Thanksgiving

Can you believe Thanksgiving is on Thursday?!?!? I don’t know, I guess we just had such a warm fall here in New England, it feels really soon. Which is ironic I suppose, since I’ve 100% been playing Christmas music since the day after Halloween!

We celebrated Friendsgiving for the second year with our family away from family here in Maine on Saturday. This is quickly becoming my new favorite holiday. There is no stress of travel involved and absolutely no pretense. These are people that you have chosen as family and so there is just 100% comfort in their company. My friend Kate pulled off an amazing meal, right down to the homemade ice cream to accompany the homemade pie and basically entirely from scratch made meal. It was so, so good!

We aren’t traveling this year, so I will be channeling as much of the south as possible in Maine with my mom’s famous southern cornbread dressing for our family’s Thanksgiving meal. I dedicated an entire post to it last year (that’s how good it is!) so please check that out if you need a little inspiration.

In addition to her dressing, I’ll be trying out this delicious looking Thanksgiving salad, making Southern Living’s blistered brussels sprouts, and a delicious flourless chocolate cake my family loves, along with some of the more traditional sides. Confession, I have never cooked a turkey! For all of my 40+ years I have never hosted a Thanksgiving meal. Thankfully, Moe’s BBQ does an excellent smoked turkey so I don’t have to stress over that detail for at least one more year!!!

And thanks to a dear, sweet friend, I don’t have to worry about the gravy or the cranberry sauce, as she dropped by the best care package last week from Williams-Sonoma along with several little activities to entertain the kids while I’m in the kitchen. I have the best friends!

Following the meal, we are going as a family to see the movie Wonder, (#choosekind) and we are all so excited!!! Have you or your kids read the book or seen the movie yet? I’ve cried every time I’ve watched the trailer (linked above) so I’m just planning to bring the entire box of kleenex to cover my bases!

While we should always, always choose to be kind, I hope watching this movie as a family will set the tone for a truly giving and kind spirit heading into the holiday season. We have much to be thankful for and I hope you and your family have wonderful celebrations this week!

 

 

Bold or Subtle?

Let’s talk lipsticks! Are you bold or subtle? Up until about a year ago, I pretty much only wore brownish/pink shades of lipstick. Subtle, easily applied without a mirror, and boring. Sometimes I’d kick it up a notch with a gloss but for the most part, I didn’t veer far from a small selection of colors.

But toward the end of last summer, a friend and I were at the beach glossing over magazines and she told me that I needed to be more daring . The article talked about Mac’s iconic Ruby Woo and how perfect it was for most skin tones, (but especially fair) so I started there. Soon after, I added a gorgeous wine color from Laura Mercier. I absolutely loved them for all of the evening outings over the holiday season and always got compliments. It was such a fun and different look for me!

However, when I tried to wear them out for day, it just felt like too much. The matte finish and the deep, deep color wasn’t working for me. I have plenty of friends that can pull off a bold lip all day but I felt too made up and uncomfortable. Not to mention, lip liner and a mirror were absolutely necessary for application.

So this fall, I made it a priority to try and find a few options for day that were still bold, but more wearable. I wanted something as comfortable and easy to put on as lip balm but with high impact. After buying and returning a few shades closer to my comfort zone (nude, brown, boring!) I finally found two lipsticks that I am now wearing and loving exclusively!

I have that same friend from the beach to thank for the first one (don’t you just love having product junkie friends!!!!) When I told her my frustrations, she immediately suggested Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. Do you remember these barely there lipsticks from our youth?!?! I’m pretty sure all of my makeup in my teens was Clinique and the almost lipsticks were a perfect starting point. Black Honey is much bolder than many of the options and while I didn’t wear that shade in high school, I absolutely love it today. A few extra swipes deepens the shade for a great, strong everyday lip color.

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The next shade I found thanks to an incredibly patient girl at the MAC beauty counter. After discussing many shades I’d looked up online, she suggested their Patentpolish Lip Pencil in Ruby. And she was right. It was absolutely what I was looking for – it’s a bit pinker than Black Honey but a wonderfully deep, but very wearable color. I’m in love!

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Both of these lipsticks are incredibly popular for their universally flattering tones. Both beauty counters told me they are best sellers for this very reason – I encourage you to give them a try. The consistency also makes for easy application and I can 100% apply without a mirror.

Lipstick is an inexpensive yet high-impact way to update your look. If you are looking for a bolder lip that you can wear every day, give these a try and let me know what you think!

Advent Season

Believe it or not, we are inching closer and closer to the holiday season. I cannot believe Thanksgiving is just over a week away! Before we know it, we will all be Christmas shopping and looking for the perfect gift for all the special people in our lives.

But before we make it to Christmas day, many of us will be celebrating the season of Advent. The word Advent means coming, and in many Christian homes, families observe this season of waiting and preparing for the Nativity at Christmas.

There are many ways to observe Advent and our family often makes an Advent wreath. I love this tradition, as it keeps the focus on the true meaning of Christmas, when we are so easily distracted by the busyness of the season.

The Advent wreath, is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent. It is a wreath with four candles, with a fifth, white candle in the center. The lighting of a candle begins on the first Sunday of Advent can be accompanied by a Bible reading, devotional time and prayers. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Many Advent wreaths include a fifth, Christ candle which is lit at Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

I also love that we can make wreaths as a family and involve everyone in the weekly observance. Here is a tutorial for an easy DIY advent wreath. Or you can order a pre-made wreath if you prefer!

An Advent calendar is another way to celebrate the season. It is a special calendar used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Nowadays, there are so many fun calendars for both adults and children. My favorite so far is L’Occitane’s gorgeous Advent calendar . It’s filled with wonderful goodies, from their famous hand cream to relaxing bath gels. This is a fantastic early teacher gift or Thanksgiving Hostess present for someone special to you.

 

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Doesn’t this look amazing?!?!

If chocolate speaks a little more to your loved one, you can’t go wrong with this option from Godiva.

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Chocolate is always a good choice.

And for the younger ones in your life, Lego makes several themed versions of an Advent calendar, from Lego City to Lego Friends or Lego Star Wars.

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For the Lego Lover in your life!

 

And finally, if you had a simple re-usable calendar from your childhood like me, you might like this adorable Snowman calendar, to mark the days in your home! This one is also a great deal!

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I love this one! Reminds me of the one we use from my childhood!

Does your family celebrate the Advent season? I’d love to hear how. Let me know in the comments!

Blonde Ambition

If you color treat your hair on a regular basis, this is a must read. And if you are a blonde, or color yourself blonde, this is going to be a total game changer for you!

Because I have colored my hair for several decades and use heat products for styling, I’m always looking for products that help renew and restore life to my overworked hair. And that’s why I HAVE to tell you about a new-to-me product. I recently discovered it when I was styling a new client with cabi’s Fall Collection a few weeks ago. She works at a salon and so I did what all people do and started talking products (isn’t that what you do too?!?!)

Specifically, I was telling her about my need to get my hair healthy again after several back to back color treatments. She immediately began singing the praises of Olaplex No 3. She said it produced phenomenal results in hair repair – music to my ears because I was desperate for some serious hair repair!

As soon as our our session ended, I drove straight to the salon to pick up a bottle. I came home and applied a generous amount of product to my slightly damp hair and left it on for about 2 hours (you can try anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight.) After rinsing out, shampooing and conditioning, I could tell right away that it had worked. My hair felt so smooth and when I styled it I could see just how immediate the results were!

I have since used it a few times more and I can only say my hair went from looking fried, with visible breakage at the hairline, to shiny and smooth. I plan to use it weekly in between color treatments. And at well under $30/bottle, I think it’s a very budget friendly investment.

Directions according to the company: Use Step 3 of the Olaplex Professional System, for once-a-week, at home applications to eliminate breakage from chemical services. Olaplex Hair Perfector is part of the hottest salon professional hair care line called Olaplex, which helps prevent hair damage during chemical services. Apply a generous amount from roots to ends on towel-dried hair. Use once a week between chemical services to strengthen hair. Comb through once. Leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes or more. For damaged hair, repeat without rinsing.Rinse from hair. Shampoo and condition.

I’d love to hear what you use to keep your hair looking its best. And let me know if you give Olaplex a try!

Me again…

Well it’s been a while. A long time actually – is anyone even still out there?!? I thought I would dive right back into this medium when school started up and I had a few extra hours in the day. I have so enjoyed sharing all sorts of things about life in my 40’s as a southern girl in New England. From fitness to fashion to food to deeper topics about raising kids and doing the right thing, I’ve had so much fun talking with you about so many things I love.

Speaking of things I love, I’ve never been shy about my love of fashion and it really IS what started this blogging adventure. And so I guess it was only a matter of time before it became a bigger priority for me even beyond the blog. Becoming a stylist for cabi has been the most wonderful decision for me personally and I have been going non-stop ever since I launched my business in August!

I had really hoped to use this blog to share more about that new adventure (and I promise that eventually I will) but everything lately has just been busy and hard and exciting and different and scary and just about every adjective you could throw at life.

I have always wanted this blog to be as real as possible, but it has felt too hard to be completely true to that lately. And at the same time, it felt completely wrong to share a new favorite lip color or shoe bargain when I had so many other pressing things to focus on in life. So I just stopped blogging. Whether that was right or wrong, I don’t know, but I just didn’t feel right singing the praises of my favorite new beauty product (it’s Bobbi Brown’s Treatment Lotion, just FYI) while dealing with very big and very real personal stuff.

But I’ve missed this. I’ve missed talking about things that are fun. Things that matter a little or even a lot. Recipes that help busy parents get good meals on the table during the work week or bargain buys for those retail therapy days. Writing is as much therapy for me as shopping and I need to do it. But there are things that will stay private because that’s what is right for me and everyone I love. So forgive me if I don’t go there – not yet anyway. Maybe one day. For now, I’m planning to share my favorites with you and talk about the things I feel comfortable sharing. I hope you will follow along as the content will be coming more regular once again.

For today, I’ll leave you with a little something fun. A friend gifted me the coziest, most wonderful sherpa pullover and it’s a crazy, good deal if you need something to help you ease into winter. I know in New England we went from 65 degrees to 30 degrees in about a minute and while I’ve definitely not adjusted to the frigid temps, this little guy is helping. Treat yourself this weekend while it’s on sale for $29 (normally $68 and worth every penny.) At that price, and with all of the color options, you might want to stock up for Christmas gifts or just get an extra one for yourself! (I’d size up, the body is boxy but the shoulders are cut a little narrow.) Let me know if you get it and what colors!!!

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Sherpa Half-Zip Pullover