Life Lately

Last week one of the mom's from school invited all the 6th grade girls from volleyball camp (9 girls plus two 8th grade girls) over for lunch and swimming after camp which was really fun.
Most of the moms dropped their daughters off and I was on the fence about staying or not right up until we got there. I had a back up plan of taking myself and my book on a date to eat Pho but then decided at the last minute to stay and chat with the moms (there were two at first and then two more came near the end). So props to me for being social.

This week Annelise is doing another volleyball camp, this time at my old high school. I know it might seem crazy to do two camps back to back, and it probably is, but it's good practice for her without the commitment  (and expense) of a volleyball club, at least for now.
The camp starts at 7:45 (as if!) and is over at 9:45 so we've been stopping for a second breakfast because she's usually starving again. Monday found us at Dunkin' Donuts, yesterday was Shipley's for donut holes and today was Whataburger for taquitos.

Volleyball camp is an enabler.

She's getting in lots of skills and drills and tomorrow (the last day) will be a tournament.

Yesterday I snapped a picture during a drill and it looks like she's adding a bit of jazz hand flair to her skills.
In other news, I've taken a break from my #60milesinjuly. Last week I tripped on a stupid raised part of the street and went splat onto the concrete. It wasn't too bad, just road rash on my calf, a bruised hip and of course, bruised pride (a truck was driving by right when I ate it). My legs and lower back were sore the next few days so I took a break and then this week with volleyball camp being so early I haven't gotten my runs done in the morning (and yes, I could go in the evening but...hush).

But I made it to 38 miles and that's way better than my track record of the previous months, as in, zero, zilch, nada, so I'm okay with this particular failure.

And now for something completely different...I'm excited to add CIZE to my home workout arsenal. 

This white chick can't dance.

But Shaun T is teaching me.

And it's crazy, sweaty fun!
I ordered the DVD set Friday and am still waiting to get it, but Beachbody offers a free 30 day trial of their streaming on demand workouts so I've been able to go ahead and get started with the first two songs/workouts. You learn everything in small segments and go over it all from the top each time you add on and then at the end of the workout you Cize It Up where you do the dance three times to popular music. You can do the Cize It Up section as many times as you want without doing the entire workout over, which is really cool. Each workout is 30-45 minutes and it doesn't even feel like a workout, you're just dancing and sweating up a storm. So fun!



Life Lately

Annelise is going to volleyball camp this week at her school and here is a terrible photo to document said event (she's in the purple shirt). It's one of those typical tween situations where she balked and complained and refused and so forth every time we talked about her going in the weeks leading up to it and then walked in the gym yesterday morning to find a handful of her friends there and was as happy as a clam.
It would be immature of me to tell her I told her so, wouldn't it?

In related news, she's had a flurry (ish) of social activity lately, which has been quite the treat for her. Last Thursday she went to a friend's birthday party where they played, made a few spa type things and swam. I guess I've gotten used to her wearing her bikini this summer (remember, this is a new thing) and do think it's a modest two piece with a ruffled halter style top, so I really didn't think twice about her wearing it to a girl's birthday party.

As it turned out she was the only girl out of 6 or 7 wearing a two piece and it was a little awkward, not so much for her, she got over it, and maybe it was my imagination (fingers crossed) but I worried the other moms (moms I don't know that well yet) have now pegged me as an overly permissive mom that allows her daughter to be immodest and I am so not.

Well, except for her bikini.


Friday morning, since Scott was off from work, we went to breakfast at The Egg & I, which you know is a favorite, even though that meant Annelise couldn't sleep late. We then met Grace at AcroSports for an open gym which was fun. Annelise went home with Grace for a sleepover and had, as always, a fabulous time.

In completely unrelated news, Scott and I (and Annelise in fits and starts) watched all, yes, that's right, ALL the Rocky movies over the last few weeks. Neither one of us had ever seen them, except maybe snippets over the years (although I may have seen Rocky IV in the theater years ago) so we sort of just jumped in (Rocky I-V are all on Netflix streaming, how convenient). While not the best movies ever, there is something captivating about an underdog and Rocky and Adrian's (yo' Adrian) love story/marriage is really sweet. My favorite parts of each of the movies are when Rocky is training and of course, the fights. Duh. Rocky V was our least favorite, like, it was terrible and we both thought the last one (Rocky Balboa) finished everything up for Rocky nicely.

Last night the Girls and I went out for supper at The Cheesecake Factory, which is always our go-to place. We always get the same thing, four Factory Chopped salads (two without tomatoes), four tropical teas, three coffees and two cheesecakes to share (the flavors vary). Last night we told the waitress that we would be an easy table.

And then things took a turn.

I don't know if it's because we ordered the Skinnylicious Factory Chopped instead of the regular, although I thought they were basically the same, but maybe not, or there was a new salad guy or what but they were not up to snuff.

Whatever snuff is, my grandfather used to say that and I still don't know what it means.

Now we are not difficult people. Really. We don't complain, we don't send things back, we are not ones to try and take advantage. Really. Like ever.

But our salads were smaller, they were missing the avocado and the chicken was, um...burned.

And we spoke up. But politely, I promise.

The waitress was so nice and apologetic, even though it wasn't her fault, and then the manager was very nice and apologetic and generously offered to take the salads off our bill.


He later stopped back by our table and told us he was treating us to our cheesecake too. We protested and told him he didn't need to do that and he told us we weren't the boss of him.

Double whoa.

So...that was really nice.

But I still feel strangely guilty because I know that there are people that deliberately start a fuss in restaurants just to scam free food and I would NEVER want to be lumped in with them, because that's SO not us and I am slightly mortified that the waitress and manager might think we did that.

We really just wanted the avocado that was promised to us.

But the rest was really nice too.


Miscellany Monday

A few recent bits and pieces to share...
I got an early run in Saturday morning and barely eked out 5 miles, it was already a sauna. I should have gotten out there earlier, I know this, but I didn't, and paid for it in sweat.

Are you Amazon Prime members? We love it, mainly for the convenience of two day shipping. The Prime TV and music features are nice too but we don't use them as much as Netflix and Spotify.

Over the weekend we ordered Annelise a new case for her iPod (much cheaper than what was at the mall) and she just thought Amazon Prime was the coolest thing ever.

And then I checked my shopping cart a little later...
Um, no...you're not ordering a penny skateboard just because. Anyway, they can't even spell skateboard correctly so it's probably shady.

We went to see Inside Out yesterday afternoon (and took a selfie just because).
We gave it six enthusiastic thumbs up! Highly recommend it for all ages. I thought they did a fabulous job showing how it's not healthy to have only one emotion in control, we need a balance of all of them. It was so sweet the way they showed how joy and sadness can work together. I laughed a lot and even got a little teary a couple of times. All in all, a great movie.

We eat a lot of hard boiled eggs around here, they're so convenient. Scott usually takes one to work for breakfast, Annelise has one in her lunch during the school year and I eat one most days for breakfast as well (usually with half an avocado and always with Sriracha chili sauce, seriously yum-ola). I'll boil a batch up and store them in the side basket shelf in our fridge. 
Whenever we have one or two eggs left and I've boiled another batch I'll draw on the remaining ones so we know to eat those first. Or at least I know, Scott and Annelise only noticed this last night and I've been doing it for a while. Hrumph.
My shadow runs faster than me.

I got my run in this morning and realized--once again--that I feel so much better once I get it done early in the day instead of waiting until evening, although I still need to go even earlier, because, HOT.

Sidenote:  I went old school with Joy and Pain by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock on my play list and thought it was totally appropriate for running. It also reminded me of Inside Out (a little).

In other running news, I'm now at 23 miles and will keep chipping steadily away at my #60milesinjuly goal. My plan is to get four weekday runs in and a slightly longer run over the weekend, fingers crossed. The other part of my plan is to get back into PiYo regularly for flexibility and strength and to balance out all the running. I did the Sweat workout today and immediately felt looser through my hips and legs and wobbly in my arms, because PiYo, while low impact it's still an intense combo of Pilates and Yoga. The sweat flows, yo'!

Happy Monday, y'all!


Five for Friday

01.) Monday found us at the pediatrician's office with a not so peppy patient.
Diagnosis: Swimmer's Ear.

Which we kind of predicted after Schlitterbahn, swimming at my dad's house and swimming with friends on the 4th of July the writing was pretty much on the wall. Or the ear. 

The doctor prescribed antibiotic drops (CiproDex) which has been helping, along with a heating pad, occasional essential oils (lavender, eucalyptus and/or purification around the outside of her ear) and ibuprofen. Of course we've also had the late night drama of "I'm going deaf!" and "Can I Google busted ear drum?". But she's feeling better, mostly. 

After the doctor visit we self-medicated with a late Chipotle lunch. As you do.
02.) Tuesday involved a follow-up eye doctor visit for Annelise, which she of course forgot her glasses for (left them at Pappo & Gramma's house and they're RVing it) so the whole thing kind of started out DUMB (they said it was fine, they checked her eyes anyway, but I still felt loser-ish) and a grocery store trip. 

Now I know a grocery store trip is no big deal, but for us it was.  For the last sweet forever we had just been picking up a few essentials and eating most of our meals out/take out. I know. So it felt really good to stock up on real food again and so forth. After schlepping it all inside and putting it away and throwing out old stuff from the fridge and cleaning and cutting fruit and veggies and cooking lunch (baked potato with baked bacon for Annelise, roasted brussel sprouts and other yummy veggies for me) and washing dishes I was kind of over it.

We ordered pizza for dinner.

03.) In my last post about beauty routines I didn't talk about hair or nails. Sorry! I've struggled with my nails the last few years with them being thin and/or peeling a lot and that's been frustrating. I blame hormonal issues, but what do I know? There have been occasional signs of improvement here and there and right now they are much better. I increased my vitamin B intake a couple of months ago along with changing my multi-vitamin and drinking Ningxia Red regularly for the the last several months (I now use Young Living Super B, their Master Source for Her daily multi-vitamin and Ningxia Red is their Wolfberry and essential oil superhero drink). I also use various oils topically every day so they might also be making a difference.

I try to keep my nails short and take breaks from regular polish, maybe that helps too.
For the summer I like to use bright colors, usually shades of pink or coral. This week I used Off the Shoulder by Essie and really liked it. It's from a couple of years ago so I'm not sure if it's still available, but Essie always has tons of fun colors to choose from. It's dangerous! For the rest of the year I stick with grey or taupe. My current favorite in that color family is Taupeless Beach by OPI. It's the perfect neutral.

I usually use Essie (love their tiny brush) or OPI the most often because they last the longest on my nails, although I also like Sally Hanson Complete Manicure polish too. Last summer I tried China Glaze and like a lot of their bright summer-y colors.

Last summer I discovered DIY gel nails and still follow that method, loosely (I use Gelous as a base coast and a final top coat over Seche Vite top coat).

You can read even more about my nails here and about my favorite drugstore beauty products here (there's a photo of Taupeless Beach by OPI).

04.) I was going to do a whole separate post about my current fitness journey, and maybe I still will, but for now I'll just share a semi-quick update. Back in April I blogged about the workouts Scott and I were doing and...cue drum roll...we finished. 


We did five weeks of T25 Beta and then four weeks of T25 Gamma (which is an extra 2-disk program that focuses on strength). 


It was tough. You might not think a 25 minute workout would be tough, but Shaun T packs it in, yo'! The workouts are a mix of cardio and strength and definitely challenging but totally doable since it's only 25 minutes. No excuses! Scott definitely liked that fact since his time is limited and hates committing to a long workout. I highly recommend T25 for all levels of fitness, you can modify or go harder if you need the challenge and...it's only 25 minutes of your day (though one day a week you do double workouts).

I feel like I improved my endurance, don't hate burpees so much any more and also gained muscle.

To keep my motivation up I treated myself to some new Nike Lunar Tempo shoes in neon volt with a hot pink swoosh and a new pair of Nike Tempo shorts in pink and volt, both on super sale, so yay!
I usually wear shorts like these with a tank or t-shirt to workout. I've tried to wear workout capris, and still do occasionally, but I think Nike Tempo shorts are more my jam.

Sidenote: What's your take on women who wear workout capris out and about? Like without enough of their nethers covered? I don't know, even if your hiney looks awesome I don't think it should be flaunted at the grocery store or the mall. Now workout capris with a longer tank or t-shirt or layered with a jacket where at least most of your bottom is covered are okay. Maybe.

Leggings are NOT pants, in any context.

Moving on...

After T25 I started Insanity, which I've started and stopped numerous times for numerous reasons but maybe this time will be different. Right now, in phase one, the workouts are about 40 minutes, which isn't terrible, but an adjustment after being spoiled by T25. The second month has longer workouts, like about an hour. Yikes! It's cardio based but you also do body weight exercises with push-ups and such.

I've made it to week three so far (yay!) but have added a bit of a wrinkle to my routine.

I decided to become a runner again and try for #60milesinjuly. I've done these Instagram challenges before, or at least participated from time to time, and they give me a little accountability.
The first few runs were really hard. Even though I'd been working out at home my legs, mainly my quads, had to get adjusted to the repetitive motion again and my feet had to get used to my new Mizunos. It's really proven to me that you shouldn't just do one type of workout, your body needs variety.

I'm now at 15 miles for #60milesinjuly and my running groove, such as it is, is finding it's way back. My problem is finding a balance for running while not bailing on Insanity and maybe also fitting in the occasional PiYo or strength workout. I don't know.

I'll keep y'all posted.

(Whoa! That was crazy long--sorry!)

05.) Are y'all as excited, or at least as curious, about next week's release of Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee as I am? She wrote it before To Kill A Mockingbird and put it aside after publisher's told her to focus more on the character of Scout (Jean Louise) and tell the story from her perspective. I definitely plan to buy it, I mean, how could I not? But I'm a little wary just the same.

Sidenote: I adore TKAM and try to read it every few years. Once we had a bloggity book club chat about it and recently shared it with Annelise.

Linking up today for Friday Favorites & Five on Friday.

Happy Friday, ya'll!


Show & Tell Tuesday: Beauty Routines

I'm jumping in with all the link-y fun today over at Momfessionals  to chat about beauty routines, because I love, love, LOVE that kind of stuff.


I'm not even going to pretend I'm low maintenance (we all know that according to Harry, they're the worst kind, the women who think they're low maintenance but are really high maintenance).
First up, I use Cetaphil cleanser (not pictured, sorry) or Purity to wash my face every day. I've been using my Clarisonic Mia for the last few years and it has made a huge difference in my skin. If you've been on the fence about whether you need one in your life, get off of that fence and treat yo' self! I use it once a day, usually at night, to deep clean my face and get my make-up off. 

Thanks to Shay and Melanie, I recently tried Dr. Gross Glow pads for a facial self-tanner and they are great (I talked more about self-tanners here).
I've been using Young Living essential oils for the last six months or so and they have also made a huge improvement in my skin's texture and appearance. I use a few drops of Frankincense and Lavender morning and night all over my face, Sheerlume at night and Melaleuca (Tea Tree oil) for occasional breakouts (although I'm not getting as many as I used to before I started using oils regularly).
This is my current make-up stash.

A few months ago I gave up trying to do my make-up in our bathroom because it's always too hot for me back there, and moved into our family room/kitchen area for better air flow and to save my sanity. At first I hauled my big make-up basket back and forth but then I ended up combining two of my favorites, Fiesta and make-up and now I leave it on the corner of one of our kitchen counters. #whateverworks
I like to use a pore minimizer/wrinkle filler type product under my makeup (when I remember!) and have liked Maybelline's Baby Skin. I've used L'Oreal Revitalift before and really like it but for a drugstore product it's kind of pricey. I've heard good things about Benefit's POREfessional but haven't tried it.

For the summer I've been using It Cosmetics CC+ cream for light coverage along with 50 SPF sunscreen. I mix a drop or two of light and medium and blend in with my angled foundation brush.
To brighten and conceal under my eyes I've been using L'Oreal's Visible Lift CC Eye Concealer. I also like NYX High Definition concealer and Maybelline's Age Rewind (with the sponge applicator).

I lightly brush a bit of It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation over my face to set everything.
Some days I like to use Laura Mercier's mineral powder foundation and on days where I want more long lasting coverage I use Revlon Colorstay foundation. I've used both the liquid and the whipped and like them.
For bronzer I use either MAC Blunt or the bronzer in the It Cosmetics Vitality Face Disk, which also has a pretty peachy-pink blush and highlighter all in one compact.

I've recently become a fan of Milani baked mineral blushes, they're colorful and not too spendy (like $8-$9 at CVS). The peachy one is called Luminous and the bright pink one is Delizioso Pink (don't worry, it's a nice pop of pink, not too much I promise).
For my eyes, I use MAC Paint Pot in Painterly (a nice beige-y-neutral) for a primer (far right), applying it with my finger. I tend to always stick with neutral eyeshadows, usually shades of brown and grey. I have a stash of MAC eyeshadows that I love but lately I've been alternating between Urban Decay's Naked 2 basics palette (it's AWESOME, totally worth the price!) or these Milani gel powder eyeshadows. Clockwise from the far left, Bella Ivory (I use a tiny bit as a highlighter under my brows and in the inner corners of my eyes), Bella Taupe in my crease, Bella Mandarin (I know, it's orange and you probably think I'm crazy now, but trust me, it goes on as a beautiful peach shade that just warms things up nicely. I use this just under my brow bone, lightly over the Bella Taupe) and finally, Bella Cappucino which I use all over my lid.
Some days I skip eye shadow all together and just use a bit of highlighter under my brows and in the inner corner of my eyes. This one is a creme base by MAC in Shell. It's also great for upper cheekbones and any other area you want to highlight.
These are my favorite mascaras right now. From left, Maybelline Rocket Volume Express, L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly, Old-School L'Oreal Voluminous and L'Oreal Voluminous Manga.

Apparently I love L'Oreal.

In the summer I don't always wear eyeliner, but when I do it's usually L'Oreal Infallible gel liner in black, it's a pencil but goes on like a gel and you can smudge it out with the rubber tip on the other end or L'Oreal gel pot liner in Espresso. I've tried more expensive gel pot liners, like MAC, Buxom and Bobbi Brown but have hated how they dry out. At least if L'Oreal dries out (it hasn't yet) it wasn't very expensive. Sometimes I use a smidge of MAC Teddy under my lower lashes and blend it with a Q-tip.

A few months ago I discovered It Cosmetics Brow Power and fell in red hot love with it. One end is a universal taupe pencil that's buildable and the other end is a spooly brush for blending. 

Now for lipsticks and glosses...

These are the ones I've been carrying around in my purse like Linus' blanket, so they are my current can't live without favorites.
Truth: they're all basically variations of the same shade of pinky-nude.

I have a problem.
I know.
From back left: Revlon Primrose, L'Oreal Julianne's Nude, L'Oreal Jennifer's Nude; bottom row: Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue (this one is clear, but I have several colors too. I love the menthol-y scent!), MAC Blankety and MAC Cream Cup. The glosses starting at the top right: NYX LipButter Creme Brûlée, NYX Lip Butter Eclair, Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie in Forbidden Nude and MAC CreamSheen gloss in Boy Bait.

And that's just my purse stash.

I try brighter colors but always go back to my tried and true pink-nudes.

And that, my friends, is my beauty routine (nails and hair not included, this post was already a beast).
Like I said, high maintenance.
And that's okay.



Miscellany Monday

Let's catch up with a bit of miscellany, shall we?

Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary last month.


That sounds crazy but it's true.

Our actual date fell on a Wednesday, so we celebrated with Blizzards at Dairy Queen with friends after church.

We celebrated a bit more that Friday with a late lunch at Perry's Steakhouse which was really nice. I had never been there before so it was a treat.
We tried their fried asparagus with crab meat, which I know sounds like an odd combination, but trust me, it was gooooood. Scott got their famous pork chop (they carve it table side, like it's a thing) and I got a shrimp and spinach salad that turned out to be more sauté than salad, so I was kind of meh about it.

After lunch we popped over to see Jurassic World which turned out to be more entertaining than I thought. I really don't know how Bryce Dallas Howard ran from all those dinosaurs in those high nude heels though. That? I am not buying. Genetically engineered dinosaurs? Maybe. Running in heels? Nah.

And to finish off our date we stopped by Cheesecake Factory to get cheesecake to go (Godiva for me and Chocolate mousse for Scott), as you do. Of course I went into my whole spiel to Scott about how every time I order Godiva cheesecake it always makes me sing Lady Godiva...children at your feet...lalala like The Beatles.

He kind of looked at me funny before saying, "I think you mean Lady Madonna."


Yeah. That.

In other news, Annelise and I got pedicures a few weeks ago to kick off summer.

It's not something I let her do regularly because they just don't last on her but I really needed one so she got one too. She picked a blue polish and I got Mod About You by OPI, which is a super light cotton-candy-pearly-pink.
So...I hadn't ridden my bike in a few weeks or five and look what happened.
Guess I won't be riding it any time soon either.

There's a teeny tiny mama bird (maybe a wren?) that built this nest and then each day laid one teeny tiny egg until there were five. It was so fun to see a new egg each morning! We've seen her sitting on them a few times but she always flies off to the corner of our garage when we go in.

How long before there will be baby birdies? I have no clue about these things.

Annelise lost her iPod/iPad privileges in mid-June due to rather excessive in-app purchases that we didn't know about until we looked at our credit card statement. So we had iPodGate2015 investigations followed up by deprivation and reparations in the form of chores to earn it back.
I have to say it was so nice for her not to be glued to her iPod or our iPad playing Minecraft and reading or playing Legos or whatever instead.

In related summer-y news, stay tuned for posts about our recent VBS and our annual Schlitterbahn schlepping.

Happy Monday, y'all!
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