, Nerdy Girl Fitness. It’s for women 25 and older. Seeing as this month I turn 29, I guess I qualify.

I thought about it for awhile. Should I go? Would I have time? Is it any better than just going to the gym on my own and using the machines, or following a video online? Who knew. But one afternoon while scrolling through Facebook I saw a post for an open house for Nerdy Girl Fitness. It was at the same time as work, so I knew I couldn’t go. I commented anyway, saying I wish I could go. I have no idea what made me do that.

But Patti, the owner, responded. Told me to come in for a free class. And if you know me, you know I don’t say no to free things. So I worked up the courage to get myself down to one of her 45 minute circuit training classes. She had minimal equipment set up when I got there: a few mats, some weights, and what looked like portable ballet bars.

Only two other women were there for the class, we warmed up, did three rounds of circuit training at six different stations. I was squatting, holding planks, doing laying on the floor style pull ups, and shoulder presses. I didn’t sweat and thought, we’ll that wasn’t that hard.

But about 24 hours later, I felt it. The sore muscles from lunges and the tense shoulders from the “pull-ups.” It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t move, but sore enough that I knew the workout had been worth it. Maybe Patti was on to something. So I caved, got the Groupon deal that was going on and said I’d go to 15 classes (which is what the Groupon was for). This morning was my third class (including that first free one), and I actually am enjoying it. There is no grunting, no men who are stronger than me making me want to push myself until I hurt myself to keep up, and no judgement. We laugh at balancing acts we try on the Bosu ball, grumble together as we try to keep up in our planks, and compare notes about how many steps we’ve all got on our FitBits.

I’m not leaving in a sweating, soggy mess that leaves me exhausted and sore for days. That used to force me to rest for a day or two until I could walk up stairs again. I want to workout every day, and if that means circuit training with a bunch of women I don’t know while I supplement that with running at Planet Fitness, then so be it, I will do it. It’s 45 minutes of my day that lets me feel like I did something.

So I’m committed to Nerdy Girl for a while and if any of my friends want to join me for morning workouts, I’ll see you at the 9 a.m. classes!

 

Food

Bacon Wrapped Baked Asparagus

A few days ago we bought a bundle of asparagus. We used to eat it all the time. We’d drizzle olive oil on it, add a few seasonings and bake it until it was crispy. I’m not really sure why we stopped making it, or really even why we stopped purchasing it. All I know is the other day we ended up with a bundle in our fridge and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So this afternoon, after Andy came back from a massage at the spa (I bought him a gift certificate for Christmas), I had food ready for him, included a side of bacon wrapped asparagus. We had some leftover bacon from yesterday’s breakfast, so while the chicken was baking, I threw it all in the oven on a cookie sheet and we had asparagus. It looked a lot fancier than it really was. Believe me, this one is simple to make and will make you look like a pro chef with only three ingredients!

Bacon Asparagus

Bacon Wrapped Baked Asparagus

5 strips of uncooked bacon
1 bundle of asparagus
Black Pepper, to season

Preheat oven to 450. While oven is preheating, cut off the white ends of the asparagus, where it has been sitting in water at the grocery store. Rise asparagus and pat dry. Lay evenly along an engrossed cookie sheet (with sides).

Cut bacon strips in half. Evenly place them over the asparagus length wise so they only overlap a little.

Place cookie sheet in preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Your asparagus should be crispy, too. Sprinkle fresh ground black pepper over the asparagus and bacon.

Plate asparagus in small bundles, using the crispy bacon to create a sort of “ribbon” around the bundle. Enjoy!