Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 2014 Nature Box

I love sharing the contents of my Nature Box, and I was so sad that I didn't get to do that last month because I made a mistake and forgot to change my snacks, so my December box was identical to my November box. These are the snacks that I actually picked to get last month, but due to my mistake, I got them in January instead. I have learned to check my account, and I already have February picked out. (:


Here's a "behind the scenes" picture of what it looks like on my kitchen counter when I get my Nature Box in the mail.


First up, we have Banana Bread Granola. I was expecting this to be less of a dry granola, and more like the Apple Orchards granola that I received in an earlier box. This one is pretty crunchy. It has a banana taste, but I wouldn't say that it reminded me of banana bread, at least not the kind my mom makes!


These Whole Wheat Raspberry Figgy Bars really remind me of NutriGrain bars. Yum! They are smaller than a NutriGrain bar though. These each come individually wrapped (perfect for packing in a lunch), and, in my opinion, are best when served with a glass of milk.


I was most excited for the Dried California Peaches, and I think these might be my favorite thing in the box! These definitely met my expectations. I mean, they're peaches and they're dried fruit and I don't really know how else to describe them. They're really good!! I like the yellow, meaty part of the peach better than the skin!


I'm just going to come out and say it: I don't like chocolate covered pretzels. White chocolate covered pretzels, yes (but that's not really chocolate), but milk or dark chocolate covered pretzels, no. These had kind of a sour-ish taste (but not in a bad way). I would have liked a flavored yogurt coating (like strawberry or blueberry), but these were good.


I really like honey roasted nuts and seeds I guess. These Honeycomb Sunflower Kernels were really good. They are the perfect sweetness and a great little snack.

xoxo.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

4/52 2014

So you may or may not have noticed my jumble of letters up here last week. Oops! I tend to put those in at the top of the post before I add pictures, and then I go back and add some real words later. Clearly I forgot to fix that before I hit publish last week!


day twenty-two :: White Light. I was so excited to get to listen to this album straight through for the very first time. Once again, Geri did a wonderful job (and so did DanO, Ellie, and all of the other people involved)! This song is an homage to a dear friend of hers (and one of my friends as well) who passed away this past August. He is incredibly missed, and this song is such a beautiful tribute. #333


day twenty-three :: I picked these up the day before with the hopes that these would make a friend smile. It turns out they made me smile too. (: I love Japanese puzzle erasers, and I don't understand how anyone could actually use these as an eraser. They are too cute.


day twenty-four :: Behind the scenes of the NatureBox testing! I will share tomorrow what these packages contained and my thoughts on them!


 day twenty-five :: Have I mentioned that I love Lip Smackers? Or that I love mint chocolate?


day twenty-six :: Max ruling the bathroom counter.


day twenty-seven :: Monday was cold, cold, cold and I didn't want to leave the house. I ended up heading to the Y in the early evening to teach a class for someone whose kids were sick, but until then, I lounged around in these candy cane pajama pants (Old Navy, last winter) and a favorite sweater. The high for the day was -2, and that was before the wind chill. This winter has been pretty intense so far!


 day twenty-eight :: whole wheat spaghetti for lunch!

xoxo.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thoughts on Happiness


I don't often talk about my faith here, because I believe that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. Today, though, I feel as though this is necessary.

I grew up a Catholic, going to Mass every Sunday with my parents and sister, and I went to a Catholic school from kindergarten through seventh grade. I served Mass for six years, and I believe I have been teaching Children's Liturgy of the Word (Sunday school) for the past five years.

Yesterday, the lesson I was planning for this coming Sunday really hit home. I have been having a tough time dealing with some stuff in my life, and Sunday really hurt. I hope to someday be able to share these struggles here so that I can in turn help someone else through their own pain, but today is not the time for that.

This Sunday's Gospel really helped me put some things into perspective. Happiness comes from the inside and how you treat others; you should not be relying on other people and things to make you happy.

Matthew 5:1-12

One day, when Jesus was being followed by a large crowd, he climbed a hillside, sat down, and began to speak:
    Happy are gentle people, for they shall be treated with gentleness.
    Happy are people who forgive others, for they shall be forgiven.
    Happy are the poor, for they shall see heaven.
    Happy are people who do what is right and care about others.
    Happy are people who make peace and bring friendship.
    Be happy even if people are unkind and say nasty things to you because you believe in me, for you will have great rewards in heaven.

xoxo.

Glossy Blonde

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pat on the Black #CSMTKO

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.


If there is one think that I don't need any more of, it's nail polish. Influenster didn't know that, and they sent me three bottles of Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure nail polish. I usually go for OPI or essie nail polish, but I do have a few bottles of Sally Hansen nail polishes.


The thing with the Complete Salon Manicure is that there are seven benefits in the one bottle. Yes, seven: base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, color, top coat, chip resistant, and gel shine finish. I usually use a clear coat of nail polish as a base, and then I finish off my manicure with a coat of Seche Vite for extra shine and protection. To be true to my review, I only used the Complete Salon Manicure. I was really nervous about my nails being stained after removal because I chose to try out the darkest Pat on the Black first.


This picture was taken a week after I painted my nails! As you can see, they still look pretty good. The other hand was starting to chip, but that's what happens when you wash a lot of dishes and laundry at work.

The Pat on the Black is a really dark purple, and it truly does seem like it is black.

By Thursday (day ten) my nails were starting to get really chippy, which I expected. I ended up taking my nail polish off that night, and I was pleasantly surprised when my nails were not stained!

Thank you so much Sally Hansen and Influenster for letting me try out this nail polish! Now can you work on coming up with a nail polish that doesn't smell as strongly? (:

xoxo.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3/52 2014

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day fifteen :: I think my sixteen-year-old self would be proud that I still have this hoodie. I haven't worn it in a while, but Wednesday seemed like the perfect day to wear it.

Juicy Couture velour hoodie from TJ Maxx three and a half years ago // Gap Bowery supersoft crew T in bleached aqua // Mossimo Co. long and lean tank in teal (Target) // Gap colorblock belt in pink // American Eagle Original Boot jeans


day sixteen :: Sunday school planning. we made doves!

day seventeen :: more snow.


day eighteen :: hot chocolate remains.


day nineteen :: I feel like this is cheating, because it was taken shortly after midnight, but I really like this picture. I took another picture about twelve hours later of something different, but I like this one better! this layer of frost accumulated all over my car while I was at work.


day twenty :: some purse essentials.

mint gum (5 gum mint variety pack from Sam's Club), extra hair ties, band-aids (the Disney Princess kind), and a compact (from Forever 21)


day twenty-one :: dusty, dusty bookshelf.

xoxo.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

a stream of consciousness


wow. I have not been a great blogger lately. I just feel like I don't even know what to say anymore. it's weird sharing your life with a bunch of strangers on the internet, but the person I want to be doing this for is me. I want to have a place with my pictures and my words together. I shouldn't have to worry about the things I can/should/can't/shouldn't say, and just speak what's on my mind. I think that's a statement in general, and not just about blogging.

last week was a little crazy. I worked five days straight at the motel, because some of my hours got shifted around, and I spent three mornings in a row with the littles at the Y. I'm excited to be getting back into the grove of things there. it's weird because I so desperately wanted to be done with that, but I really love those kids. they can be a handful at times, but they are so adorable and they say the funniest things.

I brought my camera with me to the motel once this week, and it feels great to be getting more comfortable behind the lens. I'm working on not using the preset modes as much. it's hard, but I think it will be worth it.

my no spend month is going wonderfully, and I am very excited to be putting my savings towards a much-needed vacation pretty soon! can't wait!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week. I'll be back tomorrow with week three of my photo a day project!

xoxo.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2/52 2014

I made it through week two! here are some little moments from my week.


day eight :: lunch. natural peanut butter + local strawberry jam on whole grain white bread. carrots. Gala apple with honey Greek yogurt and granola. milk. two candy cane Joe-Joe's.


day nine :: kitchen floor bubbles. I tried and failed with the frozen bubbles experiment, so I brought them inside for Max. he wasn't impressed.


day ten :: another desk shot, with my current read.


day eleven :: this is as far as I could get without cheating!


day twelve :: boots. those zippers make it impossible to walk quietly.


day thirteen :: Chateau Hutter. not only do I love those abandoned buildings, but I love exposed brick and cloudy blue skies.


day fourteen :: I received a VoxBox from Influenster with three Sally Hansen nail polishes to test and review! this deep, dark purple was the first one I tried, and I love it. {also pictured: a fresh blanket of snow.}

xoxo.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Door County Drive


Yesterday was boring and called for going out and seeing something other than these four walls. I had a book to return to the library, and then I just kept driving north. I stopped at the boat launch (where there were quite a few ice shanties) because I thought that this strip of blue sky was beautiful.


I kept driving without a definite plan. Of course, since I was on County B, I had to stop at Chateau Hutter, especially with the beautiful sky. This picture is looking north.


Two of my favorite things are clouded blue skies and exposed brick. Tomorrow I will be sharing my favorite picture from yesterday which includes both of those things!


Hibernating trees also make for good foreground matter.


I wanted the mirror image to also be in focus in this picture, but my camera felt otherwise and I didn't feel like experimenting with manual focus. (The car was at a complete stop, I promise.) Because of all of the crazy weather around here lately (sub-zero straight to mid-thirties), there has been lots of ice, so there was salt on the main roads and sand on the back roads, and now Luna looks really dirty and gross.


I drove around aimlessly for a little while and ended up on Mathey Road. There were some dead corn fields, but I thought they still looked pretty cool.

xoxo.

Friday, January 10, 2014

greetings from a heat wave

a little weekly recap


chai tea. does anyone have any tips on how to make this? I've had a chai latte and it was really good, and this tea smells so good, but when I have made it, it just tastes like dirty water. :(


starting out on DuoLingo!


Max enjoyed some sunbeams.


window sunset.

---------

A January in Wisconsin sort of heat wave, that is.

Monday and Tuesday were really, really cold, and it started to warm up some on Wednesday. By really, really cold, I mean temperatures were ten to thirty degrees below zero, and the windchill brought it down to negative forty to sixty. Seriously. Schools were closed for three days.

We knew it was coming, and that's what made it bearable. My manager suggested that I fill up my gas tank on the way home from work on Saturday, and then on Sunday after work I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things. I was surprised that there weren't more people there than usual, and the shelves were still pretty full. I guess everyone didn't think that this was going to be a big deal!

On Monday I had a Laguna Beach marathon. I made a dent in the book I'm reading (White Whine: A Study of First-World Problems). My mom brought Pizza Hut home for dinner. They did something different with the crust, so it tasted like a breadstick. It was soooo good.

My manager texted me to let me know that I didn't need to go to work on Tuesday, so it was a second day of yoga pants and hoodies. I read some blogs and some more of the book in the morning, and I was pretty bored around lunchtime, so I surfed around BuzzFeed and found this awesome article. I have been wanting to relearn French (which I took for five years in middle/high school), and one of the websites in the article is DuoLingo, where you can learn some foreign languages, including French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Portuguese.

I don't really get to watch a lot of tv while it airs, since the shows that I like to watch are usually on when I am at work, but I got to watch the Goldbergs when it aired on Tuesday night.

I woke up on Wednesday morning not knowing if I would have to go to the Y to teach my class, but it was cancelled, because school was cancelled again! {It turns out the class was cancelled for the session because no one signed up!} I did end up working at the motel for a few hours, and it was nice to get out of the house and see a few people.

Yesterday was kind of cold too, and I got to go to the Y and help teach a class. I love working with those kids because it gets me up and moving. I went downtown and ran a few errands before going back home. I wanted to go out and take some pictures, but it was still pretty cold (around zero) at that point.

I had a marathon of some episodes of Cupcake Wars and Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives because I couldn't watch last night's episodes of The Middle and Modern Family. I guess they have some thing where you have to sign in with your cable provider in order to watch brand new episodes? I don't feel like paying for Hulu+ at this point, so I guess I will just have to be patient.

There was this article that someone posted on Facebook about bubbles freezing outside in this weather, so I tried it this afternoon, but I guess I was supposed to try this on Monday or Tuesday, because even at sixteen degrees, it was too warm for the bubbles to freeze. It was also too windy for me to get any good pictures.

As nice as it was to have a few days to relax, I hope we don't get this kind of weather again until next year! (:

xoxo.
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