Tell Me Something Good 1.29

On Monday I talked about my trip to Columbus to see my friend Kayla, but I left out the story about my drive home. The trip to and from Columbus is about 2 hours each way. Last weekend I borrowed my mom’s Subaru for the trip, just in case Jonas decided to toss some snow north. (He didn’t, by the way. My path was flurry-free.) One perk in my mom’s car is the satellite radio. I happily jumped between Top 40 and Top Country stations the entire trip.

On my way home, just 20 minutes out of Columbus, Adele’s “Hello” came on the station. Like all humans I always scream sing along to this song, but since I was alone I was really going for it.

Wellllll…. seconds after I finished the chorus for the 2nd time I happened to look to my right and see a blue car passing me with the young, (not not attractive,) male driver looking back at me and laughing and giving me a thumbs up. The only appropriate response was for me to laugh and unintentionally blush while he sped past.

And then it was time for me to jump in again with another lung-filling, “HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIIIIIIIIIIIDE.”

And that’s how a stranger made me smile and laugh at myself, and brightened up my 2 hour drive home.

I’m linking up with the beautiful, talented Chelsea from the new wifestyle for Tell Me Something Good – Friday ❤︎

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Tell Me Something Good Friday!

Beauty Picks by a Non-Beauty Blogger

We are halfway through the week and almost totally done with January. Is this how 2016 is going to be? Because I totally lost track of this month and it flew…

Anyway, today I’m talking about the products I use every day. Everyone else talks about this stuff and I really love their recommendations. I am 110% lazy and I don’t spend much time taking care of my face/skin/hair… but these products have made the prepping process more enjoyable. Lately I’ve been putting serious effort into my morning/night routine and these are my staples, so if you’re anything like me and you’re looking for easy-to-use products check these out 🙂

Bonus! Everything on this list is cruelty-free because I like my rabbits fully-furred and my dogs un-caged ❤︎
Also, no one asked me to say these nice things- all opinions and selections are mine.

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Lush Cosmetic Lad | This weekend is the first time I allowed myself to get sucked into the Lush world. My only purchase prior to my Saturday morning splurge was a canvas bag that proudly displays their anti-animal testing logo. This weekend I let a very nice girl named Amanda cleanse and hydrate my hand with an array of products. Her pitch worked because I bought this creamy moisturizer and I’m loving it so far.

Lush Ultrabland | Obviously Amanda was super convincing because I went in for an herbal scrub and walked out with the aforementioned cream and this cleanser. It’s a little waxy, but winter does a number on my sensitive skin so I’m all about sealing in the moisture. Additionally, my face breaks out if I just touch it, so when I find a product that’s gentle (and effective) on my pale cheeks I stick with it!

e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Mineral Infused Face Primer | After reading all the expert beauty blogs I decided that I needed some primer in my life. I love how satin-y and light this stuff is. I can’t even tell it’s on my face but I really do believe it keeps my scars and acne at bay under the make-up. Also, it doesn’t make me breakout which is huge. I love all my e.l.f. cosmetics.

Yes to Coconut Curl Defining Hair Smoother | When we ran out of shine spray (which we loved, but was a gift and an alleged animal-testing brand)  I went on the hunt for some cruelty-free frizzy control. While most of the “Say Yes to…” face products irritate my skin, this hair smoother is such a light, effective, greasy-free life saver! I use it all the time; it doesn’t matter if I’m gelling my hair, curling it, or straightening it. It’s also affordable- score!

Big Sexy Blow Dry Volumizing Gel |Up to this point all my picks have only been used by me… but in our house we tend to share products (mousse, shampoo, some face wash, etc.) and this is one product that K and I both love! Similar to the primer and curl smoother, this stuff is weightless once it’s in your hair. After I towel dry my locks I just put a nickel-size dab on my finger tips and comb it through my roots. I add my smoother, some gel, and then blow everything into place. This stuff doesn’t hold your hair in place, it just give you great body and volume!

[* Big Sexy is a European brand and, therefore, doesn’t test on animals; however, the company was bought by Henkel which owns a variety of other companies, including Dial, which have been known to test their products on animals. Just an FYI.]

Admittedly this is my second beauty-centric post (see my first attempt here), but it’s the first time I’ve gone into great detail on tried & true products that I really, really love.

What brands or products would you suggest? I’m always in the market to try something new!

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Monday Morning Gratitude

Last week I took a personality test that revealed my introverted tendencies. I use the word “revealed” loosely, since I’m already well aware of this trait. My head table consists of a husband, two best friends, and a very small handful of good friends. This weekend I was fortunate enough to spend my time with one of those best friends.

After work I kissed K goodbye and headed south to spend a girls’ night with my friend Kayla. We’ve known each other for a long time and frequented the same halls in high school, but our friendship solidified while we were in college. (Yay for mutual friends!) I love visiting Kayla because she’s one of those people that I can be 100% real with. We sing Justin Bieber (NO JUDGEMENT!) at the top of our lungs, waste hours in Target, and joke about the side-effects of our Indian food dinner. (TMI?) Not to mention her fur baby Ernie get so excited when I visit!

Saturday she made me breakfast and, since I don’t have a huge shopping center in my town, we took advantage of H&M, Lush, and The Disney Store. I always feel so refreshed after a weekend of girl time- it’s nice to unwind and relax with someone that’s totally ok with my weird, quirky personality.

I hope you did something fun this weekend! Tell me about it! ❤︎

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A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

Dear Sister

In exactly six month K and I will travel to Columbus, Ohio to kick off the wedding celebration for my brother & his fiancee. In six months we will run through the whole ceremony and laugh about tripping down the aisle or crying through the vows and toast to the lovebirds at their rehearsal dinner. And then the next day I will watch my baby brother become a “husband.” (Excuse me for just a moment… my eyes started sweating suddenly.)

Before I got married I had 0 sisters. Right now I’m sitting pretty with two beautiful women to call “sis” thanks to K’s side of the family. In July my family gets to add to our mix. My parents get to become “in-laws” again and I will gained another sibling. For 21 years it was me and Fred so all these “new” siblings are quite a change.

But this wedding will be a little different for all of us. Like I said… it’s always been me and Fred. Always. In 2013 I changed that by marrying Kyle but nothing changed for Fred (except the addition of a brother). He was still just my brother. My brother. I didn’t have to share him. But in July my brother- my mom and dad’s son… their last unwed child- is going to become a husband. And a son-in-law. And a brother-in-law. And two families are going to be interconnected by one young couple. And it’s just a little weird for this big sister. But weird in a good way.

And here’s what my newest sister needs to know:

Dear Sister,

For a long time I didn’t know your name. I didn’t know what you would look like or what your interests would be. I didn’t know if you were a dog person or a cat person. I had no idea if you enjoyed movies or reading or art or theater.

But then my baby brother met you and fell very, very hard for you. And I finally met you!  And now I know your name. And thank the heavens above:  You are, in fact, a dog person ❤︎

For whatever reason you’ve decided to marry my quirky brother. He’s an odd bird, but that’s what makes him so darn special. He puts all his energy into his projects and focuses on something until it’s done. His Halloween costumes, jack-o-lantern carvings, engineering projects, and artistic designs alway come out just as he imagined. It’s a little annoying how good he is at creating his vision.

My brother is much more sensitive than I am. He has my dad’s passion and my mom’s reactions. I do, too, but my personality comes across differently. He’s quick to anger but also quick to cool off… He’s a very forgiving soul. That’s pretty rare.

My brother has always been the dependent one. I mean that in a good, trusting way. He wants to help others and isn’t afraid to ask for help. When I was a kid I avoided hugs and flinched at the touch of others, but my brother would crawl on my mom’s lap and cuddle for hours. He’s loyal and trusting and dedicated- you really can’t ask for much more in a husband.

My brother is an amazing friend. He doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable situations and he’s bound and determined to do the right thing. I don’t need to tell you that he’s a God loving/fearing/worshiping man. You know that and you help him cultivate that love. He’s very, very fortunate to have a woman to grow with spiritually.

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Kylie Noelle Photography

When we were kids we weren’t allowed to bring friends on vacation because we “had each other to play with and hang out with.” Some of my parents’ rules were stupid (like leaving your cell phone on the mantel… psht), but that was a good one. My brother was my best friend growing up and he still is. I can’t imagine my childhood without Fred.

And now he’s going to marry you and you’re going to marry him. So here’s some unsolicited advice from the older sibling who’s married:

Make conscious choices. Choose to say gentle words. Choose your tone. Choose communication and choose to turn the TV off sometimes and entertain one another with stories and jokes and recaps from your day. Choose to put God first and choose prayer. Choose together which family to visit and which vacations to take. Choose a dog together and choose which battles to fight and which flames to extinguish. And above all else, choose one other. Always, always, always choose one another. Often you will be faced with that choice; choose each other.

I love my little brother and I’m very, very happy to know you do, too. Savor every single moment of life together. I’m so happy our family is growing with you!

 -Your newest sister! ❤︎

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A Personality Test (& a give away)

Last week I wrote a post about self-doubt and received so many relatable and encouraging comments. (Thanks! ❤︎ ) One of those comments contained a link to a simplified Myers-Briggs personality test. (Thank you, Emma!) I’ve taken this test before but it was nice to read about my different traits and strengths. It also revealed my weaknesses and how they play a key role in my overall personality. It was a refreshing, informative 30 minutes.

So then I made my husband take the test (#fortheblog).

Turns out we have very, very similar personality types and I find that incredibly fascinating. I love looking into our underlying characteristics and behaviors.

The site I was directed to reveals your personality type and assigns a role. I fall in the diplomat category as “the advocate” and Kyle is “the architect” in the analyst category. My personality type is INFJ (less than 1 % of the populations) and K is INTJ (less than 2% of the population). So let’s talk about what that means…

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Mind
According to the test (which I agree with), we are both introverts. I highly doubt I need to explain what that means… Long story short, we value time by ourselves and we recharge best when we’re alone.

Energy
The second letter reveals one’s mental energy… You can be sensing (S) or intuitive (N). We’re both the latter. While I would consider us generally observant, I agree that we both tend to go off a “gut feeling.”

Nature
This is where we differ… While I make decisions and cope with emotions with feeling (F), Kyle responds with thinking (T).

Tactics
The last element to the personality results is how one approaches work, planning and decision making. We both tend to be judging (J) verses perceiving (P).

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If you’d like to take the test you can do so here!

I’m so amused by our results. I urged K to have his employees take the test because I think it’s important to know how people think and react. K’s results were extremely accurate: he’s confident in almost everything he does and he’s very good at making decisions without letting emotions cloud his judgement.

If you decided to take the test (it’ll take less than 10 minutes) let me know what you got and if you agree!!

. . .

Ok… on to something a little more fun!

I’ve teamed up with Hannah Bee & some other awesome bloggers to give you the chance to win a fun prize that will warm your heart! 🙂 We’re excited to be giving away a high-quality Starbucks coffee thermos, along with a beautiful vintage cut-out book letter (made by the Oh Simple Joys Etsy shop) to add that special cozy touch to your home decor!

Giveaway - enter to win a Starbucks thermos + vintage cutout book letter!

It’s easy to enter – so what are you waiting for? You can enter for your chance to win below – and in the meantime, stop by these lovely ladies’ blogs and say hi!

Cozy January 2016 Giveaway

Allie from Down Rainy Lane // Carmilla from The Modest Girl’s Guide // Audrey from Life As Louise // Brittany from Grace, Love, Life // Jenn from Crown Me In Glitter // Kimberly from Sweet Discord // Ashley from The Ashley Maria Blog // Jenn from What You Make It // Rebecca from Caravan Sonnet // Hannah from Just Bee

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click the link and win some goodies!!

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National Popcorn Day

It’s rare for me to write on a Tuesday, but today is National Popcorn Day and I was invited by casper.com, the maker of comfortable mattresses, to share my favorite combination of treats and sweets for the perfect movie night in bed! As an unofficial list-maker extraordinaire, I was 100% sold on the handy little checklist of movie night essentials included at the end of this post!

First things first, a comfortable atmosphere is a must 🙂 Our king size bed has plenty of room for two humans and two dogs. Next we had to pick a movie that we all love (dogs included)… If you haven’t seen The Italian Job then you’re missing out. (We settled on an action-packed drama but Talladega Nights and Pearl Harbor were strong contenders.)

It’s not a movie night without popcorn, though! We like to make the healthy “light butter” popcorn…. and then drizzle a few tablespoons of melted butter on top of it! Checkout our complete list of movie night necessities:

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What’s your favorite kind of popcorn? What movies do you and your roommates or significant other always agree on?

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Loud Drums, Growing Babies, & Grateful Hearts

I have a confession to make… Our Christmas decorations are still up. There’s no excuse- we didn’t have any late Christmases or parties at our house. All month I’ve had good intentions to tackle the house on the weekend… but then I don’t. This weekend I slept until 11 am on Saturday morning… That never happens. I admit that I was really, really lazy.

But this weekend I hung out in a bar from 7 pm to 1 am and watched my favorite man hit some drums.

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And this weekend we celebrated a “1st Birthday” with my favorite baby. (Happy Birthday, Elliot!)

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And of course we watched a few episodes of The West Wing.

It’s weekends like these that make me so happy to live in a small city, surrounded by our family and our friends. It makes me grateful to wake up next to my other half on Sunday morning waaay later than either one of us planned and turning my parents down for a spontaneous Bob Evan’s breakfast because we’re just too comfy in bed. It makes me smile to relax on the couch Sunday night and watch TV while the dogs happily nap on our legs.

I am so grateful for these slow, lazy, last minute “hey-can-you-come-play-a-few-sets-at-the-bar?” weekends.

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A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

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